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Proper Terms -- No Euphemisms, Please!

 
 
Reply Fri 29 Mar, 2013 07:13 am
Several squibs have appeared about about teachers being crucified by parents for using the word vagina in a health or biology class.

Obviously, these unknowing teachers ought to have used the word "hole." Women have holes. Whether that hole is her mouth or ear or a pore or her vagina makes no difference.

That's science for you: giving proper names to body parts. If that teacher had said, "down there" those same parents might have been happy because none of them would be sufficiently well-informed to confuse a piece of a woman's anatomy with Australia or Antartica which are truly down there.

When I was in college, back in the 60s, and sex education was a totally new idea, I remember having read in one of the national news magazines, either Time or Newsweek, about a sex education class at a university in the upper Midwest, I think Minnesota. The instructor, a woman, had each student in the large lecture hall, turn to the student in the next seat. Each pair repeated words like penis, vagina, etc., that is the proper medical terms for organs and processes. This was because it is that proper terms that become embarrassing.

Some of us might be embarrassed by the euphemisms for vagina. But it is pretty obvious to me that these sophisticated and intelligent people think 'twat" is a better term than vagina.

Shudder.
 
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Mar, 2013 07:36 am
It is always good for a laugh when Americans visiting Britain don't realise what "fanny" means in the latter country. I heard of a lady tourist reducing airport staff to giggles by declaring that she had a "sore fanny" after sitting on a departure lounge seat for several hours.

My aunt, a redoubtable lady from Leicestershire, a retired biology teacher, breeds prize winning pedigree terriers and sells stud service to owners of what are called with no nonsense, bitches. As these latter can become nervous and aggressive during natural mating, often she will arrange for artificial insemination. She gathers the semen from the chosen dog using a device called an "artificial vagina", known by breeders as an "AV". She calls it a "the rubber fanny", which often startles her customers. She is a sixtyish schoolmarm looking lady with glasses, rather like Angela Lansbury in appearance and manners.
farmerman
 
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Reply Fri 29 Mar, 2013 08:16 am
@contrex,
Biologically its always been called the pudendum or pudenda (female). Its the exterior manifestation of the sex organs of which the vagina and labia are parts.
SO you can turn the entire thing into a classification with named parts.
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Mar, 2013 08:28 am
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:

Biologically its always been called the pudendum or pudenda (female).


Not quite "always", and not quite "biologically", but certainly since the 14th century. Rather a severe euphemism in itself. For either sex, pudendum (singular) pudenda (plural), literally "thing (or things) to be ashamed of". The word is the neuter gerundive of the verb pudere "to make ashamed."
timur
 
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Reply Fri 29 Mar, 2013 08:39 am
@contrex,
It seems people are showing too much pudicity..
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Mar, 2013 01:09 am
The vulva is the external female sexual structure, consisting of the labia, major and minor. The vagina is not an exterior sexual organ. This mirrors the incredible hebetude regarding sexual matters that one sees here among young people who come posting questions. For them, the vagina truly is "down there," as they seem to know no other name for female sexual structures. (The labia are not "organs.")
izzythepush
 
  0  
Reply Sat 30 Mar, 2013 07:40 am
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  4  
Reply Sat 30 Mar, 2013 07:58 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

The vulva is the external female sexual structure, consisting of the labia, major and minor. The vagina is not an exterior sexual organ. This mirrors the incredible hebetude regarding sexual matters that one sees here among young people who come posting questions. For them, the vagina truly is "down there," as they seem to know no other name for female sexual structures. (The labia are not "organs.")


I agree set.

It seems sometimes that to some, the whole of a womans sexual apparatus is her vagina.

Contrex, yeah, when I first learned what fanny meant in England, I was chagrined. To those in the U.S. (and Canada I supposed, since I know a French Canadian gal named Fanny) fanny is a totally innocent term. One we teach small children to use.

Reversing the situation, consider how an American reacts when an Englishman comes her and says he's going out to smoke a fag.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Mar, 2013 08:35 am
@contrex,
It is what it is contrex. In bio the terms we use generally ALL have idiotic or even embarrasing latin or greek roots. The fact that theyve been adopted for scientific use is just the way its gone. If you were to look at generic names youd get a laugh at what they really mean. SAme thing with anatomical equipment.

Pudenda is an encompassing term used in most anatomy and is the general biological term for the external manifestation of sex organs for BOTH sexes (pedundum=male and pedunda=female).
Its the only word that is used as a group classification of specific external organs and tissues.
0 Replies
 
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Mar, 2013 09:42 am
@chai2,
chai2 wrote:

Reversing the situation, consider how an American reacts when an Englishman comes her and says he's going out to smoke a fag.


Not quite reversable, because of the asymmetric nature of the transatlantic cultural relationship (we know a lot more about your slang than you know about ours. Blame it on Hollywood & cable TV). Most Brits know what a 'fag' is in the USA.
0 Replies
 
 

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