This just in from the Wide World of News: this nonsense.
For those of you who haven’t been reading me for a long time, you might know that I occasionally use words on this space that some people (hi, Grandma! I’m sorry in advance, please stop reading now!) don’t like. I’ve said the word ‘shit.’ I’ve said the word ‘fuck.’ I’ve said the words “motherfucker” and “asshole” here before, probably, and if I haven’t said them here, I’ve absolutely said them to friends in my real life. “That motherfucking asshole can go fuck himself with that bullshit” is the profane version of “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog” — it hits all the right notes in the profanity alphabet, succinctly and with gusto.
Words have power, and I don’t think it’s useful to pretend otherwise. I don’t believe there’s such a thing as a “bad word,” per se — but there is very much such a thing as using the right word at the right time. I’ve been guilty of overuse before, which is a common mistake of young writers: using those words as salt or pepper, rather than, say, cardamom or saffron. Profane words, in my opinion, are spices that you should reserve for the dishes where you need something that packs an extra punch.
And it’s often struck me as a silly and foolish quirk of our vocabulary that the most profane, shocking language we possess is frequently a descriptor for basic human biology.
That guy is such a cock. What an asshole. He thinks he’s great, but really, he’s such a dick.
It’s really saying: That man is just like the male form of human genitalia, the thing between our legs that helps make people, and also allows males to pee. He’s just like the anus, which allows the buildup of waste to be removed from the bodily system. He really is a human penis, which once again is a part of the human body and should not be considered a source of shame or embarrassment.
It’s awfully foolish, once you think about it.
Which leads me to Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.
I could take this space to point out the hypocrisy in Donald Trump calling Ted Cruz a pussy for carefully considering his opinion on a controversial topic (in this instance, the practice of waterboarding, a form of torture designed to induce panic and suffering by forcing a person to inhale water into the sinuses, pharynx, larynx, and trachea, and a practice roundly condemned by many human rights organizations as well as leaders and lawmakers). I could point out that it’s hardly presidential to mock another candidate for thinking, and our political circus has gotten so bad that ‘thoughtful consideration’ is now considered mockable. I could point out that Donald Trump technically didn’t even call Ted Cruz a pussy himself: he repeated what an audience member had shouted, repeating the word and therefore endorsing the word with a smirk on his face.
I could point out that Donald Trump has repeatedly avowed himself a Christian, and remarked that his Christian beliefs are under attack. I’m curious how Donald Trump would fare in my family’s Christian household, where I have never once heard the word “pussy” in conversation, polite or otherwise.
No, here’s what I’d like to point out instead.
When you call someone a pussy, you are referencing the human vagina.
The human vagina is an immensely strong muscle, capable of pushing out a newborn human being, and expanding to accommodate the length and girth of a penis. The clitoris has more nerve endings than anywhere else on the human body, and is capable of achieving multiple orgasms.
None of us would be alive if our mothers did not have incredibly strong vaginas. No, make that pussies, if that’s the word you’ve chosen to use. If your mother didn’t have a pussy, you wouldn’t be here. Half the population, by definition, have pussies.
Look around. Pussies are everywhere, underneath the leggings and tights that high school vice principals are still attempting to legislate. Pussies are concealed by the skirts and pants of leaders, thinkers, visionaries, geniuses, CEO’s, politicians, mothers, daughters, and human fucking people, many of whom live, work, and pay taxes in this country. Pussies are attached to women who are increasingly demanding to be respected and admitted in places that have historically been denied them. I have a pussy, and I think it’s some bullshit that men and women aren’t treated the same way, and that’s what my pussy has to say about that. My pussy is attached to me, and I am angry that women with pussies have had to shout so very loud to gain tiny fractions of progress, when all we’re really saying is that the fact that I have a pussy and you have a dick has no bearing whatsoever on our abilities to think, serve, teach, govern, lead, triumph, succeed, and thrive.
But that’s not what you meant when you called Ted Cruz a pussy. When you used that word, what you meant was ‘weak.’ What you meant was ‘cowardly.’ What you meant was ‘feminine,’ and what you meant by that was ‘shameful and lesser than.’ And that is firmly in line with the policies that you have vocally supported, the tweets that you have sent, and the soundbites that you have attempted to spin in your favor. It speaks to a belief that women are lesser, in your eyes, than men.
Let me tell you a story about pussies. An estimated 100,000 to 240,000 of them in the state of Texas have tried to induce their own abortions due to legislation that has effectively shut down Planned Parenthood clinics statewide. If Ted Cruz and Donald Trump had their way, this is what it would look like across the country.
Let me break that down for you, in case it isn’t clear. Those pussies have had to travel across state lines, figure out how to buy illegal drugs on the internet, and withstood a barrage of pills and homeopathic remedies. Those pussies have asked their loved ones to punch them repeatedly in the abdomen until a miscarriage is induced. Those pussies cannot bring another child into this world because of situations that none of us can understand, comprehend, or judge, and those pussies have no other options.
Those pussies are many things: exhausted, afraid, angry. They are not weak. And they are, among all, resilient. They’ve had to be.
A pussy is an incredibly powerful thing.
Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, both. Listen up, and listen good.
You don’t deserve to get called a pussy.
You can come back to me when you’ve worked a twelve-hour shift through a blisteringly painful yeast infection without drugs (because the lines at the Planned Parenthood can’t keep up with demand for services) and then you tell me how weak my pussy is. You come back to me when your genitalia’s basic biological needs are routinely denied, legislated, and shamed by people in power who will never understand your perspective, and you tell me my pussy, and thousands of others, aren’t motherfucking incredible for fighting as long as they have for basic reproductive healthcare. You can come back after your pussy has mentally prepared for the likelihood of attack while going about her day (because I don’t know many people with pussies who haven’t at some point thought, Welp, here it is, let’s review in an adrenaline-fueled panic what we can do if he has a knife or a gun or tries to hold me down, because it’s entirely possible that I could get raped). You can come right back when you’ve pushed a human being outside of your body with your pussy. You come on back and tell me just how weak, frail, and cowardly a pussy is.
No. Neither of you, sirs, are pussies.
You are cowards. You are cowards for allowing audience members to do your dirty work for you. You are cowards for stoking fear in the hearts and minds of those who fear what they do not know. You are cowards for attempting repeatedly to divide rather than to unite. You are cowards, and you don’t deserve to come anywhere near my pussy, and I mean that in every literal, figurative, legislative, and rhetorical sense. You are cowards who don’t deserve any more of my attention, my thought, or my time, and it makes me incredibly angry that you have a voice and a platform, because I’m scared as hell that your anger and your vitriol and your cowardice could sway a country to choose to govern its people based on ignorance, fear, and hatred of others.
My pussy is strong. My pussy is afraid. My pussy is mad as hell.
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