I Say Vagina; You Say What? ~ Paula Carrasquillo

Via elephant journal
on Mar 28, 2013
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Vagina, vagina, vagina! Penis, penis, penis!

Do you have a vagina or a penis? Maybe you have both? Maybe you had one but now have the other?

Who knows.

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 Elephant Journal Bio and ProfilePaula 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


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2 Responses to “I Say Vagina; You Say What? ~ Paula Carrasquillo”

  1. Leisha Mareth says:

    Aw come on. It isn't about being Mormon (remember? I am one! Vagina! Vagina! Vagina!) It is more about the mentality of the region. City Mormons are different from country bumpkin Mormons. Mormons aren't a stereotype, we are all individuals. Our leaders encourage early and thorough sex education by parents first and foremost. I went to a Mormon college in Idaho my first year of school. The English professor was reading a passage that had the word masturbation in it. She refused to SAY the word. She hummed instead every time the word came up. We, the students, from all over the country looked at her like she was insane. (Vagina!)

  2. Maree says:

    yeah I don't understand why people find vagina or penis offensive, but then they say something else to call it? Is it just the name or the actual body part that they find offensive? Then why do they call it anything at all? If 'muffin' means vagina, then it's the same, right? Except 'Muffin' isn't what it's actually called, and I don't know why it's wrong to call it what it's supposed to be called in the first place. Kids knowing the names of their body parts aren't going to suddenly go sex crazy for goodness sake! And when growing up, they're not going to hear this and that and be wondering what the hell it is.