or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › "Keep your legs closed"
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

"Keep your legs closed" - Page 8

post #141 of 186

so i had this discussion with my daughter today. (she is 5. she was wearing a dress, and had gotten her shorts and underpants wet playing with water on the front porch. so had taken them off.)

me: you will have to put on some new undies and shorts before we leave the house.

her: i know.

me: obviously you can't show other people your vagina.

her: i know.

me: actually, did you know the vagina part is actually a part that's on the inside? the part you see on the outside is called the vulva, or the labia.

her: mom, can we just call it the vagina?

me: sure.

her: is the penis really a penis?

me: well, it also has all sorts of different parts, the actual penis is what's inside, the outside has a foreskin, the big part to the back is the scrotum.

her: can we just call it a penis.

me: sure. 

 

good enough for me.

post #142 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by tropicana View Post

so i had this discussion with my daughter today. (she is 5. she was wearing a dress, and had gotten her shorts and underpants wet playing with water on the front porch. so had taken them off.)

me: you will have to put on some new undies and shorts before we leave the house.

her: i know.

me: obviously you can't show other people your vagina.

her: i know.

me: actually, did you know the vagina part is actually a part that's on the inside? the part you see on the outside is called the vulva, or the labia.

her: mom, can we just call it the vagina?

me: sure.

her: is the penis really a penis?

me: well, it also has all sorts of different parts, the actual penis is what's inside, the outside has a foreskin, the big part to the back is the scrotum.

her: can we just call it a penis.

me: sure. 

 

good enough for me.


HA! They don't want to be bothered by it all. Just give it a name and leave it be. I can't get my girls to use correct terms. They like to come up with all sorts of things for it. It's like giggle fest 2011 when they have a good one to share. And they love to embarrass poor DH. Like telling him about their parts. DD1 told DH her bootyhox was itchy... You should have seen his face. He told her to go take a shower that might help. She came out and told him she scrubbed it reeeeeeeal good and it felt so much better. I love that he gets red in the face when they say stuff like that, so do they!
post #143 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by tropicana View Post

so i had this discussion with my daughter today. (she is 5. she was wearing a dress, and had gotten her shorts and underpants wet playing with water on the front porch. so had taken them off.)

me: you will have to put on some new undies and shorts before we leave the house.

her: i know.

me: obviously you can't show other people your vagina.

her: i know.

me: actually, did you know the vagina part is actually a part that's on the inside? the part you see on the outside is called the vulva, or the labia.

her: mom, can we just call it the vagina?

me: sure.

her: is the penis really a penis?

me: well, it also has all sorts of different parts, the actual penis is what's inside, the outside has a foreskin, the big part to the back is the scrotum.

her: can we just call it a penis.

me: sure. 

 

good enough for me.


Too funny!  But are you going to really let her get away with that?  It's not 100% correct.  orngtongue.gif

 

post #144 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post


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.

 

I've seen very few corrections on these boards that were made in a way that wasn't condescending. Many of them are out and out insulting, and strongly imply that the person being corrected has no business even having an opinion about that part of their anatomy if they don't use the correct terms. I, fortunately, picked up on the "vulva" terminology a long time ago. The way I've mostly seen it presented over the last few years would have probably made me dig in my heels, too.

 

And, no - I don't actually think it's really perpetuating the problem. IMO, the real problem isn't a lack of knowledge about the correct terms. The real problem is the underlying idea that those areas shouldn't be talked about at all. If a woman is comfortable talking about her vagina, and using that word, I think it's huge, huge, huge progress.

 

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. "Belly button" is a slang term, but it's one that pretty much everyone knows...just like "vagina" for vulva. 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."

 

Yes. Technically, it's like calling your buttocks your "rectum". But, in general usage, "vagina" is used for both the vagina and the vulva. I don't even understand why you're asking what we call the inside part if we call the visible part the vagina. We call it the vagina. People have been doing this (using "vagina" for both) for decades, and it really hasn't caused a lot of problems for those of us who did it. In every single case I can ever remember, it's very, very clear from context which part the speaker is referring to. I certainly never had anyone express confusion. I know many women my age who do the same thing, and none of them has ever encountered confusion.

 

As I type, dd2 is saying "you poked me in the tummy" to her big brother. "Tummy" is short for "stomach", as I understand it, and I highly doubt that ds1 was poking anyone in the stomach...but it doesn't cause any confusion when she says that. And, I've never had any trouble figuring out what my kids are talking about when they say "I have a stomach-ache/tummy ache" (internal) vs. "so-and-so hit me in the stomach" (external). This is really, really, really not a big deal, in terms of creating any kind of confusion, because it doesn't.

 

Seriously, in 43 years of life in a English speaking area, the only people who have ever been confused about this are posters (usually condescending and snarky) on MDC. Literally every. other. person. I've ever met who has heard someone (in real life or on tv or whatever) use the term "vagina" has been very clear as to whether the area being discussed is the actual vagina, or the vulva.

post #145 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by erigeron View Post

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.)



I'm honestly not even following you. I've never heard "birth canal" used as if it's "some separate place". It's a descriptive term for the body part the baby comes through (approx. 66% of the time). And, while I hate, hate, hate "bottom", and certainly respect your views, I can't see how "birth canal" is even remotely euphemistic. Really, in a clinical setting relating to birth, I think "birth canal" is much more appropriate than "vagina" (at least since I found out here that "vagina" comes from the Latin for "sheath" - where babies are concerned "birth canal" is a lot more accurate than "sheath", yk?). 

 

In any case, it doesn't bother me at all to hear "birth canal", in lieu of "vagina". It's not a euphemism. It's just a less clinical term.

post #146 of 186
We say "vulva" over here, but more because I dont like the orignial meaning of the word "vagina" than because it is correct. I really dislike telling my daughter that she has anything that was named the same thing as a "sheath for a sword". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vagina

For me it just goes right along with all the other insulting medical terms that make me feel awful to be female. Like a few of these words: http://books.google.com/books?id=ve2huw15GUsC&pg=PA285&lpg=PA285&dq=%22incompetent+cervix%22+insults+women&source=bl&ots=pfyD9l6QnT&sig=Es-_u66rvFdHiKbusKnERas3eIs&hl=en&ei=_z17TvLAMciltwfW8MX6Dw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CCcQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q&f=false

why can I never get the links to be short.

At any rate, I see no reason to teach my child the incorrect, slightly offensive medical term for the all encompassing area of her private parts. When she is older, I will teach her that the vagina is inside of you, the same way I will teach her that her pupil is inside her eyeball. My grandmother always called the butt a "rectum" and I wont teach her that is the word for butt, because the rectum is inside . To me, it just doesnt make sense.

ETA: Obviously, I didnt read the last page of posting before I posted this, and Storm Bride covered it.
post #147 of 186

Well, okay, if "birth canal" and "vagina" mean THE SAME THING, and neither of them is a "slang" term ("birth canal" tends to be used in clinical or wannabe-clinical contexts, not slang contexts), what is the reasoning for even using the term "birth canal"? It seems like a redundant term that should not even need to exist. The only reason I can think of that it would be used is because people don't want to use the term "vagina" for some reason. And most reasons that people do not want to say "vagina" come down to the same OMG IT'S GROSS TO SAY THAT rhetoric that I dislike.

post #148 of 186

 

 

Quote:
The only reason I can think of that it would be used is because people don't want to use the term "vagina" for some reason. And most reasons that people do not want to say "vagina" come down to the same OMG IT'S GROSS TO SAY THAT rhetoric that I dislike.

 

ahhhhhh no, there really are those out there that don't know how the baby comes out! they "think" they are two different places dizzy.gif

post #149 of 186


Quote:

Originally Posted by erigeron View Post

Well, okay, if "birth canal" and "vagina" mean THE SAME THING, and neither of them is a "slang" term ("birth canal" tends to be used in clinical or wannabe-clinical contexts, not slang contexts), what is the reasoning for even using the term "birth canal"? It seems like a redundant term that should not even need to exist. The only reason I can think of that it would be used is because people don't want to use the term "vagina" for some reason. And most reasons that people do not want to say "vagina" come down to the same OMG IT'S GROSS TO SAY THAT rhetoric that I dislike.

 

I vote that we get rid of the term vagina then, and just use birth canal; after all, why use such a silly sounding word, which sounds like a euphemism (even if it isn't a euphemism in its current usage), if there's a perfectly good english word which is just as specific, and far more descriptive?
 

And wow, has this thread ever gotten off topic!

 

And here's a completely random bit of skirt related trivia:  I was taught that the way to sit in a kilt is knees apart with the apron part of the kilt (and the sporan) draped between.  I honestly find it much simpler to avoid unintentional gaps that way than with knees together anyway.

 

post #150 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by erigeron View Post

Well, okay, if "birth canal" and "vagina" mean THE SAME THING, and neither of them is a "slang" term ("birth canal" tends to be used in clinical or wannabe-clinical contexts, not slang contexts), what is the reasoning for even using the term "birth canal"? It seems like a redundant term that should not even need to exist. The only reason I can think of that it would be used is because people don't want to use the term "vagina" for some reason. And most reasons that people do not want to say "vagina" come down to the same OMG IT'S GROSS TO SAY THAT rhetoric that I dislike.



Why do so many people say "belly button". Do you think it's because they find "navel" offensive? I don't.

 

I actually don't care for the word "vagina" (I also have an irrational dislike of "penis", "spleen", "ulna" and other anatomical words, so don't jump to the preposterous conclusion that I dislike it because it's "gross to say".)

 

Personally, I like "birth canal", because I think it expresses the fundamental reason why we have one better than "vagina" does. I didn't care one way or the other, except for not really caring for the word "vagina" itself (probably part of why I switched to "vulva" so easily when I discovered the word), until I found out about the "vagina = sheath for a sword" thing. I don't get really hung up on that stuff, because I don't really think "vagina" does mean that, anymore - "vagina" simply means the internal part of a woman's genitals. But, I do think "birth canal" has a nicer connotation than "vagina" does. Plus, the one thing I really wanted out of life and didn't get was to use mine as a birth canal, so the term carries extra emotional weight for me.

post #151 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by rachelsmama View Post


And here's a completely random bit of skirt related trivia:  I was taught that the way to sit in a kilt is knees apart with the apron part of the kilt (and the sporan) draped between.  I honestly find it much simpler to avoid unintentional gaps that way than with knees together anyway.

 


Yes. That works. But, I've seen girls/women sit like that in skirts/dresses and then be chided for being "unladylike". There's definitely a really weird double standard on that one...although I guess chiding a 6' hairy man in a kilt for being "unladylike' would be inherently weird.

 

post #152 of 186

I haven't read through all eight pages of replies yet, but here's my take. My girls love to wear skirts/dresses. I require them to wear either leggings or shorts underneath. It has nothing to do with being ashamed of their vaginas, but when they are running, jumping, playing etc they're underwear shows. As an adult I think it's tasteless to have your bra, thong, boxers etc to be hanging out of your clothes.. why would I teach my child that it is acceptable. Also, another HUGE reason for this is because people are perves and I don't want someone looking at my child and getting their kicks filled by seeing my daughters panites. Call me paranoid or crazy, but it does happen.

post #153 of 186
Quote:

Originally Posted by erigeron View Post

 

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.



No, that's not quite correct.  The vagina is just one of three parts that make up the whole which is commonly referred to as the birth canal.  The birth canal refers to the cervix, vagina and vulva.  

 

I suppose if you really wanted to get righteous you could be like, "Don't you mean the PARTURIENT CANAL?"

 

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/birth+canal


 

post #154 of 186

Storm Bride, I honestly never heard anyone refer to the entire female genitalia as "vagina" until about five years ago, and I've lived all over the place and have known lots of different kinds of people due to the military, and used to work in family medicine and women's health, so I've talked and listened about lady parts a LOT.

 

Seriously, this is a NEW thing for me, and I find it to be weird and backwards. Just my opinion.


Edited by 2xy - 11/19/11 at 9:31pm
post #155 of 186
I grew up in Florida and everyone referred to it as the vagina. The only place I've ever heard anyone refer to it as a vulva is in books and on MDC. We do say vulva in our home though.
post #156 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post

Storm Bride, I honestly never heard anyone refer to the entire female genitalia as "vagina" until about five years ago, and I've lived all over the place and have known lots of different kinds of people due to the Navy, and used to work in family medicine and women's health, so I've talked and listened about lady parts a LOT.

 

Seriously, this is a NEW thing for me, and I find it to be weird and backwards. Just my opinion.

 

Fair enough. Another poster said the same thing. But, as I said, I'd never heard or seen the world "vulva" until I came to MDC. I haven't lived in a lot of places, but I've read a lot and talked to a lot of people, both in real life and online, from a wide variety of regions, cultures, socioecomonic classes, etc.  Admittedly, I've heard stuff like "vajayjay" and "hooha" a lot more than even "vagina", but even those women, if backed into a corner and asked to avoid cutesy and/or trendy terms, used "vagina".
 

 

post #157 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by journeymom View Post

No, that's not quite correct.  The vagina is just one of three parts that make up the whole which is commonly referred to as the birth canal.  The birth canal refers to the cervix, vagina and vulva.  

 


Whoa!!!!!!!  That, to me, sounds like the whole package!  Apparently there is a word for it.  Otoh, I think I'd feel weird about using "birth canal" to describe the anatomy of a 2 or 3 year old.  I actually don't love the idea of using "birth canal" because it sounds so un-sexual somehow, like there's been an immaculate conception.  

 

Btw, I keep thinking about the "Mulvah" episode on Seinfeld and wondering how many people didn't get it because they had no idea what a vulva was.  And don't we have a "Mulvah" here?  Awesome username!  :)

 

post #158 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by journeymom View Post
 
No, that's not quite correct.  The vagina is just one of three parts that make up the whole which is commonly referred to as the birth canal.  The birth canal refers to the cervix, vagina and vulva.  


After reading this thread, I'm convinced that, dictionary definitions notwithstanding, most terms used to describe the female genitalia have no real meaning, in normal conversation, because people don't agree on a meaning. I've never heard of, or thought of, the birth canal including the vulva.

post #159 of 186
I know it's kind of random, but this conversation reminds me of my in-laws and how they think they are "real Italians" because they call spaghetti sauce "gravy." It's the same stuff no matter what you call it and a different name for something just makes you different. No one is better than anyone else. Your general attitude makes more of a difference in my opinion than your actual word choice. My girls know both and call all of their parts by a variety of names. I'm fine with that.

Anyhow, my dd wears shorts under her dresses and started doing so when she was 4 and went to Pre-K. I didn't want her to have to worry about how she was sitting or someone laughing if they could see her underwear. She saw it as freedom to move and sit however she wanted.
post #160 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post

Storm Bride, I honestly never heard anyone refer to the entire female genitalia as "vagina" until about five years ago, and I've lived all over the place and have known lots of different kinds of people due to the Navy, and used to work in family medicine and women's health, so I've talked and listened about lady parts a LOT.

 

Seriously, this is a NEW thing for me, and I find it to be weird and backwards. Just my opinion.


So I guess you never saw the movie Kindergarten Cop? LOL!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Parenting
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › "Keep your legs closed"