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Black-Iris-III-1926-Georgia-O’KeeffeOh, boy! (or girl)–Food4Thought Friday wants my take on female genitals! (Yes, that’s a Georgia O’Keefe painting that looks like a vagin…I mean, vulva. And, yes, I sure hope her paintings aren’t protected by copyright.)

The most dramatic thing that comes to mind is a huge painting by Ecuadorian master painter Oswaldo Guayasamín depicting the universe emerging from a native woman’s cunt. It makes you think: Hey, everything started with a woman’s pussy. Everything. (The painting is housed in La Capilla del Hombre, the museum in Quito dedicated to Guayasamín’s art.)

On a less dramatic note—actually, what follows is a lot of peeving—this is my chance to rant about two things that drive me up the wall when it comes to women’s reproductive organs (external): shaved pussies and calling the vulva the “vagina.”

First, shaving (or waxing or whatever): Getting past that it’s at the very least inconvenient and, at worst, very painful, removing pubic hair is unhealthy. Google it. Infections. Ingrown hair.  Increased chance of STIs. Genital warts. Think.

Plus, it makes women look pre-adolescent. That’s a sick line of thought I’d rather not pursue, but it speaks for itself. Adult women have hair between their legs. Too long? Gets in your girlfriend’s teeth? Trim it. Just, for god’s sake, don’t shave it all off.

Next rant: If you point between your legs and say, “Look at my vagina” or something equally vague and ridiculous, then what do you say when you specifically want to refer to the hole that is your birth canal? “Look at my hole”? Well, sorry to get all clinical here, but you’ve got more than one. There’s also your urethra (for urine and the mystery fluid that squirters emit) and your a-hole. Asshole.

Okay, English can be a shitty language; there’s no good word for female genitalia that doesn’t sound insulting, puerile or clinical. Pussy works for me, but it’s more a process of elimination. Cunt? Only in context. Vulva? Doctor-ish. Pudenda? Even worse (plus no one knows what it means). Yoni? I like that one, kind of New Age-y. Again, a lot of people won’t know it’s Sanskrit for pussy/cunt/vulva. That leaves pussy.

But “vagina”? Puh-leeze.