Monday, January 08, 2007

and while we're on the subject of search strings

(or were, before that message from our Bizarro World sponsors)

okay. since I last wrote about this, of course i now just keep getting it all the time, or variations on't. and now, obviously, if i write the phrase again, i'll just keep getting it even more ("Jehovah! Jehovah! Jehovah!") but, it must be done. (deep sigh):

having clicked on the string myself, think I now have a better understanding of what was meant. (by not a few people, apparently). Is everything all tidy and tucked away; or are there protruding fleshy bits visible. Would appear to be the question. Along with much really unnecessary consternation whether the latter is normal, appetizing, needs fixin', etc. etc.

But, anyway, lookit: first of all, the word you are looking for is







There is no such thing as an "outie vagina;" unless perhaps you are being cutesy about more traditionally male-associated genitals; or, unless you have a very serious problem indeed.

All clear? Good. This will be on the test.


Veronica said...

Alright, I'll admit it:

I understood what was meant by "outie" versus "innie" vagina right off the bat. I find it really disturbing that someone would have to ask which is more common, though, as it's indicative of 1.) someone with very little Real Live Vulva experience and 2.) someone that's flipped through way, way, way too many porn mags.

R. Mildred said...

1.) someone with very little Real Live Vulva experience and 2.) someone that's flipped through way, way, way too many porn mags.

And at a stroke we've narrowed it down to all "rad"fems, anti-fems, fundies and republican politicians.

belledame222 said...

huh huh huh. "at a stroke." huh, huh, huh...

Rootietoot said...

Thank you for that. It has always annoyed me that people would use vagina and vulva interchangebly. They frequently use rectum and anus interchangebly, but everyone knows what a hemorrhoid is.
Then the talk about innie and outie vagina cropped up and I'm know, cows get outie vaginas, it's called a prolapse and requires the use of a medical professional.Anyone walking around with an outie vagina would be in a world of hurt. Ok, at the real risk of sounding like I'm tooting my own horn, I just put up a couple of pictures on my blog that are strangely pertinent to the topic.

Alex said...

I gotta admit: I know the difference, and I still call it a vagina, at least in private. I know. I'm shameful.

Trin said...

My junk protrudes. I can't imagine having "artistic" junk. That would be so not fun!

Sage said...

This has always been a pet peeve of mine. I'm not sure why. I think it's because calling the vulva a vagina is reducing all the wonderful things a vulva can do down to that one part that's of most interest to the phallically endowed.

I mean, people don't accidentally refer to their arm as their elbow. So why call a vulva a vagina?

What's currently making me nuts (or ovaries) is my neighbour, a midwife, who just doesn't like the word vulva, so she calls the outer labia, clitorus, urethra, and inner labia all the vagina. Go figure.

(word verification: "godfme" - you go, god!)

R. Mildred said...

There's nothing funny about a stroke young lady, my mother had a stroke once... and she liked it so much she died of a chronically sprained finger tendon.

My junk protrudes. I can't imagine having "artistic" junk. That would be so not fun!

That's such a corruption of the word artistic, you could maybe say it was minimalistic, which is a sort of artistic style...

But personally it's the surrealistic ones that really deserve the term artistic - the ones that look like ears or small monochrome renditions of hiroshige woodcuts.

Ruth said...

This is a big pet peeve of mine, since I didn't know the word "vulva" until I found it myself in some "Our Bodies, Ourselves" type book when I was around 16. My mom referred to everything "down there" as a vagina. She probably STILL doesn't know the word vulva.

Cut to present: I have two sons, one of whom is autistic. Still, I hate the whole thing of using silly names for genitals, and I always told my sons what their parts were called: penis, scrotum, etc. When they were old enough to ask if girls also have penises, I told them no, girls have a vulva and a vagina. My son with autism doesn't really get the whole concept of what should be private, so for a few months he would occasionally surprise me and some poor unsuspecting woman, with whom he was exactly vulva-high, by pointing and saying "that's a vulva."


Jessica Dreadful said...

I'm not trying to be crude here, but it makes me wonder:
So since we're on the subject of terminology, do you think that most slang (ex: "cunt" "cooch" "pussy") is referring to the vulva as well?

Unsane said...

"outie" versus "innie" vagina right off the bat."

no, no, no!

NO bats!

Trin said...

I honestly use "cunt" (and infrequently "pussy", but I hate that word) to refer to everything... I think there needs to be some general word that can refer to both. But that may involve the same mistake. Somehow though it doesn't bother me the way calling it all "vagina" does.

For example, I have no problem with someone saying she shaves her cunt/pussy, but I wince and whimper when someone tells me she shaves her vagina, because... um... OW! Razor blades are not insertables!

Tuffy said...

Not vulva, but labia-related: I went to the doc to get a bump on my labia checked out, and the nurse doing the prep routine asked why I was there. I said I had a bump on my labia. She said...

"On your what?"

On my labia, I repeated. "On your labia?" she repeated in a "What the hell?" kind of voice. I was stunned. Stunned! Unfortunately I was also a bit intimidated by her pugnacious manner, so instead of saying, "You're a NURSE and you don't know what a LABIA is?!" I just pointed at my crotch.

Veronica said...

Unsane, you have entered Bat Country.

Republic of Palau said...

Be glad your're not British and have to hear the dreadful euphemism 'front bottom'.

My sister the prude taught her own daughters to call their pudendae their 'tuppence', thus neatly tying the notion of feminity to money and pay. Well done that woman!

And I hesitate to bring this up but 'ugly' labia (guess by whose criteria they're considered ugly) are now being regularly cosmetically 'corrected' via labiaplasty.


Interrobang said...

Your pardon, Republic of Palau, but I find "front bottom" hilarious. Then again, when I was a wee thing about two feet tall, my mom used the term "front bum," and substituting "bottom" for "bum" just adds an extra layer of prudelicious fun. :)

Cassandra Says said...

"Outie vagina"? Is this person 12 years old?
I agree with Veronica - sounds to me like someone whose only contact with vaginas or vulvas has been looking at porn.
I hate all the slang terms for vagina. I really do. Any time a man says "pussy" in front of me I want to punch him. I have no problem with swearing in general, but slang words for parts of the female body...grr. Don't stand too close to me when you say that.
Although I have to admit that "front bottom" would make me giggle just because it's so very British. My Scottish grandmother said "girl bits", which is unfortunate as the word "bit" makes me think of horses.

The Scarlet Pervygirl said...

I hesitate to criticize a person who's doing wonderful work (particularly with the proceeds from the show), but I was really, really upset by just this very thing when I saw *The Vagina Monologues* for the first time. An intelligent woman and a feminist should not, I feel as an English major, mis-label a complex and interesting set of organs with a reductive and androcentric term, no matter how weird she thinks the word "vulva" is, and, yeah, it is pretty weird.

I'm also not fond of the word "pudendum," both because it sounds even weirder than "vulva" and because its Latin origin means "a shameful thing" or "a source of shame." I understand sexologists have started calling the formerly named pudendal nerve the more accurate and value neutral "genital nerve complex", and I'll be pretty happy if "pudendum" just drops out of the language. Oh, the OED will still have it, of course, but what can you do.

I think what cows suffer from is a prolapsed uterus, wherein the uterus is pushed (usually via birth contractions) out of the body, which also causes part of the vagina to protrude. Think of it as there being a sock inside the back end of the cow, the entrance to the sock being the entrance to the vagina and the foot of the sock being the uterus; the uterine contractions have the same effect as sticking your hand into the sock, grabbing it by the toe seam, and pulling it inside out. Fun.

I'm embarrassed to say, though, that I don't in fact know what a hemorrhoid is; apparently I'm reaching for a goal of keeping my command of information as arcane and impractical as possible.

D Houston said...

I just happen to be researching this because my daughter thinks she has an "outie" although most of you made fun of this... people are using this term. My daughter is 16 and her labia protrudes out a lot. It almost looks like a rose. I know, because she is so ashamed that she asked me to look and see if she needed to go to the doctor. I didn't take her for that reason, and did take her to an obgyn, but didn't ask about it. Nothing was said either. so.... what is it when your labia is huge? Seriously, it comes out and covers about half of her lips... To me, despite the ridicule... I would say this is an outie, like an outie belly button.

belledame222 said...

Hey, D Houston,

People weren't primarily making fun of the idea of "outie" labia (absolutely, lots of women and girls have them), but that the string was "outie VAGINA." at least, I was. Vulva, maybe; vagina, ouchno.

You know, there's this great little book called Femalia ; I was going to say, if you can get a hold of it it'd be a great present for your daughter; I nearly plotzed when I saw it's going for $85 on Amazon! I guess it's out of print, alas. Above link has some discount sources. shrug.

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