Cunt: A Declaration of Independence; Inga Muscio

Article excerpt

CUNT: A DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE; INGA MUSCIO

SEAL PRESS 1998

All right, you got past the title. Now you are in for a delightful, thought-provoking read about our relationship with our bodies, in particular, our cunts. Believe me, I had difficulty asking for this book at the local women's bookstore because the c-word has always raised negative, uncomfortable feelings for me. No other word in the English language, it seems, raises such an intense reaction.

In part I, The Word, Inga Muscio is blunt and provocative in the way she presents sexuality. She explores the history behind a word that at one time was a title of respect for women. She uses the word as a tool to empower women. Gays and lesbians have reclaimed `dyke,' `faggot' and `queer' and women should reclaim the word `cunt.'

"Our society creates a hospitable climate for cuntpower to be generated into profits amassed by large corporations. Pharmaceutical and feminine hygiene companies, plastic surgeons and weight-loss centres are designed to care for our bodies in our stead," writes Muscio. Words like `hygiene' and `sanitary' reinforce those negative feelings and make us feel unclean. She questions why there are no sanitary jock straps or deodorized condoms.

In part II, The Anatomical Jewel, she analyzes why having a cunt has led to all sorts of cultural customs that force women to hate their bodies. …