At Tilley's prompting, I'm reading Cunt: A Declaration of Independence by Inga Muscio. It's a fast read that lends itself to group discussion in my opinion. Oh the joys of Meristem (book club) of old. This would be such an appropriate book with potentially profound discussion. Instead, I blog.
Question 1: Who has read this book?
Question 2: How do you feel about the word “cunt”? What is your preferred term for the body part?
Chapter 2 was grabbing as it deals with “Blood and Cunts”. I hate my period. Recently, and not for the first time, I referred to it as it my body hating me. It appeared when I was 8. Bastard. No one else had it. It was embarrassing. I fully understand and embody the emotions Muscio expressed when relaying her childhood impression of the “curse because of Eve”. I pondered, could I ever be a period-embracing, blood loving woman as she is? I have a friend that mourned the lost of that special time per month. I will willing, freely, and joyously give mine away. It's heavy. While showering, a clot as big as a golf ball once fell from my cunt. In graduate school, I spent 31 days bleeding. What about these “events” should I celebrate? But I suppose I digress. Yes, I understand much of what Muscio says in chapter 2. It was a good chapter for buy in from me. With her change of attitude about her body, she questions the profit gathering giants that rake in the cash from women every 3-6 weeks or however often our bodies flow. She started using things besides pads and tampons to sop up her waste.
Question 3: What alternatives to pads and tampons have you tried? What did you think? Do you recommend them to others?
I bought the cup she references (The Keeper) but decided I couldn't even begin to shove that up my cunt. I still have it. It's an interesting device. No need to buy hundreds of dollars of disposable cotton products with it. I have a niece I could totally see rocking something like that. In reality, it was recommended to me by a friend. Muscio talks about bleeding in her floor and loving it. I'm not there. I don't want to come to your house if you bleed all over and don't clean it with bleach. Thanks. Her power sounds amazing when she talks about it though. I trust that it brings her great joy and in ways, I can understand why. But blood and I are so far from being close friends. I like to look at the blood that comes from others' veins. I don't want to touch it, yours or mine.
Chapter 2 is also when I started to think she has a serious issue with men. I hesitate to say she distrusts men more than is warranted because it is true that they have been behind so much foul but there's almost a disassociation between the sexes in her writing... but she invites and encourages men to read too because of the women in their life! Her profound distrust of men and systems speaks volumes and makes my interest inch away, though still hooked to her writing.
Muscio has had at least 3 abortions, one naturally induced. I wanted to cry for baby 3. I am a supporter of choice but I also support good reason. Three pregnancies by the same man-- apparently, what you were doing wasn't working. You're an intelligent woman; act like you have a clue. Do something to prevent pregnancy instead of spending so much time, energy, and money in cleansing yourself of pregnancies. It is true. I have an issue with abortion being used for birth control. There are situations in which a woman might have good reason to have 9 abortions but Muscio didn't show that in her work. She didn't want to be tied down by a child. For real? Women, let's be more than that. Sometimes, you fuck up and have to deal with it. Plenty of people are in jail or have served time for making a dumb decision that was theirs to make. A positive from the abortion piece: natural abortion/miscarriage. That's an empowering thing. It made me wonder what ailments herbs and spirit can heal my body of.
I don't agree with her war on birth control. I think it goes back to her war on men. Birth control is a pretty messed up thing to consume (as are many, many medications) so if one can find an alternative to their intended effect, they might want to use that alternative. But I was able to bleed like a normal person for 2 years because of birth control. I don't apologize for that or regret it. Sadly, each method I've tried has had a limited effective life, but with that, I'm willing to try something “natural” as well. She's right about women not sharing or seeking information as much as we should but darn I'm glad for what birth control has done for me in the mean time. And frankly, it could have kept her from having her uterus vacuumed out if she had implored it. It's not guaranteed, but it's darn probable.
The joy of how feminists can disagree! For me, the joy is largely in the thinking. I like that Tilley makes me think.
Question 4: What can you tell me about your vaginal mucus? I know very little about it. In fact, I was in a meeting where a Program Director was commenting on how many women in her program didn't know about vaginal mucus before some Catholic lady came in and told them all about it. Uhh, I didn't know about it either. Muscio has a section on mucus, ovulation, milky vs yellow things, blue parts, and much more than I wasn't ready to read. Informative.
I find her writings about the moon and its natural relationship with women's bodies to be beautiful. She makes me want to buy a lunar calendar and notice. I'm scared to stop using my birth control though. My body is fighting back as is, perhaps enhanced with recent, irregular use. Yes, I know I used the term “fighting”. I don' think my body likes it. I think it prefers to bleed and bleed and bleed. That's a point on which she (my body) and I disagree.
Chapter 3 is called “Whores”. She exhorts them, with “them” being a group different from who comes to mind when I hear the term. “Them” for her, equals prostitutes. Her basis is historically, sex for pay was part of holy worship. The whores were almost demi-gods (my words, not hers). Maybe I dated a demi-god. I called her the Sex Goddess. She then compares prostitutes to suburban wives and others who marry to get ahead, escape poverty, or do other things besides simply symbolize their love and commitment for another. She does do an excellent job of exalting the sensuality of women when relaying her experience with Ammachi .
In Chapter 3, I learned about Aileen Wuornos. Complex PTSD? It would have been interesting to have followed that story as it was unfolding. Women are victimized so much and they punished more for reporting it or fighting back.
Okay now. Go and grab a copy of Cunt and let's discuss!