News for March 2010

The Power of Cunt:
Germaine Greer’s Forgotten Vaginal Revolution

The year was 1973, and Penthouse’s Forum magazine was at the cutting edge of sexuality. It might have been nearly thirty years ago, but inside Forum, the ‘International Journal of Human Relations’, lies a forgotten manifesto that sounds as fresh today as it did then. Germaine Greer’s ‘Vaginal Revolution’:

It seems the feminist movement has split into two factions since then, those who think pole-dancing in the bedroom for their boyfriend is liberation, and the rest who think that women’s lib means competing in a man’s world by rejecting the potential of female sexual power. Not to mention those who find the ‘F-word’ simply uncool and irrelevant.

Germaine Greer gives us another option. She envisages a world where women realise the power of their sexuality, not by subscribing to a raunch culture that aspires only to titillate men, nor by denying the magnetism of female allure. It’s time we reclaimed the power of Cunt. But don’t take it from me, here is an excerpt from Ms. Greer’s fantastically bold piece:

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…In order that women might become sex objects rather than sexual people, sex itself was devalued. Instead of extending through all forms of communication into the “highest pinnacle of the human spirit” (Nietzsche) it became a “momentary itch” (Amis).

Women lost spirit and were made flesh. Desire was localised in the male genital, the visible doodle, the tag of flesh that could become as hard as a fist.

The interpretation of souls and bodies became the pummelling of one lump of meat by a harder lump of meat. Sexuality became as masculine a virtue as packing a good left.

If the softer flesh was further tenderised by pummelling, then the tremulous dangling thing in which the male located his sex was safe from any threat, except the anxiety which was the unavoidable result of having invested male sexuality in a lump of meat in the first place.

In his efforts to allay his anxiety that his tassle might not turn into a fist when required, that it might be smaller than the man-next-door’s, the male forbade comparison to his woman. From her he extracted fidelity.

Fast vehicles, bombs and male bonding were called into service to allay his persistent phallic anxiety. Women lost their interest in all of it, the competitive sports, the war game, the games of darts with the boys.

The female genital organ, in keeping with the desexualisation of her whole energy and the obliteration of her desire, became a mere hole, troops for the use of. Receptivity which is no more passive an act than eating, therefore became synonymous with passivity.

If gentleness was like feminine passivity, activity had to distinguish itself by becoming aggression. The world was to be conquered, knowledge was raped, virgin countries were exploited. The only becoming attitude for the masculine hand was a fist, and the only position in love or war was on top…

…The devices used to minimise the organs of femaleness became more sophisticated; women began to wear knickers, then to deodorise their genitals, douche them, shave them, pluck them. Their rich juices were discouraged from flowing…

…The relaxation of sexual taboos has not even been a reform, let alone a revolution. Revolutionary women may well join Women’s Liberation Groups and curse and scream and fight the cops, but did you ever hear one of them marching the public street with her skirt held high crying “Can you dig it? Cunt is beautiful!”…

…Cunt is a channel drawing all towards it. Cunt is knowledge. Knowledge is receptivity, which is activity. Cunt is the symbol of erotic science, the necessary corrective of the maniacal conquest of technology…

…Skirts must be lifted, knickers (which women have only worn for a century) must come off forever. It is time to dig Cunt and women must dig it first…

…It is absurd that women can only name their sex by the terms of phoney objectivity, the scientific terms which seek to push away the reality of the thing by talking about it in foreign tongues, clitoris, labia majora and minora, the glands of Bartholin for God’s sake!

The only other terms they may deploy have been deformed by centuries of sadistic male use. You cunt, gash, slit, crack, slot… Women have no names of their own for what is most surely their own.

It ought to be possible to establish a woman’s vocabulary of cunt, prideful, affectionate, accurate and bold.

But it is not enough to know what it is called. Women must know above all other people what it is. Feeling it with the fingers serves to accomplish much, but more must be known, of its prettiness, its varying expressions, of how it smells and how it tastes, so that the women’s magazines cannot frighten us into believing that what lies between our legs is rotting meat.

There is no substitute for confrontation: women must become expert in their own complexities and, because there is no knowledge without standards of comparison, the cunts of others.

It is no more true that all cunts are the same when you get down on them than it is that all cats are grey in or out of the dark…

…To know cunt is to love it and to love it is to care for it. To care for it is not only to avoid the maltreatment of it by such gross practices as inserting needles or bottles into its tenderness, but to keep it free of the germicides and deodorants which upset its balance and obliterate its essential character.

If women are to reconquer their sexual pride they must find a way to make cunt as important in medicine as cock is…

…There are doctors who are gynaecologists because they are into cunt, although most of them sooner or later are therefore struck off. These are the ones who should be the health officers of the women’s movement.

As things stand, they are more likely to be avoided by the militants who confuse sex roles with sexuality.

But while it is true that male-female relationships in our society are perverted, it is not a revolutionary solution to eschew all such contact.

What is certain, however, is that the patriarchal state could never survive the re-conquest by women of their own sexuality. The patriarchal family structure, the outward expression of the conjugal missionary position, would not survive the advent of self-regulating pleasure – seeking femaleness.

It is only by reinstating genuine potency in themselves, that women can avoid falling into the sterile perversion of male sexuality which is violence. Violence confuses aggression with power. Cuntpower is the only form of power yet devised which can avoid this arid syndrome.

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To read the article in its entirety, please see the scanned images below.

Pages 1-2

Pages 3-4

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Dear Julie Bindel:
Why Selling Sex is Not Selling Your Self

Today’s Guardian featured a celebratory article by Julie Bindel on Iceland’s new ban on strip clubs. Hip hip hurray! Now women in Iceland can live in a globalized raunch culture but never get paid for their participation. Liberation indeed.

First of all, if you think women are objectified by our hyper-sexed culture and you want change, the banning of strip clubs is certainly no place to start. At least those women earn money doing what they do. I wish I had been paid for those hours I put in at school discos back in high school where bumping and grinding was simply what was done to ‘fit in’.

But let’s get to the bigger picture. So-called ‘feminists’ are now powerful enough to tell women who disagree with them that they have no right to capitalize on their sexual power. That they are deluding themselves if they feel empowered by earning money with their ‘tits and ass’. I thought it was supposed to be patriarchy that attempted to control the way women use their sexuality, not the ‘women’s movement’ itself?

One’s ability to do manual labour involving heavy lifting often relies on having typically male biological traits, just as stripping tends to depend on having typically female ones. In our economy, we capitalize on our assets – whether genetic or learned, physical or intellectual, etc.

So unless you’re trying to undermine the entire capitalist system of selling labour, the sex industry is like any other service industry and should be treated as such. That is, after all, what so many sex workers are fighting for themselves.

But no, we read that “the men of Iceland will just have to get used to the idea that women are not for sale”. Why is dancing on stage in clothing selling your service as a dancer, but dancing on stage without clothing actually selling ‘you’? It’s pure discrimination that reeks of puritanical notions of sex and self – particularly with regard to women.

If women involved in the sex industry are not there by choice (a relative notion – how many work their lives at McDonalds by ‘choice’?) then that is something to work on. But it is only through the de-stigmatisation of sex work that we will start to see a sex industry where those working do so because they want to, and those who don’t find a job they’re better suited to.

Let’s not disenfranchise women in the name of feminism. Because when it comes to women’s rights, it’s all about choice – right, sister?

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Posted: March 27th, 2010
Categories: Sex Work, Sexuality
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