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Cunt: A Declaration of Independence Expanded and Updated Second Edition Paperback – October 15, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Somewhere between Valerie Solanas's bitter SCUM Manifesto and Eve Ensler's fanciful The Vagina Monologues lies this self-indulgent exercise in feminist reclamation. Striving to remove the negative connotations from a word usually used as a scathing insult, Muscio traces the history of the term "cunt" and asserts that it was once a term of respect before the patriarchy turned it into a profane, misogynistic epithet. This transformation, she insists, occurred as part of a conspiracy to make women feel a sense of self-loathing and uncleanness; only by reconnecting with love for their genitalia can women achieve personal and political power. Muscio muddles her work with rambling digressions, including those about utilizing sea sponges instead of tampons during menstruation, using herbal tea and visualization in order to miscarry an unwanted fetus and identifying with Imelda Marcos. What insights the book does provide must be discerned beneath Musico's jarring prose, which fluctuates between the academic and the colloquial, sometimes in the same paragraph. On responses to her manuscript, she writes, "Reactions to a book called Cunt always lead to an intense grilling. Ain't never encountered ambivalence." Although this work may constitute a move toward women's acceptance of themselves and their bodies, it is a very small step. Agent, Leigh Feldman.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Seal Press; 2nd edition (October 15, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580050751
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580050753
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.5 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (131 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,373 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Mock Duck on September 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
Sick of academic feminism, I really thought this book was going to be a slipshod piece of etymological scholarship. I picked it up to laugh at it. Imagine my shock when it turned out to be a smart, feisty, personable, positive, constructive, angry, liberating book - oh yeah, and fun. The sheer pleasure Musico finds in life and words is exhilarating. Reading her book is like talking to your best friend - she's stubborn, kind of crazy, and I still don't agree with all her politics, but it's damned hard not to like her or to respect where she's coming from. Also, she has some sound, specific, and clearly stated advice on how to keep from being raped/mugged - that alone is probably enough to make the book worth reading.

I do think the majority of college-educated, pro-choice American women will get a kick out of this, if they can get past the embarassing cover (buying this book felt very much like buying a box of tampons - this is fallout from the author's relentlessly sex-positive attitudes). However, extreme feminists will probably find it overly personal, insufficiently rigorous, and too focused on the lives of women of the demographic I mentioned above.
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54 of 61 people found the following review helpful By monster treasure on December 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is from a kickass school: it's not preoccupied with men, it's not loose and theoretical. It's about coming to terms: with your own body, with language, with the culture at large. It's about subverting the tampon industry, hanging out with your mom, taking control of some of the more suspicious parts of your life, and riding skateboards down the street while wearing bunny-ear hats. I never did feel like part of the club before when reading feminist literature, but this book made me feel invited to the party.
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178 of 214 people found the following review helpful By Juniper on July 29, 2012
Format: Paperback
I felt ashamed to read this book as a very vocal and active feminist. I'm radical, pro-choice, and pro-woman, but this stuff is so awful that it reads like satire. She whines for an entire chapter about how horribly oppressed she is because she has to buy menstrual products. She recommends that her readers refuse to read books written by men. She says that birth control is a tool of the patriarchal machine, so she refuses to use it-- and ends up having three abortions, which she actually has the audacity to brag about. I'm very, very pro-choice, but it's grotesquely irresponsible to repeatedly refuse to use effective birth control as some kind of political statement, and to then have abortions one after the other as if each one is a new piercing or something. It also really disturbs me to think that some impressionable young women might follow her terrible advice to avoid birth control, and she recounts her self-performed (DANGEROUS) abortion as if it was some kind of fun adventure that everyone should try. Then she goes on to recommend lesbianism as a form of birth control, which really offends me as a queer woman because it implies that being gay is a choice. The writing is redundant and crude and her attitude is self-congratulatory and arrogant. I do NOT recommend this book to anyone.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By PA College Student! on February 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book was given to me to read by a friend. It was one of the most inspiring, woman-friendly books I have ever read. I would encourage everyone, man, woman, whatever, to read it. I may not use sea sponges as sanitary pads or trust my sexual health to herbs, but if this book taught me one thing, it was to think before making a degrading comment about another woman, to accept myself, flaws and all, and to encourage other women to love themselves. As for my bias, well I am a pro-choice, female, democrat college student. But I encourage everyone to read it. Even if most of it offends you, I can't imagine anyone reading this book coming out of it worse off (ie disliking women, and all people, more) than they did prior to reading it.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 19, 2004
Format: Paperback
For the longest time I've been afraid to express sexual feelings, or even talking about femininity for fear that I would be looked down upon or opressed. This book has opened my eyes to see what beauty ALL women posess, and actually made me proud to be one. I am no longer afraid to discuss menstration, or sex with anyone else, and it has made me value my body for the temple that it really is. I would recommend that everyone read this book, espcially women, and you too will understand the power that women can have under any circumstance.
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84 of 106 people found the following review helpful By Miss D. AwesomePants on March 13, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the most empowering book i've ever read. As a feminist, lesbian, and avid reader/student of women's studies, i have to say that this is the best book i've read all year. Inga Muscio talks about female anatomy, rape, abortion, orgasms, menstruation, and prostitution. While i didn't agree with EVERY point she made, i was shown an itelligent point of view that made me think of things i had never thought of before. She made me feel even PROUDER to be a woman. I have purchased copies of this book for my girlfriend and another female friend, and i intend on buying a copy for my mother. I wish i could give this books to everyone that has ever meant anything to me, male and female, to share her beautiful points of view. She embraces life, praises women, and entertains all at the same time. I recommend this book to everyone for an education and a new appreciation for women and for life. I recommend this book HIGHLY, and you'll want 3 copies (one for yourself, one for your best friend, and one for your mother/sister!) ENJOY!
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Cunt: A Declaration of Independence  Expanded and Updated Second Edition
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