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to choose a different word to 'vagina'?

(28 Posts)
tryhard Sat 17-Sep-16 21:55:24

I have 3 DDs and we somehow over time we have developed lots of terms that they (and we) use for their vaginas, but we never use the acutal word 'vagina' itself. I didn't think anything of it until a friend said she felt it was ridiculous not to refer to it by its 'proper' name, yet I feel that by accepting 'vagina', you are accepting a masculine, biological description of a body part that is so much more than that. So I'm embracing these different, sometimes whacky & weird labels, that my girls choose for themselves as a liberating act of self-description rather than a coy avoidance of a 'proper' term. AIBU?

RealityCheque Sat 17-Sep-16 22:04:03

Wtf does "masculine, biological description of a body part that is so much more than that" even mean?

Theres not much wrong with having informal names but you sound like hard work and someone that has to be different for the sake of it. It is also incredibly important that children know the correct terms for their anatomy for obvious reasons.

Oysterbabe Sat 17-Sep-16 22:05:33

How is it masculine?

Heratnumber7 Sat 17-Sep-16 22:06:10

How is a vagina more than a vagina?

Champagneformyrealfriends Sat 17-Sep-16 22:06:45

My stance on this is that it's mine and I'll call it whatever the fuck I want to. So yanbu.

JinkxMonsoon Sat 17-Sep-16 22:07:16

I think there's something to be said for using the proper terms - primarily to remove any shame or bashfulness around female genetalia.

FathomsDeep Sat 17-Sep-16 22:07:22

Eh? How on earth is 'vagina' a masculine word?

Are the names of other body parts 'masculine' too? Do you feel the same way about elbow or kneecap?

sonlypuppyfat Sat 17-Sep-16 22:07:47

We've always called that area milly which always ok until milly became a popular name

BettyCrystal Sat 17-Sep-16 22:07:53

What's with the vagina thing? I never heard the word as a child, but I knew what mine was. No confusion! My brother had a willy / plums. No problem! Just use whatever words your daughters prefer.

SheldonsSpot Sat 17-Sep-16 22:08:49

I'll be honest, I didn't understand most of your post confused, but yeah, call it what you like.

I've genuinely never heard child in real life refer to their vagina or vulva, though plenty of posters on here claim they do.

cardibach Sat 17-Sep-16 22:10:07

Struggling to see why you would be talking about your/their vaginas in the first place. Do you mean vulva, perhaps?
Also, yes, can't see why it's a masculine description or how a vagina can be more than a vagina.

tryhard Sat 17-Sep-16 22:12:29

Because my understanding is that 'vagina' refers to the birth canal so not the labia, clitoris etc? I see 'vagina' as a purely medical term and I don't think of my body like that - it's a source of pleasure, of pain, it's beyond biology surely?

JinkxMonsoon Sat 17-Sep-16 22:13:07

There's actually a really good section on this in the "Mumsnet Rules" book.

I've taught my DD to say "vulva". I see nothing taboo or embarrassing about the word. It's the correct word.

From the book:

‘One of the reasons I feel quite strongly about this is because I did some work a few years ago in the area of child sex abuse. I remember one small girl who reported it to her teacher by saying that her “uncle” has been touching her “weeble” –the teacher had absolutely no idea what she was talking about, so the child went unhelped for quite a bit longer.’

Is your friend absolutely sure she's not using vagina when she means vulva? As it's so important to use the proper names for things, obviously.

TaterTots Sat 17-Sep-16 22:14:28


Dontyoulovecalpol Sat 17-Sep-16 22:14:32

Yanbu but there is a 26 page thread on this going at the moment plus the billion others on the past so it's also going to be a bit dull

VladmirsPoutine Sat 17-Sep-16 22:14:40

Would you consider yourself to be a crunchy mum?

Cross post, sorry!

WeirdAndPissedOff Sat 17-Sep-16 22:15:13

YANBU to call it what you like, however I also can't see how it's a masculine description? Or at the very least how it differs to the anatomically correct name for any other part of the body?

As for us, we knew it was called a vagina as kids, but I can't recall anyone who actually referred to it as such.

SheldonsSpot Sat 17-Sep-16 22:17:06

the teacher had absolutely no idea what she was talking about, so the child went unhelped for quite a bit longer.

Pretty shit teacher, it wouldn't have taken much at all to find out what and where the child meant.

tryhard Sat 17-Sep-16 22:18:25

What are plums?!

Honestly with 3 girls you wonder why we're talking about vaginas & vulvas? What about discussions of periods etc? How can that not come up in family conversation? Boys surely talk about their penises? Surely it's not taboo?

No I don't feel the same about my elbow and that's exactly my point, it's not a purely functional body part like an elbow, it's changed for me over my lifetime - when I first got my periods, when I was struggling to conceive, when I gave birth.

I've never heard the term Milly but that did make me laugh, it's such a common name now!

FathomsDeep Sat 17-Sep-16 22:18:36

If you're talking about the vulva then just use that!

tryhard Sat 17-Sep-16 22:20:36

What's a crunchy mom?! I may well be?!

And why offer me a biscuit? I've never understood this on mumsnet?

mummarichardson Sat 17-Sep-16 22:24:29

I really don't think it's strange that you do it, my family did the same and most of my friends did growing up.

Don't get the big fuss from the other posters tbh?smile

FathomsDeep Sat 17-Sep-16 22:25:45

No vaginas and villas are not taboo, but I think you can make them seem so by refusing to acknowledge their proper names. I had 2 brothers growing up. Their penisis were always referred to as willy or penis. But my genitalia was given no name at all. Not even something twee like front bottom or foof. I had never even heard the word vagina until I was 12 or so. I guess it embarrassed my parents to say it so it was never heard in our house. The end result was that I grew up with the idea that my vagina was shameful in some way. This honestly caused me no end of problems as a teen/young adult.

Not saying you would do any of this OP, obviously. Just giving an example of why I think it is important that my DDs can correctly name the parts of their body. I want my DDs to be as comfortable saying 'vagina' as they are 'elbow'.

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