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Call a spade a spade

March 29, 2010

We didn’t know what flavour of baby we were having before the birth – but with an equal chance of having a boy, we had got around to discussing our thoughts on circumcision.  But when it turned out that Lady G was a girl, I gave no more thought to her genitals past discovering what they were.

So when I was asked the question ‘what are you going to call it?”, I realised I’d given it no thought, and had no suitable answer.  I had no issue with calling it a penis if we’d had a boy – but the options for the females are either slightly antomically incorrect (the visible genitals not actually being the vagina), or cutesy ephemisms.

Serendipiously, that same evening I had dinner with friends, one of whom is a police officer, and the other a crown prosecutor who besides being a parent himself, has dealt with a range of child abuse cases.  They were adament that the only option was to call it what actually is.  Disturbing as it is to think about, a child who calls their genitals by the correct name in the event of abuse is much more likely to be heard and responded to, than if they talk about seeing the neighbour’s ‘hose’.

So, it’s either going to be vulva (the visible) or vagina (the more commonly used word).  I thnk what we end up using will depend on whether we’re talking about where babies come from, or what she can see.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. March 29, 2010 3:44 pm

    I agree totally with your friends, this trend of fluffy names for body parts is crazy. we touched on the same issue back in uni – psychologically you will respond quicker and with more alarm to someone saying “he touched my vagina” than “he touched my flower”, and beyond that, it’s just plain weird imho, they’re natural body parts and kids should know what they are.

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