Getting Real with Kira Hazledine
Now that I’m thinking about it, a lot of people asked me a very weird question when Hallie was first born. “What is Hallie going to call her parts?” Uhm… what? I must have been in a newborn baby stupor to not respond with more sass. I replied to everyone who asked (you weirdos) that she would call “her parts” what they are: a vagina. Hallie has a vagina. Yes, I said it, I’ll say it again, and when Hallie can say it, I’m sure she’ll be happy to tell you all about it.
Why the shock-factor?
Most people laughed, but others, including my mother-in-law, were shocked. “Vagina” makes her blush, bless her heart, so I purposefully use the word as often as possible in conversation to make her uncomfortable. (She knows that I do such things and loves me anyways). Hallie’s female cousins in England refer to their nether-regions as a “frum,” which means “front-bum.” It’s adorable, admittedly, and definitely PC. But I am in no uncertain terms a PC kind of mom. And really, what is the big deal? It is what it is.
Vagina is not a dirty word.
I’m honestly not worried about whether anyone, peers, teachers, or family members, consider “vagina” to be an inappropriate word. I don’t care if it makes you uncomfortable, and I truly can’t wait for the day someone tries to chide me on Hallie’s correct use of her own anatomy (within context of course). Hallie will also know that the correct term for a boy’s anatomy is “penis,” less out of direct education and more out of her father and I playing the Penis Gamein supermarkets. *If you’ve never played, it’s simply starting out saying “penis” at a whisper and escalating in volume back and forth between players until someone chickens out. * We’re mature, I know.
Safety is my priority.
My reasoning? Safety. It doesn’t matter what is PC. My child’s safety is much more important than if you think “vagina” or “penis” should come out of a young girl’s mouth. If someone is touching Hallie inappropriately or asking Hallie about her anatomy, I want her to be able to tell me and the authorities. I also want Hallie to know that only she has rights to her body, and no one else. There have been horrible cases of abuse, where a child reported something at school, but no one could interpret that “sharing her cookie” was an uncle asking to touch her vagina.
Sorry, not sorry.
This is also important. I will never ask my daughter to apologize for being a woman. There is nothing scary about the term “vagina.” It’s just like an arm or a leg, and is only sexualized because society says so. And if you try to convince me that a vagina is only a sexual object, you’ve obviously never seen someone give birth. There is NOTHING sexy about that, and my husband still doesn’t look at me the same. It’s just a word, it’s just a body part, and it’s a reality that Hallie will grow up with. A vagina is only one part of her beautiful, strong self, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. It does not define her and it will not be stigmatized, not in my house.
Do what you will with your own, of course. We all have our quirks, and this is one of mine. Just don’t be shocked when your child comes home from school wondering why another girl’s vagina is called a “flower.” Sorry, not sorry.