Dinner with Inga Muscio
I had dinner with Inga Muscio, author of Cunt: A Declaration of Independence last night, care of the Cornell Womens’ Resource Center. We mostly discussed her newer book, Autobiography of a Blue-Eyed Devil, which I will definitely read if I can get my hands on a copy. After dinner and discussion, I asked her to sign my copy of Cunt and said that I had a few questions for her, as a woman with female sexual dysfunction.
Though she was a perfectly pleasant and fun woman, I was very nervous to ask her these questions. My internalized stereotypes about feminists (though I proudly identify as one), as well as her writing style, led me to believe that she might be brash or dismissive about my concerns–concerns I share with other women who have vulvodynia. However, she was very open to suggestions, critique, and gave me a good reminder that we all fuck up sometimes.
I asked her about the line that’s something about how men only love women when we are “consumer… bitch, concubine, accountant, orphan, punching bag,… threeholestopenetrate…” (copypasta taken from Feminists with FSD, whose post I revisited before dinner). As someone who has a dysfunctional, umm… hole, that can be pretty alienating. My lack of “normal” sex-having abilities has been pretty self-esteem crushing, and to read that line from a fellow feminist, one who’s writing about vaginas, someone who’s supposed to be on my side, was a little hurtful. Reading that was like having someone tell me “yep, your suspicions about men are correct, you are unsexy and therefore worthless.”
Her only response was that yeah, she fucked up, she’s sorry, and if I wanted to talk to her more about it (or if anyone else who felt similarly when reading Cunt), I should definitely email her. She said she’d take that–and other issues that have been brought to her attention–into consideration when publishing the next edition. We talked a bit about her dedication to alternative medicine and the medicalization of women’s bodies, and while she was far less than willing to change her stance on that, she did say that she understands the necessity of Western medicine for some women. She signed my book and thanked me for coming, and I’m very glad I got to meet her and discuss pelvic pain with her.