Inga Muscio’s kickin’ book “Cunt: A Declaration of Independence” is a book which will challenge your worldview. In particular, it speaks in the voice of a woman, and is intended for other women. I believe what Inga is trying to do here, is get womankind to both understand and reclaim what it is to be woman in this society.
One basic principle “Cunt” encourages is the understanding and reclaiming of language which is woman-positive and woman-powerful, instead of woman-hateful. For example the word vagina comes from a word meaning a sheath for a sword, and as Inga puts it “Ain’t got no vagina.” It is suggested women delve into art, books, music, media and so on created by women. It is suggested we immerse ourselves in a woman-rich culture and learn what it is to be a woman (while supporting the women who created these works).
The most memorable thing about this book aside from its name, is the womanifesto where Inga advocates self protection. Just because you are a woman is no reason you can’t take a quick bike ride down to the seven-eleven at midnight to grab milk according to Inga… That is, as long as you are smart about it. Her version of self protection in this scenario is to stuff her hair into a baseball cap, pull on some bulky sweats which obscure her shape, put a couple rocks in her pocket, let a friend know where she is going and when she expects to be back, and then just go.
It is amazing how much women hate on other women, and “Cunt” is a reminder to us all that we are perpetuating the same woman-hate that is so prevalent in our society and why we should stop and think about this. So many different stereotypes are challenged in this book, it serves as a vital resource which should be a part of every woman’s education. Inga also gives us a palm up by listing websites, stores, books, and other resources which we can use to educate ourselves further.
This isn’t a feminist book which preaches feminist theory - thank goddess. This is a book full of life, a sharing of history, thoughts, and explorations of womankind from a bluntly spoken, practical woman. It is something which will make readers stop and think twice. It is a book which readers will find themselves learning and wanting to spread the knowledge to other women.