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Organiser of Melbourne's recent Peace March launches body image campaign

Friday, 05 October 2012 11:20

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**** Motivating issues: ****
- Sexual repression contributes to sexual abuse
- Alarming increase in labiaplasty
- Taboos hinder public discourse, hindering resolution

**** The project aims to: ****
- Ease body image taboos and shame
- Celebrate our bodies and our diversity
- Raise money for women's charities

**** Inspired by The Vagina Monologues ****
-Supports V-Day foundation, One Billion Rising, White Ribbon, etc.


Philip Werner, organiser of Melbourne's recent Peace March, has launched a Pozible crowd-funding campaign to support the publication of a taboo smashing coffee table photo book.

The book, simply called 101 Vagina, aims to break the taboos and shame around our bodies in general and around vaginas in particular. It will contain 101 black and white photos and a message from or about each woman's vagina to the world.

"This book is to be a celebration of our bodies, our sensuality and sexuality.

"As a society we have such an unhealthy relationship with out bodies. Sexuality is deeply repressed and so many people carry shame about their body."

"I also believe that sexual repression is causally related to sexual abuse and enables advertisers to manipulate us into buying and doing things we don't need; the alarming increase in labiaplasty being a glaring example."

By tackling these taboos, the project aims to allow a more open dialogue and help us all to feel better about our bodies in general, starting with the greatest taboo, the vagina. The 101 Penis book is also in the making.

"Taboos prevent us from talking openly about things, hindering our efforts to tackle associated issues. In this case those issues include genital mutilation, body image, sexual health, sexual abuse, fertility, sexual dysfunction, etc. My hope is that this book will ease that taboo a little, allow more open conversation, release people from their shame and thus help heal this great social wound.'

Five dollars from the sale of every book will go to various women's charities to support them in their important work.

"I was first inspired by Eve Ensler's Vagina Monologues so I wanted to give back to the causes she has highlighted."

This includes supporting the V-Day foundation and OneBillionRising campaign that are working to end violence against women and girls. And there are many local charities and women's groups that the project would like to direct funds to. Philip has contacted V-Day to request permission to host a V-Day or V-Men event.

"There is so much that we can all do to contribute to a more peaceful, less violent world. Join the White Ribbon and One Billion Rising campaigns, host a V-Day event, start your own peace group, etc. etc."

Philip strongly believes that that sexual repression and violence are causally related and that easing this repression will benefit all of us.

"People who are comfortable in their sexuality have fewer pent up tensions and can therefore be more peaceful and loving in their lives. Rape, harassment and molestation are NOT expressions of sexual freedom, they are expressions of sexual repression."

Among all the shame and taboo we must not forget that sex should be about pleasure and joy. There is a beautiful and growing 'sex positive' movement happening internationally. It still goes largely under the radar, though video bloggers like Lacy Green are gaining popularity.

"Some dear friends of mine are trailblazers in the field of sexual education and exploration. Vanessa runs Sex Camp, Eyal and Emma run Tantra Is Love, and many other friends are counselors, healers and therapists. There is so much good work being done."

This Pozible crowd-funding campaign runs for just under three months, expiring just before the new year. It needs to raise $20,000 for the first large print run of the book to keep the cost per book down. That's 400 people at $50 a book. People can pledge any amount from $1 upwards, and if pledging $50 (plus postage) or more they will actually receive a copy of the book once it's printed. Then it's effectively a pre-order or the book, rather than just a donation.

"The book itself will be really big and beautiful. Hardcover, over 200 pages of photos and text and around 30cm square. Having that on your coffee table will be impossible to ignore."

"The great thing with this Pozible campaign is that everybody wins. The project wins because it will enable the book to get printed, the supporters win because they will actually get the book as a reward, and various charities will win from the funds raised. Besides, once it hits retail stores it will more likely sell for around $70, so supporters are even getting a discount."

The 101 Vagina Pozible campaign page includes a video explaining the project and talking about vaginas.

The main 101 Vagina website includes a blog section where many women have shared candid stories related to their vaginas that span the emotional gamut from raw to funny, from joyful to sad.

Visit the websites to see what it is all about and make your pledge to support the project!

For the Pozible campaign please visit:
http://pozible.com/101vagina

And the main page is at:
http://101vagina.com

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Philip is available for interview or questions through:
m: 0411 358 937
e: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it