“An ancient title of respect for women, the word “cunt” long ago veered off this noble path. Inga Muscio traces the road from honor to expletive, giving women the motivation and tools to claim “cunt” as a positive and powerful force in their lives. In this fully revised edition, she explores, with candidness and humor, such traditional feminist issues as birth control, sexuality, jealousy between women, and prostitution with a fresh attitude for a new generation of women. Sending out a call for every woman to be the Cuntlovin’ Ruler of Her Sexual Universe, Muscio stands convention on its head by embracing all things cunt-related. This edition is fully revised with updated resources, a new foreword from sexual pioneer Betty Dodson, and a new afterword by the author.”
I have been looking forward to reading this book ever since the Barnes and Noble went into the Buckland Hills Mall when I was a pre-teen. I wanted this book, but there was no way that I would have been able to convince my grandmother to buy me a book called Cunt.
I am a huge fan of the word cunt since college. It meant family in Ireland many years ago. So men would proudly claim their cunt (sounding more like count). It was the name for family because family was tracked through the mother since maternity is easier to prove that paternity especially before blood tests. It was a great system. A very empowering use of the word.
This book was a “womenfesto” that is written colloquially (-1 for making up words for a feminist purpose, +1 for it being accessible). The author talked about how the sexual health world is run by men (+1 for recognizing that men can’t take care of women’s issues properly), but then goes to the extreme of saying to never use pads or tampons. She even talks about how she will bleed on her floor and on a “blood blanket” (-1 for unsanitary blankets).
The author has a rant about abortion. She identifies as a “pro-life baby killer”, which fits my own identity as a pro-life by being pro-choice person (women deserve the right to choose even if abortion is not my personal top choice, but as a man it doesn’t matter what I think because it is not my body being discussed. I am only against abortion because the method is horribly painful and awful to bear, we need more research to make the process less horrible for the women). She rants and raves how abortions are awful, but had three of them. One of them she swears she induced using massage, thinking, and teas (-1 for woo woo medicine). Over all the book was horribly woo woo (-100 points because it wasn’t done in a free love way, but in a East Bay anarchist way).
I wanted to like this book, but the author had some major issues. She says once that anyone with a cunt is a woman, no matter if it is surgically created or not (+50 points for transwomen, but -50 for hating on transmen). Then she goes on to support the Michigan Womyn Music Festival which is STRONGLY against transwomen. In the expended edition the author mentions a protest concert that is held in the parking lot for transwomen and gives a lot more sources and ideas on transwomen, but tries to derail the conversation by mentioning race when the discussion was on gender identity. The race discussions the author brings up are usually sub par, but she admits that she is still learning. I have to respect someone who knows they are not perfect and is making active strides to move forward with their feminism (+100 points).
This is not a book to live by, but it is a book that you should proudly read in public holding it up high so everyone has to see it. It starts a great number of conversations on the train and at work. People want to talk about it. Men want to joke and women want to discuss. It is a great book to get the conversation going.
3 out of 5 stars. I recommend this book as a tool, but not for life.
You can buy this book here.