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#1 of 71 Old 04-21-2009, 10:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay...so yesterday DD and I were having normal girlchat on the way home from school. Long story short, in referring to her vulva, she used the term p**sy in a very non-chalant manner....didn't even skip a beat. I was so shocked I didn't say anything. She's 12 and I know she's not a little girl anymore and it's obvious she uses this word with her friends. I guess I feel good that she's comfortable in talking with me about her body, but it doesn't take the sting away from the word. Has this word become common-place and no longer "taboo"?

She's always used the term vagina/vulva before and I would like to believe if she was speaking with another adult she would still use the medical terminology. I tried to talk with DH about it, but he refused to even hear it. He literally covered his ears and said, "I don't want to hear it! When you two talk about that stuff, I don't want to hear it!"

I didn't talk with DD about her use of the word. Should I? Is it too late to address it with her since the moment has passed???

Justine, wife to DH :cop:, mom to DS(14) :, DD(13) and DS(8)
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#2 of 71 Old 04-21-2009, 10:12 PM
 
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Has this word become common-place and no longer "taboo"?
Um, not in my world? HOWEVER I would take that word any day of the week over the alternatives.
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#3 of 71 Old 04-22-2009, 01:23 PM
 
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I can only share my opinion. I would object to my daughter using that term, I think it's vulgar. I laughingly use it in a joking way with my husband or adult girlfriends. But I say 'vulva' in regular context.

It's your right to raise your daughter your way, learning your family norms. If you object to her using that term in regular conversation than you should just calmly tell her so. I don't think it's too late, either. It might be a little awkward, but you can pass it off casually.

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#4 of 71 Old 04-22-2009, 01:26 PM
 
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I don't think that word is for public ears.

I'd talk to her calmly, too.
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#5 of 71 Old 04-22-2009, 01:29 PM
 
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ABSOLUTELY NOT! I work in a bar and will handle just about any word, but that word is NOT ok! Would you let her say c*ck? Thats the male version of that word. That word is nothing but 100% completely degrading and exploitative IMO. Its not a word for a young girls vagina, its a word that a man uses in reference to sex, that word means sex. Period.

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#6 of 71 Old 04-22-2009, 01:31 PM
 
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Honestly if she is comfortable using that word right now I would just go with the flow and appreciate that she is comfortable enough with you to use the language she would use with her friends. I would be very hesitant at 12 to risk putting up walls that might interfere with this particular communication. I am sure it is not meant in any sort of derogatory way. In fact a lot of adults I know use that word as a matter of speech as well.

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#7 of 71 Old 04-22-2009, 01:33 PM
 
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that word means sex. Period.
Disagree

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#8 of 71 Old 04-22-2009, 01:52 PM
 
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I also disagree that that word equals sex.

Yes I would let my 12 year old refer to her own body parts in that way if she wished.

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#9 of 71 Old 04-22-2009, 02:01 PM
 
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When I was twelve I once used that word in a conversation with my father. I had heard other boys using it (to refer to girls) and had no idea that it was a vulgar term for vagina. (I was a very naive kid, what can I say). I had no concept of the how the word has been used to demean women and insult men by implying that they're weak. My dad was shocked. He clued me in.

Everyone will have their opinions, but if this was my daughter or son I of course wouldn't chastise her for using the word but I would explain that I'd been thinking about that conversation the other day and wanted to revisit it. I'd explain that it's considered vulgar and most often used in a derrogatory way. That if she and her girlfriends use it among themselves, well ok (although frankly, the idea of that squicks me right out) but that she should be very careful about using it in any other setting.
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#10 of 71 Old 04-22-2009, 02:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by zinemama View Post
When I was twelve I once used that word in a conversation with my father. I had heard other boys using it (to refer to girls) and had no idea that it was a vulgar term for vagina. (I was a very naive kid, what can I say). I had no concept of the how the word has been used to demean women and insult men by implying that they're weak. My dad was shocked. He clued me in.

Everyone will have their opinions, but if this was my daughter or son I of course wouldn't chastise her for using the word but I would explain that I'd been thinking about that conversation the other day and wanted to revisit it. I'd explain that it's considered vulgar and most often used in a derrogatory way. That if she and her girlfriends use it among themselves, well ok (although frankly, the idea of that squicks me right out) but that she should be very careful about using it in any other setting.
I see your point about making sure she is aware how others could view this word.

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#11 of 71 Old 04-22-2009, 02:06 PM
 
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I'm rethinking my stance.

Justine, IMO the word pussy is nearly as objectionable as the 'N' word. I would strenuously object if my child used that word, would correct her and urge her to think twice about using it.

I don't think that calmly, firmly objecting risks putting up walls.

Nit picking: 'pussy' doesn't = 'sex' to me. But I've only ever heard the term used by crass, obnoxious guys and giggling juvenile boys, in a demeaning way, i.e., I'm going to get some pussy. :

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#12 of 71 Old 04-22-2009, 02:20 PM
 
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I've only ever heard the term used by crass, obnoxious guys and giggling juvenile boys, in a demeaning way, i.e., I'm going to get some pussy. :
Same here. I've never heard anyone I respect use the term.
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#13 of 71 Old 04-22-2009, 02:36 PM
 
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huh....I guess you havnt seen much porn then? The only word that is used is pussy, nothing else. Its a word that men use to degrade eachother and a word that they use to fufill their erections. Its not a word that they use out of respect. It turns a part of a womans body into a purly sexual object imo. Just like the words tits.

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#14 of 71 Old 04-22-2009, 02:38 PM
 
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Hey,

I don't belong here because I have one baby DS. I just wanted to say that I think it is super cool that your relationship with her allows her to be so open and comfortable. I wish I had had that with my mom. Things my mom said about that kind of thing put up walls and I still have never talked to her about sex or dating or anything like that. If it were me I would do anything I could to keep those lines of communication open. She could really need you someday. I think you should definitely have a conversation about how it made you feel and your view of the word. She may be embarrassed if you jump on her too sharply though. She may be just trying the word out and not have any idea what it means....like 3 year olds having "boyfriends". Once and Aunt of mine jumped all over me for saying "screwed up". I was mortified because I had no idea that screw meant what screw means.

Congrats on your open relationship with your daughter. It will come in handy as she grows through those awful insecure teen years. Ick. Okay, I'll get out of here now.

I have boys! My first baby boy was born 10/08 and my second baby boy was born 7/12

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#15 of 71 Old 04-22-2009, 02:54 PM
 
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I have seen a lot more words than the p word being used in porn.

Ina May gaskin uses it in her books. I find it really off putting because I believe in using correct terminology, but lots of people use the p word in non sexual or putting down ways.

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#16 of 71 Old 04-22-2009, 03:12 PM
 
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Same here. I've never heard anyone I respect use the term.

Well I have lots of people in fact - I agree that the proper term is preferable, but using a term that is comfortable is more important at this stage in the game.

Although I see nothing wrong with letting her know it makes you uncomfortable.

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#17 of 71 Old 04-22-2009, 03:46 PM
 
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I have seen a lot more words than the p word being used in porn.

Ina May gaskin uses it in her books. I find it really off putting because I believe in using correct terminology, but lots of people use the p word in non sexual or putting down ways.
I agree. I've head lots of people use it in various ways, including both very sexual and derogatory way (and the sexual uses aren't all derogatory, either - I know several woman who habitually use it to refer to their own parts...but also including simply descriptive.

I personally can't stand it. However, if I head dd say it, I'd simply make her aware that it does have negative connotations to some people, and it could affect the way people perceive her if they hear her say it.

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#18 of 71 Old 04-22-2009, 06:11 PM
 
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Nope. Vulgar.
I've never heard it used nicely.

Now... DSD uses the kind of language I'm not fond of, *sigh* but with her friends only. Not really with us, which I appreciate greatly.

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#19 of 71 Old 04-22-2009, 06:41 PM
 
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Yes, I would. It's crass and crude, true. It gives her an alternative way of labelling and thinking of her own body, and allows her to start forming her own opinions on sexuality, but I'd keep talking along these lines and keep the lines of communication open. I'd try reading Inga Muscio's "cunt" together. I'd talk about the hypocrisy that it's considered perfectly acceptable for men to label their penises as "**cks" but any and every slang word for a woman's genitals has a second meaning as an insult for one man to use to another- the worst insult, according to a PP. That ain't right, and girls and women should not have to use clinical terminology just because the patriarchy has chosen to misappropriate. If she wants to do a spot of reclamation, all power to the girl: as long as she remembers that generally, you don't actually need to talk about your genitals to anyone other than your lover, your doctor and at 12, possibly your parents.

There was a fascinating and deeply, deeply disturbing documentary over here recently about the pornification of our teens : http://sexperienceuk.channel4.com/sex-education LMK if you want me to get a copy to you, but I'm planning on using it as a reference with my kids as they grow.

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#20 of 71 Old 04-22-2009, 06:41 PM
 
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huh....I guess you havnt seen much porn then? The only word that is used is pussy, nothing else. Its a word that men use to degrade eachother and a word that they use to fufill their erections. Its not a word that they use out of respect. It turns a part of a womans body into a purly sexual object imo. Just like the words tits.
Huh, I guess you never really listend to porn then? Trust me, that's not the only word used.

Personally I'm with the "explain that some people consider it derogatory" category. No use doing something if it might cause her to feel upset about talking about her body.

I would sit down with Dh and have a talk with him about his childish attitudes towards discussing body parts and the words that go along with it. IMO the "I'm not listing, I don't want to hear it" will eventually be picked up on my DD and she'll likely feel that talking about sex and her body with guys is not proper, which isn't something she should learn. She should learn that it's important to discuss those things with the guy she's dating so she can make her own desires and expectation clear to him.

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#21 of 71 Old 04-22-2009, 08:04 PM
 
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I'd gently explain to her that it's not the best word to use and that it can be offensive.

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#22 of 71 Old 04-22-2009, 08:11 PM
 
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I'd talk about the hypocrisy that it's considered perfectly acceptable for men to label their penises as "**cks" but any and every slang word for a woman's genitals has a second meaning as an insult for one man to use to another- the worst insult, according to a PP. That ain't right, and girls and women should not have to use clinical terminology just because the patriarchy has chosen to misappropriate. If she wants to do a spot of reclamation, all power to the girl: as long as she remembers that generally, you don't actually need to talk about your genitals to anyone other than your lover, your doctor and at 12, possibly your parents. .
Yes! thank you

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#23 of 71 Old 04-22-2009, 08:21 PM
 
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I think I would have had a heart attack LOL
I don't think the moment has passed. She's old enough to remember saying it and to connect the dots. I think that the *mention it as soon as it happens* rule is intended for much younger children. I would just tell her it's not a nice word to use and things like x,y, or z would be better.

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#24 of 71 Old 04-22-2009, 08:33 PM
 
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No, I would definitely NOT allow my 12 year old to refer to herself with that word. It's incredibly demeaning. I've heard it used mostly by teenage boys and inappropriate men. "Gonna get some pussy." Vulgar.
I am actually a bit saddened that someone so young would use it so comfortably.
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#25 of 71 Old 04-22-2009, 08:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow...thanks for all the replies. I think I've decided to speak with her and preface the talk with my appreciation that she is willing to speak openly with me about her body. I plan on telling her that I'm not comfortable with her using the word when she is speaking with me. I'm not going to tell her what word to use with other people...she's old enough that I trust her to make that judgement on her own.

MusicianDad....DH was not being childish IMHO....Guess you had to be there. I respect his wishes to not discuss his daughter's genitalia. DD has me for that and I don't think her father's unwillingness to discuss the issue will have any effect on her with her future partner. I NEVER discussed it with my father and I am very open with DH.

Once again, thank you all for the replies.

Justine, wife to DH :cop:, mom to DS(14) :, DD(13) and DS(8)
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#26 of 71 Old 04-22-2009, 10:52 PM
 
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Wow...thanks for all the replies. I think I've decided to speak with her and preface the talk with my appreciation that she is willing to speak openly with me about her body. I plan on telling her that I'm not comfortable with her using the word when she is speaking with me. I'm not going to tell her what word to use with other people...she's old enough that I trust her to make that judgement on her own.

MusicianDad....DH was not being childish IMHO....Guess you had to be there. I respect his wishes to not discuss his daughter's genitalia. DD has me for that and I don't think her father's unwillingness to discuss the issue will have any effect on her with her future partner. I NEVER discussed it with my father and I am very open with DH.

Once again, thank you all for the replies.
Sorry but if he feels that strongly about it, what is wrong with saying "I'm not comfortable with this conversation"? Why does he need to act like a 5 year old about it? And why is it so bad that he discuss the issue of your daughter using words your not comfortable with?

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#27 of 71 Old 04-22-2009, 11:05 PM
 
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Huh, I guess you never really listend to porn then? Trust me, that's not the only word used.

Personally I'm with the "explain that some people consider it derogatory" category. No use doing something if it might cause her to feel upset about talking about her body.
Ok, what other word is used regularly in porn's in reference to the vagina?

I dont think that explaining that the word its self has negative and derogatory meaning, just like the N word, or f*g or any other word that a group of "dominant" people make into a negative insult and spread hate, or use to show power with would have anything to do with her view on her body in a negative light.

I think saying something like "Why have you chosen that word to use?" And give her a chance to answer, and if she is not aware of the meanings of it, explain it, and that it is used to degrade a woman, and make her vagina into an object that is separate from the woman it belongs to. And then maybe go over some text (like the pp mentioned about the feminist movement) and ideas and thoughts about the word its self and her feelings about her sexuality as a woman. If she wants to use it then, fine, but i dont think a bunch of 13 year old boys, or porno, or movies made by men, or rap, should delegate how my daughter will and does think about her vagina!

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#28 of 71 Old 04-22-2009, 11:11 PM
 
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Um really? I can think of about a dozen other words that are used. I'm not going to list them all as it is probably against the UA.

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#29 of 71 Old 04-22-2009, 11:20 PM
 
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I could think of nasty words that are used, but the most common word is the p word.

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#30 of 71 Old 04-22-2009, 11:26 PM
 
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OP, I just wanted to put my 2 cents in. When I read your post I immediately thought of a friend of mine (pastor's daughter who didn't normally curse) who used that word pretty much exclusively. I don't really think she realized it was vulgar and it may be possible that your daughter has heard her friends use it and didn't realize either.
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