Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The C word

I was recently sitting around the apartment alone on a Saturday while Oli was at an RVA training and Lily was napping. Wow, an hour to myself. What do I do? I was sitting in the papasan chair and wondered if I should maybe read one of those books I had never read that were sitting on my bookshelf. I looked up, and there it was: Cunt.

I thought it would be a quick funny read about the origins of the C word and its meaning in our society and how we can “reclaim” it. My, how we love reclaiming things. I thought it would help me get thinking about feminist and female issues again. I realized that I haven’t been thinking about those and their impact on my and my family and friends’ lives very much lately.

But Cunt is so much more.

I bought the book, I’m sure, to be trendy and alternative. I know I bought it at Borders, though, so that immediately kills all hope of being alternative. But thank God I didn’t read this book before. I would not have been ready. I required several years of my mother’s yogi talk to prepare me for this book.

This book and its author give off vibes of big warm moms who cook yummy healthy food and know how to talk politics, earthy spirituality and sexuality, San Francisco, and much more. It makes me want to be home and not work and to put more time and thought into the food we make, and the way we care for our bodies, and the home we craft for ourselves, and the way we raise Lily as a girl and woman. It makes we want a kitchen filled with clay pots of herbs, quinoa (a la Laura Hartich), and things to sooth the soul. Basically, it makes me want to be what I like to call organi-mom….and more. The book is not specifically about these things, but this is how it has affected this reader.

The author (Inga Muscio) discusses etymology, history, taking control of one’s personal health, prostitution, sexual power, orgasms, acrimony among women, and so much more. It sounds like it’s all been said before in many a self-help book, but this is not a self-help book. Inga’s ability to reach into so many places (history, pop culture, politics, capitalism) and intelligently and humanly make arguments for why women (and the people in their lives) should be putting more thought into their own lives and bodies rather than running around and trusting what doctors and magazines and TV say, is just flat out good. G-o-o-d. Again, I defer to Laura Hartich who shunned doctors who didn’t listen to her and her feelings and intuitions about her own body.

Inga can be very slang-y and guru-y and hokey-pokey, but I can forgive her these things because her messages and information are just incredible. The resources she lists in the book and in the section at the back are amazing. Oli and I You-tubed some of her references last night and wow, information.

You may think, “Ah, Angela is entering that reading-woman-books phase again and she’ll listen to anything anyone with a vagina writes,” but all I can say is this book is good and women and non-women should read it with other women and non-women they know and talk about it and whatever it makes them think about.

I’m almost done, so you can borrow it if you want.


The Tricyclist said...

Sounds like a great use of your free hour.

I, too, assumed that book was pretty much about the origins of the word, reclamation, etc. I'm glad it was so much more for you. Maybe one of these days I'll get around to reading it... if I can ever put down my beloved parenting manuals.

Katie said...

Do you think men may want to reclaim the word nonwomen?

Oliver said...

Angela ended that post with an offer to lend her cunt to anyone who wanted to borrow it.