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luckybookWhat does it take to cause a commotion? These days, it turns out that just saying "vagina" or "scrotum" can get you into trouble.Three students in a New York high school were told by their administrators that they could not use the word vagina that appears in Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues (let's not discuss that vagina is in the title...). The students chose to do so anyway and were promptly suspended. Of course, any smart administrator would just let this go but instead, they get a controversy. These girls made the right decision:

"Leading up to the performance, the girls had debated whether to say the word that they knew would get them into trouble. One idea they discussed was to not actually say the word, but rather hold up a sign with the word written on it.

Ultimately, however, they decided to say "vagina" because they did not feel they had the liberty to change a work of art.

All three girls read the final line together, as a sign of unity."

LinkI've already written about the ridiculous replacing of the word "Vagina" with Hoo-Haa in a marquee for the same play (oh Eve Ensler, who know how many problems your play would create). Fortunately, "Vagina" is back in all of its glory.LinkThe last story of puritanical censorship actually doesn't involve the word "vagina" (I was starting to see a trend); instead, it's "scrotum" that is causing all of the problems. Because it appears in a children's book (and is the site of a rattlesnake bite - ouch!) tongue tied librarians and parents across the country have decided they would rather ban the book then have to explain to their children the simple fact of what a scrotum is (that is, if they even ask).This book actually sounds really funny. Check it out:

"The book's heroine, a scrappy 10-year-old orphan named Lucky Trimble, hears the word through a hole in a wall when another character says he saw a rattlesnake bite his dog, Roy, on the scrotum.

''Scrotum sounded to Lucky like something green that comes up when you have the flu and cough too much,'' the book continues. ''It sounded medical and secret, but also important.''

First of all - it's a dog's scrotum - not even a boy. Second, the protagonist is a girl who clearly is very smart. Why ban books with good female characters just because of one word. We are truly throwing out the baby with the bath water here.LinkWhy is it that we have such a hard time discussing medical terminology for genitalia in public? If the rattlesnake had bitten someone on their "pussy", I could see how some people might not want to explain all of the connotations surrounding a rarely-used word (in some circles). Scrotum and vagina are not slang or derisive. They are probably the most common "acceptable" usages for those body parts but instead of teaching ourselves how to talk about them, we ban and suspend them or replace them with far less useful words like "hoo-haa".At Babeland every day we say words that make most people giggle. When I talk about the shaft or clitoris, I know that some people blush but the more I talk about them, the less blushing there will be. We only get better with practice.