Why I Use the Word “Cunt”

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As I begin writing about sex in this blog, you will see me using the word “cunt” much more often than “pussy,” or even vagina/vulva. It is similar to my reclaiming the word “Dyke” instead of lesbian.

A lesbian is a woman who has sexual and emotional relationships with other women. A Dyke is the same… but only more so.

As a midwife, I needed to use proper terminology… it was the professional thing to do. Using the words “vagina” and “vulva” as often as the words “the” and “May I touch?” The  vagina and vulva are two distinct areas of the woman’s anatomy. They are often used interchangeably, mainly by men, driving me bonkers. I correct them whenever the issue arises.

The Power of Words

Reclaiming (or Reappropriation) of words is culturally common, the words “nigger,” “fat, and “queer,” being but three examples.

Reappropriation of ethnic and sexual slurs starts as an act of bravado by a few of the oppressed, then may become an empowering mechanism for a much wider community. It’s pleasingly ironic that those discriminated against have learned the Orwellian trick employed by the state and the establishment of hijacking everyday language (as in ‘doublespeak’) for their own nefarious purposes. Alternative discourse ousts and replaces the discourses of power.”

Arguments abound about who can, without judgment, use these reclaimed words. Said in the wrong crowd, one could get someone yelling in their face to shut the fuck up.

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It is why I have reclaimed the word CUNT. To me, it is a woman’s genitals, only with more Power. Greater intensity. The cunt has explosive energy behind it. My cunt is in my control and only my control. As a rape survivor, any way I can grab and keep my body is awesome and a requirement for my emotional and physical safety. I give my cunt to the person/s of my choice; no one takes it from me without force.

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cunt images

CuntCuntCunt

cunt cunt cunt

In Boys on the Side, Mary-Louise Parker’s character, talking with Whoopi Goldberg’s character, struggles with the word “Cunt.” This exchange, while long, is worth the giggle.

— I don’t call it anything. I just wasn’t brought up to talk about a person’s anatomy.
— That’s probably because you don’t have a word for it.
— That’s just ridiculous. I do, too. It just doesn’t often come up.
— Okay. What is this, below the belly button?
— I’m not gonna say ‘pussy’ if that’s what you’re after, okay, I hate that.
— Okay. So, what do you call it?
— Down there.
— Oh, come on! ‘Down there!’
— Well, ‘vagina’ seems so formal.
— But you make it sound like a basement!
— Okay. Honestly?
— Yeah.
— Fine. ‘Hoo-hoo’ or ‘cissy.’
— You’re kidding, right? A ‘hoo-hoo’ or a ‘cissy,’ what is that?
— Well, that’s what my mother called it. I had a ‘hoo-hoo’ or a ‘cissy’ and my brother had a ‘noodle’ or a ‘dingle.’
— And that’s what you still call it, huh?
— Well, it’s better than ‘pussy.’ Or ‘beaver.’ What’s that about? I never got that. Or worse…
— Worse? Did you say worse? Now, what could be worse? I have to hear you say it.
— Well, you know. I’m not gonna say it.
— Oh, come on! ‘C-U-N-T.’ Come on, please?
— I don’t think so.
— Please? It’ll free you. Try it!
— There’s a policeman within the sound of my voice.
— Give him a thrill.
— I don’t think so.
— I’m gonna wet you.
— No! You’re such a baby!
— Okay. Come on.
— All right. (whispered) ‘Cunt.’
— What? What was that?
— I said it!
— No, you breathed it! I want to hear you say it.
— All right! All right. All right. ‘C-U-N-T, cunt.’
— Yeah?
— ‘Cunt.’ ‘Cunt.’ ‘CUNT!’

cunt reclaim

How about you?

Rebirth

On Saturday, July 3, 2004 at 2:44 am, I published my first blog post ever. Entitled “Stumbling Along,” it was the beginning of a (so far) 12-year long blog, Navelgazing Midwife. My first line shares an emotion I experienced many times over the years:

… and it is so scary sometimes.

Where I Was

When I was active in birth work, I had to tiptoe through a hundred (thousand?) landmines, withholding my feelings too many times, wanting to write my beliefs years before I finally did in 2008 in the post, “Midwifery Education (Lite),” the version of an incredibly edited “Midwifery Education” that I stupidly deleted because I was terrorized by the higher-ups in the midwifery community and I feared for my license.

Rightly so.

That post came back to haunt me in 2010 when I was unceremoniously ejected from my midwifery community in San Diego, California. It took awhile, but they succeeded in ending my midwifery career (and gads, do I hate even admitting they had control over it!), sending me back into doula and monitrice work, which I did until I left San Diego on December 20, 2014.

Where I Am

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The story on why I left San Diego will be told here, along with what I am doing today. Looking back, it’s shocking how many changes have occurred in such a short time! From midwife to sex worker; married lesbian in San Diego, California to happily single dyke in Orlando, Florida. It’s easy to see there’re a whole lot of words needed to fill in those gaps.

I’m not going to censor as much as I did in my midwifery blog. I have nothing to hide anymore.(Well, except for the privacy of my work clients, but I think you’ll understand that, right?) My kids have been asking me for years to write my stories, that posterity thing and all. Amusingly, I have a lot of them to share, too.

Not Stumbling Anymore

woman ballerina ballet dancer dancing silhouette

And so I take my first step here with you today. I am very excited to have changed my name, Navelgazing Midwife, something that is pretty well-known (Google it!), to the Navelgazing Writer. It’s so exciting to be on this adventure… and am thrilled you are here with me as…

…I begin.