The swift adoption of vajayjay is not simply about pop culture’s ability to embrace new slang. Neologisms are always percolating. What this really demonstrates, say some linguists, is that there was a vacuum in popular discourse, a need for a word for female genitalia that is not clinical, crude, coy, misogynistic or descriptive of a vagina from a man’s point of view.
Technically speaking, the vagina is the canal that leads from the uterus to the outside of the body, a fact that has led both Ms. Ensler and Ms. Steinem to write that vagina — while not a word that should be stigmatized — is inadequate because it is not inclusive enough. It does not, they have pointed out, include the labia and clitoris, the nerve-rich locus of a woman’s sexual pleasure. “I’m hoping that the use of this new word is part of the objection to only saying vagina since it doesn’t include all of women’s genitalia, for instance the clitoris, in the way that vulva does,” Ms. Steinem said.