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A Vagina By Any Other Name Is Not So Sweet

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I have had it. Enough is enough. What is this world coming to? We are beginning to sound like a bunch of three-year-olds. I am a grown ass woman, damn it! I've earned my right to speak as such.

What has prompted this most recent rant? An article from the New York Times style section, sent to me by an equally disgruntled friend. Written by Stephanie Rosenbloom, "What Did You Call It?" waxes endlessly and unnecessarily about the use of the nouveau word "vajayjay" as a euphemism for vagina. "Vajayjay" was introduced on an episode of the ABC show, Grey's Anatomy. Then Oprah got a hold of it, and now you have every middle-aged woman talking about her vajayjay.

I am not a conspiracy theorist, but this vajayjay seems like another attempt to sanitize, with the result infantilizing, the American lexicon.

Those Parts Down There

Ma and Pa Thompson kept it real, sometimes too real. Alongside my parents, I watched violent R-rated movies. No cinema was too bloody or graphic for their little boos, I mean children. The exposure did not lead me to kill, maim, or destroy – just on occasion yell, scream, or curse a few people out. But I digress. In the spirit of keeping it real, we, the family Thompson, called genitalia by their proper names:penis and vagina – not George and Nancy.

In stark contrast, I had a female friend with three small children who created the names "heehee" and "whowho" for said body parts. All I have to say is whywhy? Imagine the confusion when they have their first sexual experience.

"Baby, I want to (blank) your heehee."

"Heehee? What the hell are you laughing at?"

Where are my N-words?

I was listening to a Kat Williams comedy special this weekend on Comedy Central. It was damn near refreshing to hear an adult speak so freely and use harsh language, including the N-word, to express thoughtful ideas. By the way Al, Jesse, et. al, banning the N-word hasn't stopped teens, especially black teens, from using the word excessively. (For the record, hearing the N-word bandied about by not always so literate youngsters drives me out of my damn, not darn, mind.)

In an interview with the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, comedian D.L. Hughley said, “"I think it's dumb. Richard Pryor and Martin Luther King existed around the same time but Martin Luther King never called Richard Pryor and said, 'Could you stop using the N-word? It's making our struggle that much harder.' And that's because Martin Luther King was trying to affect real change, significant change for the benefit of a people. Not esoteric change that really wouldn't change anything… More black people die from not exercising and eating fried food than ever died from the N-word. You don't go to the doctor and he says, 'Your cholesterol is down. Have you been using the N-word lately?'"

The F-Words

There is the f-word, and thanks to former Grey's Anatomy's star Isaiah Washington's rant against gay cast member T. R. Knight (what's up with that show?), there is another f-word not to be uttered publicly regardless of the context. Before you know it, there will be yet another f-word we won't be able to utter: fat. Are we going to start calling fat people, "calorically challenged"? Or are we going to create another euphemism like "fataytay." Oh Bertha is not as big as a house; she's just fatatay.

I Am A Person, Not A Crayola Crayon

Hang in there. I am almost done.

Most mainstream media avoid racially charged topics like they are… the word… "vagina", but when they do attempt to address them, it's often awkward and painful to watch, especially when the anchors/pundits/talking heads make an attempt to use the least offensive words to describe an ethnic or racial group.

My least favorite of these monikers is "people of color" – the use of which chaps my black ass. I've heard Joe Scarborough of MSNBC's Morning Joe use this term with relative frequency. I'd like to ask him one simple question: Who the hell are you talking about? Blacks? Latinos? Asians? Biracials? Martians? The statement belies the assumption that whites are not included among those "of color" and makes the rest of us sounds like some mushy mess.

Homeboy, last time I checked, white people come in various hues — dare I say colors — such as pink, various shades of olive, and light brown in the summer. If you see a "white" person coming towards you, run like a mofo because that s.o.b. is probably an escapee from a local cemetery.

Oh, I know what some of you pitiful PC folks are thinking. "Personally, I don't see color." Quit your lying. I dare you to say that to the police officer when he pulls you over for running a red light. I could go on forever, but I won't. You've got things to do and so do I. (If you are waiting for a cheap vajayjay joke, it ain't coming – yet.)

Does It Ever End?

Now, the Tyra Banks Show is having its own version of the Vagina Dialogues. (No, I didn't make a mistake, this is how it is billed. With Tyra, it has to be a two-way conversation.). Called, “What's Up Down There?” (original broadcast: Monday, November 5), the show promises to provide women with the answers "to all the questions they were afraid to ask."

I am sure that after this show, the vagina will need some throat spray and a sabbatical.

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About Carla Thompson

  • Q

    This isn’t a personal attack. Just a description of differences.

    I’ve never heard anyone refer to anything as a “vajayjay”. Nor am I regularly in the presence of anything called a boo. Nor do I miss the presence of the N-word, the S-word, the C-word, or the F-word.

    I don’t watch network TV.

    And I’m not under the impression that “culture” is limited to it.

  • gk

    Thank you, thank you. I’ve been irritated by the same potty-mouth adverse phenomenon when it comes to “peeing” and “pooing.” My sense is that the urge to “kiddy-talk” all the time ignores what I used to think was a pretty concrete difference between kids and grown-ups.

    But if grown-ups must avoid the more traditional, if not earthier, terms for bodily functions when they’re talking amongst themselves, why not use the more scientifically appropriate “urinate” and “defecate”…

  • But you’ve got to remember that – quite apart from sounding stupid in everyday conversation – scientific terms like ‘penis’, ‘vagina’, ‘urinate’ and ‘defecate’ are themselves replacements for earthier words that were once in common usage.

  • Ray

    AMEN, Bro! I couldn’t agree more!! All the liberal, don’t-call-it-what-it-is PC spouting pukes have run rampant far too long. It has gotten WAY out of hand and it seems as though “they” are trying to have us believe that we can’t “offend” anyone. Look, a word is just that – a word. Remember the old saying, “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” We all need a lesson in that one. Keep up the good work.

  • STM

    Doc d: scientific terms like defecate etc are themselves replacements for earthier words once in common usage.”

    Anyone who is PC should come to Australia for a while and get it right out of their heads (well, you know where I’m coming from here, Doc).

    Bastard is a term of endearment.

    “Sh.t a brick” is a statement of surprise (and that’s only one of ’em).

    “Don’t d.ck/p.ss/sh.t me around” mean exactly what they sound like.

    Pussy is still a cat (thank God), but using the term fanny around women can get you into awful trouble.

    And yes, I did hear someone on American TV once use the term vajayjay, and wondered why on Earth they weren’t calling it a vagina.

  • poo-poo, eh-eh, caca, whizz, dink, pink taco, poop chute. Sorry folks, I just had to join the fun…

    yeah, PC is so un-PC.

    there actually is a point to my comment, somewhere…

    happy new year,

  • OK, let me add something about this so-called PC stuff in regards to race.

    Black is now African American. But White is white. I don’t get it. If I am called white, than black is black. Speak on a common denominator!!! Otherwise the equation does not add up.

    I did see a black comedian on TV once who had a good point. “We have gone from being called negroes, colored people, black, and now African American. I just want to go back to being called a nigger” Audience cracks up….

    Say you are Jamaican or from Haiti and living in the USA. But any political correct moron still will call you African American because you are black! How racist and degrading to an original culture….

    when the African American thing comes up I like to say “Africa? which country?” Africa is a continent with 50 nations, each as different as Germany or Sweden.

    to take it further, I hear PC-ites designate people by their color. Example “This African American man was buying a newspaper…”. what!!?? He is a man, no need to bring up color at all!!!! but they do all the time.

    Use of profiling is necessary at times. Like crime. “White male, Black male, Mexican male seen running from the Liquor Store with a bag of money and weapons” so what!? And some PC jerk will scream about that. I love it when a PC-head is a victim of violent crime involving race of criminal (hold it! I hate crime, but you know, as long as you understand the analogy-irony-point of statement)

    OK, I’ll shut up and go back to bed….


  • STM

    Actually, I agree with you on the crime thing. There was a movement here (Down Under) for the same thing to happen some time ago (and it didn’t).

    You know, “youths of middle-eastern/mediterranean/caucasian/asian/african/aboriginal appearance … “.

    They wanted to to take all that out and turn into “youth wearing white shirt, jeans, and black shoes last seen running south on Blah Blah St”.

    Be nice for the cops, that one, if it happened. True, it’s profiling, and in any other circumstances, who cares who or what they are? But you are right … it’s necessary in some circumstances.

    Sometimes PC just goes a bit too far.

  • STM, true, profiling is sometimes necessary. But it isn’t just race. You know, profiling includes type of clothing, height, weight, type of hair, car they drove away in, direction the were headed, etc…