Taking back the word.

Pussy.

Don’t mess with her.
Or she will take you out.
Which is exactly what we are witnessing right now, on the world’s stage, in this election year.
Pussy has taken out the Donald.
And he still has no idea what hit him.
And perhaps never will.

Pussy is arguably the most powerful pejorative word in the English language. It is the ultimate salacious smack to a woman’s dignity, used when the intention is to hurt, humiliate, and fracture her humanity.  

There is no woman alive who has not had her pussy defiled or discriminated against, in some way. Belittlement. Gender discrimination. Rape. Molestation. Income inequality. The necessity for Title IX.

Pussy vs Donald

Apparently Donald is officially no match for Pussy: A Reclamation, at this local bookstore. Thanks to Sarah Garfunkel for sending us this photo!

When a certain kind of unaware, bigoted man says the word pussy—as in, “Grab them by the pussy”—women know they are in trouble. We know we are at risk of being victimized by the unconscious masculine, which does not have our best interests at heart. We also know any offer he might make will probably turn into a physical and emotional mess.

And yet we know we may find ourselves saying yes to it anyway. For, like so many women, we think we are obliged to say yes. Many women have spent their lives watching their moms, grandmoms, aunts, and friends choicelessly support a legacy of submission. Many women have been taught since childhood that they are an object, existing solely for the enjoyment of men. This kind of man is looking at women as receptacles, created for his use—not as full, equal human beings with thoughts and responses that might be different from his unconscious assumptions.

“Pussy” is rarely used in celebration or support of our womanhood. We may be called a “pussy” as an insult or a jibe. If we hesitate too long, feel fearful, or appear too slow, we get the P-word hurled in our direction. The insult might even come from one of our own: we women have, ourselves, internalized the dominant culture’s viewpoint that “pussy” is a proper insult.

No one calls me “pussy” when they want to communicate how radiant and beautiful I look on a certain day. They don’t use the word to tell me how expertly and thoroughly I have managed to accomplish a Herculean task. And yet, pussy is all that and more.

We are in a culture that basically hates pussies and devalues the feminine. 

We need look no further than the headlines to see that violence flourishes, unchecked, when the feminine withdraws. War is rampant in countries where women are the most repressed.

If the culture she lives in refuses to honor her, revere her and recognize her, she takes out her anger in subversive ways.  

To those of us growing up in our patriarchal culture, pussies themselves are terrifying. They are desired and defiled in equal measure. They are powerful, messy, mysterious, and unknown. We are warned that pussies are what men want from us. Yet at the same time, we are taught that they are utterly disgusting. They bleed; they push out babies; they have orgasms in capricious and unpredictable ways. We are told they smell funny, and we are sold endless products to rid ourselves of their pesky fragrance. They are often considered ugly and in need of grooming in order to be presentable. We women shy away from them, and our men do not understand them.
And yet, they are the source of life, itself.
Every one of us owes our very existence to the raw, relentless power of pussy.

One of the greatest pieces of unconscious conditioning we have in our Western culture is that we do not teach our children the name of the source of our feminine power. Ask my students at the School of Womanly Arts what they were taught to call their genitals as a child, and you’ll get a parade of colloquialisms: Wickie, Cuckoo, Privates, Down There, Pooter, Pee Wee, the Fine China, Name and Address, Venus, Noonie, Miss Kitty, Purse . . . the list goes on. Those who were taught a more direct word were often taught to call it “vagina,” a clinical term that is also physiologically incorrect.

But what’s worse, the majority of women were taught to call it nothing at all.

When we have no common language to describe that which is most essentially feminine about us, we have no way to locate and own our power as women. 

I have been preoccupied with the question of why women have this limited ability to access their power and voice that nothing they do seems to ameliorate or resolve. As I look around the world of women, it seems as if our lights are off. We are turned off, like a light switch. The bulb is in there, but it sure isn’t lit up. And it is no wonder. We have all been taught to turn off, to turn away.  

We can learn just as much about a culture from what it’s missing as from what it embraces. 

When we live in a world that cannot even comprehend its own inherent bigotry against women—and thus cannot step forward to honor or support the women and girls who have been devastated by it—what is the recourse? How do we stand up to an invisible assault that does not want to be made visible? How does a woman weather—let alone triumph over—such a global denial of her experience?

How does she locate a pathway to mend, strengthen, and remake herself in a world that does not recognize she is broken?

How does she turn on when she has been systematically denied, passed over, and subjugated? Where is the opportunity in this story line for the victim to become the heroine?
How do we, as women, reconsecrate our holiness after we have been defiled, turned off and ignored all our lives?

And this is where Donald provided a powerful wake up call, opening the opportunity for uniting women in a way that we have been longing to unite.

The solution for the epidemic of powerlessness among women, which neither great success nor higher education is able to solve, is simple: reconnecting a woman to her pussy. 

Just as pussy is the source of all human life, pussy is the source of each woman’s connection to her own life force, her voice, and her sense of internal power. When a woman turns on her pussy, she is actually turning on her life force and connecting to her divinity.

When women are speaking the word, the weighty reverb swings toward us, rather than against us. The baggage turns into proud history.
And there is an immediate feeling of reclamation, which is the first step toward actual
Reclamation.

I am grateful for the pussy takeover, that Donald provided for all of us, on national TV. It’s time that we all have the opportunity to awaken to the innate beauty, power, and magnificence of pussy.

In solidarity,
Regena_grey_sg190

 

 

p.s. Times are changing, sister. Check out my book Pussy, featured in the Washington Post!

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