Originally Posted by AbbieB
I'm glad others have said it before me, I find it very frustrating that so many people use the term vagina to refer to all of a woman's genitalia. My DD and I have a vagina, but that certainly is not the part you are looking at when we are naked. Don't get me wrong, it's a very important part of our anatomy, but letting the vagina become the all encompassing word adds to mystification and confusion of the female body. I think it also does woman a disservice by making it seem like all of our other parts are just secondary and unimportant.
By correctly labeling a women's genitalia with the word vulva (or yoni), which is made up of many parts with different functions, I think we could help a lot of women feel more confident about their body and how it works. And then there would be the fringe benefits of men having some understanding that when it comes to sex, we women are a lot more than just a vagina.
I would agree with you, except that, for all the years that I used the term "vagina", I never thought about what that actually applied to. I never thought that my vagina was more important than my clitoris (HECK, NO!!) or labia, or anything else. I simply didn't know
a word for the whole thing, and actually assumed that "vagina" did double-duty.
Likewise, the men I've known who didn't know the word "vulva" (ie. most, maybe all, of the men I've ever known!), didn't think my vagina was the only part of me, or even the only important part of me. They just thought that particular word meant the entire area. By and large, most people I've known (at least the ones I've talked to about it), are/were familiar with terms for most of the female parts - they just didn't know the term for the whole area, and thought that "vagina" was being correctly used that way.
And, when you get right down to it, why wouldn't they think that? If there's a single term that encompasses the penis and the scrotum, I've never heard it. It's not that surprising that people didn't/don't realize the same doesn't apply to women.
I wish I were surprised that grown women don't know the term "clitoris", but I'm not. As I mentioned upthread, I've seen diagrams (in the puberty types books) that show female genitalia, and include labels for the vagina, urethra, labia majora and minora...but don't include the clitoris at all