Vaginal Discourse

While I was shooting this, I told my three-year-old daughter (who had been making monster videos with me) that I needed to make a video so that people knew I needed money to see the doctor.
“The doctor doesn’t need money!”
“Yes, doctors cost money!”
“No! Silly Mommy!”
True story.

Transcript below: Read more…

Despite the facts that: (1) I grew up in the Twin Cities, (2) I attended the University of Minnesota for a few years, and (3) most of my relatives are on at least one U of M junk mail list, I know precious little about the University of Minnesota’s program in Human Sexuality. As a trans woman with a degree in the History of Science, I’m pretty sure there’s room for criticism.

However.

Joycelyn Elders is awesome.

Sexual health education is awesome.

The University of Minnesota’s newly announced Joycelyn Elders Chair in Sexual Health Education is double awesome.

The depressing aspect of this is that this is the first chair of its kind in the United States. I mean, come on guys, there are chairs in everything.

Still, this calls for a party, albeit a somber and self-reflective one. I suggest the snack bar on the ground floor of the Malcolm Moos medical-industrial complex.

Via The Guttmacher Institute
Crossposted

“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.

I’m not a big fan of Tumblr. I use WordPress, therefore everything invented after 2003 is non-existent.

However, this is pretty much the greatst thing evr.

A Cunt of One’s Own is most certainly off the ground and running. People (like you!) are reading the blog. In the first 48 hours of the project’s public existence, I raised $1000. That’s *amazing*. Thank you.

So, what’s next?

Well, I wanted to lay out some of my thoughts, and hear from all of you.

I see two avenues promenades for discussion:

1. What the most effective/amusing ways to spread the word and raise funds?
See below…

2. How might this project live on beyond my fundraising campaign?
I’ve already received multiple suggestions that A Cunt of One’s Own might become part of a permanent campaign to raise funds for trans* people’s medical bills. What of it?


Today we’ll tackle the first half of the discussion. Obviously, I’m doing what I can to tell anybody and everybody about the project, while likewise encouraging y’all to do the same. That’s a pretty big step, and an obvious one.

However, I’m a queer lady busking on the Internet so that I can buy a cunt. We can have a lot of fun with this. Read more…

[Trigger warning for slavery and other dehumanization]

I recently finished reading Barry Estabrook’s excellent book, Tomatoland. I won’t spend much time promoting it, because holy cow the folks at Andrews McMeel have [TW] gotten the word out.

I’ve also been thinking a lot about abortion rights, because that’s been in the news once or twice lately. That’s unfortunate, because holy cow given the war that powerful people are waging against reproductive health, it should be in the news a helluva lot more frequently.

That was pretty much my vacation: tomatoes and abortion.

Stay with me here.

Estabrook’s book explores Florida’s industrial tomato industry. Early on, he explores the conditions under which many tomato workers labor. There’s a chapter on poisons, and a chapter on slavery. I’m not sure I recommend taking Tomatoland to the beach.

As an occasional entomologist, the discussion of pesticides caught my eye. It turns out that the EPA allows growers to use methyl bromide on tomato crops (they’re one of four crops the EPA has carved out exemptions for). Methyl bromide is the stuff of legend. If you’re ever at a party with an entomologist (I recommend this), buy hir a drink and start talking about methyl bromide. That shit kills everything. Needless to say, bathing in the stuff can be “problematic” (you can thank Wikipedia for that phrasing). Read more…

A couple of quick things:

1. I haven’t been able to pin down what’s happening with the site. I (and other folks) have occasionally needed to reload various browsers to make it appear. It’s a new phenomenon for me. I’ve got another WordPress blog hosted on the same cloud, and it’s not experience the problem. I’m looking into it.

2. Holy fuck. As of this writing, I’ve raised just under $900. I don’t really know what to say– that’s just a hundred billion hot dogs of awesome. I have to admit being a bit choked up when I was sending out thank you notes.

3. My life is busy, but I’ve got a bunch of posts in my head that should come out in the next week or two. A lot of these will involve hosting discussions about what A Cunt of One’s Own is, how folks can participate in it, and what y’all would hope to see from it (the site, not the organs).

Having already raised $900 will allow me to make progress on some preoperative stuff, notably hair removal. I’ve got some comments about that in the works. I can’t say I’m looking forward to that process, lol, but the very business of having to scrounge the Earth for a hair-removal professional (done!) ties in quite nicely (albeit craptacularly) with how so many people with marginalized bodies are required to be experts on their own medical care.

I don’t know how much hair removal will cost, nor how long it will take. That’s part of the “fun”.

I have a much better idea about the process of getting a second letter confirming that I’m sufficiently responsible to become eligible for cunt ownership. I’ve budgeted $500 for that process. Bloody hell.

I’m even less tolerant of the cost of demonstrating the unnecessary now that I’m potentially using other peoples’ money. Read more…

I thought it would be nice to post a video introduction. Mostly, I talk about what the hell it was I was thinking when I decided to start this project.

As it turns out, I talk like a nervous Midwesterner. Who knew?

Transcript follows Read more…

As I may have mentioned on the Internet once or twice, I’m a trans woman. As I may not have mentioned, I’m faced with significant medical bills. These things are related.

Thus, I’m announcing the A Cunt of One’s Own project. I’m a feminist writer trying to raise enough money to buy a vagina, so there really wasn’t anything else I could have named it. The kids, they love the Virginia Woolf references.

This project has a couple of purposes. First, I need to raise $15,000 to pay my medical bills. That’s an end in-and-of itself.

Second, I want to challenge the way that society thinks about trans* people and medical care. People with cis privilege tend, accordingly, to be oblivious to the hurdles that trans* people face. And hell, people with medical bills hold public fundraisers all the time that frequently include all sorts of fun medical tidbits. Why not a fundraiser for my queer ass (crotch, actually) bills?

During the next year, I will be blogging about trans*ness and health care here at A Cunt of One’s Own. The issues I’m dealing with aren’t just about trans* people, though. The same forces that conspire to regulate trans* bodies oppress (other) women, people of color, the poor, the incarcerated, the fat, the disabled, and other intersecting groups that society views as less than. I plan on having a lot of fun using my personal experiences to explore these larger issues of bodily autonomy.

I can’t not plan on having fun. This shit is too serious.

I’m immensely grateful for any donations that people are willing or able to make. The are other ways to help, including spreading the word. Perhaps most importantly, I invite you to follow, comment on, and otherwise participate in A Cunt of One’s Own.

Thank you,
Kate
xox