May. 12th, 2004

keryx: (Default)
There was a discussion on one of the communities last week or this week or whatever... basically, the discussion questioned the research behind Inga Muscio's book "Cunt".

My thoughts: there was RESEARCH in that book?

It was a beautiful, moving, angry-making book in many ways. It changed my life a bit, even. I think it was the first feminist book I read and really felt pushed forward by. I love the classics of feminism, but so many of them are academic. You need a good angry-making book to mobilize you.

So, yeah, her etymology of "cunt" is totally spurious, because it's one of those unusual words for which the etymology is very unclear (but, um, Alix Olson, please note that it's not likely the same as "country" - it's not "contra"/against anything). And maybe you wouldn't take her advice on birth control or foist her opinions on your non-sex-having friends.

But it was mobilizing.

I think sometimes as feminists we get too caught up in dissection and academia (which are both very useful in their way) and forget that we need to mobilize high-school sophomores, or at least be practical, ya know? There are exceptions. bell hooks doesn't forget.

Ironically, this is something fat activists don't seem to forget, ever - as much as it seems like a new movement (though I guess, strictly speaking, it's not), there's a lot of inspiring-type resource material. And it tends to be merged with fact-based research. That is kinda cool. It's like the fire you need to get moving and the information you'll use in that movement, but in one package.

A good example is Marilyn's Fat?So! book (not to be confused with her zine), which is equal parts "you rock" and "here's some information that disproves that common knowledge about how bad fatness is". There are a few dense academic treatises, but most fat activist work tends towards accessibility (some of it also tends towards horrible assumptions about fat folk, which is less super).

Were feminists more like that at the outset? More action-oriented?

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