Delve into The Happy Vagina: An entertaining, empowering guide to gynaecological and sexual wellbeing, and learn more about author Mika Simmons’ story in the below extract.
I became an activist in the female health space by accident really, after losing my mother, Rosie, aged just 54, to ovarian cancer. For a long time, I struggled to understand why she had been taken from us so young and by this, the most brutal of female cancers. Hadn’t she been a nurse, a carer, and a leader in the second wave of feminism, fighting for women’s equality? It didn’t make any sense.
Eventually, to heal and continue her legacy of protest, I began to dedicate my spare time and energy to campaigning for change in women’s health. Through the work of my charity, Lady Garden Foundation, I wanted to help find better treatments for female cancers. And my podcast, The Happy Vagina, is about empowering women, through frank and intimate conversations, to know their bodies, demand better from health services and close not just the gender gap, but the pleasure gap too. While on this journey, it has become increasingly apparent to me that, if there is one thing throughout history that has been wronged as much as it has been worshipped, it is women’s bodies. Medicine, politics, religion, and social conditioning have all had a thoroughly improper and exaggerated influence on women’s being – with many of the falsehoods told still negatively impacting us.
My intention with this book is to re-educate us all by shining a light on these ridiculous, historical myths and then debunk them by sharing the most unique, incredible and empowering facts about everything VAGINA, thereby encouraging a more open dialogue for everyone. And I do mean everyone – this book is about those who identify as women but all humans are welcome here. Because in order for deep change to happen, we have to take everyone with us. I hope this book will be just as enlightening for the woman who never had an orgasm as for the young men who are determined to be the best partner, or the Dad with teenage daughters who are fast becoming women. Everyone is invited.
The hardest part of this project was choosing what to put in – because both the misinformation about women’s health, the missing stories and amazing facts are endless. At times, this felt overwhelming and so, in the end, I have simply chosen my favourites, hoping that you will be inspired by them too. If the content here sparks your interest or ignites your desire and you want to delve deeper, I have included a resources and further reading section at the back of the book, full of trailblazing women who inspire me. I am not a historian or a women’s health expert. I am simply a disobedient woman who has been acutely impacted by the gender health gap and who believes that women deserve to know the truth, so we can feel exceptional in and about ourselves… as the goddesses we truly are.
PS If you don’t like swearing, this book is not for you.