Lawrence of Alabia

April 28, 2012

The title refers to a slip of the tongue (haha) I made at a girls night out the other week. I can’t really remember the actual conversation, but I was still sniggering about it when I woke up the next day and it set me thinking. What to call genitalia has always been steeped in difficulty if you are female. Somehow there appear to be acceptable words for boys – like willy – that everyone understands and no one finds offensive. Then there is the progression to dick, prick or cock which you wouldn’t necessarily expect primary schoolers to use, but are routine in adolescent and adult conversations. Even the anatomically correct penis gets a look in in general conversation or at the doctor’s surgery. Contrast this with the little girl. There is no ‘willy’equivalent. There is the euphemistic and entirely unacceptable ‘front bottom’ – what message is that giving a 5 year old? Or a plethora of idiosyncratic names like ‘fairy’, ‘twinkle’ ‘minnie’ or ‘bits’ none of which are as universally accepted or acceptable as willy.

Even as adults the various terms for vagina and vulva are generally seen as crude and used as a harsh insult, whereas nob and prick are fairly jocular terms of abuse. The only good thing about all this is that I see it as the sign of a great night ahead if someone uses the C word in a lighthearted way the first time I meet them.


5 Responses to “Lawrence of Alabia”

  1. Laura Adams Says:

    your blog reminded of the Caitlin Moran book – How to be a woman, she devotes a large part of a chapter to the correct naming of female bits! hers as yours had me giggling

    • Thanks Laura – yes I didn’t think I’d be the first to be irritated by the issue. Front bottom really sticks in my throat and I want to shout at people who use it (even though some are good friends!!). FFS you don’t shit with it!! It’s not a bottom in any way shape or form. It is something much more exciting! I must get hold of her book x

      • Laura Adams Says:

        Definitely worth a read, i thought it wouldnt be my cup of tea but a friend of mine who i a) trust her opinion and b) is in the book world (publisher/editor or something) said i should give her a chance, so have done and can say my ride on the picalilli line has been much better for it!

        love your blog and look forward to your daily posts

        in fact at hilo drinks the other evening there was table of people praising your blog!

  2. Janet Says:

    Feminists say this demonstrates our patriarchal society’s view that womens sexual and reproductive functions are disgusting and shameful.

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