Do you have a vagina or a penis? Maybe you have both? Maybe you had one but now have the other?
Regardless, I will assume everyone reading this has at least one of these two organs. I do and live with it every day.
I was born with it; it’s there when I wake up and it’s there when I go to bed. It is a natural part of me as a human being—it is what defines my gender and is at the core of my identity.
I call my private part a vagina. What do you call yours?…That’s nice.
Unfortunately, there are individuals in the United States who prefer that we not educate our children using these anatomically-correct words, “vagina” and “penis,” to describe our private parts.
In particular, a group of parents in Utah have become so enraged by a teacher’s use of the word “vagina” in a biology lesson that they have filed a complaint.
Amazingly, the Board of Education has obliged them with an investigation.
You can read more about the specifics of the case at Raw Story: Idaho teacher investigated for saying ‘vagina’ during biology lesson.
Some of you may be saying, “Well, they’re Mormons and that’s their right to disagree with what their children learn.”
I would agree with you; however, when does practicing our right become a violation of another person’s rights, the teacher’s rights to pursue his chosen field and teach from the text provided?
Freedom of speech and expression is one of the reasons I am thankful I was born in the United States, but I believe many Americans abuse this right and use it as an excuse to attack people who do not share common spiritual beliefs and/or harmless approaches to living.
I also believe the parents in this case had other options: 1) They could have removed their children from the public education system, and/or 2) They could have chosen to challenge the curriculum, not the teacher.
When we decide to stand against something we do not believe in, we need to be certain we are doing it carefully and not intentionally to cause harm to a single individual or group of individuals. We are allowed to express our dislike for anything.
But shouldn’t we do it more carefully and with a bit of intelligence, compassion and empathy for the other?
The teacher in this case could possibly lose his position, reputation and be made to sign an official disciplinary action against him, because he said “vagina” while facilitating a biology lesson.
Should he have said “va-jay-jay” or “snatch” or “kitty cat” or “foo-foo” or any number of ridiculous euphemisms floating about the mouths and ears of children and adults?
It’s a vagina. End of story.
Paula Carrasquillo is an active yogi, author, and advocate who has lived in numerous watersheds throughout the United States, including Colorado, Maine, Maryland and New Mexico. She currently lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area. Paula is passionate about her family, friends and the motivational and brave people she meets daily through her online writing and social media exchanges. To Paula, every person, place, thing, idea and feeling she encounters is significant and meaningful, even those which she most wants to forget. Follow Paula on Twitter and on her blog.
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Ed: Bryonie Wise