It’s V-A-G-I-N-A.

14 Feb

I’m standing in line at the grocery store, as I’m known to do on a Thursday evening, sweet talking my stomach which picks the very WORST times lately to remind me I have the flu. I’m scanning the racks for Cooking Light and Bon Appetit, averting my gaze from the “Britney’s Mental Hell!” and “She’s PREGNANT!” covers while secretly looking at the “Who Got FAT!” cover to see if they really ARE fat.

Don’t worry, they aren’t.

Rhianna is on the cover of Cosmo, a magazine I LOATHE. I like Rhianna though-good voice, solid talent, seems to have her head on her shoulders. So I’m pretty pleased with the world, aside from my snickering bowels.

My gaze falls to Rhianna’s left.

“Your Va-Jay-Jay!”

Sigh. LE Sigh.

Being the oddly old fashioned person that I am, there are a few things that, well, plain old fucking irritate the SHIT out of me. Abbreviating someones given name is one-I know, I do it all the time, but I fight with myself not to. Rudeness is another one. The inability to speak proper english another.

And secret little code words for your genitalia is one of my BIGGEST pet peeves ever. It’s not a cooch, or a honey pot (ok, I kinda like that one) a beaver or a whoo-haa. It’s a vagina. Say it with me. VAGINA.

To see it on the cover of a mass marketed magazine irritated me to no end. I can’t imagine Men’s Health having an article titled “Your Wee Wee!”, let alone advertising it’s existence on the front cover.

It’s just like it’s another way to minimize and distract from woman’s sexuality. We can’t handle it obviously-we must giggle behind our hands, use the “code” that’s so bloody popular now. I can’t possibly have a conversation about my vagina. But va-jay-jay? That’s easy.

I can’t help but connect it to our fight to own our own bodies. If we continually trivialize ourselves, why in hell would anyone want to treat us in any other way? If we cannot be women about it, and own our bodies, own our vagina’s and breasts, how can we be women in other ways?

Not to mention is just irritates me to no end. I spend a LOT of time making sure that the girls know the proper terms for things-having my sister in law here for a week who used “va-jay-jay” in Vivian’s presence enough times for it to be cool reminded me how hard it is to get a girl to use the proper terms as it is. It took me a month to get her back to saying vagina and vulva.

And don’t even get me started on the vulva/vagina thing…..

Sweet crap….all this sickness is making my brain melt isn’t it.

24 Responses to “It’s V-A-G-I-N-A.”

  1. Eden February 14, 2008 at 9:39 pm #

    It’s a cooter.

  2. Jen February 14, 2008 at 9:52 pm #

    hey eden–my brother’s last name is cooter. and his dad’s name is dick. no lie.

    lucy has also been taught vulva/vagina and which part is which. and she knows that her brother has a penis. because honestly, they are just body parts.

  3. Mogo February 14, 2008 at 10:33 pm #

    “pussy” works too. 😛

  4. Judy February 14, 2008 at 11:57 pm #

    OH, the musician Ry Cooder – when I first saw that on my husband’s shelf, I thought it must be some sort of weird STD. Ry Cooder. Say it out loud.

    How about Jane Fonda getting in trouble for saying “cunt” on Good Morning America? I mean, I hate the word, but the way it was used was harmless.

    I have no problem saying penis, making sure my sons know it is their “penis,” and not their dick, wee-wee, or whatever, but I have a hard time telling them my parts, and why I don’t have a penis. I think I don’t want them running around asking girls if they have a vagina.

    And my mother won’t say the proper name for ANYTHING. When I was growing up, feminine hygiene products were called “Things,” like with a special accent and a capital T. Seriously. And she won’t say Poop, it’s “stinky” or “pee-u-y” (as in the sound you make when something stinks), which we’ve had HUGE fights over. I think it makes it sound like something bad, because it smells bad, so I don’t want her saying it.

    Dear God, is it Valentine’s Day and my anniversary and I’m posting on a blog about names for poop? What have I become!?!?!?!? 😛

  5. Jason Dufair February 14, 2008 at 11:58 pm #

    Heh. Christine and I had a laugh about the Va-jay-jay thing the other day. I do like Cosmo, though. At least the sex tips. They can be a bit goofy, but can at least spark an idea or two. And the dudes they have in there are usually pretty hunky.

    Now don’t get me started on Fergie’s “My Lovely Lady Humps”. Retch.

  6. Nat February 15, 2008 at 1:20 am #

    I think I agree with Mogo.

    But in all seriousness, I cannot believe they wrote VaJayJay on a magazine cover. OMG. In their defence, however, IS the editor 12 years old? 😉 Although I WOULD pay good money to see Men’s Health or Maxim with a “Your WEE WEE” headline on the cover……. :p

    And LOL @ Jason’s “Lady Lumps” comment!!!!! I’m with you there, man….

  7. bine February 15, 2008 at 5:13 am #

    aaaargh. i hate all this cutifying business. why not use the words we all learned in school?
    funny, i only read this term for the first time a few days ago, on a health and nutrition blog of all things.
    you should think people who are willing to take good care of their body would at least be able to name their body parts. tsss.

  8. Gwen February 15, 2008 at 9:24 am #

    There are so great euphemisms for the fertile delta (see? like that one?), but va-jay-jay is not one of them. It represents everything that’s wrong about Gray’s Anatomy, for starters. Gawd, but we are a race of lemmings, aren’t we?

  9. Hannah February 15, 2008 at 9:31 am #

    I also nearly puked in my mouth about that particular Cosmo cover. And has anyone else noticed that Cosmo has the same headlines every single month?

    1. Your “lady parts” (or va-jay-jay, or whatever)
    2. Your man’s secret sex fantasy (it will blow you away!)
    3. Embarrassing moments revealed!
    4. And then some cover article about the flavour of the month

    I keep thinking that if poor Rihanna had a choice in the matter, she wouldn’t want “va-jay-jay” in bright pink letters splashed across her Cosmo cover.

    Great post. I’m glad I’m not the only one who gets riled up in line at the grocery store. 😉

  10. Carin February 15, 2008 at 9:39 am #

    I heard Oprah say it, I only watch Oprah when I’m with my mom, and just about hurled. Yuck! Va-jay-jay? Uh-huh.

  11. thordora February 15, 2008 at 9:48 am #

    I have bought Cosmo once. I then threw it out. PAP! Total pap.

    For sex tips, get The Guide to Getting it On. At least it doesn’t condecend or assume everyone is 13.

    Don’t get me started on Oprah.

  12. radical mama February 15, 2008 at 10:06 am #

    It’s a little infantalizing, to say the least. But media is still working from a tradition of having to talk around female genitalia. 60 years ago, they couldn’t even show a pregnant stomach on TV since, Oh God, that means she has SEX!

    When I talk about body parts, I always say vagina. But I do occasionally say other words just for fun. 😉 I am going to the Vagina Monologues this weekend and they usually do the skit with all the different names for our parts. Always amusing and educational!

  13. Netter February 15, 2008 at 10:11 am #

    My son knows he has a penis and I have a vagina. I was not sure if I wanted to use that word, but I figured if we’re going to use penis, we should use vagina. He forgets what it is. It cracks me up when he asks me if I have an iguana.

  14. bromac February 15, 2008 at 11:20 am #

    HAHAHAHAHA! Ohhhhhh Netter, you made my day.

  15. Julie Pippert February 15, 2008 at 12:27 pm #

    Good point!

    I’m not a fan of a lot of the messages from a lot of women’s magazines.

  16. thordora February 15, 2008 at 1:28 pm #

    Gwen, fertile delta is AWESOME.

    Personally, I do like CUNT. 🙂

  17. Bon February 15, 2008 at 2:41 pm #

    i like ‘cunt’ too. it’s direct.

    but i’m still laughing at the vision of Men’s Health with a “Your WeeWee” headline…oh, oh, man. i’d pay the money to buy the damn thing and frame it.

  18. thordora February 15, 2008 at 2:54 pm #

    I should mock up a few and stick them in the racks….

  19. daisybones February 15, 2008 at 5:19 pm #

    Amen. I do think nicknames are cute for specific vaginas- like one’s own. It’s playful. But the infantalizing idiocy of using these bullshit terms to avoid medically accurate terms is nauseating.

    And let me say rock on to Jen:) Where is the word vulva in our culture? Without much vulva and clitoris attention, nobody gets near my vagina.

    That said, until Molly talkes better, hers is called “yoni” which is accurate if we were Hindu:) It’s also a subtle way to infuse the idea of scared positive sexuality later. Just sayin’.

  20. Nat February 15, 2008 at 8:20 pm #

    LMAO @ Netter’s Iguana…. omg… Priceless!

  21. Judy February 16, 2008 at 12:13 am #

    Oh my, I think I’m going to have to start calling it my iguana! LOVE that!

    I was called a cunt once, when I was fairly young (14), by my then-boyfriend (and now ex-husband’s) best friend’s dad. I went with him (the ex) to the friend’s house, and when I walked out of the room, the dad asked, “Who’s the cunt?” I’ve never gotten over that term since. I’ve been known to use it, but for me, it’s reserved as the worst insult I could give to another woman.

    Although my husband used to write that in the memo portion of his checkbook register when writing his child support checks, instead of writing his ex’s name. But mostly, if the shoe fits …

  22. thordora February 16, 2008 at 7:12 am #


    Yeah, if someone had called me that in anyway but a joke from a friend, I’d be pissed.

  23. Mad Hatter February 16, 2008 at 11:44 pm #

    We use vulva b/c Miss M’s really only aware of the outer bits at this point. I personally enjoy the full range of synonyms but I cannot brook “va-jay-jay.” Ug. Pudendum: now that’s a word that ought to be brought back into vogue.

  24. thordora February 17, 2008 at 11:57 am #

    10 points to anyone who uses Pudendum in public. 🙂

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