Language

Recent posts

Our Whole Lives – Sexual Language Lessons for 8th Graders

One of my joyful duties as a sex educator is to help teach the Our Whole Lives (OWL) curriculum at the Unitarian Universalist congregation that I attend. The OWL curriculum provides a chance for eighth graders to examine their ideas and attitudes about sex and relationships, practice friendship and dating skills, and learn facts about pregnancy, contraception, and STIs that will help them stay safer when they do become sexually active, if they haven’t already. A favorite session of mine occurs early in the curriculum, where we talk with the youth about the different types of language one could use when talking about different sexual acts and body parts. And since OWL is an activity-based curriculum, we can’t just talk about it, we also need to do an activity. The facilitators read aloud some words for sex acts and body parts and the youth write down all the synonyms they have heard for that word. Continue Reading →

“You’ve Got She-Mail”: The Use of Gendered Pronouns on RuPaul’s Drag Race

Okay, so I’m a bit ashamed to admit that I just started watching RuPaul’s Drag Race. I had heard of the show before, but it wasn’t until I started watching some reruns at a friend’s house that I realized how much I’d been missing out. The show is, in a word, fabulous. From RuPaul’s ever-changing wardrobe to the weekly “She-Mail” messages, the show is like a bad car crash- you just can’t stop watching. I mean, who doesn’t want to watch a bunch of dramatic divas compete for the title of #1 Drag Queen? Continue Reading →

This Week on MSP: Sex and Language

For the first week of August, MSP will be featuring posts under the umbrella of “Sex and Language.” I’ve been thinking a lot lately (well, always really) about how language interrelates with sexuality. Whether it’s about the etymology of sex words, or the importance of linguistic precision in relationships, there’s always something that connects the two. Recently, I’ve seen a lot of discussion online about this commercial for pantyliners which (gasp!) uses the words “vagina” and “discharge.” The words we use around sex can be powerful, controversial, and ideally, make our lives more wonderful. Continue Reading →