Shh! Don’t say the word VAGINA.

There’s always been a stigma associated with the word vagina, it's time we break that stigma!

Have you ever been shushed when you said the word vagina out loud? It’s as if you’re saying something inappropriate. The word vagina is defined as, “the muscular tube leading from the external genitals to the cervix of the uterus in women and most female mammals”, a biological organ present in every female body. But, from early childhood days, no one was ever comfortable calling a vagina by its name. Instead, so-called ‘nicer’ euphemisms were coined up for it. Words like ‘lady parts’ and ‘girly bits’ were milder versions taught to girls at a young age, and so that trend has continued.

Different cultures have different names for the term vagina, and it can be seen that individuals find it easier to use slang terms like ‘vajayjay’, ‘twat’, ‘pussy’ rather than the actual term. There has always been stigmatization attached to the word vagina. Society along with workplaces has deemed the word as vulgar, inappropriate, and offensive. Which brings me to ask this question, why is saying the word vagina a taboo? Women all over the world are born with this biological organ, so they should be able to freely talk about it without having to whisper.

Studies have shown that two thirds of women are embarrassed to talk about their vaginal health or orgasms with their gynecologist or any doctor. They are embarrassed to use the word vagina. The study goes on to state that these women belong to the age group of 18-25, and because of their inability to freely say the word, they refrain from going to a doctor as compared to older women. It was also proven that many women did not report sexual abuse because they were afraid to say the word vagina and talk about it.

It’s a little strange that in today’s day and age when we’re surrounded by women embracing their bodies that we’re unable to call a vagina what it is. Instead, we prefer words like ‘cha cha’, ‘cookie’, and ‘muffin’. It’s counterintuitive when celebrities all over the world post pictures of their vaginas covered with a flower or sometimes even gold glitter in the name of art, and we can’t even say the word without feeling embarrassed.

We need to now realize that vagina is now a bad word. It is a scientific term. The reason why we feel like it’s a bad word is that society deems female sexuality as a negative thing that should not be talked about. This embarrassment stops women from going to doctors and talking about their health issues. Sex is a part of our lives, individuals all over the world participate in sexual activities, so it's now our turn to normalize this word.

Many advertisements that are specifically curated for menstruation such as pad and tampon commercials do not use the word vagina because it has been considered to be a 'dirty word'. How is that okay? These kinds of ideologies curate and add on to the stigma. If a product is made for vaginal health, it shouldn’t be afraid to use the word in its marketing!

Since the word vagina is associated with sexuality, women's sexual pleasures and sexuality have always been scrutinized. And women who are open about their sexuality are labeled nasty names. Which gave birth to this 'taboo' culture.

It's now our job to change this. We no longer need names like 'flower' and 'honey pot' for our vagina. Children should be taught the right name terms at a young age so they don't have to hide when they grow older. The only way to change is to be the ones who bring about that change. So, remember to be proud of yourself, and proud of your body!

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