Thank you so much for taking the time to write me this response. It really made my week. It really is something special when someone else seems to have felt what I had in my heart writing a piece, so clearly.

Absolutely, I think a term like this demonstrates the need to expand definitions, as you say, of all of the domain of the feminine. I had hoped to be as inclusive and clear about my concerns as I could be, and it really warms me to hear that this came across.

When you said, “It is not the body, but the meaning of the body,” that is precisely it for me — there is something innately dissatisfying with the pure medicalisation of the feminine body, because the layering of other aspects of human living (be it culture, society, gender expectations, whatever) are impossible to separate from how we view ourselves as humans. And it isn’t the case that we do not medicalise male bodies, merely that the female (and, by extension, the female body) is complex and often not studied in the same light — patriarchal paradigms often define ‘medicine’. It’s hard to resolve without deeper, more specific understanding, and yet more general poetic inclusion in the terms we use to characterise who we are. The dichotomy is interesting, and problematic.

Your final point of about the ‘linga’ or similar term requiring separation from the penis is one I agree with, also. Where one aspect of gender begins and another ends is much more fluid than traditional discussion around terminology, methodology or scientific/medical curiosity seems to suggest.

Thank you again for such a considered response!

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Trying to live better. Writing on Mental Health, Relationships, and Living Ethically. Editor/Podcaster.

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