on September 2, 2000
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.
on December 24, 1999
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.
on July 29, 2012
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.
on July 14, 2014
Should be titled "The World According to Inga Muscio." Inga's book amounts to cold reading for politics, ie simply say broad things about everything and surely someone is going to empathize or see their own situation in it. This book was absolutely horrible. How in the world do people think this is a feminist book? She thinks like a fundamentalist pro-lifer and I believe even lies about one of her abortion experiences mentioning that her boyfriend was in the room crying with her when she had her clinical abortion at a Planned Parenthood. Boyfriends/spouses, ect are not allowed in any operating room when a woman is having an abortion. A spouse/boyfriend would not be allowed in any surgery room even for an appendectomy. Even her thesis is screwy and she admits "Perhaps, as some 'historians' may have it, I fabricated the historic considerations in reassessing the way we presently perceive 'c-word (this is my own change since amazon wont allow me to write the real word)." What gives her the right to assess historians accuracy since she isn't one and this is cheap paranoia to pretend that there are "mainstream" historians and "alternative" ones like herself. The C-word is actually Dutch. So if she would "fabricate", ie lie about her central thesis its no wonder her other claims such as having her boyfriend in the room with her when she's having her clinical abortion would also be lies. She goes on to espouse back-alley abortions via the use of pennyroyal tea and blue cohosh, the former being toxic to the body. Women in the 21st century have drunk pennyroyal tea and have been put in states of coma. I've read her other interviews such as at therumpus.net and I cant help but think what an annoying flake she is. This isn't women-centered so much as its paranoid quackery.
on February 21, 2006
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.
on March 25, 2013
March 24th marks the day that I gave up on a book that many consider to be "so f---en cool".
Lord, get this woman an editor.
I consider myself a feminist, and I'm wholly in favor of reclaiming the word 'c--t' so this book has been on my to-read list for a while, calling me with its provocative pro-woman declarations of c--t-love. I finally grabbed a few spare moments to start reading it, and from the beginning, I was both nodding along thinking "Right on!" and cringing in alternating paragraphs.
You see, Ms. Muscio has some superb ideas about women, society, feminism, and a thousand other things. I loved her ideas on embracing menstruation and other womanly things that society views negatively. She's an expansive thinker who's obviously done that thinking. What she didn't do is write all those thoughts down in an accessible way--and this is a huge failing that will leave C--t to moulder in the 1990s while other, more approachable books calling for similar action may very well last longer.
I know that many will not care that f---ing/f---in' is spelled f---en. I know many will breeze right over Muscio's socially dated and mentally lazy overuse of the word "retarded" (via 'socially retarded', 'sexually retarded', and more). I know some people will find all of the dialectal "c--ty" neologisms (c--tlovin', c--thatin','c--talicious') quaint. I'm not one of those people.
This book had so much to offer--in theory. It was, to my mind, potentially revolutionary because it had the opportunity to destroy the stigma of c--t and replace it with something empowering--but it didn't. It falls short because while there will be people open to reading it and enjoying it, those people are likely already supporters of the pro-c--t movement. I can't see anyone who isn't already a supporter taking this book seriously, and if it's their only exposure to word reclaiming, feminism, or other related topics, then it's not going to change any minds. It's only going to look ridiculous.
I've given C--t the benefit of the doubt for about 190 pages. That's all I can give. I will be moving on to other authors and I hope that this one stays in the 1990s.
* Dashes because Amazon doesn't allow profanity, even if it's the book's title.
on March 13, 2001
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!
on July 7, 2009
Like the title says, I had mixed feelings about this book. Some of it I liked very much, and there were a lot of interesting ideas to be found. But some of it just had me shaking my head, most likely because I'm an athiest who is very into science and medicine. Like the claims that one can 'fix' their painful periods by stopping the use of all painkillers and just going outside to look at the moon for a few weeks. Or that the author induced an herbal abortion that wasn't actually caused by herbs but by her thinking hard enough about the abortion happening. Not to mention a lot of mentions of the almighty Moon Goddesses.
If you ignore all the 'you can shape your entire world just by thinking hard enough' spiritual mumbo-jumbo (unless you're into that kind of thing, which is fine, I'm just not) it's a good book. Some of it's a bit extreme for my person views but what's the point of reading works like this if not to experience views other than your own? Sadly the above-mentioned issues kept me from enjoying this book as much as I could have, though not everyone will have that issue.
on March 24, 2006
A little bit about my lens with which I view the world: I'm a 21 year old woman, a history major currently attending a military college with only 10% other women (which I don't mind,) straight, and a republican (fine, yell at me later.) That said, this book was my introduction into the world of herstory and just being a loving woman (both self and others.) I've always had these ideas hanging in the back of my head, and always been bothered by some blatant inequities, so ingrained in our societal mind that they're apparent even at my school, which does everything it can to ensure our sex does not hinder or help us in relation to the boys. I really enjoyed this new view of my body part which until now, was really just a huge pain, a constant reminder that I wasn't as fast or as strong as the boys, and that simply living entailed so many more risks than they had to take. I wasn't so cool with the section on abortion, but that's the author's choice, I kinda believe that unborn women have rights too.
I was amazed at the section on rape-- how it is committed by people with a complete and utter lack of respect, well, I can't paraphase it well, I don't have the book with me right now, but it was an outstanding point.
Thank God that we were all born in a time that women can *finally* start expounding on our right to equality and at the same time the blessing we have that we are different than men (but still wonderful!)
on February 19, 2004
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.