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Should We Be Renaming The Vagina?

(144 Posts)
FrothyDragon Sat 15-Sep-12 12:16:39

"THE nastiest name ever to be given to the female sex organ is ''vagina''. ''Vagina'' is Latin for ''scabbard'' or ''sword sheath''. A scabbard is owned by the same person as owns the sword that it exists to house."

(Taken from the Greer review of Wolf's latest book)

So. Given the connotations of the word, I propose that women rename their "vagina", to give us a word for it which doesn't imply male ownership.


StewieGriffinsMom Sat 15-Sep-12 12:22:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

messyisthenewtidy Sat 15-Sep-12 12:24:02

I thought we'd all agreed on fanjo?

MardyBra Sat 15-Sep-12 12:28:16

Maybe the person with the scabbard owns the sword?

MardyBra Sat 15-Sep-12 12:28:49

Or maybe they co-exist in partnership.

FrothyDragon Sat 15-Sep-12 12:29:33

Did we agree on fanjo while I was away?

Reminds me too much of Banjo.

Hmmm. Sappho? Yep, I do like Sappho... grin

PretzelTime Sat 15-Sep-12 12:42:12

It's called a fanjo.grin
I don't like "vagina" because that's only one part of the entire organ.

Where did you get Sappho from, wasn't Sappho a Lesbian poet?

FrothyDragon Sat 15-Sep-12 12:47:44

She was, indeed. Hence, naming it Sappho takes men's ownership out of the equation entirely... grin

WidowWadman Sat 15-Sep-12 14:07:47

Is this taking the piss?

PretzelTime Sat 15-Sep-12 14:13:51

Is what taking the piss? Not the vagina hopefully? <gets banned>

FrothyDragon Sat 15-Sep-12 14:24:50

No, Widow. We're talking about the vagina, not the urethra.

LRDtheFeministDragon Sat 15-Sep-12 14:29:26

I like fanjo. smile

I would love it if that were in more common usage - I think it has a nice, cheerful sound to it. And I'm quite happy with cunt.

I get what she's saying about the etymology and it is nasty, isn't it? To me not so much because of the ownership thing, but because it defines the vagina as a container for a penis, not anything else, and because it just makes me queasy as it feels violent. And given loads of people don't seem very keen to use 'vagina' with little girls, it would be nice to have a term we were all happier with.

FrothyDragon Sat 15-Sep-12 14:33:04

I've never really liked fanjo. I've tried to. It sounds too flowery. <Fussy Dragon>

And yes, reducing the "vagina" to a container for a penis... Urgh...

LRDtheFeministDragon Sat 15-Sep-12 14:37:56

Oh, fair enough. I'd never thought of it as flowery.

What I can't stand is 'front bottom'. It's each to their own I guess.

OatyBeatie Sat 15-Sep-12 14:39:12

I think it is much better to claim the word vagina and insist on it than to try and squash it out of existence. This is a word that was forbidden in an american state senate during an abortion debate -- the woman lawmaker who used it was thrown out. Insisting on women's right to claim and use an established term to name the genitalia that men are seeking to legislatively dominate seems like real politics. Playing a language game on the basis of an offensive but well-superceded origin for the term sounds like the kind of abstruse insider-activism that would tend towards marginalising feminism and leaving women like that lawmaker poorly supported.

OatyBeatie Sat 15-Sep-12 14:45:14

Having said that, I do like the word cunt and I'd love to reclaim it from its aggressive use as an insult. But I think that, other than in cosy enclaves like MN, that is a lost cause.

LRDtheFeministDragon Sat 15-Sep-12 14:46:53

I take your point oaty ... but then, I do remember learning where the word came from when I was in my teens and finding it, to be honest, quite upsetting. So I'm not sure.

I am hopeful about cunt, but quite possibly not in our lifetime.

FrothyDragon Sat 15-Sep-12 14:50:35

Oaty, I think it was forbidden more in an aim to prevent women from being able to speak out in any case. I'm not sure that any word the lawmaker used in reference to the vagina would have been allowed. They just needed a silencing tactic. I think she would have been thrown out whatever term she used.

deleted203 Sat 15-Sep-12 14:52:25

I loathe the 'c' word blush...can't bring myself to use it as it's foul. Ridiculously I am quite happy to call someone a twat which means the same thing, but in my head is just slightly ruder that twit....The problem with the front bottom (she says delicately) is that there are a million and one things to call it and none of them are very nice......(as my mother would say). I've always struggled with this, particularly with kids. Why haven't we got a common or garden, polite name to use? All names are either too clinical or too 'men's porn site' for me. Or a bit twee. What word do your DDs use?

deemented Sat 15-Sep-12 14:54:47

But it is what it is. A vagina. Made for a penis to go into. Basic biology.

LRDtheFeministDragon Sat 15-Sep-12 14:57:03

Basic biology?

That's not biology at all, that's some wierd version of religion.

Nobody 'made' the human body. We evolved.

FrothyDragon Sat 15-Sep-12 14:58:58

Yeah, a home for weapon, though, deemented?

It has too many violent connotations for me.

It's also stupidly heteronormative

deemented Sat 15-Sep-12 14:59:32

Um. Ok. Not made then. But it is for a penis to go into wether made or conjoured up.

FrothyDragon Sat 15-Sep-12 15:00:25

I'm pretty sure my vagina has more uses than being a home for a penis.

deemented Sat 15-Sep-12 15:00:33

I'm not keen on it either, Frothy, but it is what it is <shrugs>

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