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post #101 of 186

Fine... you're super correct!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post



But its not correct.

If 99% of Americans jumped off a bridge, would you? Cause that's your line of reasoning here.

My friends and I use the correct terminology... even with our small children.


 

post #102 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post

But its not correct.

If 99% of Americans jumped off a bridge, would you? Cause that's your line of reasoning here.

My friends and I use the correct terminology... even with our small children.


I think most of us use colloquialisms every day without anyone feeling like it's the equivalent of jumping off a bridge.  I'm sure that to some people it matters very much that their use of language be technically correct, but to a lot of us what's important is that the person we're speaking with understands us.  I don't see anything so terrible in that.  

 

I'm intrigued by the fact that you and your friends are all so much on the same page about this topic.  I used to have a friend who used the term "girl parts" and I was irritated every time she said it and told her so.  But she had a lot of value in other ways.  wink1.gif

 

post #103 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post

But its not correct.

If 99% of Americans jumped off a bridge, would you? Cause that's your line of reasoning here.

My friends and I use the correct terminology... even with our small children.

Well I disagree that it is not correct.  Part of using language to communicate is using words that others commonly use to describe the same thing.  While many people know exactly what a vagina is and isn't, the vast majority of people use the word vagina to describe the vulva.  So maybe it isn't technically correct to say vagina, but if the point is communication, why wouldn't I and others choose to use the word that the vast majority of people use?  There isn't anything offensive about the word vagina. 

 

I learned "Spain" spanish.  When I started working with Mexican and Puerto Rican families, it became clear to me very quickly that many words that were used to describe one thing by someone from Mexico were used for something else by someone from Spain.  So, I rolled with it.  Using vagina to describe the vulva is the same thing.  I choose to use words that are commonly used to express the same meaning so a) people understand me and b) I don't sound like I'm holier than thou.  That is my choice.  Others can make a different choice.  However, I don't see the point in being condescending towards those who choose to use a different word when it isn't offensive.  How nice, but also limiting, it must be to have all of one's friends use the exact same terminology.... 

 

post #104 of 186

so our culture seems to prefer the term vagina over vulva. why is that so wrong?

not "medically correct"? maybe. but if everybody seems to get the word and agree on it's meaning, then it certainly gets the point across, right? it's a consensus.

and more so that vulva or labia does. even if those are more technically correct, anatomically.

so if the goal is clear communication that reaches most everyone in our culture, vagina actually wins.

i guess i wonder if words like vulva or labia are confusing enough to a lot of people, that some take the shortcut to "vagina" or even a more slang term for it.

 

post #105 of 186

I take exception with the 99% of Americans use the word vagina to mean the whole package thing. I'm 47 yrs old and have, to the best of my knowledge, never heard any woman (or man) I have known throughout my whole life use the word vagina to refer to anything but their vagina. I really don't think that 99% or maybe not even the majority of Americans use the word "vagina" to refer to women's visible genitalia. Maybe someone should start a poll. Maybe it's regional or generational. It really sounds to me like saying anus or rectum when you mean butt.

 

I hate taking this thread so off topic, but I think I've said everything I can say about "keep your legs closed" and underwear.

post #106 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post

But its not correct.

If 99% of Americans jumped off a bridge, would you? Cause that's your line of reasoning here.

My friends and I use the correct terminology... even with our small children.


"Sherbert" isn't correct either, but that's how nearly everyone says it. And when I say "sherbet" some people look at me strangely and might not even know what I'm talking about. But they always know exactly what people mean when they say "sherbert." It's acceptable usage, even though it's not Perfectly And Undeniably Correct. And my snitting at people about it in the ice cream line isn't going to cause a widespread change in colloquial usage, so if someone says to me, "Mmm, isn't this sherbert delicious?" I'll just smile and say, "Yes it is!" instead of saying, "This what? I'm sorry, I have no idea what you're talking about. In my circle of friends, there is no foodstuff called sherbert." 

post #107 of 186

Limabean, that's not the same thing at all. There is no other foodstuff that is sherbeRt. That's more like saying vageena instead of vagina. It's a mispronunciation. 

 

It would be more like someone saying, "Isn't this sorbet delicious," when they mean "ice cream" or maybe popsicle? It's a different thing altogether.

 

Vagina vs vulva — it's not as different as elbow and ear, but it's more than a mispronunciation. I really don't care what people call it w/in their own families and friends, but for my family and in my circle of friends we don't stretch the definition of the term and really use the correct one when we're using anatomical terms.  

post #108 of 186


This old thread on the topic of vaginas, vulvas, yonis might be interesting to some:

 

http://www.mothering.com/community/t/104596/the-word-vagina

 

ETA: My completely unscientific survey of MDC threads conducted by searching on the term "vagina" showed that when most posters on MDC used the term they were actually talking about vaginas and not vulvas. 


Edited by beanma - 9/20/11 at 9:47pm
post #109 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by beanma View Post

I take exception with the 99% of Americans use the word vagina to mean the whole package thing. I'm 47 yrs old and have, to the best of my knowledge, never heard any woman (or man) I have known throughout my whole life use the word vagina to refer to anything but their vagina. I really don't think that 99% or maybe not even the majority of Americans use the word "vagina" to refer to women's visible genitalia.



This is interesting to me. I'm 43, and I've never heard the term "vulva" used in real life, except among my homelearning friends. I'd never heard it at all until I was here on MDC. And, most of the time, when I've heard someone talk about their vagina (or even their "vajayjay" or "hooha"), they've been talking about the vulva and/or vulva and vagina.

post #110 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post

This is interesting to me. I'm 43, and I've never heard the term "vulva" used in real life, except among my homelearning friends. I'd never heard it at all until I was here on MDC. And, most of the time, when I've heard someone talk about their vagina (or even their "vajayjay" or "hooha"), they've been talking about the vulva and/or vulva and vagina.

i am 46 and that has been my experience too. 
 

 

post #111 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by beanma View Post

Limabean, that's not the same thing at all. There is no other foodstuff that is sherbeRt. That's more like saying vageena instead of vagina. It's a mispronunciation. 

 

It would be more like someone saying, "Isn't this sorbet delicious," when they mean "ice cream" or maybe popsicle? It's a different thing altogether.

 

Vagina vs vulva — it's not as different as elbow and ear, but it's more than a mispronunciation. I really don't care what people call it w/in their own families and friends, but for my family and in my circle of friends we don't stretch the definition of the term and really use the correct one when we're using anatomical terms.  



The thing is...lots of people will use the term "ice cream" to cover sorbet, sherbet, popsicles/fudgsicles/creamsicles/whatever-on-a-stick, gelato, etc. It's not correct, and it's not technically accurate, but people still know what you're talking about if you say it, yk? I think "vagina" tends to fall into that category, too.

post #112 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post





This is interesting to me. I'm 43, and I've never heard the term "vulva" used in real life, except among my homelearning friends. I'd never heard it at all until I was here on MDC. And, most of the time, when I've heard someone talk about their vagina (or even their "vajayjay" or "hooha"), they've been talking about the vulva and/or vulva and vagina.

 

I'm 37 and I've never heard any of my friends of any age talking about their vagina, vulva, labia or clitoris. It has never once come up in conversation. I wonder why since it seems to be as common as discussing the weather for other people.

 

I grew up without names for these body parts. I do consider vagina a step up from absolutely nothing. If I didn't have a book with the parts neatly labeled I would have only been able to tell dd vagina.
 

 

post #113 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by onlyzombiecat View Post


I'm 37 and I've never heard any of my friends of any age talking about their vagina, vulva, labia or clitoris. It has never once come up in conversation. I wonder why since it seems to be as common as discussing the weather for other people.

 

 


biglaugh.gif

 

Same here!

 

 

 

post #114 of 186

I guess what bugs me about simply using the word vagina to describe the sum of a woman's genitalia is that its basically saying (in anatomical terms)....."boys have a penis, girls have a penis receptacle".  If the question is strictly a one-for-one comparison, "vagina" works, but as a description of the sum of area or only the external area it is entirely inappropriate.    Since society has been evolving from a male-dominated stance, it is no surprise that the term has been so widely accepted in the past.  In my personal opinion, I do think its far more empowering to women (and men) describe every part, distinctly.  As we all know, our sexual being and child bearing capabilities are far more intricate and complex than a simple "penis" and "penis receptacle". 

post #115 of 186

Y'know, to clarify I haven't heard women talk about their vaginas or vulvas very much. Occasionally I might hear a mom talk about a problem with their baby or toddler girl's vulva being red or irritated, but most women I know don't use either term in casual conversation. My point was the only time I've heard a woman talk about her vagina, say talking about a birth experience, she actually meant vagina and not vulva. Neither is a term that you just bring up in casual conversation, but I have never heard an acquaintance use "vagina" to refer to the whole shebang and I have heard it used to mean the actual vagina. I just don't agree that it's a given that most Americans use vagina to mean the vulva. If some people want to use it that way, well whatever floats their boat, but I don't think MOST people necessarily use it that way and certainly not 99% of Americans.

 

I agree that the sorbet/sherbet example wasn't very good. I was just trying to change that example to be more representative of the vagina/vulva question and I don't think it worked very well. I guess a better one might be saying "beer" and meaning beer, wine, vodka, gin, and all the liquors, etc. It's not the same thing. I suppose some people might say "beer" when they mean "chardonnay", but "beer" is really not an inclusive or equivalent term. 


Edited by beanma - 9/21/11 at 6:39am
post #116 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Venia View Post

I guess what bugs me about simply using the word vagina to describe the sum of a woman's genitalia is that its basically saying (in anatomical terms)....."boys have a penis, girls have a penis receptacle".  If the question is strictly a one-for-one comparison, "vagina" works, but as a description of the sum of area or only the external area it is entirely inappropriate.    Since society has been evolving from a male-dominated stance, it is no surprise that the term has been so widely accepted in the past.  In my personal opinion, I do think its far more empowering to women (and men) describe every part, distinctly.  As we all know, our sexual being and child bearing capabilities are far more intricate and complex than a simple "penis" and "penis receptacle". 

well... that would mean that someone is drawing a conclusion about a vagina = a penis receptacle in the first place, wouldn't it?  it could be a tampon receptacle, a finger or fist or whatever receptacle, too, or just a lovely tube of tissue that remains empty, ya know.  vaginas, as you know, aren't just for penises to go into....
 

 

post #117 of 186



I personally don't think of my vagina is a "penis receptacle". Under this logic,, couldn't it as easily be interpreted to, "boys have a penis, girls have a "baby expulsion canal"?  AND may I also point out that we don't say, "boys have a prepuce, girls have a vulva"?  Who cares?  

 

I broke my knee when I was a kid.  Oops, I mean my patellla. ;)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Venia View Post

I guess what bugs me about simply using the word vagina to describe the sum of a woman's genitalia is that its basically saying (in anatomical terms)....."boys have a penis, girls have a penis receptacle".  If the question is strictly a one-for-one comparison, "vagina" works, but as a description of the sum of area or only the external area it is entirely inappropriate.    Since society has been evolving from a male-dominated stance, it is no surprise that the term has been so widely accepted in the past.  In my personal opinion, I do think its far more empowering to women (and men) describe every part, distinctly.  As we all know, our sexual being and child bearing capabilities are far more intricate and complex than a simple "penis" and "penis receptacle". 



 

post #118 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by hildare View Post



well... that would mean that someone is drawing a conclusion about a vagina = a penis receptacle in the first place, wouldn't it?  it could be a tampon receptacle, a finger or fist or whatever receptacle, too, or just a lovely tube of tissue that remains empty, ya know.  vaginas, as you know, aren't just for penises to go into....
 

 


Due to my inability to be mature... calling the "vagina" a receptacle is FLIPPING FUNNY! How bout we all just call it a C@#K Holster?!

Yes there are correct terms for all the beautiful parts between our thighs, just as there are corrects terms for everything else. Though I simply cannot fathom reminding my kids to wipe their anus after defecating.
post #119 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by April*autmaiajude* View Post

I personally don't think of my vagina is a "penis receptacle". Under this logic,, couldn't it as easily be interpreted to, "boys have a penis, girls have a "baby expulsion canal"?  AND may I also point out that we don't say, "boys have a prepuce, girls have a vulva"? 

Baby expulsion canal would be demeaning for those women who have chosen to remain childless

I did tell my son "boys have penis and girls have a vulva"... so did all my friends in our playgroup when the kids were small.
post #120 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Venia View Post

I guess what bugs me about simply using the word vagina to describe the sum of a woman's genitalia is that its basically saying (in anatomical terms)....."boys have a penis, girls have a penis receptacle".  If the question is strictly a one-for-one comparison, "vagina" works, but as a description of the sum of area or only the external area it is entirely inappropriate.    Since society has been evolving from a male-dominated stance, it is no surprise that the term has been so widely accepted in the past.  In my personal opinion, I do think its far more empowering to women (and men) describe every part, distinctly.  As we all know, our sexual being and child bearing capabilities are far more intricate and complex than a simple "penis" and "penis receptacle". 


You know, the pairing could just as easily be rendered as "vagina" and "vagina-filler".

 

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