Today, Slate essayist Katie Roiphe goes gynecological, turning her sights on our overuse of the word vagina.
You know what I mean, she says. That "self-consciously outrageous, sleekly ironic dropping of the clinical term." Using the cliché has lost "all elements of surprise," and Katie Roiphe will not have it:
Some will argue that by using the word so casually and constantly, they are reclaiming it, and therefore affirming their power over their own bodies. But one of the reasons not to succumb to the temptation of that argument is that the word-drop confirms a certain perception about narcissistic, navel gazing urban, liberal elites...Aren't I cool for using this word and irritating and shocking some theoretical Southern senator?"—rather than, for instance, seeing or taking in the nuances of the political landscape and discussing them.
So. Does Katie Roiphe, for the first time in maybe ever, have a point? Has overuse of "vagina" in conversation become a "simply irritating, predictable, boring" gimmick? Has it actually devalued the word in some way? Or, not. Let's discuss.