To wonder why when people want to refer to women's or girls external genitals they say vagina

(56 Posts)
BoundandRebound Sun 15-Sep-13 23:12:13

It's not called that

It's vulva

We don't refer to boys urethras do we?

SaucyJack Mon 16-Sep-13 13:00:34

YANBU.

I do sneer inwardly at people who make outwardly sneery comments about "anatomically correct" terms, and then use vagina for vulva.

Tee2072 Mon 16-Sep-13 13:00:56

Ah, I missed the word 'genitalia' in your post some how. Sorry! grin

Tanith Mon 16-Sep-13 13:13:03

I reckon it's the name. Vagina sounds better - you could almost imagine it becoming trendy, like Florence or Amelie smile
Whereas I really can't see Vulva catching on anywhere! Sounds like one of those old Shakespeare names, like Volumnia.

EmmaGellerGreen Mon 16-Sep-13 13:13:53

Do people often use vulva/vagina frequently enough for this to be a real life issue. Not sure when I last used any word to describe female genitalia?

Jan49 Mon 16-Sep-13 13:16:21

Yes, I find it weird. Particularly when people make a point of saying they prefer to use the anatomically correct terms and then say vagina for vulva.confused I thought of posting on the feminist board here about it.

How on earth did it come about?

FrigginRexManningDay Mon 16-Sep-13 13:32:47

Dd calls hers her Volvo. I personally think its easier to decipher vagina rather than vulva from toddler speak,considering that V sound is often mixed up with the B sound it is easier to guess what bagina is rather than buba.

bebopanddoowop Mon 16-Sep-13 13:38:11

This had never occurred to me, thanks for posting! DH & I were having the discussion what we were taught and what we would like to teach to our future (am only 1st trimester pregnant) children. With either gender I will refer to them as 'privates' because I think it's a good idea to establish that they are that - private. But after reading this thread will definitely talk to DH tonight and suggest we both use the words penis and vulva too. I wouldn't have even know to call my own 'vulva' really, as 'vagina' is so commonly used.

SilverOldie Mon 16-Sep-13 13:39:12

I don't care what people call it. I do think it's hysterically funny that some (hopefully a miniscule minority) refer to it as their front bottom. Never heard that until I started reading MN and it made me laugh out loud grin.

Calloh Mon 16-Sep-13 13:45:25

Yes it is wrong to say Vagina for Vulva and vice versa so YANBU.

I do wish there was a name for the whole flaming lot that covered it all, wasn't worrying like I find flower or cutesy like Du-du. But just this is it, the BOGOF of genitalia. I use fanny for my daughters much to my husbands chagrin. But they know that tucked in there is a clitoris, a vagina and a urethra.

I don't like vulva because I don't like the sound of it and also it's then forgetting the internal stuff too. I like vagina being out and about and acknowledged though, even if incorrectly.

JuliaScurr Mon 16-Sep-13 13:45:56

Ziggy yes - penis goes in, baby comes out - the only important functions

BuskersCat Mon 16-Sep-13 13:48:57

DD knows the outside is a vulva, and vagina is the inside and that you don't pee out of your vagina. She prefers to call the whole thing her 'vagina' though, its better than her father making her call it her bum hmm

OHforDUCKScake Mon 16-Sep-13 13:52:53

Do you know what, I had to actually google image that as I was still confused.

But by jove Ive got it now.

The vagina is the tube that goes upwards, the vulva is the bit you can see.

Got it.

Balaboosta Mon 16-Sep-13 14:09:07

Oh god, I thought I was doing this one small thing right, teaching my girl to call it her vagina, loved that it came out as "jaya" in toddlerspeak. Only learnt this was incorrect when we stayed with friends last month who are gynaecologists! Hang on though, presumably penis refers to what's inside it and not just the skin, so what's the problem. And which bits the vagina anyway? The cervix? The uterus? Educate me!

Balaboosta Mon 16-Sep-13 14:09:59

Oops x-post! The tube? That's it?

Balaboosta Mon 16-Sep-13 14:11:47

And LoL at "Volvo"!
I called it Virginia when I was little.

Dawndonnaagain Mon 16-Sep-13 14:20:43

Despite being taught correct terminology, I had one call it Jemima and one foof! It's a coverall, it does what it's supposed to do. It makes for easy communication. Really can't see what the fuss is about.

JuliaScurr Mon 16-Sep-13 16:08:50

it's just yet another one of those little things which are all really trivial on their own, but added together with eg embarrassment of schoolgirls about periods, sex being defined a penis in vagina, ignorance about female sexual pleasure, teenagers wanting designer vaginas, pubic hair ripped out with hot wax, etc etc it ends up being quite alienating

Ziggyzoom Mon 16-Sep-13 16:21:49

Yes Julia has my feelings summed up precisely.

digerd Mon 16-Sep-13 16:44:25

The Cervix is at the top of the vagina/hollow conception and birth canal/tube, the cervix is the bottom of the uterus, so the uterus/womb is above the Cervix. So
Vagina, Cervix then womb in ascending order.
My stick diagram:-

O= Uterus/womb
o= Cervix All joined together with no gaps inside the body
l l = vagina

hackmum Mon 16-Sep-13 17:26:11

I know nobody in real life who says "vulva". They say "vagina", even if it's technically incorrect. It's just one of those things, I think - a bit like the way people say "stomach" when they mean "abdomen". (Though I think that's worse - I cringe when I hear women talk about "the baby in my stomach"!)

mrspremise Mon 16-Sep-13 19:08:41

Bloody hell, talk about first world problems! wink

StuntGirl Mon 16-Sep-13 19:37:54

Language is important though and it adds to a collective general attitude towards bodies, especially women's bodies, where women (and men) choose to use incorrect terminology because it 'doesn't sound nice' or 'it's yukky' or whatever.

Basically, what Julia said.

StickEmUp Mon 16-Sep-13 19:39:55

Shit me what a non problem.

Digerd, great diagram, but you missed...

\,/ vulva grin

((*)) labia and clitoris

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