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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Opinions on the word "vah jay jay"?

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Author Topic: Opinions on the word "vah jay jay"?
strawberrywine
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I'm not actually sure where this belongs, but this section looks about right so I'll take my chances.

How do you, fellow Scarleteen visitors and hosts feel about the term "vah jay jay"?

I don't watch Grey's Anatomy, or Oprah, and I haven't been able to catch The Soup lately so I actually wasn't aware of this phenomenon until quite recently.

Personally, I hate it. I might even be a little offended by it. Apparently it's supposed to be like a pet name? Like a cute little word women can use to refer to their genitals in an affectionate manner. I say "genitals" because while the term is supposed to refer to the vagina (or so I assume), many women don't even use the word "vagina" to refer to their vaginas.

Which is pretty much why that term bothers me. A lot of people, even women (Especially women), barely even understand or know the proper terms for the female anatomy to begin with. We call the vulva the vagina, etc. So isn't making up (yet another) "pet name" for our genitals basically just moving backwards?

And just so I cover my bases, I think this is a very different matter than when people give male genitals nicknames. Maybe it's just my opinion, but I think we understand far less about female genitals than those of males.

What do you think?

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"Who's to say that love needs to be soft and gentle?"
-Dr. Twardon (Secretary)

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Heather
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I just had an advice question which used this term, where I made my own feelings -- and gave a little background on the term which you'll likely find unsurprising, but which is the big reason it bugs me -- pretty clear. [Smile]

http://www.scarleteen.com/article/advice/vulva_i_hardly_knew_ye

[ 03-08-2008, 11:55 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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SnailShells
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I'm not especially bothered by "vah-jay-jay", but I don't see WHY a person can't just say "vulva" or "vagina"...then again, I do know girls my age who burst into giggles or go "eeew!" when they hear the actual words, reguardless of context. *That* is what's irritating...that and "vagina" being used as the word for all female genitalia.

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“I thank God I was raised Catholic, so sex will always be dirty.” --John Waters

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strawberrywine
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Heather: Yeah, I read that. That's how I learned about the term, actually. I completely agree with you and I could not have said it more eloquently. Also, it might not be the time or the place but I wanted to gush about how much you and everyone else on this site has helped me with my body image issues and my issues about sex and sexuality. You guys are amazing and I'm so glad I found this site.

Snailshells: Yeah, I have the same issues with some people in my age group (I'm 18). However, my last semester of highschool was spent with a group of people that was very science oriented. By which I mean they were all very interested in biology. So I was lucky and had people with which I could have conversations about sex that didn't, for the most part, involve giggling and nudging. Except when we actually wanted to make horrible sex jokes, though, of course. I'm not saying everyone interested in biology is like this, but in my case I feel like that directly attributed to the situation.

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"Who's to say that love needs to be soft and gentle?"
-Dr. Twardon (Secretary)

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Heather
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(I'm about to pack it in for the day, so it's very nice to end my day with something like that, actually. Thanks so much, and I'm so glad we could help you out!)

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Horizon
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"Va-jay-jay" is a word I would not care to see disappear eventually. It's bound to be one of those words like 'dope' or 'groovy' that are supposedly cool to say for a while, until people get tired of it and it just fades away.

I agree with SnailShells; it is irritating that people can't call a vagina what it really is. But don't we have a lot of words we use in the place of 'penis'? Just about any word for something phallic in appearance is used instead of penis in a lot of cases. But it seems like as a whole, we create a lot of 'pet names' for our genitalia because the correct terms make some people uncomfortable, and it does perpetuate misconception about our bodies, which is unfortunate.

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Heather
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Yeah, but when was the last time you heard a guy call his parts "down there," because he was SO uncomfortable to say the word penis, even to himself? Or that he named it "cute little buddy," rather than say "BIG MAN"?

For sure, people nickname genitals, and we have various slang for genitals, too. But in this case, the whole term got popular expressly BECAUSE the right term for women's genitals, and women's genitals only, was deemed inappropriate on a medical show. And when vulval and vaginal terms tend to often default to cute (to take the big scary out, since our girl genitals are sooooo scary), or be popularized because people will do anything to avoid treating our parts with the same respect and normlacy of others, it's a bit of a different story.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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PenguinBoy
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I do find new words interesting. But it does sound very childish... I remember being at school and inventing code words for things so teachers wouldn't know what we meant... and appears, from what you've said, similar, a sort of giggling codeword to allow people to say what they don't think they're allowed to say but without the actual teacher enforcing it... is pretty bad that they should feel they're not aloud to talk about the vaginas that they walk around with everyday.

(I say groovy all the time! GROOVY!)

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