Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Wed 10 Nov 99 18:39
Indra Sinha (indra) Thu 11 Nov 99 03:46
Susie, would be very interested in your 1622 source. I read somewhere that the dramatist Fletcher (of Beaumont & Fletcher fame) wrote: "They write sunt with a C, which is abominable". However, I've never managed to find the reference again. Fletcher was certainly alive in 1622. Actually I need to know the answer to this, because I've used Fletcher's quotation as an epigram at the front of something I am currently writing. Re GG's idea of tasting menstrual blood, this is also an ancient tradition. Certain gnostic sects in the Alexandrian desert circa 1st century BC regarded it as a sacrament, and it's my personal belief that this is where the Indian tantrics also got it from.
Erik Van Thienen (levant) Thu 11 Nov 99 03:52
>related words in Dutch In contemporary, but vulgar, Dutch "kont" now has turned around to "ass", as "fanny" between British and US English.
Indra Sinha (indra) Thu 11 Nov 99 04:43
A friend in Amsterdam says you also have the word "trut", for "cunt".
Erik Van Thienen (levant) Thu 11 Nov 99 05:48
In Flanders "trut" means "frump", "a stupid girl or woman". Not in the anatomical sense in the dialects that I know of. But I heard "preut" being used when I was a kid in my village, and "preute" in Aalst (Alost). But ironically "preuts" means "prudish"! Nowadays its "kut" in the Netherlands and Flanders. (Imagine the sniggering every time somebody says "cut!" in a movie. Worse than Americans traveling on the German autobahn pointing to the "ausfart" signs.)
Indra Sinha (indra) Thu 11 Nov 99 06:50
Aha, I found the Fletcher quotation. It comes from "The Spanish Curat(e)" which Fletcher co-wrote with Phillip Massinger. (Fletcher was also supposed to have collaborated on "Henry VIII" with Shakespeare.) The play's date is given as 1647. An old man, Diego, is making his will: (Act 4, Scene V) Diego: Give me some more drink. Pray ye buy Books, buy Books, You have a learned head, stuffe it with Libraries, And understand 'em, when ye have done, 'tis Justice, Run not the Parish mad with Controversies, Nor preach not Abstinence to longing women, 'Twill budge the bottoms of their consciences: I would give the Church new Organs, but I prophecie The Church-wardens would quickly pipe 'em out o'th' Parish, Two hundred Duckets more to mend the chancel, And to paint true Orthographie, as many, They write Sunt with a C, which is abominable, 'Pray you set that downe, to poore Maidens marriages.
Indra Sinha (indra) Thu 11 Nov 99 06:52
<scribbled by indra Thu 11 Nov 99 06:53>
Indra Sinha (indra) Thu 11 Nov 99 06:55
Correction, 1647 must have been the play's first publication, but it was written much earlier, because Fletcher died in 1625. I'd still love to hear about the 1622 reference.
Sharon Lynne Fisher (slf) Thu 11 Nov 99 07:53
Shakespeare made reference to it as well.
(ideo) was I ere I saw (esau) Thu 11 Nov 99 08:27
There's a wonderful three pages in Hugh Rawson's "Dictionary of Euphemisms and other Doubletalk" about cunt, listed under (of course) 'vagina'. He suggests that the word might not have been so ill-considered had Sir James Murray not eliminated it when compiling the first Oxford English Dictionary. The only other word omitted was 'fuck'--even 'twat' was included!
Gail Ann Williams (gail) Thu 11 Nov 99 10:17
It is a strong insult. I believe "stupid cunt" is a more derogatory insult than "stupid prick," definitely. Good on you for using the word positively, Sue. It's like the problem of taking the word "fuck" in vain. This is tough to avoid, and I slip up now and then, but I try to use the word for giving/receiving sexual pleasure rather than as a filler word to intensify something, or as a general derogatory statement which probably stems from being thought of as "defile" or "rape" or "disgrace." That usage is simply... uh, fucked.
Susie Bright (sueb) Thu 11 Nov 99 12:11
I am just packing up my car to go to Berkeley tonight, to be part of what I've been secretly calling the "Mommies Who Fuck" panel at the Berrkeley Good Vibrations store. 8 pm tonight, THu. the 11th, if you're intersted. It's actually called something like "motherhood and sexuality" and there are several other esteemed panelists! But this is all to say that I have to get going instead of typing here. I can't wait to forward your comments to my dad and see what his response is on further "cunt" musings. Yes, I know I could tell him to visit here on the WEll Web site, but he is not WEb-practiced and would probably prefer to have me email him the relelvant bits! My father has been the most important person in my writing life, as you might be gathering. He is also an editor, and no one edits me better. He always knows my voice so well, and somehow when he offers criticism, it always sounds like the most constructive support and insight. Many people have asked me, 'oh, how do your parents deal with your sex work," and it's odd to think about that with my father, because it's not SEPERATE from everything else we've always talked and written about. I think he was a sex radical long before me, and so from the time I ever started talked talking about sexual politics and eroticism, which was in my teens, he just spoke ot me about it like anything else. He's been on my mind a lot, and my mother too, because they're both in their 70s, and as all of you know who0've reached this place before me, health issues and mortality just start dominating your consiousness at this time. It all feels so unreal to me, I can't imagine eitehr of them not being here. I I always wondered after the losses of younger friends to AIDS and drug stuff, if I would be somehow toughened or wiser when it came to thinking about my own parents' passing. But instead, I just feel more child-like than ever. So, as I said, I have to pull myself up out of this chair and start driving. I'll check in with you again tomorrow night! susie
flying jenny (jenslobodin) Thu 11 Nov 99 12:48
Have a good time, Susie. I'd love to go, but am working tonight. This is a great discussion, so far. Looking forward to a lot more. I know just what you mean about the thought of your parents going. Three of my four have passed from this temporal state. I miss them very much, though of course they are strong within me. But, when Dad goes, I will fall apart, I know. I'll survive, and thrive again, but it's crushing to think about. How wonderful, the relationship you have with your father. Sweet, enviable. I'm sitting here, saluting you both. My mother was the sexually enlightened one in our family. She told me always how good sex is, that it's good for you. That it feels good. That my stepfather was a wonderful lover. That there's no shame, ever, in enjoying sex, wanting it. That nothing about it is shameful. That what is shameful is the suppression and repression in our society. She was thrilled for us when the Sexual Revolution began to gain prominence. She wanted her girls to be happy and free. Gail, I use fuck both in bed and as a curse word. And yet I would *never* call someone a cunt, ever. I love mine too much. Perhaps I need to change my habit of saying fuck when something bad happens.
Susie Bright (sueb) Thu 18 Nov 99 17:11
I came back from Berkeley with a terrible flu. the panel was a little odd. One panelist was so ambivalent about appearing there, I honestly don't kow why she agreed to participate. She hasnt' had sex since her child was born, and it really upsets her to think about it. Another panelist was just very distracted, she would forget the question and then start laughing in embarrassment. Ordinarily this is her beat, I don't know why she was so somewhere-else. The audiece had a lot of foxy moms who were dying to talk about their expereinces, adn we should have just turned it over to them from the get go. It's almost time for my Thanksgiving Tribal Stomp, which is a huge logistics problem to begin with, although it all turns out very delicious and comradely in the end. Has this topic run its natural course? Perhaps I'm more boring in a formal interview than I am just posting spontaneiously in the TV conf.
David Gans (tnf) Fri 19 Nov 99 13:32
You're no longer in the center ring, as it were, but I think it would be great to keep the topic open and have you visit as often as you choose to.
Gail Ann Williams (gail) Fri 19 Nov 99 14:00
Thank you, Susie.
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