Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Mummy got willy

No, this is not going to be an intimate confession. The Monster is grappling with gender. She likes to think that everyone she loves is the same as her, so gender is a fly in her ointment. Her musings on gender this morning went something like this:

TM: Owen est fille, comme Matilda.
Me: No, Owen is a boy.
TM: Owen est boy. Owen got willy.
Me: Yes. (By George she's got it.)
TM: And papa got willy.
Me: Yes. (I think she's got it.)
TM: And mummy got willy.
Me: No. (Whoah there Professor Higgins, she's lost it.)

And while we're on the subject, what does mummy have? What word do you use for the female genitals when talking to your mini-beast(s)? The fella uses the impossibly twee kiki for vagina and as the Monster has adopted this word (hell of a lot easier to say than vagina!) I feel I have to use it too but hate doing so. The word vagina is perhaps a bit, I don't know... clinical? But I don't think there's really a reasonable alternative in english, an equivalent to willy. I can't remember my mum ever using any word when I was a kid, which she confirmed. She said she referred to everything "down there" as my bottom. How did she manage that? How did I grow up normal (relatively...)? The anatomical inaccuracy of this approach seems to me to border on the dangerously misleading. Yet I managed to produce two mini-beasts without too many shocks and surprises to the system so I obviously didn't grow up too confused.

Anyway alternatives to kiki , in french or english or any other language you happen to know, gratefully received... I promise to be cheerful if any of you come up with something acceptable. Or amusing.

[Photo shown is Judi Dench playing Viola in Twelfth Night, a play which tells you everything you could possibly need to know about gender.]


  1. Well I'm all for truth in advertising. Call a vag a vag I say. My friend Lizzie's take is that it only sounds weird and clinical because we don't say it enough. When you start using it normally, it gets less weird.

  2. They call it a Fanjo on Mumsnet, which I think is pretty cool. Also, a friend of mine told me she insisted that her son called things by "the proper names: bits for a girl and willy for a boy". It took me a while to realise she was being serious.


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