Words! Words! Words!
Misheard, misunderstood, banned and reinvigorated words
Language warning: This comic contains the C-word. I know that lots of people fear that word. If that word does make you uncomfortable, please continue reading.
I didn’t only mishear lyrics as dirty - I definitely thought that The Police were singing “I’m a pool hall ace” instead of the much more likely “How my poor heart aches” in Every Breath You Take. But I love the rude ones - it shows such a total misunderstanding of the rules to think that a top ten pop hit could use the words I thought they used. I also never thought to ask anyone - I just figured them out over time.
I’m sure YOU misheard some lyrics. What were they? Share in the comments!
Certain Words, Discussed Gently but Firmly LOL
So, about that C-word. To be kind, I won’t keep writing it here over and over. But I want to talk about it. In my very early '20s I formed this opinion, and I have never heard a reasonable explanation for my being wrong.
Male junk has a zillion nicknames. I stopped paying attention to them long ago, so there are probably seven zillion now. Female junk has a bunch too, but they tend to be violent and misogynistic (big surprise). Outside of those, female junk in its totality has almost NO words, and I always thought this was disabling to women - witness the infantile “vajayjay” or the horrible, puritanical “down there.” (Vagina is only one aspect of female junk, to be clear. When one is discussing that part, it’s a good word, but sometimes one is discussing the entire package.)
The only words I can think of that describe the whole package (“package” tends to refer to the male junk, for some reason) are forbidden and rude: p-ssy, c-nt, and… well, that is all. THAT’s why grown women and men say “down there,” or mislabel the whole genitalia as single aspects, like vagina.
I can’t imagine that this is not misogynistic indoctrination. It’s only, like, ten minutes ago that people figured out what a clitoris actually is. Female bodies have been left out of the conversations - sexual, medical, health - for a long, long, disabling time, when they are fully 50 percent of the bodies on Earth. This is wrong, full stop. Go ahead and convince me I’m mistaken.
Things need words. All of us come into the world through and by genitalia (unless you were brought by the stork - see how stupid that is?). I’m not the only person to think this, and I’m barely qualified. I’m not particularly comfortable talking about sex - thanks, upbringing - and may never be. But I’m way more uncomfortable with lying, sexism, and nonsense. Go here for a woman’s perspective - Mina Moriarty’s article has a nice history of the burying of the word and the misogynist impulse behind it.
That’s all for now. Thanks for reading. Hope you’re healthy and happy.
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NB: If you somehow missed my incredible comic about dealing with climate grief, and I know you mostly did, you can order it from the incredible Quimby’s in Chicago. You’ll have to pay shipping, but that’s your fault for waiting. (My store is closed for the year as I am unable to send things to people while travelling.) XO