so offensive, I don’t even want to say it in front of women,” complained Representative Mike Callton (R: Michigan). “I would not say that in mixed company.” A ban on a word that is a medical term used to describe our female genitalia? Politics and mainstream media will not allow the word "vagina: to be said out loud without some sort of backlash. We need to change this reality for the sake of women’s health, especially since there doesn’t seem to be a problem in mainstream advertising for the treatment of erectile dysfunction! I am counting on our younger generations of women to help lead the way and change the narrative on how we talk about our health, our bodies, and especially, our vaginas. Women need to take control of their bodies in every way. We cannot be afraid to ask uncomfortable questions. We need to learn and explore the changes our bodies experience throughout our lifetime. The conversation needs to start at a young age with our girls, daughters, nieces and granddaughters. It’s not just one “talk” we need to have with our daughters. There are many “talks” about their bodies and overall health that needs to happen depending on the developmental (hormonal!) milestone and what is age-appropriate. Before you start talking about human sexuality and sexual behaviors you have to have created an environment where your daughter feels comfortable discussing other sensitive topics such as puberty, proper nutrition, body image issues, recreational alcohol, tobacco and drug use. When young girls learn about their body part—“here is my nose, my ears, my belly button”---they need to learn and use the word vagina from an early age so they become comfortable with their own anatomy. When mothers teach their daughters code names for their vagina, such as "Vajaja", this does not move the needle in the right direction of changing this narrative.
If mothers or other role models to young girls don’t initiate these types of sensitive topics, your daughter will find other ways of learning about her health and wellness from other resources. This is where the problem lies. Social media and porn have damaged our children in how they look at themselves. It’s important for moms to normalize these conversations between a mother and daughter. The more comfortable and candid you can make these conversations, the more relaxed your daughter will be when her breast buds, period, body image concerns and sexual health issues present themselves to her. In life there are a handful of sensitive subjects that feel completely awkward between a mother and a daughter and talking about her first period, breast development, pubic hair, the vagina, where babies come from and sexual health. In