WHY DO WE TALK ABOUT VULVA-OWNERS?
As you may have noticed on other blog posts and social media, we try to steer away from referring to men and women when we’re referring to pleasure and genitals. Why use terms like vulva-owners, penis-owners, or simply people with vulvas or penises?
Well, language matters. That’s why we should all do an effort to use language that’s inclusive and validating for everyone.
Still have doubts about the exact differences between someone’s sex and gender? Don’t worry, it may seem complicated at first, but with some time and effort, it’s actually pretty simple!
What do we mean by sex? Sex refers to the biological label people are given based on their genitalia and genetic differences.
If your assigned sex at birth is male, then you were born with a penis, testicles and an X and Y chromosome. People who are assigned the label of female are born with female reproductive organs, and two X chromosomes. When a person is born with a mix of female and male genitalia, they are sometimes labeled intersexual.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines gender as:
Someone whose gender identity doesn’t match up with the one they were assigned at birth might identify as transgender.
Gender non-conforming, non-binary, and gender fluid means you don’t identify fully as a man or a woman.
Agender means you don’t identify with any gender.
Worried you might misgender someone? Use e gender-inclusive language!
Using gender-inclusive language means speaking in a way that does not discriminate against a particular sex, social gender, or gender identity, and does not sustain gender stereotypes.
It’s also a great way to promote gender equality and eradicate gender bias!
What are the basics?
- Know your gender pronouns
Personal gender pronouns refer to the set of pronouns that someone prefers that others use in order to reflect that person’s gender identity.
“She, her, hers”, “he, him, his”, or “they, them, theirs”
Some masc and femme presenting people may not use the he/him or she/her pronouns respectively. It’s always best to ask!
- Don’t assume all women have vulvas and all men have penises
Still not sure about how someone would like to be addressed? Just ask them. There’s nothing wrong with that!