LOS ANGELES—A strange thing happened today on the Huffington Post, which publishes its share of sexy stories featuring naked—or nearly naked—boys and girls. One minute the word “vaginas” was there, in a headline on the homepage, and a few minutes later it was gone, replaced by “privates.”
The question is, was the swap really necessary?
The complete post—in the Style section, of all places—is still titled “The 7 Weirdest Things Women Do to Their Vaginas;” the swapped-out word is only on the homepage.
We just thought that the apparent sensitivity to a word that carries no negative connotation that we are aware of was very odd for an organization run by an outspoken woman, and a site that carries her name.
Indeed, the more we think about it, the stranger it seems that Huffington Post would prefer such a vague euphemism to the word “vaginas,” which is not only biologically specific, but which is what the original piece, on Alternet, was all about. After all, one’s “privates” also could refer to one’s anus.
It’s not a huge deal, of course, and is probably the result of an editor playing it safe, but still, we noticed it right away and it left us scratching our heads, not only because we work in adult and don’t like unnecessary censorship, but also because we really, really prefer actual nouns over cowardly stand-ins any day of the week.