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post #121 of 186
Everything can be demeaning.
post #122 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazurii View Post




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

 


and there are also many other places to put the latter... just sayin'.

 

post #123 of 186
Maybe this thread should be moved from Parenting to Sex Talk. redface.gif

I am LOL'ing at "vagina-filler". So, thanks!
post #124 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.

 

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.
 

 


 

ROTFLMAO.gif
 

I don't know too many people who really sit around talking about them. But, terms do come up in conversation (eg. the Cub Leader who was takling about Brazilians, and not being willing to get one, referred to the entire area as her "whatsit"). And, it's usually very clear that "vagina" is being used to mean the entire area.

 

 

ETA: I just read beanma's post about birth stories. Yes, every woman I've ever heard talk about a birth or whatever uses "vagina" to mean her actual vagina, if that's the context she's using the word in...but they also use it to apply to the entire area. (I think it's similar to when I say I have a "stomach-ache", even though I know full well that the pain almost certainly includes my intestines.) They know what the word means, but I think at least some of them believe it also applies to the vulva.

 


Edited by Storm Bride - 9/21/11 at 10:42am
post #125 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".



I've never thought of my vagina as a penis receptacle. Actually (probably because I did grow up thinking "vagina" was also used to describe the whole area), I tend to label my vagina itself as my "birth canal" (even though it's never been used for that purpose *sigh*). If a man chooses to think that "vagina" = "penis receptacle", that's his hangup, not mine. I don't have to accept that way of looking at it, and I don't.  However, with the exception of two really obnoxiously, blatantly, misogynistic guys I knew in my teens, the only people I've ever heard refer to the term "vagina" as being semantically equal to "penis receptacle" are all women, and usually staunch feminists. I, personally, don't define my own anatomy in terms of somebody's else's anatomy.

post #126 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post



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.
 


That's not equivalent, either. I don't think a term for male genitalia that's equivalent to "vulva" even exists. If you say "penis" and "vulva", then you're ignoring the scrotum.

 

post #127 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"?  Who cares?  

 

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



 


ROTFLMAO.gif

 

I'm picturing a potato shooter for some reason???

post #128 of 186

 

IRL, I've only heard the word vulva in conversation once (and that was by a drunk woman who may or may not have been trying to say Volvo).

 

I have however heard vagina, vag, downstairs, lady locker, and the batcave all at least once this month.

 

And I hear weiner and nuts many times during the day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #129 of 186



:) Totally missed my point. That's ok though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post



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 #130 of 186



The poor scrotum always gets left out! ROTFLMAO.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post




That's not equivalent, either. I don't think a term for male genitalia that's equivalent to "vulva" even exists. If you say "penis" and "vulva", then you're ignoring the scrotum.

 



 

post #131 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by April*autmaiajude* View Post



The poor scrotum always gets left out! ROTFLMAO.gif



 


 mecry.gif

             and

 

  ROTFLMAO.gif

post #132 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by rubidoux View Post


I can't believe there are people fighting this point about girls being made to wear very revealing suits when boys are not.  It might be *possible* to find suits that aren't revealing for girls (I don't know, I haven't tried), but when I go to the beach or public swimming pool here, almost all of the little girls are in bikinis and then maybe a couple in tankini or one pieces, with the traditional underwear type legs (or lack of legs).  These are so much more form fitting and revealing than what little boys swim in.  It is amazing to me that we even make bikinis for tiny little girls.  Ugh.  I feel yucky just to see it.  If little boys can go in no shirt, than why not little girls, and if little boys have to wear a protective rash guard shirt, then why shouldn't the girls.  It makes no sense to me.  Why would a little girl need two little triangles to cover her someday breasts???  If I had a little girl, I'm pretty sure I'd be buying her board shorts and rash guard sets like I do for my boys.  


Well, I actually have the opposite issues with swim suits.  DD has always had choices from teeny tiny bikinis, to tankinis, to one pieces suits, to rash guards and shorts.  DS meanwhile, we have to *search* for a swimsuit that doesn't pull him down under the water with the weight of it!  We've finally found boy's racing shorts, but it's a lot harder to get DS a swim suit that is actually meant for *swimming* than DD!
 

Quote:

Originally Posted by erigeron View Post

 

Kind of off-topic, euphemisms got away from me in a big way when I had my daughter. In post-partum the nurses would periodically want to check my "bottom", and I was kind of mystified because I figured that wasn't the part that had taken a beating during the birth process, but I kind of went with it. I didn't figure out until my six-week post-partum checkup what she meant, when the student midwife used the same word and was clearly referring to the vagina. I'm not entirely sure whether this qualifies as trying to make patients comfortable, or trying SO hard to make people comfortable that you end up obscuring what you're talking about, or if this is just a euphemism that everybody knows except me... to me, "bottom" was the buttocks and associated structures. I can think of a lot of terms that could be used for the vagina and that one would never have registered. (I'm in the US, btw. I understand the slang is different in other countries.)



Yeah, WTH is up with that.  It's been 13 years, so hopefullly this has changed for the better, but I saw midwives with DD and they used bottom.  When I finally figured out what they were saying, I wanted (and should have) said, "You've actually seen up there, couldn't you use the right words!?!?!"
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jenrose View Post

 

I thought pee came out of my clitoris until I was at least 8 years old, so helping kids understand what exactly is where is something I'm happy to do. I'm fine with my girls knowing what their parts are called, but for most usages, crotch or yoni is sufficient, and if we need to get more specific, we'll pull out the diagrams and get more specific. 



I've always liked the term Yoni as well.  Until DS got a friend NAMED Yoni.  It took me a couple days to be able to shout "Go Yoni" or "Good job Yoni, nice goal" at their soccer games.
 

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. 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.

 


Definately start a poll!  I have often heard people refer to all their girly bits as "vagina."
 

 

 

post #133 of 186
So you and all your friends sat around talking about penises and vulvas in your playgroup?



quote name="philomom" url="/community/t/1329989/keep-your-legs-closed/100#post_16666922"]

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.

[/quote]
post #134 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by April*autmaiajude* View Post


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


 

 

Weeellllll.....referring to your knee as patella is similar to referring to your entire genital region as vagina. The patella is just one distinct part of the knee. The vagina is one distinct part of the female genitalia. Just sayin'.
 

I've already been through this argument more than once, which is how I got my DDDDC, so I won't belabor the point....but I do think that words matter.

 

 

post #135 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post



 

Weeellllll.....referring to your knee as patella is similar to referring to your entire genital region as vagina. The patella is just one distinct part of the knee. The vagina is one distinct part of the female genitalia. Just sayin'.
 

I've already been through this argument more than once, which is how I got my DDDDC, so I won't belabor the point....but I do think that words matter.

 

 


I guess my thing is that I think it is important to learn - and use - the correct words. Whta I don't like is the level of condescension towards women who don't do so. It seems as though a lot of people see using the term "vagina", instead of "vulva", as being roughly equal to not even attempting to use correct terminology and sticking with either avoiding talking about it at all, or only using ridiculous terms that accomplish the same thing (total avoidance).

 

I look back on people like my mom, who made a conscious decision to avoid passing on the stigma about female genitalia that she'd been raised with, and taught us the "correct" terms, and think about the level of scorn that would be heaped upon her here, and it makes me cringe. I think it shows clear thinking and strength to avoid passing on the kind of shame she was raised with, but because she was unaware of the word "vulva", she'd be treated as if she were the kind of person who says "purse" if she were on MDC. There are still people who think that women who ever mention that body part, in any way, are being crude and vulgar and simply unacceptable...and we're worrying about whether a woman uses a term that many people don't even know, or the one that (I suspect) a majority would think was correct??

 

Honestly, this whole thing seems like gettning bent over people saying "belly button", instead of "navel". I know they're not the same thing (as we have no body part called a "belly button", while we do have a vagina, so the "belly button" isn't part of the navel, the way the vagina is one part of the area being described with the word), but there are similarities. And, one of those similarities is that most people know what a woman means when she says "vagina", whereas a whole lot of people have never even heard of a vulva.  I think someone mentioned upthread that even the "know your own body" type diagrams didn't use that word until fairly recently. So, how were women to know it, no matter how correct they were trying to be? Once a woman knows she has labia majora, labia minora, a clitoris, a vagina, a urethra, and maybe knows the clitoral hood has a separate name, why would she know that a name for the whole thing even existed? (Heck - I'm pretty sure I learned the word "labia" by sneaking my dad's copies of "Letters", and I know that's where I learned "clitoris". I'm 99.9% sure they weren't in our "here are your sex organs" pictures at school.)

post #136 of 186

 



Heck, I don't shave my pubic hair (a little trim once in a while but not down to the skin) and I've never had a problem with bathing suits. 



I'm thinking your pubes don't spread partway down your thighs like mine do?  winky.gif

 

 

 

 

post #137 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post

I look back on people like my mom, who made a conscious decision to avoid passing on the stigma about female genitalia that she'd been raised with, and taught us the "correct" terms, and think about the level of scorn that would be heaped upon her here, and it makes me cringe. I think it shows clear thinking and strength to avoid passing on the kind of shame she was raised with, but because she was unaware of the word "vulva", she'd be treated as if she were the kind of person who says "purse" if she were on MDC.

 

Honestly, this whole thing seems like gettning bent over people saying "belly button", instead of "navel".


I understand where you're coming from, but I guess my feeling is that using incorrect terms just perpetuates misinformation and ignorance on the subject. Sure, your mom should be commended for trying her best. She wasn't educated on the subject. Shouldn't those of us who ARE educated on the subject be commended for trying to educate others? No, I don't think it should be done in a condescending or scornful way. I've seen corrections made calmly and pleasantly before and the Vagina Defenders still get all ticked off.

 

Even saying "labia" to refer to the outer portion would be better than "vagina." Most people know the word labia.

 

A belly-button and a navel are the same thing, so I don't really get the comparison. That would be like saying booby instead of breast. Same thing, but one's a slang word. I feel like people are turning "vagina" into a slang word. So....if what we can see from the outside is called a vagina, what do we call the inside part? It's like calling your buttocks "rectum."

 

post #138 of 186

Quote:

Originally Posted by TiredX2 View Post
 It's been 13 years, so hopefullly this has changed for the better


I had my daughter 3 months ago... change is slow in coming.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post

 I tend to label my vagina itself as my "birth canal"


That was another thing that always got me. In childbirth class when we discussed the "birth canal" I always wanted to be like "Don't you mean the VAGINA?" Descriptions of birth always seem to use "birth canal" like it's some separate place.

 

So I guess when I add all this up, I have learned from this thread that I would rather my vulva be referred to as a vagina than that my vagina be referred to as my "bottom" or "birth canal". Euphemisms used in a clinical/teaching context by people who SHOULD know better bug me more than attempts at using proper terminology. (If an individual prefers to think of her own parts that way, that's different.)

post #139 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....
 

 

That is the scientist in me speaking, no apologies here.  Straight 100% biologically/anatomically speaking, a vagina serves the purpose of sexual reproduction.  No conclusions need to be drawn.  Yes, it can be many other things, but the fundamental biological purpose is pretty straight foreword. You could say the same thing about an anus, but no one will argue that its primary role is to release stool. Some folks are not able to use theirs, but that does not change its intended purpose either. 

 

As far as a secondary role as a birth canal, one must be impregnated first.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazurii View Post




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

 


 

That is exactly my point though.  Why are we using a single term for either?  So when its said that boys have a penis and girls have a vagina, there is an exact one-to-one sexual structural comparison.  It makes absolutely no sense unless we are talking about the exact sexual anatomical structural opposite.  Can you not see that its a 100% biological sexual comparison of paired structures?

 

As others have pointed out, its not an accurate anatomical comparison to external genitalia, nor a label that says that a women's genitalia are anything other than the 100% anatomical structural opposite to a man's penis.  It does not take a staunch feminist to argue that a woman's genitalia should not be defined by a man's (as many of you have pointed out), So why choose to do it by calling the your entire complex genitalia a "vagina"?    

 

 


 

 

post #140 of 186
I'm going with Vulva, mostly because it seems most people don't use that term and I really want my girls to freak people out. Especially my mother who will pray for them afterwards.
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