Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Being frank

WARNING: The soapbox is out.
This may be vulgar, this may be offensive. Stop reading if you are offended easily cause you've been warned.

I was helping at my son's high school and one mom asked if it was warm in this poorly ventelated building. As she was going through "the change" she couldn't tell........ The wha-hut? The change - - -into what? a frog? Can we not say menaupause? When going through puberty, which is a change, we label it "puberty" and we call it that - not "turning on the baby tap" or "becoming smelly". Masking it with vague terminology will make menaupause better?

I'm of the Harry-Potter-insisting-on-saying-Voldemort mindset. Call it what it is. If we don't use accurate terminology, we hide ourselves. If you find it offensive, then don't talk about it. If you talk about it, use the right words. My two year old daughter often says "Mom, we're girls, we have vaginas". I am waiting for the call home from kindergarten on that one. But it's a vagaina... what else should my daughter call it? A ta-ta, hoo-ha, "down there" - like referring to my vagaina as a large island continent make me more comfortable. >sigh<

It reminds me of the moment my older sister (not yet 40) reviewed her bathing-suit clad body, poking at her thighs and mentioning immaterial flaws, and said "some day I'll be 50 and I hope I won't care anymore". Why be unhappy all your life with your body? Accept it, flaunt it, enjoy it. If you don't like it, do something about it. If you can't, then accept it and highlight the great parts. But not accepting yourself because your attributes don't match a china doll is just as nausiating. Read the Robert Fulghum essay about doing what you feel cause it makes you feel good.

Stop holding yourself to an image that is not yourself. Stop devaluing yourself. Refer to your finger as finger, penis as penis, breasts as breasts, vagina as vagina, spleen as spleen and nose as nose. A rose by any other name may smell as sweet, but Romeo and Juliet still ended up dead. Be frank and to the point and the games will stop.

Lecture over. I'll put away the soapbox for today.

1 comment:

Rose said...

Amen, sister! To be effective, language should be precise. And while we're being frank, why all the drama about menopause? It's perfectly natural; women have been doing it for thousands of years, unaided by magic potions and prescription drugs.
The other night, on Jon & Kate Plus 8, one of the little boys explained on camera that he has "a weiner. And Daddy has a weiner." So cute! But I don't think he was talking about hot dogs.