(Ok, first off...You should know that I have my hand raised so high I'm almost lifting myself off the seat primary school pupil style).
I've seen a fair bit of talk about this issue online in the past few weeks; if you haven't then I imagine you're probably quite confused and maybe even a bit weirded out right now (and our social media feeds must be very different) but yeah, this discussion surrounding the fact that for years we've been confusing the words 'vagina' and 'vulva', how difficult it seems to be to use the proper name for 'our bits' (see?!) and how being able to is actually very important, especially when it comes to raising kids, has been rearing its head recently.
Up until a couple a weeks ago, I thought "Yeah, I suppose that is a bit daft not being able to use the anatomical names for parts of our own body, having to come up with fluffy euphemisms and not being able to talk clearly, even with healthcare professionals, about places that may need some attention. I'm going to be an empowered Feminist from now on and call a spade a spade, a vagina a vagina and a vulva a vulva. There's nothing embarrassing about this at all."
Then I had to visit the hospital one evening with a sick child and was asked by the triage nurse, did said child have any rashes on her body?
"Erm...well..", I stumbled around for an answer, and specifically a word that didn't make me sound like a bloody idiot, but for some reason decided to settle for 'bum, but up at the front". FFS woman. In hindsight, I'm pleased I went for 'bum, but up at the front' rather than 'fairy', 'foof' or 'moo-moo' cos apparently they're popular choices, and I'm EXTRA pleased I didn't get really flustered and use Larry David's noun of choice.
"What, like her...vagina, like?!" even the nurse was grimacing as if she hadn't seen at least one that wasn't hers that day already. Surely that's a common enough event for a nurse? Any nurses want to give an approximate number?
Anyway, I grimaced back and said "Yeah".
This back and forth was repeated later on, with a doctor who also referred to what is actually the vulva, as a vagina.
Although I wasn't overly surprised at my own awkwardness and unwillingness to use the proper words (I'm sure I've told you before about my cowardice?), I was surprised at that of the professionals whose job it is to actually deal with anatomy.
They both called it a 'vagina' which is actually only the internal part of a woman's genitals; what they were referring to is actually a vulva, the outside bit.
That's my story of mentally reclaiming the word 'vulva', but then bottling it when I actually had a rare opportunity to actually use it.
Like I said at the beginning of this post, if you follow the same discussions online as me then then this vagina/vulva confusion may have already been solved and this little anecdote hopefully gave you a bit of a laugh.
If you didn't know the difference between a vagina and vulva before, hopefully you do now and you can consider my tale of cringe an added bonus to today's 'something you learn everyday'.