In his opening remarks for a new program to improve the health of women, the mayor said, “We can talk about erectile dysfunction, but not clitoral stimulation.” “Something doesn’t work right.”
If you stand in front of a mirror and say the word “vagina” three times in a row, New York City Mayor Eric Adams will appear and talk about the health of women in the city. “We would have a lot more research and care options for women’s health if we weren’t so afraid to say the word “vagina” and talk about the health of women in the city.” We would have a lot more research and care options for women’s health if we weren’t so afraid to say the word “vagina,” Adams said this morning at City Hall, where he was talking about his (good) plans to fix women’s health inequalities. ” Adams said, “If we weren’t so afraid to say the word “vagina,” we’d do a lot more research and care for women’s health.”
— Ethan Stark-Miller (@Estarkmiller) January 17, 2023
Adams explained how he planned to make “New York City the most organized city in the country for women and girls.” He will start with a women’s health summit in March, which will bring together leaders from a wide range of industries and organizations that will be affected. The Mayor’s Office website says that he wants to start up the Sexual Education Task Force again, make it easier to get an abortion with medicine at city health clinics, start a provider education maternal health campaign that focuses on hypertension and diabetes, and look into expanding pelvic floor therapies. All of these plans will come to fruition soon.
During her speech, Adams gave a rundown of the bad health situation for women, including: More often than not, a wrong diagnosis is made for vaginal pain, and the national death rate for black mothers is at least three times that of white mothers. On average, they are found four years after men. Even more personally, he talked about his mother’s and sister’s experiences in the city’s health system, where they went for help with menopause and periods, respectively, when they were going through those stages of life.
All of these are great pieces of information. So, like he always does, he had to add, “Something is wrong.” “We can discuss difficulties in obtaining an erection, but not clitoral stimulation.” I understand what Adams is trying to say when he talks about clitoral stimulation, but I get the feeling that something isn’t quite right. How can we ever become the healthiest city in the United States if we have to deal with this kind of mental pain?
In all honesty, it’s a breath of fresh air to see a public figure point out these problems and call them out for what they are. When the public official in question is prone to double-talk and making stuff up, it’s hard to have a lot of hope. Adams, to his credit, has always been committed to protecting women’s access to reproductive health care. This week, he signed a law that makes it possible for women in New York City to get abortion pills at health clinics.
Adams’s speech says that all we can do is hope that the city will help stop the “rivers of racism, social and economic inequality, lack of research, and innovation” that “feed into the sea of the gender health gap.” I hope that by this time next year, people in New York City will feel comfortable shouting “vagina” from their open windows.