V: The Letter of Virtue and Virility

Valour is the chiefest virtue and most dignifies the haver.

Coriolanus William Shakespeare

It’s quite astonishing how many words beginning with the letter V are related to female sexuality: vestal virgins, vagina, voluptuous, virtuous, vulva, va-va-voom, vexing, vague, vixen, vamp, and Venus (the Roman God of love and beauty). The most common V name for girls is Virginia(virginal), and it's no coincidence that the letter V initializes female names with three times the frequency of male names.

Even when the V describes masculine traits, it does so with the vim and vigor of the words victor, vanquish, virile, valor, violent, valiant, vasectomy, and vain. It was the task of the Valkyrie goddesses to ferry the souls of fallen Viking soldiers to Valhalla in Norse mythology.

The most common name for boys is Victor (champion). The passionate letter V, when grouped with the ego-driven letter I, V tends to describe the viler aspects of male and female vices as found in the words vituperative, vitriolic, vindictive, vicious, viper, vilify, villainy, and violate.

Perhaps it was these gender-crossing characteristics that prompted the selection of the title Victor Victoria -- a classic film about gender confusion, and why Pfizer Pharmaceuticals named the only medication ever designed for women and taken by men: Viagra.