Is Vagina a Bad Word?

You winced a little when you read the word, vagina. Am I right? 

Vagina. Vulva. Clitoris. 

Why do people cringe and/or gawk at you when you talk about these body parts?

You would think I showed someone a pornographic image the way some people react to the word. …

Is it true? Is vagina a bad word?

My daughter and I ate dinner at a friend’s house this evening. There were five girls under the age of 12 running around, two female adults and one male. We were preparing to leave and Charlotte kept grabbing at her crotch. Not thinking anything about it, I asked her:

“Why are you grabbing your vagina? Do you need to go potty?”

Laughter erupted from the three older girls. I mean, sure, vagina is a funy word. I’ll give them that, but you would have thought I told the knock-knock joke of a lifetime. 

As I was taking Charli to the bathroom, I heard the girls’ dad trying to calm them down as they started calling eachother vaginas. He said that they probably haven’t heard the word before.



These girls are roughly 6, 8 and 11 years old. The oldest could start her period any day. And, they have never heard the word vagina? 

We use terms like “pee-pee,” “privates,” and “down there” as viable alternatives to existing anatomical words. We don’t call elbows “arm-bends” or fingers “pointers.” Why create ridiculous words for vagina or penis?

The prudish way in which we treat sexual organs creates this mystery and discomfort. I’ve known many young people to react to reproductive organs and sex in ways not unlike the reaction many youth have to alcohol or drugs. 

We create the forbidden fruit for our children by how we choose to teach and explain. 

What do I know, though. Right? 

My daughter is only 3 years old. She thinks her dad has a vagina.

Then again, she doesn’t laugh when people say vagina. She doesn’t wince, cringe or look away awkwardly. She can talk to me about her body. 

I can’t even say the same for myself. I can’t talk to my doctors about my vagina, vulva or whatever without averting my eyes and laughing awkwardly. 

I hope this post and the 11 times I mentioned vaginas (oops, 12) helped desensitize you to the word. 

Also, sorry, dad. … This was probably very uncomfortable for you to read. I can understand that! 

1 thought on “Is Vagina a Bad Word?

  1. I agree with you completely, Angie, right down to the last line, where you could have put my name in there, too! Old habits die hard, but this one does deserve to be dead and buried.

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