Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Offensive Penis

I'm not totally sure, but I think I offended someone today by saying the word penis.
That's it.  I just said it.  I didn't have a picture of one to wave around, or talk about my personal feeling in relation to a penis.  No.  It was actually quite simple.  I mentioned the picture of Katie Holmes giving Suri a penis gummy.

(image from TMZ)
It didn't seem like a big deal to me, the word penis, not giving your child penis gummy things, which I do kind of find a bit alarming.  
I was at a potluck party today with my moms group.  One of the women mention Suri and Katie.  After she was done, I brought up the photo.  I Actually said the words "gummy penis".  The woman standing beside me left not a minute into the conversation that ensued.  She immediately went to sit by someone else, and it seemed pretty obvious to me.  Every other woman right around me and I were really into the discussion.  We all found it rather dense to do something like that if you don't want the public to see when you know every minute of your life in photographed.  Then again, we all felt it rather dense to give that box to your child to begin with. 
Now, I don't think what she found offensive was that we were being judgemental of a celebrity.  People do that all the time.  That's part of why we love celebrities.  We love having the ability to tear them up, too.  We certainly weren't bagging on the child, just the mom.  
So, it had to be the word penis being thrown around.  It had to make her uncomfortable.  I'm not sure why, but it did.  Perhaps she is just very modest.
The conversation evolved into what we can't do any more, stores we can't visit because our children are with us, and eventually into dealing with little boys and their own penis issues.   To me, this is what a great moms  group is for.  You need to have other adults that you can have adult talk with.  I certainly can't show that photo to my children, and definitely can't discuss why it isn't right with them.  I need other moms who are grown folk, and like to talk about grown folk things.  We all do. 
I have to tell you, I don't think my actions should have been offensive.  I don't feel like they were inappropriate on their face.  There were no children around to repeat what we were saying.  We were discussing a parenting choice.  I really don't think the word penis should be offensive by itself, either.  I mean, we all have kids, and the vast majority of us have gotten pretty up close and personal with one to get them.  So, let's all be grown ups.  If we are talking about anatomy, then you don't get to be upset.  Its just a body part.  Deal with it.  Penis.  Penis. Penis. Penis.  And just to make sure I'm not sexist in my grown up body part talk....vagina.