Vaginal Discourse

“Vagina” is such a sanitized, clinical term. I’m not a fan of Lysol.
To hell with that, I want a cunt.

“Vagina” refers to the birth canal. I’m from Syracuse, so I know a thing or two about canals. Thousands of people die during their construction, and it’s not long before nobody wants to use them.*
To hell with that, I want a cunt.

There’s really not much I can say about the word “cunt” that hasn’t already been said. However, with reclaiming slurs being fraught as always, I thought I’d create a record of why I’m pro-cunt.

First, I like the word. It’s unapologetic and in-your-face (the word, that is). I for one, am not in an apologetic mood.

Second, “cunt” encompasses more than just the vagina. While there’s nothing wrong with vaginae, they’re not the totality of women’s genitalia. Unless, of course, you’re an insensitive dude looking to get off. :ahem:

Anyhow, there’s tons of stuff out there about the word “cunt”. I don’t feel the need to rehash all of it.

I do, however, want to briefly address the perilous nature of reclaiming the word “cunt” while a trans woman.

Like, it would appear that I’m on the same team as entomophile (yay!) and virulent transphobe (boo!) Germaine Greer. So, that makes me giggle.

Society puts a buttload of pressure on trans women to be as asexual as possible (at least, if want people to take us seriously). We really can’t win (see also: dichotomy, virgin-whore). We use technical terms for technical body parts (vag-in-o-pla-sty), and hope that doctors will help us out. I don’t like that game.

Of course, a lot of cunt restorationists (speaking of shows that won’t be on PBS) correctly maintain that cunts aren’t merely about women’s sexual pleasure. I’ve certainly found plenty of mysticism in various women’s writing on the importance of cunts. A lot of this focuses on moons, and cycles, and bleeding, and childbirth. This is depressing, of course, because I wish my cunt came with those features, but it ain’t gonna happen. But does this disqualify me from reclaiming cunt? Hell no.

The feminisms I like best are those that celebrate diversity. Cunts come in different shapes, different sizes, different textures, and different smells. My cunt will be different, too– just like all the other ones. That’s pretty neat in its own way.

Cunt, and the reclamation thereof is so central to certain strains of feminism and, well, womanhood, that I certainly won’t be shocked when (additional) people claim the word isn’t mine to reclaim. Well, to rip-off Sojourner Truth, ain’t I a woman?

*OMGOMGOMG I think I just made an Erie Canal sex joke.

**This is not an invitation to lecture me on how awful your period is.

2 COMMENTS
Anonymous
19| July 2011
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Came over from Shakes to say I adore you!

19| July 2011
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Can I just say that I found the comment on the Shakesville thread that (perhaps) was in part an impetus to write this post, super offensive? Because it totally was.

I’m a guy and some days I have a “cunt”, and some days I have a “uhhhh, errrr mmmm, dunno” and some days I have a “well maybe cock?” and some days I have “genitalia.” I used to be super into reclaimative use of “cunt” (for myself, I’m still super into it for others who want to use it, *obviously*), and some days I like the idea of claiming it as something that men can have too, but sometimes it’s too much for me (at least partially because of the gender essentialist hoopla that you mentioned that surrounds it in certain quarters).

So chalk one up for “cunt” and how cool it can be, and another one for writing something pretty excellent on the intersection of trans* identities and word usage.

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