A Vagina Museum has been hit by a backlash after refusing to use the word women in a social media post while talking about the issue of abused Polish women.
The London-based organisaton instead used the phrase ‘people with vaginas’.
People expressed disbelief that a museum dedicated to vaginas chose not to use the word ‘woman’, with one calling it ‘ludicrous’.
The comment came as artist and photographer Aleksandra Karpowicz was handed access to their Twitter account in a ‘takeover’ to highlight the current situation in Poland.
Demonstrations have spread across the country after changes were made to Poland’s abortion laws.
London’s Vagina Museum were criticised for refusing to use the term ‘women’ in a social media post. The organisaton instead used the phrase ‘people with vaginas’ in a post on Twitter
The Vagine Museum in Camden, north London, is dedicated to vaginas, vulvas and the gynaecological anatomy
Pointing social media users to Karpowicz’s account, the Camden museum wrote: ‘This is a takeover by @a_karpowicz to share with you the abuse of rights that is happening to Polish people with vaginas.’
They followed the post with the hashtag: ‘StrajkKobiet’, which in Polish means ‘women’s strike’.
This is the name of the grassroots women’s rights organisation currently leading demonstrations in Poland.
Mass protests have taken place after the predominantly Catholic country tightened its abortion laws, making it illegal to end a pregnancy due to foetal defects.
After the ruling goes into effect, abortion will only be permissible in Poland in the case of rape, incest or a threat to the mother’s health and life.
These make up only around two per cent of legal terminations conducted in recent years.
The museum’s preference for the phrase ‘people with vaginas’ over ‘women’ has prompted outrage on social media.
An exhibition from inside the museum, which hopes to educate visitor on the gynaecological anatomy (file photo)
Some users on social media criticised the ‘snowflakes’ behind the museum’s Twitter post
Another person on Twitter exclaimed ‘the world has gone mad’ in reaction to the choice of words
The term split opinion with several people arguing over its use on social media
This individual called it ‘ludicrous’ that a museum dedicated to vaginas refused to use the word ‘women’
Some praised the museum for their ‘inclusive language’ in light of the protests in Poland
Many called for them to use the original term, while others praised the post for its ‘inclusionary language’.
One person wrote on Twitter: ‘The world has gone mad.’
One post read: ‘It’s difficult to think of anything more ludicrous than a vagina museum that refuses to use the word woman. It’s just utterly pathetic.’
Another person commented: ‘They are snowflaking so hard at this point.’
The museum defended its statement in a second tweet, posting: ‘We are recieving comments questioning this language. Not all people who have vaginas are women.’
J K Rowling came under fire earlier this year after she took issue with an online article referring to ‘people who menstruate’ instead of the word ‘women’
While another posted: ‘Thank you for using inclusive language. I’m a cis woman and I really appreciate having my trans and non binary siblings being recognised as being damaged by this horrific law too. We all need to stand together.’
The distinction has been much discussed in recent months after JK Rowling prompted a row after she took issue with an online article referring to ‘people who menstruate’.
She tweeted to her 14.5m followers on Saturday: ‘I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?’
The backlash prompted complaints that the term ‘women’ is not inclusive of the complexity of gender identity and excludes trans women.
London’s Vagina Museum is the latest in a series of places that have chosen to adopt an alternative phrase to replace the word ‘women’.
Students at Goldsmiths University in London have dropped the gender noun ‘woman’, say it is non-inclusive as feminists suggest the inclusion of ‘men’ in the word implies reliance upon males.
Instead, members of the female sex are being referred to as ‘womxn’ by students at Goldsmiths, University of London and Kings College London.