[Vah – Gi – Nah]
Did you wince?
Do you feel uncomfortable about it?
Did you click on this post just to confirm your disgust?
Did you click on this post because you never see the word ‘vagina‘ in your newsfeed? You probably don’t.
If you can’t say the word ‘vagina,” how can you take your body seriously – and why should others?
You may think that you just don’t care for the word, with that dimly lit end-of-the-alphabet creeper consonant Vvvvv at the start line, and the insertion of that almost violent, staccato ‘G’ – but like in jelly – telling you off mid-utterance. And the “eye-nah!” Oh my god the eye- nah. Yes, you may just think that you don’t care for the word. Like ‘moist’ and most other terms relating to female sexuality.
Or maybe no one ever wanted you to like the word, because then it’s real and it’s used for more than just tidy, tucked away sexual allusions enjoyed by men.
There are many words for vagina, but mostly silence or assumption. Not even tampon companies use the word for fear of burning their business down to the ground. The word actually stems from the term “sheath,” and refers to the inner, tubular muscle where a tampon would dwell – though many assume “vagina” means “all of it.” In fact, the outer or visible anatomy is named the “vulva.”
It’s important to reflect on the terminology you use to represent your body (or lack thereof) and consider why you might pull a sour face or laugh when it comes up in conversation. While talking about anything related to sex and menstruation can be uncomfortable, your physical body, body image, and emotional well being depend on your ability to take it seriously and respect what your anatomical parts are capable of.
Using the word more frequently, without shame, and perhaps even with pride (or at least nonchalance) might help others feel more comfortable about their bodies, too; particularly young children who are just discovering the bodies they have and, all too often, learning to be ashamed of them.
Vagina is simply a word; often our associations make a word “bad” or “good” in society. So who exactly is making ‘vagina’ so bad for us? Take a moment to sip on a delicious bottle of Orangina and think about it. Crank up the Nicki Minaj while you’re at it.
Still not convinced? Consider this homework.