Cunt “Without honoring Whores, we cannot truly understand and transcend the dynamics of violence, destruction and ignorance fostered in our cuntfearing society. The fact that some women are considered “bad” is a puritanically based value judgment that reinforces a fatal division between women.”

“The measure of respect Whores receive is in direct proportion to the measure of respect all women receive. Until there is an established, respected place for Whores in this society, no woman will have an established, respected foundation of power.
There is no circumventing this.

Until there is a shift in consciousness about the potential of Whores, we will continue to live in a society which offers no formally acknowledged Teachers to awaken us to our power as sexual beings.
Aint no getting ’round this one either.”

“Whoredom is a constant. Perception fluctuates evermore.
I don’t know about you, but I like the idea of respecting things that have been around a lot longer than me. I drive old cars and live in old houses. I gravitate towards old souls and listen to what old folks say. My favourite games – chess and backgammon – are old, old, old.
So you see, if I were to find Whoredom and the Perception Surrounding Whoredom at a garage sale, I’d definitely buy the Whoredom.
Even if it was dented up, needed a new paint job and cost a coupla bucks more.”

Wow. Just wow.

This is to cunts what Fresh Milk was to breasts – and then some.
It is to The Vagina Monologues what Fresh Milk is to, say, The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding.

It is the sort of thing you can’t read cold, but also the sort of thing which, if read warm, will fire you and inspire you and make you think. And think again.

Although it was intially grating, Muscio’s voice and style soon grew on me. She is fresh and colloquial – she refuses to let her vibrant ideas and her amazing personality be bogged down in the careful, perhaps formulaic style of the typical work of non-fiction. She lets it all shine through in bright colours. (And it sure beats the jargon-filled sociological doublespeak of certain other writers I have tried to struggle through.)

Drawing on her own life and that of her sisters (biological and otherwise), Muscio covers one heck of a lot of ground.

She starts with the word. I’ve made my peace already with the word, so let’s skip that for now, except to savour Muscio’s most luscious contribution to vocabulary, a word that you must love even if “cunt” still freaks you out. The word is Cuntloving. Oh, yes.

Moving on, we note that what all women have in common is one thing: cunts*. We go on to celebrate the coolness of Blood and to drink in the suggestions that we get totally in touch with our bodies and their cycles, embrace cuntloving ways of dealing with the Blood, and start throwing menarche parties for girls on the appearance of their first period.

[* Ahem. What about transwomen? We’ll get to that later.]

Now we come to reproductive control for cunts.

Abortion. The absolute necessity of choice. The idea of being able to avoid the physical trauma of a medical abortion by the kind of oneness with our cunts that is needed to bring on, with the help of a few choice herbs, a natural abortion. (And, while we’re at it, some thoughts about male gynaecologists and why the hell any cuntloving woman would give such a man any money when three are perfectly good cunts we could pay for our cuntcare.)

Contraception. Such as: chemical birth control methods; condoms or other barriers; using oneness with our bodies to absolutely KNOW when the blighters might stick. And some thoughts about using alternatives to heterosexual penetrative sex (e.g. masturbation and sex with women). The politics of the birth control industry.

We move on to Whores – the cunt queens. I think the extract cited above gives you an adequate flavour. Wow – a brilliant chapter with a new perspective that gave me a different way to think about women who before I had more or less only thought about as either exploited or, at best, perhaps the “happy hooker”, oblivious to the harm done to all women (exploited participants and commodified bystanders alike) by the existence of prostitution.

Then to Orgasms, with a nod at educating girls on the OK’ness of their sexuality and a fantastic comparison between Aristotle and Valerie Solanas which leads onto some thoughts on why it is that male-specific health problems get so much more attention than female-specific ones. And some gems like this: “if I were a man, and had no biological idea what it was like to have such a complex orgasm mechanism as a cunt – with so many intricate, endless and fascinating possibilities for achieving pleasure – I’d be pretty nervous making love to a woman. And I might find millions and billions of ways to camouflage my nervousness, rather than be like Jesus and just humble myself.” And, even, a reading list!

Acrimony deals with female cunthatred. It deals with the way we don’t like each other much and don’t support each other like we should. Racism. Classism. Bad stuff.

Then there is the chapter on Rape. Muscio is big on self-protection. I have mixed feelings about that. I do however totally adore her remarks on SILENCE. And her proposal that women should get together to publicly humiliate men who have raped their sisters. How would you feel if, say, all the women in your street built a giant severed penis and burned it on your front lawn?

In the final part of the book, Muscio sets out her “womanifesto”. The chapter is captioned “I will kick your fucking ass – Ancient Goddess Mantra.” It just gets better from there. She then sets forth about a hundred and three ideas for how women can get together and be cuntloving superstars. Many of her ideas will inspire you. She talks about woman-centred culture, woman-centred business and woman-centred life. It’s brilliant.

My edition finishes up with extras. There is an afterword, and there is the Cuntlovin’ Guide, which lists cuntloving resources and businesses for use by the cuntloving American woman. The former is of more interest.

The afterword gives a few further thoughts on how Muscio’s ideas about the world had changed since writing Cunt. She completely missed out transwomen, and she redresses that balance. She clarifies her pro-choice stance in relation to abortion, in response to claims by some anti-choicers that her anti-surgery/pro-self-help remarks represent an opposition to abortion per se. She talks a little more about rape, broadening the perspective from men raping (biological) women to the powerful raping the powerless. Broadening again, we are treated to a cuntloving perspective on planetary crisis before the last hurrah.

As I mentioned, a lot of ground is covered. I can’t say I totally agree with all that was said. But I can say that I totally love this book. It is inspiring, bloody, honest and vocal. It speaks loud, and it tells us all to speak loud, to shatter the silence.

Let’s talk about cunts, it says. Let’s talk about what they mean and what they do and how we can look after them. Let’s talk about how cunts can look after each other. Oh, yes.