Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Hooha About...VaJayJays

One of the most powerful sex-ed exercises that I ever participated in was the one in which we students were asked - mostly to our horror - to name slang terms for our "parts." Because the facilitator then turned it into a feminist-y discussion about positive female body image and societal messages about how "icky" things are "down there." Further, my favorite scenes in Eve Ensler's Vagina Monolgues are those that deal with "nicknames" for vaginas and reclaiming once-disparaging terms ("cunt...cunt...CUNT!").

So it didn't really bother me when strong female character Dr. Bailey on Grey's Anatomy referred to her "vajayjay" under the duress of labor. What does bother me is the fact that the TV censors have problems with the word "vagina." And that discussion about this fact focuses more on the term than on the actual issue: Why are slang terms more "appropriate" for prime time television than standard medical anatomy terms?

Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

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