Bad Words

It started a few weeks ago, when I asked co-worker A if her cervix was at all dilated and effaced. (Actually, to be technical, I asked what her Bishop's Score was, and when she didn't know what that was; I asked if she was dilated.)

Co-worker B was horrified. Horrified that I would say the word cervix. Horrified that I was so blase. Horrified about an unspeakably personal question. And (horrified!) a male co-worker heard me say the word cervix. (Because men have never heard of a cervix. Ever.) She lectured me on how inappropriate this discussion was. She tried to tell me the word was 'bad'. Says I: "It's called a cervix. When it dilates, you are closer to having a baby. It's not a dirty word, it's not a bad word, it's an anatomical term."


I was sitting at my desk on Monday, and people in the next pod over were talking about Jasmine Fiore. And I hear this:

They identified her by her, you know. Implants.


She had implants in her . . . you know.


She had implants in her boobies.


Let's all say it together. The word is breasts. They are called breasts. Women have breasts.

Breasts are not dirty. Neither are cervixes.


If we won't own the words that describe our bodies, how do we ever expect our self-respect, our identity as women, our health to be taken seriously?

Say it with me.


You have them. So do I. Let's use the right words. Let's teach the right words to our sons and daughters.

I mean it.