Friday, July 23, 2010

Bad, Bad Words

I don't know about you, but I can’t hear or see the word ‘insert’ without immediately being teleported back to fifth grade sex ed class.  I can still hear the phrase 'The man inserts his penis into the woman's vagina.'  Sort of the same way you'd insert a quarter into a gumball machine.  Did I say sex ed?  Pardon me, Sexual Education. Why did teachers have to completely enunciate every word in class? Was it to prolong the agony or was it their way of somehow tricking themselves (and us) into thinking we weren’t all actually in a classroom discussing our uglies? Speaking of ugly, I mean they really are. There’s no word to make these: attachments? Pieces? Sound like they actually belong to us. It’s not like: arm, leg, nose, eye, ear. Dual-syllabic words come dangerously close to stepping across enemy lines: penis? And triple-syllabic? Now we’re speaking alien: vagina? Which makes sense I guess to give the one anatomical feature of our species (women) the most foreign-sounding of names given the lack of knowledge about its function and traits. Hats off to the male species though for splicing their dual-syllabic named icon of manhood in half, to make this anatomical creation more appetizing…to my ear that is. Dick can blend in with our other platonic body parts because of its mono-syllabism: toe, hand, mouth, foot, dick.

Now, for the female anatomy, they’ve only managed to cut off one syllable and still make it sound as if we have some great horn twisting up and out of the side of our head: pussy? There’s something about the S’s in anatomical names that makes us squeamish. It’s our own fault really for defaulting to the male’s nicknaming lexicon. I propose a monosyllabic nickname for our alien-produced cabbage flesh that we too can camouflage amongst the other regular body parts the way men have already done. They have dick, we should have ‘jane.’ Jane isn’t as vomit-inducing as pussy or vajayjay, which I think is the direct result of our own gag-reflex in attempting to address our own body part and not being able to even complete the name without gagging on the ‘jyna.’ You poor women named Gina, I can only imagine the strife this has brought upon you. No one’s named Penis. And, why the short name of Richard is Dick I still don’t get, but at least men felt sorry enough (or perhaps, it was jealousy) for our Gina/vagina trap that they chose a word for their private majors that was also a man’s name.

I know I am going to upset many feminists who may be reading this and saying there’s no reason to refer to our genitals (eeeesh, there’s an S in that word too) by a term that is not clinically-correct, that we should be loud and proud about our va…jayjays, but seriously, how often do you hear women (or men for that matter) discuss them? How often do you hear the word ‘dick’ tossed around like a lost plastic bag? My point exactly. There will also be those of you who think ‘jane’ isn’t regal enough, but that’s the issue. Men think of their dicks like used plastic water bottles, not like some sort of lost treasure that can only be found by Indiana Jones. While it would be lovely if we all grew up referring to our vaginas and penises in a studious, not immature, manner, the truth is we will always be those shellshocked elementary school children reciting the multiplication tables in our heads as our teachers slap pointers against a slide show presentation diagramming the twigs and berries of every boy in the classroom, and the virginal package concealed in the underwear of every girl. The only difference will be that boys will run out of the room shouting at the top of their lungs Penis! Epididemis! Testicle! and Teste! and get off on it, while the girls slink silently into the shadows carrying on our culture of shame. Maybe if we too could have a word, like ‘jane’ to knock our oh-so-sacred virginal vaginas off their mysterious pedestal, we could finally have some common ground to bridge the gap between the sexes. Dick meet Jane, Jane meet Dick. See Dick jump, see Jane skip. See Jane and Dick be friends. (Notice how much more appealing Dick is when he's not so focused on his inserts)

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