Laurie Penny: In Defence Of Cunt
Apr 2012 18

Laurie Penny: In Defence Of Cunt  

Posted In Activism,Blog,Books,Entertainment,Politics,Relationships,Sex,Society

by Blogbot

Born of the internet age, 25-year old flame-haired Laurie Penny aka @PennyRed is front and center of the new guard of left wing activist journalists. Having made substantial waves in the UK with her outspoken opinions on politics, feminism and gender, the London born provocateur is currently putting the cat amongst the pigeons in New York City where she has been reporting on the Occupy movement, among other things. A self-identifying utopian, the revolutionary writer fearlessly makes use of the word socialist. Another word Penny would like to see rehabilitated and restored to the common vernacular is cunt. Here she explains why…

Laurie Penny: In Defence Of Cunt
2 February 2011

It is, according to Germaine Greer, the one word in the English language that retains the power to shock. This week, after the third BBC newsman in two months – this time the revered Jeremy Paxman – dropped the c-bomb on live television, it appears that the world’s best-respected broadcasting operation is in the grip of a collective and extremely specific form of Tourette syndrome, whereby presenters can’t help but slip the worst word of all into casual conversation. One is reminded of those playground horror stories of cursed words, infectious words that, once read or overheard, niggle away in the forefront of your brain until, like poison, you’re forced to spit them out, with deadly consequences. But what – ultimately – is so terribly offensive about the word ‘cunt’?

The word shocks because what it signifies is still considered shocking. Francis Grose’s 1785 A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue defines ‘cunt’ quite simply as ‘a nasty name for a nasty thing’. All sorts of people have a problem with ‘cunt’, even those who normally consider themselves progressive and enlightened: last week, for example, I was invited to speak at a public meeting where I happened to use the word in reference to a member of the audience.

Horrified silence fell in this roomful of hardened activists, followed a few seconds later by nervously appreciative laughter. The incident later exploded on the internet, with some complaining that I had had no right to use such a provocative and shocking word at a meeting; that the word is too aggressive, too graphic. These, for context, are people who are currently cheerleading calls for a general strike and/ or the overthrow of the government, but they still consider a young woman saying ‘cunt’ in public a little too, too much.

What is it about that word? Why, in a world of 24-hour porn channels, a world with Rihanna’s ‘Rude Boy’ playing on the radio and junior pole-dancing kits sold in Tesco, is the word ‘cunt’ still so shocking? It’s a perfectly nice little word, a word with 800 years of history; a word used by Chaucer and by Shakespeare. It’s the only word we have to describe the female genitalia that is neither mawkish, nor medical, nor a function of pornography. Semantically, it serves the same function as ‘dick’ or ‘prick’ – a signifier for a sexual organ which can also be used as a descriptor or insult, a word that is not passive, but active, even aggressive.

There are no other truly empowering words for the female genitalia. ‘Pussy’ is nastily diminutive, as if every woman had a tame and purring pet between her legs, while the medical descriptor ‘vagina’ refers only to a part of the organ, as if women’s sexuality were nothing more than a wet hole, or ‘sheath’ in the Latin. Cunt, meanwhile, is a word for the whole thing, a wholesome word, an earthy, dank and lusty word with the merest hint of horny threat. Cunt. It’s fantastically difficult to pronounce without baring the teeth.

It is this kind of female sexuality – active, adult female sexuality – that still has the power to horrify even the most forward-thinking logophile. Despite occasional attempts by feminists such as Eve Ensler to ‘reclaim’ the word cunt as the powerful, vital, visceral sexual signifier that it is, the taboo seems only to have become stronger. Media officials avoid it with the superstitious revulsion once reserved for evil-eye words, as if even pronouncing ‘cunt’ might somehow conjure one into existence. The BBC wouldn’t be in half so much trouble if James Naughtie had called Jeremy Hunt MP a ‘prick’ or a ‘wanker’ or a ‘cold-blooded Tory fucker’.

For me, ‘cunt’ is, and will always be, a word of power, whether it denotes my own genitals or any obstreperous comrades in the vicinity. The first time I ever used it, I was 12 years old, and being hounded by a group of sixth-form boys who just loved to corner me on the stairs and make hilarious sexy comments. One day, one of them decided it would be funny to pick me up by the waist and shake me. I spat out the words ‘put me down, you utter cunt’, and the boy was so shocked that he dropped me instantly.

Ever since then, ‘cunt’ has been a cherished part of my lexical armour. I use it liberally: in conversation, in the bedroom, and in debates. I only wish I could hear more women saying it, more of us reclaiming ‘cunt’ as a word of sexual potency and common discourse rather than a dirty, forbidden word. If the BBC continues its oily pattern of vulgar logorrhoea, I’d like to hear Julia Bradbury saying it on Countryfile. I’d like to hear Kirsty Young saying it on Desert Island Discs.

Men have so many words that they can use to hint at their own sexual power, but we have just the one, and it’s still the worst word you can say on the telly. Let’s all get over ourselves about ‘cunt’. Let’s use it and love it.

***

Laurie Penny is a journalist, feminist, and political activist from London. She is a regular writer for the New Statesman and the Guardian, and has also contributed to the Independent, Red Pepper, and the Evening Standard. She is the author of Meat Market: Female Flesh Under Capitalism (2011). She has presented Channel 4′s Dispatches and been on the panel of the BBC’s Any Questions. Her blog, “Penny Red“, was shortlisted for the Orwell prize in 2010.

In Defence Of Cunt is excerpted from the book Penny Red: Notes from the New Age of Dissent, and is reprinted with the kind permission of Pluto Press.

Talk Nerdy To Me Lover: Mirror Mirror On The Web…
Apr 2012 18

Talk Nerdy To Me Lover: Mirror Mirror On The Web…  

Posted In Blog,Love,Relationships,Sex,Society

by Jen Friel

I talked about this on a recent SuicideGirls Radio Show (thanks again for having me!!) – but I believe in it so freaking much for it’s culturally disruptive components that I wanted to mention it in my blog as well.

What am I talking about? Oh! Mirror.net!

Mirror is the world’s first relationship review application. (And coming from someone who went out on 103 OkCupid dates in 9 months – TRUST ME – this is going to change the dating world.) First up though, some of the deets about Mirror and what a “relationship review application” really is…

The web is currently inundated with online profiles. From your Twitter account and Facebook profile to your Match.com or OkCupid account – there has never been a time where people have been so well represented digitally.

The problem with this human digitization however is the fact that the profiles are created by the person being represented; how can you ever have a true representation of self if the person creating the account is also the one saying how awesome/smart/talented/witty they are.

Mirror solves this problem. They place your profile in the hands of your ex-boyfriends/girlfriends, friends, and soon co-workers, creating a mosaic profile of who you “truly are” not just your highlight reel.

Look at this picture:

Facebook shows you with your best foot forward while Mirror is simply the reflective surface showcasing your ENTIRE personality from head to toe – not just one foot. It shows your positive attributes at the same time as things you may need to work on.

Sound scary?

Kinda, but isn’t that what cultural disruption is all about?

***

Jen Friel is a lifecaster and corporate sponsored minimalist. She went out on over 103 dates in 9 months while couch surfing for a year building her website and bartering social media to live. Consequently, she’s an accidental expert on online dating. You can read all about her ongoing adventures on OKCupid at TalkNerdyToMeLover.com and follow them on Twitter.

Related Posts:

Talk Nerdy To Me Lover: Tips For Guys From A Nerdy Girl On How To Optimize Your OKCupid Profile

From The Archives: Evan Rachel Wood – Pretty Persuasion
Apr 2012 18

From The Archives: Evan Rachel Wood – Pretty Persuasion  

Posted In Blog,Entertainment,Interviews,Movies

by Daniel Robert Epstein


“I feel like for some of the girls that I’’m their voice.”
- Evan Rachel Wood

At the young age of 18 Evan Rachel Wood already has a resume most actors would die for. Since her breakout role in the movie Thirteen she’’s worked with James Woods, Cate Blanchett and Vanessa Redgrave.

Her latest role is the evil and manipulative Kimberly Joyce in the Heathers-like Pretty Persuasion. Kimberley will stop at nothing to become famous. She convinces her two best friends to join her in a sex scandal campaign against their befuddled teacher, Mr. Anderson. She entangles the entire Beverly Hills community in her carefully woven web of seduction and deceit.

Read our exclusive interview with Evan Rachel Wood on SuicideGirls.com.

Tease of the Day
Apr 2012 18

Tease of the Day  

Posted In Blog,Tease

Bounty Suicide in Streamlined

  • INTO: Music, modeling, make-up, kisses, hugs, back rubs, soft skin, soft hair, secrets, sleeping, laughing, traveling, singing.
  • NOT INTO: People stuck on a power-trip, cocky attitudes, prejudgment, low self-esteem, ladies & gents with no self respect.
  • MAKES ME HAPPY: Accents, nice boys.
  • MAKES ME SAD: Being away from loved ones.
  • HOBBIES: Life.
  • 5 THINGS I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT: Youtube (for musical purposes), wallet, contacts, face wash, gum.
  • I SPEND MOST OF MY FREE TIME: Working! Fix that please c:.

Get to know Bounty better over at SuicideGirls.com!