'Cunt' Still Needs To Be Reclaimed
If you haven't already heard, there was major controversy yesterday when actress Jane Fonda appeared on The Today Show with Vagina Monologues' author Eve Ensler. Meredith Vieira asked Fonda about her appearance in a benefit performance at the Hammerstein Ballroom last night to raise money and awareness for women and girls. Fonda told about her inital reluctance to do the show, because she was "asked to do a monologue called cunt." Everyone freaked out. Vieira laughed nervously. NBC made her issue an apology. Watch for yourself.
The "issue" in question:
Meredith Vieira's apology:
Now, I'm not going to go into how I feel about The Vagina Monologues. I did that last year, so you can read it here (it's honestly probably my favorite thing I've ever posted here). I wanna talk about the word cunt.
The "C-word" is a lot like the "N-word." At least, in my opinion it is. It's used as a pejorative term to describe a woman (ie "I think Hillary Clinton is a cunt."). It's used to describe a vagina (along with toadie, dee dee, nishi, dignity, monkey box, VA, wee wee, horsespot, nappy dugout, Rebecca, Mimi, split kinish, schmende, etc al.). It's used lovingly (ie "Julia, you're my favorite little cunt."). It's - well, you get the point.
Eve Ensler wrote "Reclaiming Cunt" not to be offensive or controversial. She meant it to take a traditionally negative word and reclaim it as an empowering word for women. By taking away it's derogatory connotation, Eve thinks women can make it a positive term. Instead of cunt meaning bitch or whore or weak or lowly, why not take this word and make it mean powerful or strong or woman or beautiful. After all, cunt is just another word for vagina. Yes, we call men "dicks" when they act like assholes...but then again, we also call anyone we don't like a "douche bag" - another object associated with a vagina. Not for nothing, but why are we so sensitive to that word? Dick is thrown around so casually and no one gasps in shock or threatens a lawsuit when it's used on them. Why make cunt so taboo? Yeah, it's a crude, abrasive word, but why does it have to be? The idea behind "Reclaiming Cunt" is to turn the use of 'cunt' as an insult into the use of 'cunt' as a glorification. If you don't give power to someone to deprecate then they won't have it! Take that power back, don't let 'cunt' be used as a bad word.
NBC making Merideth Vieira apologize for Jane Fonda using the word cunt is a prime example of WHY Eve Ensler included "Reclaiming Cunt" in The Vagina Monologues. It's taking a step backwards from what the V-day movement has worked to achieve the last 10 years. I'm not saying that women should start throwing that word around like a softball, but
The monologue itself is short, but always a crowd pleaser. I'll leave you all with it as I go. I think I've scared my boyfriend with my rant about cunts. Happy V-day everyone. Pussies unite.
P.S. Hi Rachel and the rest of my lovely Vag girls who may be reading this :)
I call it cunt. I’ve reclaimed it, “cunt.” I really like it. “Cunt.” Listen to it. “Cunt.” C C, Ca Ca. Cavern, cackle, clit, cute, come—closed c—closed inside, inside ca—then u—then cu—then curvy inviting sharkskin u—uniform, under, up, urge, ugh, ugh, u—then n then cun—snug letters fitting perfectly together—n—nest, now, nexus, nice, nice, always depth, always round in uppercase, cun, cun—a jagged wicked electrical pulse—n (high pitched noise) then soft n—warm n—cun, cun, then t—then sharp certain tangy t—texture, take, tent, tight, tantalizing, tensing, taste, tendrils, time, tactile, tell me, tell me, “Cunt, cunt,”say it, tell me “Cunt.” “Cunt.”