Monday, November 5, 2007

You're Being Such A Vajayjay!

Look, I'm sorry. I apologize in advance. I know you don't want to read anything else about "Vajayjay." Feel free to skip this, walk on by.

Everyone probably knows the basics by now: some character on the show "Grey's Anatomy" used the word "vajayjay" to refer to her, you know, vajayay. Oprah liked it, used it. It became a hit.

Predictably, there's been some hand-wringing. The charge has been leveled that people like "vajayjay" because they are squeamish about "vagina," and that they're squeamish about "vagina" for some dark reason having to do with fear of women and sex.

OK, listen, this is just wrong. You don't need any squeamishness or fear to think that "vagina" is an awful word. It sounds bad. It's not fun to say. It's not remotely sexy. You can tell that it is the sound of the word that is the problem because even extremely close variants are way better: "vagine," say, or "vagina" pronounced so that is rhymes with Tina. Also, "clitoris" and "clit" are both fine.

When I learned that the city of Regina, in Canada, has a name that is properly pronounced so that it rhymes with vagina, I almost fell off my chair. Somebody needs a branding consultant up there, quick.

Anyway. Roots in fear and squeamishness is not the problem with "vajayjay." "Vajayjay" is fine, I'd say, for some purposes: if you're just discussing vajayjays in general, say; or if you're making a joke.

But. As Cleo argues so pursuasively in my favorite novel, Amazons, it's annoying that girl parts have such dopey names. How come guys get cock, prick, penis, while girls get boob, nookie, pussy? As she says, The only one worth anything at all is "cunt," and some woman probably came up with that one.

Also. It's not like vajayjay is a sexy word either. You're not going to say in the heat of the moment, "Oh, honey, lick my vajayjay! Yeah!" No.

As the predictable Times story on "vajayjay" reminds us, the vagina isn't even really the sex part, it's the inside part. The sex part is the "vulva." A word you almost never hear, though really, it's kind of a cool word in a weird way. "Vulva" kind of side-steps the whole contrast between the aggresion of "prick" and the stupidity of "nookie." "Vulva" just has its own thing going on.

The Times story also reports on the host of The Soup (which I've never heard of) saying in favor of "vajayjay," "It’s not derogatory. It’s not 'You’re being such a vajayjay right now.' It’s kind of a sweet thing."

Sweet or not, now that you mention it, I can imagine lots of situations that would call for "You're being such a vajayjay right now." I'm all over that.

Incidentally, the (female) creator of "Grey's Anatomy" wanted to use "vagina," and the broadcast standards people said "no way," even though they had used the word "penis" 17 times in one episode once. Vajayjay was a compromise.

So maybe for some people there is a squeamishness and fear thing going on.

What a bunch of fucking vajayjays.


Captain Colossal said...

I would say I think of that particular quote from Amazons at least once a week. Because it's true. Although I think "tit" is okay.

"Vajayjay" is too cutesy for me; it strikes me as an emoticon word.

By the way, I think this would be a good juncture to address the ever popular "can you call a woman an asshole/prick/etc.?" question.

Noko Marie said...

Yeah, vajayjay is cutesy. Oprah can kind of get away with it, I think, but she's obviously the master of all that is cute-but-serious at the same time.

Sure, I think you can call a woman any of those things. I was just trying to remember if I ever do, and I can't remember, so, um, I guess that test is inconclusive.