Writing at the intersection of motherhood, feminism and my Latinidad

16 December 2008

The C-word

frye left this question on my post about "The B word"

Could you elaborate on your argument regarding the reclaiming of the word bitch? I'm curious as to why you draw the line at c*nt.

*sigh*

wow...This one is a hard one.

I think that I draw the line at c*nt because it represents nothing but anger and hate to me. Yes, bitch is said in anger, but I feel like it is a response to a woman being strong. And no I don't feel like it is the same way that the C-word is used. When I've been called that word or heard someone called it, there is so much more anger behind it than with bitch. And that's what I'm reacting to. Is Eve Ensler correct in wanting us to reclaim that word too? I think she is. I just can't walk that path yet.

4 comments:

i hate the c-word because it reduces you to your anatomy - it's based on that centuries old thread of "vaginas are evil and despicable." calling someone a dick, while also based on anatomy, really has a whole different spin because, well, dicks are quite differently regarded in the cultural sense, right? :)

i'm fine with bitch - it's based on ways of being that are easy to reclaim. it's a bigger stretch for me to try to say, well i'm ok with having a va-jay-jay, so i'm gonna use this term that denigrates it. nah.

What are your thoughts on "slut"? ;)

If people use 'cunt' in front of me I tell them they can say that word but not with hate, otherwise it is offensive.. they usually look perplexed.. so that's how I am trying to reclaim 'cunt' but I can't bring myself to use 'cunt' to describe my vulva/vagina for everyday use. Our feminist discussion group talked about this topic and some were reclaiming it in a big way but I don't feel free to reclaim cunt completely because I'd need to teach my 3 yr old to use cunt for her vulva and I'm just not radical enough to handle that and the world's response to that.

blue milk, i think you got it right. To reclaim cunt one would have to be ready to stand ones ground, teach it to our daughters, etc. It's hard enough to teach my daughter vagina with the knowledge that someone will be offended. Can you imagine if we went with cunt? yikes!