What Alternate Uses for Slang Terms for Genitalia Say About How We View Gender Roles in Our Society

First, if one is said to be a slang word for female genitalia, he or she is viewed as weak. He or she may be seen as cowardice or even lacking in conviction. These ideas align with negative stereotypes of the female gender. Perhaps it is the fact that genitalia are the most easily recognizable characteristics of the genders that inspires our willingness to attribute the names of genitalia with social characteristics associated with the genders. Still, our continued use of this slang would seem to only further instill negative stereotypes. The fact that this term is often used to insult men and rarely women would seem to imply that these undesirable stereotype are still very active in our society. After all, it is not an insult to imply one is what he or she is supposed to be. It is society’s double standard that says men are not supposed to be sensitive and women are.

If one is said to be a part of the male genitalia, he or she is said to be rude, mean, and callous. Oddly enough, this insult is often delivered to men and rarely to women. This would seem to be rather telling of the human male’s place in society. Although, men have taken leading roles when it comes to many aspects of our society over most of documented history, recent history shows a push for balance between the genders when it comes to income and power. Perhaps this is the root cause for the negative stereotypes associated with men and the term for part of men’s genitalia discussed here. The fact that men are often the recipients of such an insult only says that men are not what they should be. When a man is on the receiving end of such an insult, it is being said that he is guilty of embodying what is wrong with the male gender.

Lastly, if one is said to have two specific parts of the male anatomy, he or she is said to be brave and unwavering. The use of this slang in this way utilizes a positive stereotype of the male species. It says men are generally less cowards than women. But even positive stereotypes, especially when applied to one of two varieties, can be detrimental to our society. Not only does this stereotype set the expectation that all males behave in a fearless way, it also implies a lack of male genitalia requires one to be fearful.

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