TV Networks Say “Vagina” Is A Four-Letter Word
Tampon brand Kotex made the mistake of using the word “vagina” in an advertisement, and naturally it was pulled by the networks before it could air. This begs the question, why are we still so afraid of our genitals? Certainly, we’re afraid to talk about them, but the underpinning here is that we are afraid of the organs themselves. Short answer: we’re prudes. The long answer of course would involve redacting the entire history of sexual repression through the ages.
Even when the company substituted “down there” for vagina, two of the networks still wouldn’t run the ad, so the company was forced to drop the idea altogether. That provoked Amanda Hess, author of The Sexist blog, to observe: “Now, the commercial contains no direct references to female genitalia – you know, the place where the fucking tampon goes.”
An executive for Kimberly-Clark, the owner of Kotex, notes that US TV networks have no such compunction about references to “erectile dysfunction” in prime-time ads for Viagra and Ciallis.
Here is the amended commercial that has now aired:
Indeed, it has been perfectly acceptable to openly discuss Grandpa’s limp dick on television, but vaginas are too disgusting to even mention. Must we really remind ourselves that most of us entered this world through one? The time has come for television to stop infantilizing us and address our pee pees and wee wees by their proper names.