Why is a Swedish social worker trying to fix something that isn't broken?
What do you call your vagina?
Your privates? Your va-jay-jay? Your pussy?
Swedish social worker Anna Kosztovics thinks we need a new word.
And she kind of knows what she's talking about.
When she was pregnant and discovered she would be giving birth to a little girl, Kosztovics realized that there wasn't a word for "vagina" in Swedish that WASN'T super formal or super sexualized.
“There are endless rude words which I will not repeat now, and then there are formal words like vagina" she says. “But we don’t use those words as easily as we use the word ‘willy’ for boys so little girls grow up with the thought that there is something wrong between their legs. There are 360 million people who speak English and I think it’s time for you to discover your own word it might seem impossible, but it’s not. I did it! I say let the best word win!”
I don't know, man, "snippa" doesn't exactly sound pleasant.
Then again, I don't speak Swedish.
But now she thinks it's time for English speakers to do the same.
She made a video with her challenge, and it's gone viral.
Personally, I don't think there is anything overly formalized about the word "vagina".
It's all the cute names I take issue with if I'm being honest.
I don't think the word "vagina" is clinical.
I mean, a vagina is what it is.
I am Becca, that is my name, that's who I am.
Like so many other people, I'm totally guilty of using "vagina" as a catch-all word to describe my general genital area.
I am fully aware that I say "vagina" sometimes when what I mean is "vulva" or "labia."
It drives people nuts!
"You're a sex writer," they say, "you should know better."
And here's the thing: I do.
I have made a decision to refer to the entire she-bang as my vagina to make things clear AND less clinical!
But that's not where I get frustrated talking about female genitals.
It's stuff like "pussy" or little girls calling their vaginas stuff like "front bottoms" or their "fee fees" that drives me to drink.
And it may even put kids at risk to not teach them the proper names for their genitals!
So do we REALLY need a new, more casual word for "vagina'?
Frankly, I don't think it's possible to come up with a "new" word for vagina that is going to take away, well, the stigma that comes with being born female.
No matter what you call your vagina the fact that you're born with one will always mean that life is going to be a little different for you than it is for men.
And sadly, those differences will be a lot less fair.
If we are going to change what we call our vaginas, I would say let us call them our "Batmen", like faceless crusaders fighting injustice.
But sadly, Batman is my cat's name and I think the idea here is that we move AWAY from referring to our vaginas with cat-related monikers.