Why It’s OKAY To Say (& Write) The Word Vagina

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Vagina.

Vagina. Vagina. Vagina. Vagina. Vagina. Vagina. Vagina. Vagina. Vagina. Vagina. Vagina. Vagina. Vagina. Vagina. Vagina. Vagina. Vagina. Vagina. Vagina. Vagina. Vagina. Vagina. Vagina. Vagina. Vagina. Vagina. Vagina. Vagina. Vagina. Vagina. Vagina. Vagina. Vagina. Vagina. 

Say it out loud right now. I don’t care where you right now. Chances are that you’re reading this on your smartphone – hopefully not WHILE driving. Maybe you are reading this while walking outside (look up!). Maybe you’re at your desk at work. Maybe you’re at your child’s baseball game (if you are, stop reading this and WATCH THE GAME!).

I don’t care where you are. Just say it out loud: Vagina.

And don’t whisper it.

Just say “Vagina” in whatever is your normal voice volume. Feel free to shout it if you want. Better yet, record a short video of you saying Vagina, post it to YouTube, and drop the link in the comments below. Need an example? Here:


Can’t see the (vagina) video? Watch it on YouTube.

Update:

On Saturday, Jess Ostroff contributed her video. Watch it on my Facebook page, then leave a comment and tell Jess how awesome she is. Speaking of awesome, how about Julie Neumark? She wrote AND sang “The Vagina and Penis Song.”

And then Julie made Version 2 … just titled, The Vagina Song this time. Awesome, right?

Yup.


Can’t see The Vagina Song? Watch it on YouTube.

While you’re at it, say “Penis” too. Jason Konopinski did in his 7/29/14 video. And Paula Kiger also agrees it’s okay to say (& write) vagina and penis. Or just vagina (from your car – not while driving though), like Kary Delaria does in her video. Actually, she says penis too.

Okay. Did you do it? If not, stop reading and say it. Now.

Did you feel silly? Did people look at you funny? Did you giggle?

What’s The Big Deal With Saying (& Writing) The Word Vagina?

That’s a serious question.

I don’t understand why adults are so weird about the word vagina. It’s a word in the English language. According to Merriam-Webster, the word for the “passage in a woman’s or female animal’s body that leads from the uterus to the outside of the body” was first used in 1682. Vagina has been a word for 200+ years!

Vagina

So why do we make up silly names for it?

My friend Jess Ostroff posted this on Facebook yesterday:

Jess

Comments ranged from “Oh, come on! They don’t bite!” to “synonyms” like “Lady Garden” or “Lady Parts” or “Vagigi.” You can read all comments on Jess’s post here. I’m pretty sure I was the only commenter to suggest she just use the proper word: VAGINA. I even created a video saying the word vagina over and over (it’s the one embedded in this post above).

So I ask again, what’s wrong with just using the proper word? Why are we (adults!) so weirded out by the word vagina (and penis)?

I’ll never forget the first time my last girlfriend (and current wife!), Kristina, had dinner at my mom and stepfather’s house. My stepfather Dave (of Turducken fame) had just made a comment about the difference between men and women. Kristina, in her first year of medical school at the time, blurted out something about men having penises and women having vaginas. Dave nearly had a heart-attack. I nearly proposed to Kristina on the spot. Ha!

The point is this: It’s a vagina. It’s a penis. Call it what it is! Don’t make up silly words. Just say it proud!

(My) Final Word

A few weeks ago I posted the following on Facebook:

Do you say/write “Vagina”/”Penis” when referring to female/male anatomy or do you use a … different … word?

Asking for a few reasons:

1. Heard a local radio personality here in SF (on KGO), say “Vajay-jay” last night (in reference to the AirBnB logo).
2. We have decided to teach our children (ages 2 and 4) the proper terms instead of some made up word. I’ve actually read a few studies saying that when young girls call use a made up word for their vagina, it can create a negative stigma around it. I’m not saying it was eloquently as this article was written but (hopefully) you get the point.

So, I’m curious – do YOU call a vagina a vagina and a penis a penis or do you use a made up word? Same question for those with young children.

Suffice to say, most people who replied confirmed they call a spade a spade (aka, a vagina a vagina – get it?). However, those are just the folks who commented AND they are people who follow me on Facebook, so clearly not a fair, unbiased sample. The one comment that jumped out at me was from Abbie Gale who wrote this:

Oh honey, I write about this ALL the time. It’s parents like you that give me giggles at the park when the little girl jumps off a slide screaming, “My vagina hurts!” Scroll down to number 4 in this story.

I understand where Abbie is coming from – and totally respect her decision and point of view – however, what is the harm if a little girl screams her vagina hurts? If it hurts, it hurts! If a little girl’s arm hurt, I’d expect her to scream, “My arm hurts!” Right?

Am I crazy?

Still not convinced? Consider this:

Teaching children anatomically correct terms, age-appropriately, says Laura Palumbo, a prevention specialist with the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC), promotes positive body image, self confidence, and parent-child communication; discourages perpetrators; and, in the event of abuse, helps children and adults navigate the disclosure and forensic interview process.

I’d strongly encourage you to read the entire Atlantic article, The Case for Teaching Kids ‘Vagina,’ ‘Penis,’ and ‘Vulva.’ Powerful stuff.

So, where do you stand on saying (& writing) the word Vagina? Please share your thoughts (and videos!) in the comments below.

Oh, and big thanks to the new Airbnb logo (pictured above) for getting folks to talk more about vaginas!

In other news, a few exciting announcements coming soon – on this very blog! My buddy Joe Manna is re-skinning Social Butterfly Guy for me. I started this blog 5 years ago and have not really updated it since. Can’t you tell? Ha. Anyway, new look/feel SOON. Also, if you’ve read the past few posts here (or follow me on Facebook), you know that I’ve been pretty fired up about PASSION lately. Once the blog gets updated, I’ll be announcing what I’m doing around passion. To say I’m PUMPED is an understatement.

Stay tuned.

And while you’re waiting, how about recording (and posting) that video of you saying Vagina (and penis). DO IT!

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