….and a vulva, and a clitoris, and other parts with names too.
I am all about teaching children proper anatomical names for their various parts. There is nothing embarrassing about being in possession of a penis or a vagina, and it is entirely appropriate to refer to these parts by their technical terms. I’d certainly prefer “vagina” to “down there.” The problem is that “vagina” is not the proper term for everything in the front half of a bikini bottom. The vagina is a very specific structure in the female reproductive area and the term is constantly misused.
I have to admit something to you now. It’s embarrassing and it might change the way you think of me, so I hope you’re not too disappointed in me when I tell you….
…I love Project Runway.
I bring this up because of this swimsuit designed on the first episode of the twelfth season:
Yes, there is a black box over the model’s crotch. There’s a reason for that. The suit did not fit well and one of the contestants described the situation as “her vagina is hanging out.” Now, here’s the thing. Speaking as a medical professional – if at any point, your vagina is hanging out, you are experiencing a medical emergency and should go to the emergency room immediately. Why? Because your vagina is inside your body and it should stay there. So what was hanging out? Her vulva. Her vulva was hanging out.
This little rant was prompted by this meme on Facebook, posted by a well-loved friend:
While I do agree with the basic meaning – that your shorts should adequately cover your genitals, I found myself arguing the semantics of it because, again, if your vagina is actually hanging out, you have bigger problems than the length of your shorts!
Now, when we’re talking about children, I do understand the need for simplicity, but you don’t teach a boy to refer to both his penis and his testicles as “penis,” do you? Why do we teach girls to call everything covered by the front half of a bikini “vagina?” Especially since in almost every case, what you’ll actually be discussing is the vulva, which would be a much more sensible term to be teaching.
The vagina is an opening into the body that leads to the cervix and then the uterus. There is no part of the vagina that extends out from the body. The external genitalia are collectively referred to as the vulva.
….And the little triangle of pubic hair in front? That is most definitely not the vagina.
Which brings me to the subject of vajazzling. If you’ve never heard of it, consider yourself blessed – at least, until you read that sentence. Now, like the rest of us, you have to think about this:
This is a trend I really hope is over, because I haven’t heard about in a few years (thank you, Jesus). After a full waxing, little crystals are glued to the skin where the pubic hair used to be. However, they persist in referring to it as “vajazzling,” a word combining “vagina” and “bedazzling.” And here’s my problem – once you realize what the vagina actually is, then vajazzling begins to seem like a form of medieval torture.
This is so well written.
Dear Jane Q. Public:
I recently became aware that you took a few minutes out of your life to send an online complaint to my Department’s Internal Affairs Division because you were upset that I would not listen to your excuses about why you drove through that red light a couple of weeks ago and also because I addressed you in a tone that you thought was less than respectful. You also thought that it was ridiculous that I wrote you an additional ticket for not having your two year old buckled into a car seat.
I’ve been given a copy of the letter because I have to take time that could be used patrolling the streets in order to address the complaints you’ve lodged against me to my superiors as well as to the Internal Affairs Division.
I do remember writing you those tickets, yes. I recall that you…
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