Ann Wilson (of Heart) stepped onstage and ripped out a trademark "Oooooh, Barra...cunta!"
I looked at my daughter, who had brought me to the Vagina Monologues, raised an eyebrow (or two, I never did nail that Rock-like single eyebrow thing) and smiled. "Barracunta!" Ann again, "Now you all say it with me."
That pin-drop silence you always hear about? It happened.
Then, as one, we inhaled and we did. "Barracunta!" Tentatively.
1400 Women -- and a few brave men -- ranging from barely pubescent to elderly. "Barracunta!"
"Barracunta!" Then we did it again. "Barracunta!" And again. "Barracunta!" Louder each time. "Barracunta! Barracunta!" until we were all on our feet and the building shook. "Barracunta! Barracunta! Barracunta!"
I imagine that some of those brave men thought they were in some "Barracunta Madness" where having said it three times, the spirit of Barrracunta would now step out of the mirror into the room and come at them, wild-eyed, brandishing a kitchen cleaver...
As the echoes of "Barracunta...cunta..." died away, women who had been strangers moments before locked eyes and smiled and laughed. It was a real bonding moment.
I get all misty I am woman, hear me roar Barracunta! just thinking about it.
Try it and see if it doesn't work for you. I mean, if you can find 1400 women to chant "Barracunta!" with. (I'll wait...so how is the weather in San Diego anyway?) Feel better now?
That night of Barracunta bonding was brought to mind today when this thing happened on twitter.I almost hate to bring it up, but it was the catalyst for this post so there you are.
A guy called a woman a "cunt" and she sent out the link as an example of what women have to put up with online. She called him a motherfucker a few tweets later, which sort of proved that that was the sort of crap everyone has to put up with, online and in the real world, and made these two people about even in my book.
This seemed to be conflated somehow with a Blogher session on bullying that was focused on real life "What do the cops need to know..." which is much more real life than some random guy on twitter is ever going to be. (As a friend said, "No a stalker comes into your house and rearranges things..." Yes, for real...) But that's not really my point. (hence no links)
My point is, cunt is just a word. Get over being offended.
Next time some idiot calls you a cunt smile and say thanks. Or chant my catchy new slogan:
have cunt, you dun't, get over it
Okay, so maybe catchy is a bit much to claim, but it's tough to come up with good cunt chants. You try. No, seriously, try. Comments are open. You have to be able to come up with better than that!
Everyone else has reclaimed the power of the words that once offended them. Are women incapable of this? Cunt, cunt, cunt. See? No flames imploded off the screen. Just a word. Say it often enough and it's nonsensical sounds.
Cunt, cunt, cunt, cunt, cunt, cunt, Cunt, cunt, cunt, cunt, cunt, cunt...
See? It's barely a word anymore. How can that wound you?
I asked a woman who makes me think every time she lays hands on keyboard what she thought of "cunt" and she replied:
"I like it. It feels like a powerful word. I use it when writing sex scenes a lot or when talking about my own body...and not even as a political act, it's just the other options all sound so childish. So I'm down."
As for me, I am updating that old line about the fat lady singing:
It's not over til the voluptous lady sings "Barracunta!"