Is everyone still alive? Did anyone have a heart attack when they saw the title of this post?
By now you've probably all heard about the three girls who were suspended from school for saying the word "vagina".
At a school event, three honour students at a suburban New York high school read a selection from Eve Ensler's "Vagina Monologues". They were warned in advance not to utter the terrible word, but they did. The girls say, "We want to make it clear that we didn't do this to be defiant of the school administration. We did it because we believe in the word vagina, and because we believe it's not a bad word. It shouldn't be a word that is ever censored, and the way in which we used it was respectable."
School officials insist the girls were not suspended for what they said, but for insubordination: they were told not to do something, and they did it anyway.
But why were they told not to? Because, according to the New York Times, "young children could be in the audience"!
Young children? How young do you have to be to not know what a vagina is? Not what it looks like, or even what it does, and forget about the lengths people will go to be near one. Just what it is. If you're old enough to be in school, you should know what a vagina is. And if you're so young that you don't know what a vagina is, you won't understand anything that's being said, so it really doesn't matter.
When it comes to things biological or sexual, I didn't grow up in a very progressive household. But I knew the correct names for the body parts that I have, and the ones that I don't have. I knew the words vagina and penis. The other words for those parts I found out on my own, like everyone else. Are there really parents out there who don't want kids to know the correct name for parts of their anatomy? Don't answer that, my head will explode.
The three girls have gotten tons of support, including a phone call from Eve Ensler. Fun!
If you don't know some of the the background to this story, you can read about it at Chez Crabbi. Not long ago, I blogged about people going nuts over the word "scrotum" in a children's book - also used in a completely non-sexual context.
This stuff just baffles me. I mean absolutely baffles.
Hey, is it just me, or do you think the New York Times headline writer was having a little fun with this headline: 'Monologues' Spurs Dialogue on Taste and Speech?