Image: Ralf Lotys / Wikimedia Commons
I hate the word ‘cunt’.
It’s with a visceral hatred that I confess how disgusting I find it.
I can't handle it, in so many ways do I feel like it violates me. But I also understand that for so many it inspires no such hatred, that for them it is just another swear word, in the same vein as “bitch” (also somewhat problematic), “fuck” and “shit”.
So I decided that I needed to read a book about why we should love the word “cunt” and here’s what I found, condensed into a simple sentence: the word “cunt” is so much more than just a word, it is about a relationship with our vagina, and all its ins and outs. Pun intended.
Cunt: A Declaration of Independence by Inga Muscio did not change my life or really my viewpoint on the word, and it is important to highlight here and now that it totally ignores the experience of transwomen.
But it did make me stop and think about how much I don’t appreciate my vagina. About how we talk about female empowerment, but how many of us actually appreciate the spot between our legs that gives the gift of life and mind-boggling orgasms? It also bleeds a lot but that is arguably less fun. But vagina self-appreciation is definitely something I can get behind.
Cause here's the thing: as much as we’re told that we should love ourselves, many women don’t. And while we’re supposed to be loving our thighs, arms, stomachs and the scars and stretch marks and other imperfections that mark our bodies that we often forget to love our vaginas.
One of my friends who doesn’t see how beautiful she is revealed that she doesn't masturbate, when I asked why she responded that if she doesn't love herself, why would she bestow on herself the ultimate in self-gratification and love? And it made me realise just how stupid and sad it is that we teach women to not enjoy the power of their bodies. Society teaches us that guys’ ability to orgasm is so much more important and that women should just “fake it”. Which is utter bullshit.
Maybe it's the reason why I hate the word, why I can't reconcile myself to it. It reminds me too much of how men still control society, how though it's a word that was used to compliment women in centuries gone by, I still can't hack it. I can't hack it for the simple reason that to call someone a cunt just means that they are ‘acting like a vagina’. Why is acting like a body part that can be a great source of pleasure, self-cleans itself and has the ability to push a baby out of it derogatory?
Editor's note: We are aware that 'pokaz cycki' means 'show me your tits' in Polish, and that someone has drawn a penis on the wall mural. We've used this image not to support misogynistic comments made towards women, but to illustrate their unfortunate prevalence, in line with Freya's point about male societal control.