Monday, December 3, 2012

The "C" Word

I got this from the Online Etymology Dictionary:

1680s, from L. vagina "sheath, scabbard" (pl. vaginae), from PIE *wag-ina- (cf. Lith. voziu "to cover with a hollow thing"), from root *wag- "to break, split, bite." Probably the ancient notion is of a sheath made from a split piece of wood.

Aristotle comes to mind.

As Inga Muscio says, “I ain’t got no vagina.” 

Inga, the authoress of Cunt:  A Declaration of Independence, touches on the idea that other words, such as “bitch” and “whore,” while once had “positive associations about women,” are now words with ugly connotations.  She suggests that it is a religious (read: Catholic) and patriarchal fear of women that has caused the change. 

When it comes to words with ugly connotations, there’s one word that makes people cringe when they hear it.

According to Inga, The Women’s Encyclopedia of Myths & Secrets, by Barbara G. Walker says the word “cunt” is “related to words from India, China, Ireland, Rome & Egypt.  Such words were either titles of respect for women, priestesses & witches, or derivatives of the names of various goddesses.”

What a cunt.

Inga Muscio’s book is a manifesto on the reconciliation between a woman and her cunt – the empowerment that occurs when you refuse to allow any man or organization to control you in any way.  We bleed, we have orgasms, we give birth – it is a source of power and pain and we must not fear it anymore even if the rest of the world does and wants us to, as well.

The book is meant to help us to understand ourselves better through a brief history of our ancestors’ foreign cultures and our treatment because of just being a woman.  Through reeducation, reconciliation and myth dispelling Inga hopes to help “empower and unite all women.” 

I plan on reviewing and discussing this book chapter by chapter, so stay tuned!