Apparently under the assumption that changing the names of parts of the very real female anatomy will somehow make them less real, the editors behind one leading medical website have decided to rename the vagina.
In July, Healthline, which has a national ranking of 221 from Alexa, published an “LGBTQIA Safe Sex Guide,” which outlines why the word “vagina” is no longer an appropriate term to describe female genitalia. Instead, the proper phrase is “front hole.”
The author of the article, which was “medically reviewed” by licensed clinical psychologist and sex therapist Janet Brito, Ph.D., decided against “solely using the medical term” for female anatomy in an effort to use “gender-inclusive language that’s considerate of the fact that some trans people don’t identify with the labels the medical community attaches to their genitals.”
As the article makes clear, the reasoning behind the absurd shift is rooted in the fact that people’s actual anatomy is getting in the way of their determined sexual identities. To get around that impossible conundrum, some are just changing the meaning of words altogether:
These guides also often unnecessarily gender body parts as being “male parts” and “female parts” and refer to “sex with women” or “sex with men,” excluding those who identify as nonbinary. Many individuals don’t see body parts as having a gender — people have a gender.
And as a result, the notion that a penis is exclusively a male body part and a vulva is exclusively a female body part is inaccurate. By using the word “parts” to talk about genitals and using medical terms for anatomy without attaching a gender to it, we become much more able to effectively discuss safe sex in a way that’s clear and inclusive.
This kind of thinking isn’t necessarily new.
In January, sex educator Kenna Cook explained to Bustle why the phrase “vaginal sex” is “heteronormative,” the understanding that heterosexual interaction is the only “natural expression of sexuality,” according to Merriam-Webster.
“Language for sex that is coded in anatomy is meant to reinforce a heteronormative, reproductive-based idea of sex,” Cook said. “[T]he terms people use for their sexual body parts are a large contributor to them feeling comfortable engaging in certain sex acts.”
She added, “Some trans men don’t refer to their genitals with female-coded language, opting for ‘boy hole’ or ‘front hole.’”
In this day and age, it appears, anything goes.