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You may know Whitney Cummings as a multi-talented comedian, filmmaker and author and now she’s stepping into a new role: an advocate for women’s reproductive health. Cummings is partnering with TherapeuticsMD to launch ‘Just Say Vagina’, a campaign to destigmatize conversations about birth control, menstruation and other reproductive health issues. “I know people that have had cysts and UTIs go septic because they were too afraid to ask their own doctor,” Cummings says, “It's actually getting to the point where it's dangerous. It's actually getting to the point where it's self deprivation.” In the video above she details why the taboo around vaginas has, “got to go.”
WHITNEY CUMMINGS: You know, I think if you Google vagina, articles come up about how I like ruined television because I had actresses say vagina. You know, Kat Dennings in "2 Broke Girls," the pilot episode, and she said, when you snap at me, it makes my vagina dry up. Other older male producers came at me and was like, Whitney's gross.
I'm still trying to figure out why the word vagina is so taboo. More than half of the world has one, and the other half is obsessed with getting near one, and we can't say it. Sitting with my dad, we'd be sitting watching TV, like "Three's Company" or whatever, and then a tampon commercial would come on. I would just run out of the room. You know, you just want to die.
Luckily I had older female cousins, so I got to go through their drawers secretly, always secretly. Thanksgiving dinner, everyone's drunk, and I'm like going through and looking at the pads and putting the tampons in and out and trying to jam them back in as if they wouldn't notice. And then I was actually confused, because all the commercials about periods, they would show a pad and they would put like blue liquid on the pad.
Is my period supposed to be blue? I mean, I love blue. Look my hair. I love blue. So I'm going to have blue liquid coming out of my vagina, which I'm allowed to say. I mean the rigamarole, the exhaustion. There was no communication about it. There was no, everything was shrouded in shame and mystery and like, you'll figure it out on your own.
I know people that have had cysts and UTIs go septic, because they were like too afraid to ask their own doctor. With the campaign, there was this kismet sort of, I see an email that's like "Just Say Vagina," and I'm like, what's that? JustSayVagina.com is their campaign website.
I'm used to having to tiptoe around saying vagina. I'm not allowed to say vagina. No one's allowed to say vagina. That's their domain name. I think it's very clear everyone knows I did not vote for Trump. That's pretty clear. Are we going to look back in 10, 20, 50 years and go, without that Trump debacle, there would have been no Me Too? How do we pick up the pieces, and does this reveal some of the major, major flaws that need to be looked at?
I would like to see insurance cover egg freezing. I would like to see insurance cover birth control, education about birth control in a real way. If I could go back and talk to my 13-year-old self, I would say save money, because you're going to need it for your birth control.
Get health insurance. Move to Canada.