Vagina. The word has caused quite the flurry this week due to its use (gasp!) in a Carefree TV ad. But seriously, what’s the big deal? The ad was on air for about a millisecond when the self-righteous segment of the community complained to the ad watchdog and on Facebook. How dare J&J use the correct term to refer to female genitalia? On national TV?! Won’t somebody please think of the children?!
Vagina is just a word, much like penis. And yet somehow it stirred a reaction I still can’t fathom. Why is it still taboo to mention a word which refers to a body part 50% of us have? Spruiking a product directly related to vaginas in a frank and non-gratuitous way, no less. The word vagina doesn’t need to be hidden from view like an embarrassing drunk uncle, nor does it need to be encased in quote marks or masked as the ‘V bomb’.
When J&J released its ad this week and claimed it was the first time an Australian ad had used the word, what surprised me was not J&J’s so-called bravery, but that it hadn’t been done before.
It’s time to grow up and normalise its use. Continued ‘hands over mouth’ reactions over the word will only serve to place a value on vaginas as something other than an anatomical part. It’s not as though anyone referred to it as a vajayjay, a pussy, a snatch, a flower, a gift (thank you Tony Abbott) or any other potentially objectionable term or euphemism.
And for those people who complained about being confronted about women’s bodily functions, such as discharge, over dinner, here’s a list of things I’d rather not see: drooling babies, visceral depictions of mouth cancer and self-referential supermarket ads with faded rockers (saving money is not ‘never annoying’). I guess we all have our crosses to bear, but somehow, I think I’ll get over them.
Something sending you into a fit of rage? Instead of just complaining to the colleague next to you, why not become a Keyboard Warrior instead? Send 200-300 words to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject 'Anonymous'. Obviously we will not publish anything defamatory, so please use your common sense.