"Clitoris", "vagina" and "uterus" are sexist terms

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If you are interested in the female body, you will be delighted to learn that it is a territory on which man obviously could not help but play the sexual explorer geographer by naming his own private parts as if they were a virgin land to conquer. As a result, the names of mythological gods or old white anatomists squat the whole area of ​​the female basin today.

For this reason, more and more organizations and personalities like the Australian physicist Leah Kaminsky or the cognitive science teacher Lera Boroditsky (University of California at San Diego) campaign to change the name of female private parts. Last summer, the highly recognized and followed healthline.com, an American medical site, has in turn proposed a sex guide in which some genitals have been renamed to be more inclusive.

The idea? To sound the death knell for gender-related clichés and the domination of the masculine in the body of medical knowledge; because as indicated by the American sexologist Kenna Cook in an article for the Bustle site, in January 2018: "Sex-related words in anatomy are meant to reinforce heteronormativity and an idea of ​​gender based solely on reproduction." A little tour of anatomy which shows that it might be time to consider a serious session of renaming (as we say among marketeux).

1. The clitoris

The name of the most misunderstood and misunderstood appendage in history comes from ancient Greek kleitoris: that is, what is used to close, a lock or a key. In his study "Anachronism and clitoris", resulting from the collective work Preclassic French (Ed. Champion, 2011), literature professor Michèle Clément explains: "The Greek verb" cleitoriazein "and the noun" cleitorida "already appear in Rufus of Ephesus [renowned Roman physician, editor's note] in his treatise From the names of the parts of the human body (towards Ier or IIe century AD AD); he mentions the two words when he calls the "shameful parts of the woman". "

The linguist also recalls that at the time, the use of the word served to designate indifferently the outer parts of the female sex, confirming the disinterest of doctors for this part of the body until the middle of the XVIe century.

And if we said ...

"Eminence". Since the word is used in anatomy to designate all that can be a bump, an outgrowth, or an appendage, and which, in everyday language, it designates, according to the National Center for Textual and Lexical Resources: "The high degree of elevation, grandeur and superiority of someone or something."

2. The vagina

Said to English ("veujaïïna"), the word vagina sounds like a synonym for feminist empowerment. Yet the word comes from Latin vagina who names "A sheath, a sheath where was enclosed the sword". Once again, the word refers by extension heterosexual heterosexual vision of sex: the vagina would only serve to wrap a penis. The first occurrence of the word vagina dates from 1674 when Nicolas de BlégnyFrench essayist and surgeon used it in his book Curious and new observations on the art of curing venereal disease. Bonus Info: As a result of this remarkable work, the scientist was appointed surgeon of the Queen in 1678.

And if we said ...

The US medical site Healthline seriously proposes to replace the word vagina by the expression trash but pragmatic "Front hole" -Comprise "front hole". Up to you.

3. The uterus

"Uterus" comes from ancient Greek Hysterica, a term that also gave the name hysteria (you know the story by heart). Hippocrates, the father of medicine, and his Greek friends were the first to advance the fact that the uterus was particularly inclined to lose the pedals (as well as produce toxic emanations) when it was unsuccessful. And that the only way to fix it was marriage ...

The idea has persisted through the centuries to the point that hysteria becomes an automatic medical diagnosis in a profession dominated by male physicians, who, to cure women, advocated a massage of the genitals to trigger "paroxysms" . As a reminder, hysteria has been removed from the list of modern diseases of the American Psychiatric Association that in 1952.

And if we said ...

"Nidus", or "nest" in Latin. Because the uterus is the nest of life and we wanted it to sound old and scientific.

4. Fallopian tubes

The fallopian tubes get their name from their discovery by the surgeon, naturalist, botanist and anatomist Gabriel Fallope XVIe century, established in Apulia. He also gave his name to the ligament that affects the fallopian tubes as the Fallopian ligament. It is also known to have made the analogy between the clitoris and the penis and for having recognized that it did not penetrate the uterus during coitus. But that's not a reason to put his name everywhere.

And if we said ...
"Salpinx". According to the dictionary of the Academy of Medicine founded in 1820, we no longer speak about fallopian tubes but uterine tubes or salpinx, the salpinx designating this little wind instrument of the trumpet family used in ancient Egypt. And in ancient Greek, salpinx means (we give you a thousand): trumpet. QED.

5. Bartholin's glands

In the thickness of the labia majora of the female genitalia are hidden the Bartholin's glands. They are named after the Danish anatomist Caspar Bartholin the Younger, who simply described it in the XVIIe century, realizing that they were responsible for secreting, colorless and lubricating secretions facilitating the penis penetration during sexual intercourse.

And if we said ...

Today, according to the medical dictionary of the Academy of Medicine (still him), one now names the glands of Bartholin "Major vestibular glands". A progress. That said, the infection of which they may be victims is still called "Bartholinitis" ... Try again.

6. The hymen

The hymen gets its name of the Greek god Hymen or Hymenee, the god of marriage, who died crushed under his house on the day of his wedding (which says a lot about the obsession with which the female hymen is the object on the wedding night). Many legends are attributed to the god Hymen: he would be a beautiful young blond man who had rescued young virgin girls kidnapped by pirates and demanded, in order to return them to their parents, to obtain the hand of his favorite, even if he scorned it. Friendly. It is André Vésale, considered the greatest anatomist of the Renaissance, who, at the XVIe century, put the name hymen up to date by using it to refer to the membrane that partially covers the opening of the vagina.

And if we said ...

In 2009, the Swedish Association for Sexuality Education has released a hymen information booklet which it advocated renaming "vaginal crown". Problem: the crown also refers to marriage and mythology while being associated with the vaginal word, also problematic. That's why the Swedish author Therese K Agdler advocated in a column published in the Östersund Posten the same year, the use of the phrase "crease of the mucous membrane".

This article appeared first on http://www.slate.fr/story/176646/origine-mots-sexe-feminin-domination-patriarcale