It’s no secret that most of the slang words for “vagina” are violent or disgusting at worst and sexist at best. You don’t have to walk around saying “vagina” instead of anything else, but there are definitely some vag nicknames you need to avoid, especially the secretly sexist terms. If you’ve been saying these words, don’t feel bad – I’m going to be that you never realized how problematic these words are. That’s why I’m here to fill you in and make you more ~woke, as the cool kids say.
There are some icky words that mean “vagina,” but not all of them are necessarily bad. Regardless of how you may feel towards some of the more hated euphemisms for vagina, not all of them are sexist. For example, “beaver” was initially used in reference to the beaver pelt merkins prostitutes used to wear in the 1800’s. Snatch is a hybrid of illicit sexual activity as well as the dated slang for money at the time, “scratch.” As used in a sentence, “no scratch, no snatch.” Or, in the immortal words of Missy Elliot, “Girls, girls get that cash / If it’s 9-to-5 or shaking your ass / A’int no shame, ladies do your thang / Just make sure you ahead of the game.” Cunt, which is arguably the most detested and contested word, in general, in the English language, it’s root word has been used to describe queens and goddesses across multiple civilizations and cultures. See? Not sexist. Really quite badass when you think about it. The negative connotation behind these words come from gendered insults and the weird belief that women and our genitals are inherently bad for some reason.
Sexism is alive and well and it lives in all of our vocabularies. I took some of the most detested words I could think of for vagina and found out the meaning behind them. Turns out, some are more sexist than others. These eight in particular are some of the key offenders in sexist slang for vagina, so maybe call it quits on these phrases, shall we?
FlowerThis word becomes sexist when discussing virginity. Your "flower" is supposed to be something delicate and special to be given to one person and one person only. Anyone who's endured abstinence leaning or any other sex-shaming sex ed class will tell you how many times a crumpled up flower metaphor was thrown around. It gives the impression that having sex "ruins" you, which isn't true. It also makes it seem like vaginas are supposed to be dainty, pretty, or smell nice and well... that's not always the case, y'all.Source: iStock
CupcakeWhy is calling your vagina "cupcake" a bad thing? In comparing your vagina to a sweet dessert, the intent is to infantalize and make your vag something intended for consumption, which, hey - yes girl, get yours. But it's a little reductive in a "sexy baby" sort of way. You know, the kind of sexy where women are supposed to be virginal and naive until they're having sex and everything turns on hyper drive? That. Source: iStock
PussyPussy was used to describe cats long before the word was likened with vaginas. The key intermediary step is when pussy started being used as a word to refer to cowardly, passive people. The kind of people who would just let stuff happen to them without speaking up. Then, that word became applicable to vaginas, leaning more heavily on the meek and passive side of things instead of the cat side of things. Lest we forget, women are receivers of sexuality, not autonomous people in charge of their own pleasure. Gross.Source: iStock
BoxI polled some friends for this piece and my friend said that he hated the word box. Why? It's reductive. He has a point. So a vagina is just a box? It's a thing to put stuff in and not much else? No thank you please. You can do better. We all can, to be honest.Source: iStock
Meat CurtainsThis phrase is meant to evoke negative connotations in regards to "extroverted" vaginas aka vaginas where the labia minora is longer than the majora. Or, in this misguided attempt at slut shaming, lose vaginas. There is so much wrong with this phrasing it's hard to find a positive or empowering meaning behind it, even in the context of a joke. Meat curtains and the like makes my skin crawl when I hear it. Source: Twitter
GashThe same goes for hatchet wound, axe wound, any evocative image wherein a vagina is synonymous with an open bleeding sore. Not even on our periods is this kosher or cool because let's be clear: menstruation isn't a person being wounded, it's us bleeding for a week straight and not dying. It's regenerating and rebuilding. It isn't an open festering sore. Get out of here with that nonsense. Source: iStock
Cum DumpsterYour vagina is a trash recepticle for bodily fluids! Especially of the boy variety! NO! Get out of here with that bullshit. How insulting is "cum dumpster"? No vagina is trash. Way to make everything sound dirty and wrong, cum dumpster, please get out of everyone's vocabulary right now. Source: iStock
Sausage WalletLadies and other vagina havers, what are we if not places to put a penis? Here, we're only contextualized in service to men. It's where they put their sausage. Get it? We aren't the thing that's doing, we're the thing that's being done unto. Cool. If you really wanted to read into this phrase and remove the word "sausage" from it, you're just left with "wallet" which implies your vagina is where you keep your value. I know it's a stretch, but it's hard to ignore the etymology behind it.Source: iStock
Which words do you hate the most? Which ones do you think are sexist? Do you have any more to add? Let us know in the comments!
You can follow the author, Aliee Chan, on Twitter.