Thursday, April 25, 2013

V is for...

Vagina. I mean really, what else would V possibly stand for.

This is a great word to illustrait some of the weird difficulties of having a daughter that are completely caused by our own stupid society. Vagina. It's treated like a dirty word oh so much more than penis. There's no PEN15 Club for vaginas. (although I guess that would hard, what, like V4G1N4 Club? That sounds like a disease you get from poultry). People should be more comfortable with that word. In high school "Heath, Drugs, and Sex Ed" class the teacher went around the room and made each person say "Penis and Vagina" without giggling. This took practically the whole class period. Apparently getting 17 year old boys to say that with a straight face is basically impossible.

Anyway, what was I talking about? My daughters, right. I wanted them to learn the real word right away. None of this "lady bits" or "hoo-haw" crap. And I thought I was being very feminist and forward thinking and all that when I taught my daughters the word vagina.

Only the mommy wars are so bad that apparently I suck, and that's just not good enough. I should have taught them vulva. Well, shit. I guess I just might as well have said vajayjay, now they're going to grow up thinking their vulva is their vagina and clearly this will lead the therapy later. But I can't bring myself to re-teach them the generic word for their girl-crotch. So I also taught them the pee comes from the urethra and that's going to have to be good enough for now. Also, in case you haven't experienced it, a toddler saying "urethra" is just about the funniest thing ever.

But it turns out they actually never say vagina anyway, they just say 'gina (which is way better than vag' at least) and they say it a lot. Nothing gets a giggle like a well-timed exclamation about their butt or 'gina. That's just the age we're at.

Now I've probably made you all really uncomfortable with all this talk of children and vaginas, so let's wrap this up with a cute/embarrassing (for me) story from when Kaylee was 3. So Kaylee's taking a bath and I'm taking a leak. (You gotta multi-task when you're a mom.)

Kaylee: Your 'gina is furry!
Me: Uh...
Kaylee: (triumphantly) Mine isn't!
Me: Well, when you get older you will grow some of your own.
Kaylee: (clearly nervous) Does it hurt to grow fur?
Me: No.
Kaylee: Does it tickle?
Me: Uh, maybe? It's not fur though, it's hair.
Kaylee: It comes from your head??
Me: No, it grows there.
Kaylee: (starring at her crotch) It grows out of my 'gina?
Me: Close enough.
Kaylee: When?
Me: When you're a big kid, maybe like 11 or 12.
Kaylee: Tell me about when you were a kid.
Me: Ok, when I was a little kid I didn't have any hair, then when I was a big kid, almost a teenager, I grew some.
Kaylee: Ok!

25 comments:

  1. Hahaha, I loved this post! I too wanted to teach my daughter the word vagina rather than 'privates' or some silly thing. I don't want her to view it as something bad. And I always find it amusing that penis is so much more acceptable than vagina. Obviously women need to start talking about their vaginas more. :)

    When my daughter tries to say vagina she usually says 'ginananana'. I'll have to try to teach her urethra.

    I love the convo with your daughter! Hilarious.

    Have fun with the rest of a-z. Thanks for the laugh.

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    1. Thanks for your comment. ginananana. LOL.

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  2. I have always taught my daughter to say vagina, too. I think it's a fun word & I'd rather hear that than hoo-haw or kitty cat or whatever the hell people wanna call it. When she was younger, my daughter called it a bee-gina. She eventually graduated to vee-gina. Now she says it correctly, but she also throws in an occasional vajayjay b/c she's warped like that. *lol*

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    1. kitty cat? oh man, that would be confusing. "don't put that in your kitty cat" O_o

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  3. OMG I love that you wrote about this! I wanted to so bad, but it would have been so out of line and offended a few, I decided not too! I have learned best way to get my 12 yo out of the room, talk about vaginas. It is hilariuos!

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    1. haha yeah, I wonder if I've offended people with my last few posts being about female anatomy. haha oh well

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  4. I have always taught me daughter to say vagina. One day I heard her brothers saying, "mooned you, mooned you." After a few minutes, I heard her say "Pagina-ed you!"

    Love that you wrote about this!

    madscientistcrazymom.com

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    1. bwahaha! pagina-ed you! kids are so funny.

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  5. Yeah, I can just imagine a bunch of 17 year olds saying vagina with a straight face. Was watching a news program once and the presenter had to say the word, for some reason. My goodness, he looked constipated.
    You should get a star for a fun post or some such.

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    1. thanks. I'll take and cherish the imaginary gold star. :)

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  6. Your teacher probably did that to get out of actually teaching sex ed for a day. Oh, how horrible it must be to be a sex ed teacher.

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    1. yeah, I can't imagine being a sex ed teacher. that's got to be pretty much the most awkward, horrible class to teach ever.

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  7. Yeah, I was informed I was supposed to be using "vulva," as well. I don't buy it. I use "vagina." It's always some haughty, holier-than-thou who tells me the proper term is "vulva." IMO it's not, because there are different bits down there, each with its own name. I prefer to go with vagina. Phlbbbbt. Like you, that didn't come until well after I'd started using that term, anyway, and I wasn't about to change it. Even if I'd liked the person who'd informed me so snobbily. Maybe we should be calling the area the "labia," seeing as how that's the external part. I mean, who chooses the right term??

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

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    1. I know right? I think as long as we're using real words then we are winning. Go us!

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    2. *technically* it's vulva, vulva refers to everything down there including labia, clitoris, etc

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  8. The vulva/vagina debate is no-win, in my opinion. Vulva may be technically correct, but vagina is used significantly more. So the kid uses "vagina" in front of some "vulva" militant and it's a big fail or the kid uses "vulva" and to 98% of the rest of the population and sounds like an uptight vulva militant so it's a big fail. We went with vagina, consequences be damned.

    Growing up, my favorite euphemism was always "cooter," which was apparently very regionally limited. How else to explain why the guy that ran the garage on The Dukes of Hazzard was named after a female body part?

    If it's any consolation, my poor daughter grew up in a house with three older brothers. For a whole stretch of time (despite my best efforts), she was completely convinced that she had two butts AND that her penis was "ruined."

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    1. "her penis was ruined" made me snort (which is why I shouldn't read emails in meetings)

      I remember other little girls talking about front butt and back butt in elementary school. I went along with it because I'm pretty sure saying vagina would have turned my face firetruck red back then.

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    2. omg that's like Freudian crap right there. do you think something similar happens when a boy grows up with a bunch of girls? (i.e. wtf is that dangling between my legs?!)

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  9. Love that your teacher made the kids say vagina and penis with a straight face. Now I know what we are doing at the dinner table tonight!

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    1. haha. that's great. I'm sure your kids will really love that. ;)

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  10. Yeah, this post was a little uncomfortable to read but I'm glad that I did because you have a point. Hell, I have a vagina so it shouldn't be a comfortable term for me to speak, read or hear someone else say it...yet, it is. Oddly enough, I do agree that 'gina sounds way better than 'vag...especially coming from toddlers.

    You may have just written my "V" post for the next April blogathon: Nicknames for the 'Vag. Ha!

    I'm familiar with "lady-bits" but am "hoo-haw" is relatively new to me. It sounds like a cowboy from Tennessee or Kentucky or whatever (isn't that where they're from?) who can't get his "yee-haw" right while trying to mount a horse. I've heard women and men refer to the vagina in many ways such as snatch, twat, cooch, cat, kitty, psy...and my all-time favorite (not!)..."coocoo," which is what a guy I used to date called it. WTF is a coocoo? Go on, just shake your head, because that's exactly what I did on the inside.

    ~Nicole

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    1. coocoo? That would bring whole new meaning to the old commercial "I'm coocoo for coco puffs" LOL.

      It's amazing how many nicknames there are for vagina... I wonder which has more, Penis or Vagina...

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  11. I'm a bit behind in my blog reading, but just had to comment on this.

    There's power in words, and for whatever reason, the word vagina seems to have the power to evoke strong emotions--fear, anger, embarrassment. It's kind of cool, really. It kind of suggests that, just as right-minded people have always suspected, Freud had it backwards. Penis envy? I think not. There's vastly more evidence for vagina envy. In fact, there's so much vagina envy out there, we're still discouraged from using the (gasp) V-word.

    I taught my daughter the word vagina as soon as she was old enough to name her body parts, and I think that made it much easier for her to accept her body by the time she hit the age of hoo-haw-vag-cootch-pussy-box euphemism that tells girls their "lady bits" are unnameable and by extension gross and shameful.

    Great post. So glad I started following your blog!

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    1. Thanks. Good point, I think Frued did have it backwards. ha.

      It's great that other parents teach vagina too. I wonder if there are demographics on that.

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  12. Hilarious! I love how simple and direct kids are!

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