A small, strange victory for vaginas everywhere...

by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free
Yes,  this t-shirt actually exists . No, I didn't make it.

Yes, this t-shirt actually exists. No, I didn't make it.

Some women run for public office. 

Others devote their lives to activism on behalf of their sex.  

Still others launch non-profit organizations that help lift women and their communities out of poverty. 

Me? I use the anatomically correct term to describe the female anatomy. (Be the change!)

That’s right.  The word “vagina” is back in the book. 

When I first mentioned that I’d been asked by my publisher to take the word “vagina” out of my manuscript for A Year of Biblical Womanhood in deference to the general preferences of Christian bookstores, I never expected you guys to care, much less do something about it.

But within a few days, you had written blog posts, started an Amazon petition, coined the term “Vaginagate", created “Team Vagina” t-shirts, called a bunch of Christian bookstores, and pleaded with me to stick to my guns and keep the word “vagina” in the book.

(You can imagine how proud my parents were to learn my vagina was getting all this attention online.)  

Emboldened by your response, I went back to my editor and asked to put the word “vagina” back in its context. I figured it was more important to listen to the voices of an impassioned readership than to objections within the Christian industry.

Well, good news— last week my editor informed me that “vagina” was a goThe word is back in the book! I’m not sure how this will affect purchases from Christian bookstores, but it doesn’t really matter to me anymore. You guys have reminded me that we have more power than we think, that writers in this industry need not accept the status quo, especially when their readers really care about their work. 

So thank you for being bold for me. This is your change, your editorial note; feel free to add your autograph to the margin when you read “vagina” in your copy in October.

This whole adventure has highlighted some problematic trends in Christian publishing and retailing that I hope will continue to be talked about. I can’t tell you how many current and former editors contacted me to commiserate. (No really, I can’t tell you. Folks are afraid of losing their jobs.) Clearly, something needs to change, and perhaps those of us without jobs on the line need to speak up more often.

Because Christians who wish to remain engaged in the culture can’t afford to be scandalized by a little ol’ vagina. 


(Note: A Year of Biblical Womanhood doesn’t release until October, but you can pre-order now.)

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