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The vulva dialogues – inside a sex-ed class that rebels against genitalia shame

Unclothed from the waist down, legs spread wide, a class gathers in Los Angeles for a unique show-and-tell. Lead by the sex-positivity advocate Pamela Samuelson, the group aims to ‘normalise vulvas’, end bodily shame and challenge ‘fear-based’ sex education. In this intimate space, these participants bare their bodies and share their relationship with their vulvas as a means of educating one another, and, in doing so, defy unhelpful expectations of what female genitalia ‘should be’. Through the empowering lens of these women, The Gallery that Destroys All Shame by the directors Aurora Brachman and Jessie Zinn opens up the conversation around women’s bodies, which can be mysterious to their owners and are often a political battleground. Through its glimpses into the class, the film reflects on what it means for women and people with vulvas to understand and love their bodies – and what many must learn (and unlearn) in order to do so.

17 February 2022

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