A popular health information site has started using the word “front hole” instead of “vagina” in an effort to be inclusive of trans and non-binary people. The LGBTQIA community has been advocating for this gender-inclusive term for a while now.
Like most normal Americans, I read this news and immediately adjusted my vocabulary accordingly. I will especially make sure to remember the new terminology when I’m wearing my Front Hole Hat at the Women’s March next year. But I fear this change does not go far enough. There are many other parts of the human body, and almost all of them could be a source of grave offense to someone. Eventually, every hole, appendage, and organ will need to be renamed. To get the ball rolling, I have come up with new names for five of the most archaic anatomical features:
1) Looky holes
Located just above the talk pocket and the smell stick, and right in between the hear flaps, the looky holes are an important aspect of the human body for those who identify as having vision. But sight-challenged individuals have long felt excluded by the divisive and probably racist term “eyes.”
It should be no problem to adopt more progressive language and incorporate it into our science books as well as our Valentine’s cards and love songs. For instance, the classic ballad “I Only Have Eyes For You” will sound just as romantic — even more so, in my opinion — when we change it to “I Only Have Looky Holes For You.”
2) Side danglers
In more savage times, we would use the word “arms” to describe our side danglers. But “arms” has always been troubling, especially as it has become associated with guns. A gun-toting person may say he is “armed,” or, if he is toxically masculine, he may say “look at my guns” in reference to his arms. The whole interplay between guns and arms is extremely problematic. Besides, not everyone has arms.
Just remember to call them side danglers from now on. And if you must engage in such primitive competitions of brute force, remember that you are not “arm wrestling” — you are “dangler tussling.”
3) Pointy graspers
Who among us hasn’t been reduced to tears at the word finger? “Finger” is aggressive, divisive, and irrevocably tied to “giving the finger.” Anytime someone mentions “fingers” around me, I feel like I have been cussed out and I begin to weep uncontrollably.
Also, our finger-normative culture has given rise to the false and alienating idea that everyone has 10 fingers. In fact, some people have 11 fingers, or 5 fingers, or no fingers. I have 10 biological fingers but I identify as having 27. As long as we stick to the word “finger,” most people will not be able to get past their obsolete, 10-finger-centric biases. Replacing “finger” with “pointy graspers” should help solve that problem.
4) Trunk stems
It is simply amazing that people still use the word “legs” in 2018. Even worse, they may say that a certain thing “has legs” to denote endurance or longevity. This is extremely traumatizing to those who have one leg or no legs.
It also has the effect of otherizing any individual who might identify as a mermaid or a snail. The term “trunk stems” has the advantage of descriptive accuracy without all of the elitism and injustice tied up in the word “legs.”
5) Skin holder
The word “body” is perhaps the most objectionable. “Body” is sexist because it is used by men to crudely rate and judge women. They might say a woman has a “good body” or a “bad body.” They might say a transwoman has a “man’s body.” It has gotten to the point where most women cannot hear someone utter “body” without collapsing in fright.
Besides, what about those who identify as water vapor or wind or transdimensional spirits? I met someone recently who identified as the color blue. Folks in the body-less community are always being made to feel “weird” and “different.” Because of our inherent bigotries, we can’t help but afford a certain elevated status to those people who have bodies. I think we could remove much of the body-privilege in our culture if we de-emphasize the importance of bodies by calling them mere “skin holders.” That’s all a body really is, anyway. It is just a forum for your skin and your holes, however they happen to be assembled and however you choose to use them.