Review: Cunt by Inga Muscio

8 August 2013 by 44 Comments

cunt-a-declaration-of-independence-1BookCunt:  A Declaration of Independence

Author:  Inga Muscio

Published: 2002 by Seal Press

First line:  “On the choice occasions popes and politicians directly refer to female genitalia, the term ‘vagina’ is discreetly engaged.”

Rating:  4 out of 5 reappropriated feminist cunts

Recommended if you like:  If you, like, have a cunt or know someone who has a cunt and you like her (or her cunt) well enough

So I was standing in my kitchen, barefoot and pregnant and turning out pie after pie while this nice man patted my head and tried to explain something mathy or sciencey to me (I don’t know which, it’s all SO CONFUSING!) when I had this thought:  I should go reread Cunt! I had to take some Ibuprofen first, because ZOMG THINKING HURTS, and I also took some Motrin because chances are good that I’m PMS-ing, but after that, I did pick up the book.

OMG WHERE ARE THE PICTURES?!?!  Words are for men.

Words are for men. :(

In my early twenties, I first read Muscio’s earnest, slightly ranty Cunt, which is a celebration of the snatch if I’ve ever read one, and I loved it.  It was positively transformative.  That word, that dirtiest of swear words, was actually a good thing?  Oh yes, people, yes.  It is.

My early twenties was the perfect time for me to read this book, because Muscio’s tone matches up so well with that whole finding myself, going-against-cultural-norms period that happened at that point in my life.  Her exploration of issues that directly affect women, by virtue of having a cunt, lends itself to a kind of feminist war cry against cunt crimes and for embracing all the wonderment that is being a liberated woman.  It is that wincingly-heartfelt protest mentality that makes this text both so good and so bad; reading it now, at thirty, I find it to be a little too much at times, but it was so important to 22-year-old-Laura that I’ll never be able to toss it aside.  Beneath Muscio’s (perhaps too) repetitious mantra  “cunts are awesome and amazing” lies the fundamental truth that cunts ARE awesome and amazing; Muscio discusses a pretty complete range of what women go through in regards to their ladyparts, from the amazing (ahem, sex) to the awful (rape), but always ends on a fist-raising note.

Perhaps my favorite concept of the entire book is the re-appropriation of the word “cunt.” The “c-word” has become the dirtiest swear word one person can toss a woman’s way, but actually has its roots in a very wholesome–dare I say American–concept:  country.  Unity.  Cunt-try.  See what I did there?  That’s actually true.  Muscio delves into the idea that women, people really, should take back that word and put it to good use, remember its roots, and basically venerate the vagina.  Praise the pussy.  Fete the fancy bits.  Treasure the twat.  Love the lady jane.  (I could do this all day.)

Not everyone can do that, though.  Let’s look to a random person, like, say…Mitch, the famous Mitch, Mitch the Bitch (y’all I had to, because RHYMES) who thought he would really be making some loud women with opinions who dare to share those on a free, public forum cry into their oven mitts, which they constantly wear because they don’t ever leave the kitchen.  Dude, I might have been offended if you had insulted my literary integrity or even taste, but calling me a cunt?  Nope.  It led to one of the most hilarious nights of Twitter and Facebook talking with my fellow Bookslutscunts and some of our readers EVER, which led to a weekend of me telling this story to my friends and sharing many many laughs, and now I get to write this review and try to see what I’m typing through all the laugh-tears.  But I’m not thanking you for it, Mitch; I think we all would have dismissed your comment out of hand had we not had that series of ridiculous CUNTVERSATIONS, so thanks, fellow cunts, because I otherwise would have probably been trying to do something stupid like trying to work the remote by myself all that night.

Because the thing is, kids, some of us HAVE REACHED THE APPROPRIATION STATION and give zero fucks about being called cunts.

So, probably what we should all do now is go read Cunt in public and take little breaks to scribble away in the Cunt Coloring Book and also call me on the fucking phone and we can have a very loud conversation about how we’re reading Cunt and have cunts and love cunts or whatever.  I, for one, cannot stop saying “cunt,” and I’ve got no plans for stopping.  If you haven’t, you should say “cunt” out loud.  It feels truly powerful and amazing.


Oh, and Mitch dear?  Please send me a copy of Vampiers Versus Wearwolfs, whatever the fuck that is, and I’ll review it for you IF I can stop being on my period or baking or walking into doors because I can’t figure out doorknobs (TECHNOLOGY, am I right?).


A girl walks into a bar and says, "Is it solipsistic in here or is it just me?" Take that joke and add tacos, whiskey, records, and literary theory and you get me.

44 thoughts on “Review: Cunt by Inga Muscio

  1. I first encountered the Cunt Coloring Book in a psychology of human sexual behaviour course I took in university. A bunch of us had to color in one page as a group, and even though the group was mostly women, we had a hard time with it. None of us had ever looked at our cunts from an artistic standpoint. “Should that bit be light pink or vermillion?” It was a lot of fun, once we got over the shock of not knowing how to begin.

  2. Now wait just a goddamn second. I thought Mitchy Mitch wanted more reviews?

    Have we caved, by giving him what he wants? I’m torn, because this is a totally cunty review. :/

    • It’s like one of those “careful what you wish for” cautionary tales, where like, you wish to be rich and then you have ALL THE MONEY but then nobody likes you anymore and you lose your whole family because you develop a taste for coke and whores and then you SPEND all of your money or lose it in a Wall Street scheme that your new friends assure you is totally going to make you a ZILLION DOLLARS and then you’re poor and homeless and addicted to cocaine.

      Except Mitch just wished for more reviews.

    • I think we can feel safe in knowing this is NOT the kind of review that little shit wanted ;)

      ALTHOUGH I am TOTALLY DEAD FUCKING SERIOUS about my offer to review his work.

      • That’s is certainly very big of you. Perhaps I was hasty in my initial evaluation of you all. With that said, how can I get a copy of my novel over to you dikes?

        • Well, if you’d like to get your novel to the dikes, may I suggest Amsterdam? I hear they have plenty of them over there.

          (Seriously, Mitch, you’re making this too easy. It’s like you’re trolling yourself.)

          • I’m starting to think Mitch might be a 12-year-old just dying to practice his mad swearing skillz for the first time. I can just hear him giggling, “Oh boy, let’s see…what word should I use next…ooh, what if I call them… oh man they’ll be sooo upset this time! Hee hee! I’ll just throw it in all casual-like here…”
            There may even be a couple of other 12-year-olds egging him on.
            “I dare you to call them ‘dykes’ now. Ha ha we’re so cool.”
            *other boys snicker, feeling totally badass*
            “How do you spell–”
            “Who cares, just do it!”

            It’s almost adorable, if one can roll their eyes at something adorable.

        • Please just email it to me, dear. The other Bookcunts and I could really use some fresh material! We’ve had the grandest fucking time this week, but I’m sure we’d love to extend the laughs by reading all about vampiers and wearwolfs, whatever the fuck THOSE are. So shoot it over to me and I’ll rip your trite prose, grammatical errors, and spoken subtext all to fuck, ok? I can spare an hour just for you, my friend.

          All the best!!

        • Dear Mitch:
          I know this is hard to understand, but I’m going to explain it to you. Slowly.
          Not all cunts are dykes. Not all dykes have cunts.
          As a librarian, I’d be happy to recommend some excellent titles to increase your knowledge of gender and sexual identities.
          Also a dictionary and some spell check software.
          I know I’m just a woman and all, but I think I get to speak up about this since I’m… you know… an actual dyke. *checks woman’s rule book*
          Yup, yup. I’m good.
          All the best!

  3. I know he acted kinda’ dickish, but I think Mitch might just be a cunt hisself.

    Oh, and no home is complete without the cunt coloring book. We have one at our home. Amaranth is a lovely shade too. Of course as a generalization regardless of shades cunts are beautiful with the probable exception of Mitch.

    • I have two daughters, and I really want to get this for them…me…us.

      And Mitch is TOTALLY a cunt in the way HE meant, not the awesamazing way WE mean. It’s interesting, how we use this word, if I can get all serious for a second. How deeply he meant to offend blows my mind.

  4. Nicely done, Lady Laura! Though you ought never to incorporate a cigarette holder, as I can already hear the disembodied ghost of Hunter Thompson crying out “some cunt’s stealing my look!”

    • Thanks Paul! Hunter S. Thompson is WAAAAAY more cunty than I could EVER be ;)

      Although right now I’m totally smoking in a slip and cardigan. That screams more “hooker” than “cunt” though, amiright?!

      • Ha! Well, I like to think that with time and copious abusive drug use, we can all be a little more like Hunter. Though we may have to find other headwear. Visors are so 1973.

        A slip and a cardigan, huh? I don’t know if it’s hooker, though you fall on the spectrum somewhere between French New Wave and Irish Poet. That’s not necessarily better!

  5. “IF I can stop being on my period or baking or walking into doors because I can’t figure out doorknobs (TECHNOLOGY, am I right?).”

    Completely random: I learned in college that the Arabic word for “doorknob” translates literally to “door nipple.” I tried googling to confirm this with disastrous results, but I still wanted to share. (If anyone can confirm or deny this without Arab porn, that would be appreciated.)

        • *movie trailer voiceover*
          She’s the most popular new nanny in town!

          *some kid half-whispering to some other kids*
          KID: “I heard that her nipples are actually the size of–

          *woman dressed as a sexy Mary Poppins at an interview*
          INTERVIEWEE: This was actually my Halloween costume last year, and I totally rocked it, you know? And then I thought, “Hey! I’ve totally been looking for a new job, and I look really hot in this costume…”
          PARENTS: . . .
          INTERVIEWEE: Oh, and plus, I love kids!
          MOTHER: . . . Well…er…I think we–
          INTERVIEWEE: Want to hear my British accent?

          Coming Soon To Theaters Near You!

    • I’m not 100% certain we would have if he hadn’t ended it “all the best.” That just pushed it over the precipice into total absurdity.


      It still makes me laugh.

  6. I adore that you are riding this individual like Seabiscuit.
    Cunt on with your bad selves!
    And I kinda want to make that graph about how popularity relates to cuntiness my background on my laptop. Deeply considering.

  7. I like to take Motrin preemptively. Every 4-6 hours. Just in case I start PMSing. I mean, who wants to subject the men in my life to THAT nonsense, am I right? I do hear it’ll eventually do damage to my liver, but that’s a small price to pay for keeping the men happy and keeping my flapping fucking opinionated mouth shut.

    Also, you WEREN’T trying to work the remote when we were chatting the other night? Shit, I was. That’s why I kept missing so much of the chat. I couldn’t figure out if the 7 was a SEVEN or an L and then I realized THERE’S NO CHANNEL L! and that I had the remote upside down so I just thought calming thoughts about cupcakes and watercolors and took like 47 Xanax and everything was alright then.

    (I love this post, yo.)

  8. Pingback: Reclaiming Words | Lezbrarian

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