Wednesday, August 13, 2014

It's not a tee-tee...

It's a vagina.  Say it with me folks.  VA-GI-NA.  Vagina.  Half the people in the world have them.  You might have your very own.  Check now.   If it's an 'INNY" it's a vagina.  If it's an "OUTY" it's a penis.

That's not to say that, as an adult, I haven't used comic euphimisms to get a cheap laugh.  I frequently do.  My favourite is "hooha."  But as I was never raised with euphemisms, my daughter hasn't been either.  Rissa's known she's had a vagina since she could ask about body parts. 

We didn't baby talk with her.  We didn't ask if she needed to 'tinkle' or 'make poopies.'  Although the phrase, 'Who just tooted?" did have some traction in our house. 

When I was pregnant as a surrogate for another family, Rissa was 4.  We had some very pointed discussions about how babies were made at that time because it was important that she understand the general process of insemination (ie - that I did NOT have sex with the father of the baby), and why we weren't bringing another baby to our home.  In my 2nd trimester I had an ultra sound.  I explained that the ultrasound would tell whether I was having a boy or a girl.  Rissa had a friend 2 years her senior who said, "I know how they'll be able to tell!!  If it's a boy, it'll have short hair, and if it's a girl, it'll have long hair."  Rissa looked at this girl like she was nuts.  With a slight eye roll, Rissa said, "If it has a penis, it'll be a boy, and if it has a vagina, it'll be a girl."

Words have power. A great vocabulary goes hand in hand with great knowledge.  I had a friend whose kindergarten-aged child was reprimanded in school for exclaiming, "My penis is stuck in my zipper!"  "We don't use words like that," the teacher later said when she had the inevitable conversation with the boy's mother.  Why not?  They're body parts.  We don't have euphemisms for other body parts - other than because we aren't all doctors and don't know the proper Latin names.  Femur for most people is 'leg bone.'  Your rotator cuff doesn't get all 'niced up' for everyday conversation.   It isn't called a stretchy joiny bit for arm support.  But if that body part or bodily function has anything to with sexual activity or reproduction - the euphemisms pile up - puritanically clad in 'cleaner' language - lest we give kids knowledge.

Fact:  Women are supposed to bleed once a month from puberty through to their 50's.  It's called menstruation.  They bleed... from their vaginas.  They use pads, tampons or Diva Cups to catch the blood.  The phrase "on the rag" comes from a time when women had to use and then wash rags specifically fashioned to catch menstrual blood.  At this point in human evolution, menstruating should no longer come as a surprise to anyone.

Fact:  Babies are made when sperm from a penis, meet an egg from an ovary.  The fertilized egg then matures inside a uterus.  The baby then exits the female body via the vagina, or in some cases, through the stomach, via a c-section.  The stork does not bring babies.  Pregnant women do not swallow a watermelon seed.  Babies are not made when Mummies and Daddies love each other very much.

Fact:   The Rhythm Method, pulling out, or peeing right after will NOT protect against pregnancy.    You know what protects against pregnancy?  Not having sex.  But since we are all genetically programmed to want sex, the next best thing to protect against unplanned pregnancy is to use condoms, spermicidal foam, a cervical sponge, a diaphragm, an IUD, the patch, the shot or the pill.  Using the first three together, might ruin the mood, but a gal probably won't get pregnant.

Fact:  If a woman wants to be protected, she needs to protect herself.  Those of us with daughters need to make sure they are armed with knowledge, because other than carrying a condom and maybe some duct tape to attach it to his penis, the dude who wants to screw your daughter ain't all that armed - even if he plays "Just the tip."  Yes, it would be wonderful if everyone waited until they found a partner they loved, who respected them and they explored the mysteries of intimacy together.  In spite of my best intentions, I lost my virginity at 16 in the back seat of a Duster.   It's sheer dumb luck that I didn't end up pregnant or with an STD.  You get tingly, you get wet, things feel good -  if the person knows what they're doing, things feel freaking fantastic... You lose your mind a little bit.  You play Russian Roulette.  You  can recommend abstinence all you want, but remember what it was like when you became aware of sex... Remember that?  Remember how great that was?  How great it felt?  How much you wanted to do it?  This is the time to eschew embarrassment.  Have the talk about birth control with your daugthers EARLY

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