We may be allowed to say vagina and pussy on TV, but that doesn't mean the oppression is over. The free reign of vagina still has a few more battles to win.

World

4.28.2016

You Can Say Pussy, But Not Coochie: Find Out What You Can Call A Vagina On TV

When it comes to vaginas, TV broadcasters have long treated the sex organ and the slang terms it’s birthed a lot like Voldemort in the wizarding community. For decades you weren’t supposed to say vagina, or even allude to the word, thanks to draconian views on sexuality that, actually, still tend to exist. The 1960s may have been a great decade in TV history, but they still banned Mary Ann from Gilligan’s Island and Jeannie from I Dream of Jeannie from exposing their belly buttons, which was a big blow to lint fetishists everywhere. It only takes one glance at a show like Sex and the City to see how far we’ve come towards celebrating the power of the vajayjay, but that doesn’t mean we’re in the clear. The bushes of the Federal Communications Commission’s rules on obscenity, profanity, and indecency are still thick with confusing and controversial decisions on the big, bad v-word.

Vaginas may instill fear in the hearts of lawmakers and that pregnancy thing may not have been allowed to be talked about on TV shows like I Love Lucy for decades, but if you ask the FCC, the word “vagina” has actually always been allowed. It just has to do with the context of how it’s used. According to Slate, “as long as a word isn’t used to titillate and doesn’t describe sex or excretory acts in explicit detail, it is not considered ‘indecent.’” That means anatomically correct terms for vagina like, you know, vagina actually avoid punishment. It’s just that nobody really used the word for decades because when you can’t even show your bellybutton or say you’re pregnant, there is absolutely no way that the little jack nasty face (yes, that’s a real slang term) that some people have tucked between their legs would be allowed.

Pussy, pussy, pussy. Rockin everywhere.
Pussy, pussy, pussy. Rockin everywhere.

Now that the days of treating the word vagina like an unwanted fruitcake at Christmas are over, the labia-lipped floodgates of vaginal slang have opened, the rules on what’s allowed and banned are less clear. Pussy was cockblocked from television for years before Amy Schumer fought to have the right to talk about it in 2014 on her Comedy Central show. The ban never really made sense, considering the network allowed the word dick to be said whenever and wherever showrunners wanted. The pussy power may be here and feel great, but we think it’s time for the next battle in the war against vaginal censorship.

If you attempt to go on a television show and say something as wild as coochie or as salacious as c**nt, you’ll be censored faster than a Kanye West performance at the Billboard Music Awards. Coochie itself has roots in dance songs and the 1893 World’s Fair, but it only really started life as a synonymous for vagina in the past few decades. The c-word, meanwhile, is still such a taboo word that it’s rarely even used outside of television. Yes, traditionally it’s been used to demean and insult women, but there have been attempts to reclaim the word over the years–though saying it out loud (and even typing it here) is still more frowned upon than saying you’re a Trump supporter.

Maybe it’s time to make more slang happen on TV. After all, that’s where Americans spend an average of nearly three hours a day, which means it’s a great source for changing societal values. Remember how LGBT people started to achieve mainstream acceptance when Ellen DeGeneres came out on her sitcom in 1997? Why not strip away the taboo? The only thing wrong with a vagina is censoring it, because that teaches anyone with one that their body is taboo and obscene. In an age where we learn about politics through Scandal or learn How To Get Away With Murder, we can also teach viewers that vaginas are great no matter what word you use to describe them.

Images via James Bond.

Stay tuned to Milk for more uncensored vagina. 

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