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Saying the Word "Vagina" Is NOT Taboo

It's likely that when you were little you were taught to use 'nicer' euphemisms for your vagina like 'private parts' or 'girly bits'. Perhaps now, you still avoid using the word in favor of 'down there' or 'vajayjay' because of some sense that the anatomical word is taboo. Well, if the new Legalize V campaign has it their way, you'll stop using these slang words immediately and start saying 'vagina'—loud and proud.

 

"There are forces at work that don't want us using this word (aloud or in writing). It's been labeled inappropriate, vulgar, offensive, profane," the brand's mission statement explains. The group argues that this stigmatization and censorship needs to be removed so that the word vagina can be viewed as "a powerful tool with which women can take ownership of their bodies, their sexuality, their health, their overall well-being, and even their safety."

It might seem hard to believe that the words you use can have a real impact on your health, but as Legalize V points out, women are actually less likely to report sexual abuse if they haven't learned about and don't use anatomically correct language for their body. Not to mention, when the word 'vagina' is considered shameful, it conditions women to actually feel ashamed and embarrassed about their bodies, which can cause them to avoid speaking up and seeking help for sexual health issues. In fact, according to one study conducted by the British organization Ovarian Cancer Action, 66 percent of young women said they'd be embarrassed to say the word 'vagina' to their own doc, and 57 percent said they'd rather Google symptoms than visit an OB-GYN for a sexual health issue—woah, scary. (Here, 9 topics you should always discuss with your gynecologist.)

It's no wonder women feel that it's taboo language, considering the use of the word 'vagina' is banned in many forms of media and advertising, Facebook, and Google, "even though we see ads about the dangers of a 4-hour erection everywhere," says the group's website. That's why the goal of their movement is to enlist the help of women, men, health care professionals, educators, and brands to "give everyone the freedom and power to say the word vagina (or when appropriate vulva)" and to finally destigmatize the V-word.

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