Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Vagina Verses Vulva

So this post may be a little confronting for some of you and you may want to walk away, but given the title of this post I am guessing you already know it has to do with vagina's and the various names we refer to them as.

As a mum of two daughters I recently decided to teach my daughters (more so my almost 2 year old) the proper name for her body parts,especially her genitalia. I have a varied circle of friends all who use various names in reference to their female "bits" and I had heard one friend in particular who is the mum of 2 young girls teaching her daughters to refer to their personal female parts as a vulva... now this was really confronting to me, I had not readily heard this female body part refered to as a vulva, usually woman including myself call it a vagina. The word vulva seem so foreign to me and to be honest a little bizarre, to hear this 3 year girl mention she had wiped her vulva after going to the toilet was totally odd to my way of thinking. "why on earth is she calling her vagina a vulva?" I asked my is always the case with this particular friend I got the most simple and straight forward answer "uummm cause that's what it is".... I went home a little mystified, why a vulva why not call it a vagina.. well the more I thought on it the more it made sense to me.

I want my kids to be able to correctly identify their body parts and the vagina is the inside part of the female gentiles, the vulva is the outside. I want my kids to be able to tell me if they have a particular pain where it is, and to just say my vagina hurts isn't good enough. Also especially as my eldest daughter is growing into a young lady now heading towards turning 12 years old next year, I don't want her using these cutsie name like foo foo or daisy, or names that objectifies or sexualise her body parts, yes the vagina is used for sex but it is also that amazing delivery channel that babies are birthed through and I don't want for our girls to grow up thinking that their vagina's are only there for sex, because of the sexual names society gives them.... am I over thinking this,... well you may think so but for me I think it is really important for my daughters and myself to know our bodies and the correct terms and usage for our various parts.

Intergrating the word vulva into our vocabulary has been interesting, we get some strange looks from people who might be about during a nappy change of our daughter and no doubt some of you reading this are probably thinking this woman is a nutcase (and that's OK I am a nutcase who knows I have a vulva and a vagina lol)we have started teaching Miss O with each nappy change where her vulva is and she now very proudly points to it and says "bulva" (she will be 2 in March next year so we think bulva is a pretty good pronunciation at this point)once her baby powder is sprinkled on she also announces "bulva..nice" hehehe which I think is her way of saying she likes to have the powder put on each nappy change.

So in the debate (and when I say debate please don't take that to mean I sit around discussing vagina's and vulva's cause I don't I simply mean a discussion I have had with my husband and with myself on how important is this particular thing) of referring to our girls private body part as vulva or vagina, vulva wins, it's the proper name for that part and to quote my friend..."uummmm cause that's what it is", simple and straightforward. Of course what you call your own body is your choice so go ahead and use whatever name makes you comfortable but for the females in this house, we choose to use the word vulva.

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