There is a musical being written somewhere in the world about the suffrage movement. It’s a comedy. I can’t be more specific as it’s not had public release yet and I don’t have permission, so you’ll just have to take my word for it.
There was a rehearsed reading held a few months ago, and this happened:
The show contains a song, sung by women, that features the word ‘scrote’. As you’ve probably figured out, it’s meant to be hilarious, and I have it on good authority that it is. At the discussion afterwards, a member of the audience (an actress) took issue with the fact that female characters used that word. She didn’t have a problem with men saying it.
Once I’ve gotten over the irony of a woman seeing a play about the feminist movement and expecting the females characters to have less of a right to any words, there are two ways in which this baffles me.
First, as we know, there are women actively fighting for the right to use the word ‘vagina’ simply because it’s a perfectly normal word which describes a perfectly normal thing. Scrotum, surely, is exactly the same. Why is it still considered unseemly for a girl to say either of them? And not just them, all words. Penis. Testicles. Vulva. Clitoris.
Second, again, as I’m sure we’re agreed on, dick jokes are pretty funny. Dicks are pretty funny. Can we all be allowed to laugh about them, please, regardless of whether or not we have them?
Scrotum is a fabulous word. Say it with me. Scrotum. Did you just grin a little? Probably. Also, vulva. Aren’t those Vs fun? Vulva.
We’re all ok, right? None of the girls are any more or less girly for having said them. None of the boys are experiencing any adverse effects.
We won the vote. We won ownership of our own bodies. Why is language not as fully ours? Words are great. All of the words are great.
Language is ours, of course, if we’ve the sense to use it, and to not be offended by other people’s use of it. Let’s just get over it, shall we?
One more time: scrotum.
Janina is addicted to dark chocolate and peppermint tea. She once made a burger so good she has a picture of the occasion on her bedroom wall.