Friday, August 24, 2012

A monologue. About vaginas.

I am so over the overuse of the word vagina.  I've had this complaint for a couple of years.  I keep thinking constant references to this part of our anatomy will fade from our lexicon.  I keep being wrong.

Part of my irritation with the use of that term is that it is, more often than not, misdirected.  Most frequently when someone says vagina, what they really mean is vulva.  Sometimes they're so far off the mark, what they're really trying to talk about is the uterus, occasionally the ovaries or fallopian tubes.  Is this purposeful stupidity for effect or do we, as a culture, so severely lack accurate knowledge of the female anatomy?

A couple years ago at the gym I was subjected to an episode of "The Girls Next Door."  To celebrate Hef's birthday (and I just looked this up--it was his 82nd birthday--and may I just add a hearty blech?) the girls cast their private areas in chocolate.  Because really, what else would you give an 82 year old?  During the personal interviews, one of the girls waxed poetically about how famous she is for having such a lovely looking vagina.  No no no no no nooooooooooooooo!!!!  Not vagina--vulva.  Or labia--major and/or minor.  Or even clitoris.  But not vagina.  Dumb bunny.

I understand the origin of our current frankness and open conversation about the vagina (rightly or wrongly identified) stems, in part, from "The Vagina Monologues."  And I get that the play was, in part, meant to honestly and unabashedly dialogue about everything having to do with the feminine experience--warts and all.  I'm on board with that, but what I'm not on board with is how this sincere, funny, candid discussion has devolved into boorish, silly, childish, everyday slang.  Vajajay?  Seriously?

It is, to me, on a much smaller scale, akin to what has become of feminism.  The fight for equal rights, equal pay for equal work and freedom for women to express themselves sexually has become something so markedly different as to be unrecognizable.  To add insult to injury, we now don't know what our vaginas actually are, we are expected to keep our "vaginas" hairless like prepubescent girls and we are (according to popular culture) expected to allow our vaginas to be used freely without emotion or consequence.

Makes me so mad.  I just want to punch someone in the vagina . . . .