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What? We Can’t Say ‘Vagina’?

What Will I Say to Oprah?

And Ė more immediately Ė it makes me wonder what Iím gonna talk about when my book comes out and Iím out there on the talk show circuit!

Canít you see me now? ďSo Oprah. Yes, I wrote a book called ďWhatís Up [bleep] [bleep]. Itís an empowering book committed to helping women learn to love their [bleep]. The way I see it, you have to love your [bleep] to love yourself. Most of us carry so much shame, embarrassment, and trauma in our [bleep] that weíve lost the ability to be truly joyful and vital. I wrote this book to demystify the [bleep], to educate women about [bleep] [bleep], and to remind you that youíre absolutely perfect, just the way you are. Iím here to tell you [bleep] RULE!Ē

Okay, so that didnít go so well. Maybe I need to paint a picture of a little green bush trimmed into a heart. Then whenever I need to use the word ďvagina,Ē Iíll just hold up my prop and smile. HmmÖ.

I’m Not Alone

Iíve discovered that women crave the opportunity to talk about vaginas. Wherever I go, women gather and tell me stories. When I teach workshops and join in community with women, they naturally recreate the Red Tent and talk about what makes them female. Maybe itís me. Maybe having a gynecologist best friend brings it out in women. But I think we need to get rid of this silly taboo and shine a bright Pink light on what makes us female.

Iím not alone in thinking so. According to a study conducted online in August 2009 by Harris Interactive on behalf of Kotex, among more than 1,600 North American women ages 14-35, 7 in 10 women believe it’s time for society to change how it talks about vaginal health, yet less than half (45%) feel empowered to make a difference.

In response to this, Kotex has launched a campaign to get women talking. Theyíve created a series of hysterical ads that poke fun at the whole sterility of feminine hygiene ads. (I mean really, people. Periods are messy. Get real. Own it!)

I say kudos to them. Letís tell it like it is. Letís get this party started. Letís say VAGINA. And letís change the way television (and the rest of the world) talks about what it means to be a woman. I mean, come on. Weíve all got Ďem. Thereís nothing dirty or shameful or icky about them. And donít forget. Vaginas make the world go round.

What do you think? Tell us how you feel. Does all this V-talk turn you off? Are you grossed out? Ramped up? Pissed off? Turned on? Come on. Get real. DishÖ

Read more: Guidance, Health, Inspiration, News & Issues, Uncategorized, Women's Health, , , , , , , ,

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Lissa Rankin

Lissa Rankin, MD is a mind-body medicine physician, founder of the†Whole Health Medicine Institute training program for physicians and other health care providers, and the New York Times bestselling author of†Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself.† She is on a grassroots mission to heal health care, while empowering you to heal yourself.† Lissa blogs at†LissaRankin.com and also created two online communities -†HealHealthCareNow.com and†OwningPink.com. She is also the author of two other books, a professional artist, an amateur ski bum, and an avid hiker. Lissa lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband and daughter.

193 comments

+ add your own
11:17AM PDT on May 13, 2014

VAGINA!!! :)

12:32AM PDT on Apr 28, 2013

Thank you :)

1:40AM PDT on Oct 7, 2012

Vagina is a much nicer word than some other horrific words used in its place.

4:49AM PST on Dec 6, 2011

Thanks for the article.

11:11AM PDT on Aug 12, 2011

Can't say vagina, can't say penis, can't say..........! Can say erectile dysfunction (what's dysfunctioning? ). America seems to be the only country thats ashamed of the human body.

8:47AM PDT on Aug 12, 2011

Thank you

9:28PM PST on Mar 10, 2011

As I was picturing your Book Cover..I had the strangest vision of a MERKIN...in the raging shade of purple...used to cover DA VAG...do you think they'd go for it?

2:25PM PST on Mar 10, 2011

Language has so many restrictions in society. It's pretty sad.

10:58AM PST on Mar 10, 2011

My 24 year old daughter brought me this story: She and a group of her friends went to their favorite bar on a Thursday night. When they went to pay the cover charge, the bouncer at the door told them 'No cover charge, it's Ladies Night.' Without a pause, one of my daughters friends threw her hands in the air and shouted 'Yay...go vaginas!!' When I was 24, I would have died on the spot, and probably been thrown out of the bar. Now, I thought it was possibly one of the funniest things I'd heard.

3:05PM PST on Nov 28, 2010

I don't have a problem with vagina, or penis, but what I do dislike is the constant bombardment of commercials for feminine hygiene products, erectile dysfunction pills, enhancement lube, etc. etc. Just my thought, for what it is worth.

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