Monday, October 17, 2011


Words—it’s all about words. Language is what creates our reality, and language is what allows us to think. Think about that. If you have language, you have power and in CancerLand we need all the power we can get.

Words really do matter. That’s what got me started on this journey of writing about sex and intimacy and cancer. I had to write out my frustration because of all the words no one would use with me and John, and because of the words they did use that made me crazy.

But it’s not just in CancerLand. Our culture is inhibited about sexual language and even anatomical language. Now, I know that most women over 30 think they have that nailed. We do not talk like our mothers or our grandmothers. We have come to a place where we believe that we are so open and forthright; we don’t say “down there” or “pee pee” to refer to our genitals but we have raised a huge group of young girls who think their whole genital area is a vagina.

No! That is not your vagina or your Vajayjay—sorry Oprah. Most of the time we are mislabeling the mons, vulva, labia and clitoris, with the equally euphemistic vagina.

And that is a problem in CancerLand and in women’s lives. To think we need words and to have intimacy we have to have words. So what are we gonna do about our words?

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