Why my kids don't use the "correct" terms for genitalia

Why my kids don't use the "correct" terms for genitalia

Short answer: It's gross.

Sure, my kids will probably grow up hating their bodies and never being able to have sex without a scalding shower afterwards, but that's years in the future. I could be dead by then, or living on some Del Webb compound in Arkansas, i.e. that shit'd no longer be my problem. And it would be just one of many items in a long list of ways I, their mother, ruined them (of course their dad wouldn't get blamed for this).

In the here and now, at least I never have to hear a toddler use the word "vagina."

And "vagina" isn't even the whole story, is it? That's what's really bothered me about the whole "vagina" movement. (That and, seriously, kids saying "vagina." *shudders*)

Isn't teaching girls to call their nether regions "vagina" giving them false information anyway? Sure, the vagina is there, but so's the clitoris and the urethra and a whole host of other words derived from Latin. Those are also pretty important places for girls to know about, am I right, ladies? Those are things you'd definitely like your daughter to have names for before she starts her young woman's journey from Milan to Minsk.

I actually do love the word "vagina," though, when I don't have to hear kids say it. The etymology is fantastic. It comes from the Latin word for "sheath." Sheath. An ancient Roman soldier carried his sword in a vagina. How perfect is that?

So, then, why isn't a dude's "sword" called a "gladius?" Why aren't congressmen sending "gladius pics" to their interns? Why didn't Pee-Wee Herman get in trouble for fondling his gladius at the adult movie theater? "Gladius" is a strong word. "Gladius" is almost "gladiator," basically. "Gladius" brings to mind Russell Crowe, which is not a bad thing at all. "Gladius" means "sword," a big, strong, hard-as-steel sword. That's a phrase I'm sure E.L. James would love to get her grubby, little, keyboard-typing fingers on.

"My sex sheathed his gladius as if it had been created for that exact purpose. And I said, 'Holy crap!'"

But guys are stuck with the word "penis," and "penis" is no "gladius." "Penis" is a joke, and one that's anatomically suspect. "Penis," the Latin word, means "tail," which usually comes (ha) on the backside of an animal in nature, which, if the penis is the "tail" of a man, it means the human man is kind of a freak of nature. Also, many animals have both a tail and a penis, which feels kind of redundant to me. My dog has a tail, but he also has a "tail." I'm confused.

Also, what do you think of when you think of "tail?" I think of a long, skinny rattail waving and flopping around, which is flattering to no one.

The other meaning for "penis" is "lechery," "excessive or offensive sexual desire," i.e. the etymology of "penis" gives guys the green light to be dicks, which, in our society full of rape culture, is not a good thing. Down with "penis," is what I say.

Also, it's just a dumb-sounding word, all nasally and whiny. I don't like it.

So, whatever. My kids will learn the hard (ha) truths behind the real names someday, but for now we'll stick with what we're used to, which is "Michael A. Fox" for boys and "Vivica J. Fox" for girls.*

*No, not really. Don't worry.

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