A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME

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January 19, 2011 by Judith Liebaert

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I’m reading this book that says naming my private parts will empower me.  Now don’t laugh.  Men have been naming their “little men” for – well who knows for how long? I just know they do it.  If you don’t know that, it’s only because your man (or men) haven’t told you, or at least said something along the lines of, “Marco Polo wants to play seek and hide.”
Men name everything.  Cars for instance.  Men can tell you the name of every car they’ve ever owned.  I don’t mean its make or model, I mean the name they utter when they stroke the dash – “Come on Suzy, lets go for drive.”  Or when they floor the gas pedal – “Come on Boss, get me out of this one.”
I probably should name my cars. At this age, there have been so many they all just blur together.  I’ve been driving the Monte Carlo for almost three years and I still refer to it as the Impala.  Now, both Monte, and Carlo are fine names, but they are not the names given by me and there in lies the theory that naming something, anything, is empowering.
And why men name everything . . . it is their God-given power; power over that which is named.
For those who might not know, in the Christian tradition God gave the first man, Adam, dominion over everything He created. So what is the first thing Adam does?  Goes about naming everything; all the animals, and plants, and flowers, and trees and . . . you get the idea.  And while he is doling out these monikers, he’s thinking I have dominion over you, and you, and you.
I have a theory that men give their girlfriends & wives arbitrary pet names for the same reason.  Honey, Sugar, Peaches, or Pookie gives him a sense of power in the relationship that using your given name (given to you by another) doesn’t.
So that’s the idea. If I name my cars, they will do my bidding.  If I name my vagina it will do my bidding, and not some man’s (or any man’s) without my say so.
Not a bad idea.  And if I name my husband . . . no, no that won’t work, ‘cause if I start screaming a name not his at the wrong time there is going to be big trouble.
Sex in the City covered this business when Charlotte and her sexually recalcitrant hubby were seeing a therapist.  They were both advised to giver their parts names so as to be more comfortable talking about them getting together.  They choose some nautical reference whose blandness escapes me – Schooner and Dingy or some such thing.
I wonder how men choose these names they give to their parts?  Most of them are just other male appropriate names – always with masculine connotations, of course. You wouldn’t hear a man calling his penis, Percival, for instance. Or, appropriate names may refer to a natural element of some substance and density.  Rock is popular as are its derivatives, Roco and Rocky.
But what makes one name better than another, and should I be thinking of something ultra feminine?  Desiree?  Of course, that means desire.  Too hokey for me.
How about Scarlet?  She was a feminine but strong and independent woman.  Nah, it seems, somehow, too graphic.
Mona? The Mona Lisa certainly possesses that, “I have a secret” smile. No, not Mona – too ripe for a pun.
As I pondered what great, empowering name I could bestow upon my little self, I couldn’t help but thinking of a certain James Bond femme fatal whose name incurred both shock and awe when uttered on the big screen . . . the infamous Pussy Galore. Now that’s an empowering name!
But that name is taken.  And then my eye fell to the little perfume bottle on my vanity.  Baby Phat, with its sleek, Egyptian looking feline branding.
Baby Phat?  Am I so confident that I could carry a name that might be misconstrued as fat, not Phat?
The big cats have always been my totem animal.  Sleek, quick, beautiful, and so powerful with their ferocity always at the ready.  Panthers, tigers and leopard skin shoes – oh my!

Baby Phat was out.  The final winner in the name game alludes to those beauteous, powerful, prideful animals of the big cat kingdom.
The Christian tradition may have given Adam dominion through the action of naming the world around him, but earlier, ancient, Goddess traditions say that to reveal your true name, that which is given to you by the Divine and known only by you and your creator, is to give away your power.
What?  You didn’t think I was going to tell you, did you?

 

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