And, you can be suspended from school for it. Here is the story from the New York Times.
The three girls had been warned by teachers not to utter the word. But they chose to say it anyway — vagina — in unison at a high school forum, and were swiftly punished by their school.
Now the case of the three, all juniors at John Jay High School in this affluent hamlet 50 miles north of Manhattan, has become a cause célèbre among those who say that the school has gone too far, touching off a larger debate about censorship and about what constitutes vulgar language.
Is vagina, or the “v-word,” as some around here have referred to it, such a bad word?
“We want to make it clear that we didn’t do this to be defiant of the school administration,” said Megan Reback, one of the three girls, who all received one-day suspensions for using the word during a reading of “The Vagina Monologues” at the forum last Friday. “We did it because we believe in the word vagina, and because we believe it’s not a bad word. It shouldn’t be a word that is ever censored, and the way in which we used it was respectable.”
We actually had a discussion about this in my sexuality class in the first couple weeks of the semester. The students seemed to agree that many (other) people thought vagina is a dirty word, but none of them expressed opposition to the word themselves. However, most of them agreed that vagina was considered a “dirtier word” than penis. It was a good opportunity to talk about sexism and feminism. Now I’ve got to email them this article.