Check this out…

From www.matthewhunt.com

‘Cunt’ has a long history of abuse, though the standard terms ‘vagina’ and ‘pudendum’ themselves are far from neutral. ‘Pudendum’ is derived from the Latin ‘pudere’, meaning ‘to be ashamed’, thus ‘pudendum’ describes the vagina as a shameful organ. ‘Vagina’ is Latin for ‘sheath’, ‘scabbard’, and ‘quiver’, protective coverings into which one slides swords or arrows, and is thus closely linked to pejorative conceptions of sex as a violent, male stabbing act: “In fact, “vagina” is the nastiest kind of name for the female genitalia […] There is more to the female sex than accommodation of a male weapon” (Germaine Greer, 2002). The German equivalent is even more demeaning: ‘Schamscheide’ (‘vagina’) translates literally as ‘sheath of shame’.

When men use the word ‘cunt’ to insult women, courts have deemed the act to be unlawful. When men use it to insult other men, as Julia Penelope demonstrates, their usage is still inherently insulting to women: “[words] used by men to insult other men, motherfucker, son-of-a-bitch, bastard, sissy, and cunt insult men because they’re female words” (1990). ‘Cunt’ insults men because it acts as a verbal castration, removing their masculinity by denying them their penis, implying that having a cunt is inferior to having a cock: Signe Hammer explained that to call a man a ‘cunt’ “is to call him a woman: castrated” (1977).

Specifically, the status and deployment of ‘cunt’ as “The worst name anyone can be called [and] the most degrading epithet” (Germaine Greer, 1970[a]), and especially as the worst name a woman can be called, serves to reinforce the tradition of cultural patriarchy, as Jane Mills points out: “the use of ‘cunt’ as the worst swearword that anyone can think of says a great deal about misogyny in our society, and I think it reveals fear, disgust, and also [a] denial of female sexuality” (Kerry Richardson, 1994). Joan Smith agrees: “It is impossible not to make a link, as lexicographers and feminist writers have done, between the […] decline [of ‘cunt’] into obscenity and illegality, and fearful attitudes towards women and their sexuality” (1998).

Been hunting around on the ‘net, can’t remember how I came to it, but was reading the Wiki entry on Cunt. Which is absolutely fascinating.

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Further ponderings, devils and saints.

Sitting here listening to Marilyn Manson as I type. Mostly “user friendly”. LOL It’s an abusive relationship. Listening to his stuff (And I thought I had trouble getting over my old man!) makes me feel, well, almost normal. I doubt he’d care much apart from it being insufficient attention ;-) Actually, he’s not that bad. For really sick, try Rob Zombie. (“Great American Nightmare” reminds me of a recent post on a certain mailing list…) I would probably be too scared to sit next to him on the couch ;-) The sound of Manson’s music is so sleazy, though. Gets you in. Great grooving music. And you could probably add a wink to that one too. Yeah, baby.

Still following links… Gorm the Wired (home of the famous Viking name converter) has a weird and wonderful site. He generated a name and a proverb for me… Jorunn the beserk. Hah! My mother will laugh. And: “Don’t wait up late for love or an honest man.” Hmmm. Well, I could have told you that. ;-)

If I haven’t done so already, I need to put in a big plug for Diana L Paxson’s site Hrafnar. The articles page is particularly interesting for me. The group is an Asatru fellowship with particularly good sources on magic and the goddesses. I’ve found it hugely helpful in pursuing connection with understanding the women of the pantheon. Not to mention the huge body of magical freedom. Thanks Kraka for the link.

Had a “moment” with Frigga last night. Very positive. There were a few thoughts exchanged but it basically boiled down to “trust us.” That is pretty much what I intend to do. *Yay!*

Some time ago I was discussing with Unspeakably Violent Jane about the effects of memories of trauma. After years of dealing with this stuff, either I got fed up with being patient with meditation and therapy or I was at the right point to move… And got stuck into some Craft to shift things in my favour. I am well pleased with the results!

Now to deal with the darkness. *sigh* If it ain’t one damned thing it’s another. ;-) I’m winking a lot today. Might be developing a twitch. I’ll thank Brian* for that. :D

The real hassle though, is not so much that I feel I’m screwed up. I constantly run into people who are far, far more mental than I am yet appear to be able to hold down a job and a life of sorts. I blink and wonder what on earth is going on. It’s probably not a novelty among ‘net denizens to feel like the odd bod on the fringes who can see things nobody else seems to want to. The real issue is that I’m consigned to life on the fringes in consumerist terms. The powers that be in the Global Kleptocracy would see me as a non-functioning unit. They can’t make much profit out of me. Yet there’s a lot here that’s useful. Guess it depends on your perspective and idea of “profit” and “value”. I must remember to not think in dollar terms. :D

Jane was right. It is a matter of screening your information. The trick is to apply some screening internally. And that is a trick when you’ve had one station going all your life.

Good thing there’s magic to re-tune the thing.

That brings me to runes. Someone made the point that they weren’t intended for divination so much as magic. Well, I guess I’ll find out! Heh. This is fun. Today %-)

*Marilyn Manson’s real name is Brian. Whoda thunk it?

Re-renewing?

This year has been absolutely the worst experience with depression ever, and I’ve had some bad ones. I’d write that I feel like I’m emerging from it but I thought that in early October too and turned out to be wrong. It’s probably simply another matter of biding my time and letting everything do what it needs to. Whether I understand what “everything” is or not.

Since April I’ve been wrestling the worst and blackest experience of emptiness and deep, deep misery. Fortunately there are odd occasions when the sun comes through. Like the present. I’m told that it’s “transitional”. There’s simply more stuff lingering around from past experiences that needs some sort of psychic regurgitation to feel dealt with. What I have is not simply depression but Borderline Personality Disorder that looks (and feels) a lot like PTSD. Rather than extending from an episode of trauma in the adult life, it develops during childhood.

The idea that all of this is somehow hard wired because of being a result of childhood trauma has been, pradoxically, a relief. There’s a kind of legitimacy now. Someone else gets it, which means that although I’m mental and it is all in my head, it is also very real.

The future is not “dealing with it” or “getting over it” or even really “moving on”. It’s management. Coping with life and people and nothing more. This way of thinking is providing some space for me currently to take a breath and look at what changes I’d like to make and how I might go about such. This is something I’d categorise as A Good Idea. I don’t care what Satan’s little helpers over at News Limited think of this perspective. Anyone who makes money out of exploiting people who are struggling with psycho-spiritual questions and mental illness deserves what’s coming to them. That means you too, Rudd. Bloody Sydney Anglicans.

In the midst of all of this, I’m trying my own little tricks within my own worldview that gives me access to magic and witch craft. Without going into too much detail, good, healthy male archetypes and a solid sense of self empowerment and self-control are not only beneficial but effected through magic ritual. Developing healthy male and female archetypes is obviously going to be a challenge and a help to someone dealing with child abuse. A male who isn’t necessarily an agent of destruction and a female capable of independence and, well, capability… Bring on the ancient deities. (BTW, anyone need a friend for Beltaine?)

I’m not sure how much to write about the internal stuff. I’d like to rant on about every little thing I’ve been experiencing lately spiritually, but that seems somehow to cheapen it.

After reading Richard Dawkins I must admit I was deeply influenced. Heh, I even became facebook friends with P Z Meyers because I appreciate the critical thinking of Atheism. Meyers’ wit makes me want to convert. :D However, I need a world view that will help me make sense of my own experiences, so there needs to be some scope for either something like a quantum mechanical collapse of super consciousness… Like that proposed by Amit Goswami, or a collective unconscious such as proposed by Jung. Since mainstream religions don’t do it for me, and even supposed alternatives based on Hinduism and Buddhism can somehow import a lot of right-wing judgmental assumptions into “new age” belief systems, it’s right back to the drawing board for me.

Witch craft provides the option of the eclectic. Take what you need and leave what you don’t. Together with some Uni training, this provides the space to read and research and measure theories against one’s own experiences this is very liberating! Some might opine that this disconnects an individual from any organised or authorised moral code, and nothing outside such a system could really be legitimate. The problem is that such “authorised” belief systems these days unfortunately include an awful lot of assumption and enforced emotional attachments through psychological manipulation and conditioning.

That’s why there’s little point engaging a religious person who feels that abortion is wrong because a foetus is vulnerable. Every human who’s physical existence can be threatened by another person or circumstances is equally as vulnerable as the unborn foetus. The trouble is that forcing a woman to give birth to a child she can’t feed and who won’t be supported socially is going to maintain the vulnerability not only of the child but will potentially endanger the rest of the family as well. But the emotional conditioning in organised religion and particularly in the kind of right-wing charismatic conservative thinking so prominent in the West today detrimentally affects the thinking of a person who may otherwise want to question the assumptions taught to them about such values or situations. Emotional conditioning, overlearned stereotypes, social conformity… It’s a lot of overhead to try to deal with in order to discuss personal choices.

If you’re going to step out from under the umbrella (or jackboot) of authorised moral thinking, you’re going to be going out on a limb. If you’re dealing social and personal management issues you’re half way out there already. It’s a big responsibility getting your head around a way to understand the Universe. That might be why the myth of the long, dark night seems to continuous in human experience. From the Mithraic last supper, death and resurrection, to the christian version of same, to Odin hanging on the world tree for nine days seeking wisdom… Doing the psycho-spiritual crisis and reinvention is clearly no novelty for the human animal.

And I’m going to use that to segue clumsily into a reference to my current reading on Saxon (not Anglo-Saxon) history and spirituality, and the contemporary Heathen reconstructions of Norse and Saxon spiritualities. Because Odin is cool ;-) (Heh, for me. For the moment.(Spot the theology student!))

Where all this goes, who knows? It’s keeping my head above water. I do actually feel like there are some constructive changes going on somewhere in there. Stay tuned for the next rant… :D

Back to my roots

Whew. After all the Feminist (or Womanist if you prefer) blogging in recent weeks, it’s back to a consideration of me time. Trying to exist without too much reference to the patriarchy and its abuses can leave you pretty worn out. It’s so very difficult to do. To insulate one’s self from messages of diminishment or denigration takes a full time effort and often leaves you alone in the lounge room, lonely and unplugged. The filtering of patriarchal infused advertising and media is likewise tiring.

Hence, time to renew meditation practise and do a few decent little rituals of renewal and grounding. Yum.
Artio
Today I’ve been cruising teh ‘nets and catching up on the witchy blogs. The blogroll is updated with some curious little oddities encountered during said venture.

You might get a laugh out of Godchecker. That’s their Celtic page…

Timely piece on AFL conduct regarding women.

Wow, I think I’m now a fan of one Michael Shmith. In an article for The Age entitled “ominous assumptions” Mr. Shmith makes some very pertinent points appropriate not only for footballers but indeed all of convict culture.

Now racism, drug abuse and problem gambling are clear social evils, and the AFL is right to include them in its lead-us-not-into-temptation filmic primer, and to warn, by whatever graphic examples possible, of their potential perils. Women, however, being significant members of the human race, are a different matter. In presenting a scenario that assumes a mate’s girlfriend, in summoning you to her bed, does not know the difference between you and her boyfriend and, that once between the sheets, such pretence can be maintained, is making a wider assumption that the woman is indiscriminate and/or basically thick.

Just as fatuous is the notion that because a woman happens to have had too much to drink she is an object for sex.

Another even more ominous assumption is that somehow the men in these situations are innocent, and that the women involved have caused them to stray from the paths of righteousness.

Put things another way: your boyfriend’s mate hops into your bed pretending to be him; you are with a footballer who has had too much to drink; your mate’s friend wants to watch you have sex.

Brilliantly said, Mr. Shmith.

What is particularly good to see is the reversal of the situation, so that a bloke puts himself in her shoes…

The idea that women are indiscriminate and that they lure men into sexual misadventures is a belief that rarely is discussed openly. It does still infiltrate Australian culture as another of the uncriticised leftovers of the Victorian class society.

Back when convict Australia was being settled, class culture back in the UK was in full swing. Attitudes that might now be associated with the most narrow minded of religious bigots were considered “appropriate” for the sons of the Empire. While such attitudes as female submission or subordination might come in for comment at times, we really haven’t, as a nation, considered quite how much these ideas still persist.

Even the concept that women are either whores or madonnas is still common currency. Try stopping to put petrol in your car without being assaulted by images of women as sexual toys plastered all over the place.

It’s fortunate that Mr. Shmith has pointed out the underlying problems in the AFL’s advertising or “education” if you could call it that. High time these cultural leftovers were brought out into the open and dispensed with before another generation of women are reduced to being used as toilets by unquestioned male privilege.

Yes, women are people too.

How about that?

Catherine Deveny fan club

Yes, I’ve joined. Actually, it was my doctor who suggested I have a look at one of her opinion pieces “Why do some wives still change their names?

If people really believe that mum, dad and the kids having the same surname is easier, why doesn’t the guy change his name? Why don’t they flip a coin and it’s heads we go for her surname and tails we go for his? Because it is not about it being easier. It makes me despair. We’ve come all this way and we’re still here.

Many women will say that their husbands wanted them to change their surname. So they did. Here’s a flash for you sister: if you do everything that your husband wants you to do, you may find yourself teetering round in a pair of stilettos and an apron all day saying, “Shall I fix some more food for you and the boys?”, or wearing a burqa.

It is a bit odd that in the 21st century we’re still feeling pressured to do strange things like name ourselves as property.

Naming rites has the online discussion of the article. Interesting reading.

Why not adopt the Hispanic system: ie with both the father’s name and the mother’s name so for example Aranxa Sanchez Vicario or Pablo Ruiz Picasso ( he dropped the Ruiz because it is such a common name and as his name became so widely known it was the name he was identified with ).
Notice that in general there are no hyphens, dashes etc just two names equally representing the genetic input of each side.

That makes more sense than fighting it out over ownership.

The question that was put to me was, why is this such a hot issue? Dr Pete was really amused that of all the things Deveny has written, such as a really heated piece about women bishops banned one day but okay the next, in which she brilliantly tackles the manner in which religious leaders are free to interpret the bits and pieces of biblical tradition that suit them, why was she being so criticised for reminding people that it is possible for a man to take his wife’s name?

The problem is that naming rites cut to the heart of male privilege in a patriarchal society. The die hard refusal to change such traditions, or even question them, comes from those clinging to the last vestiges of a sadly outdated but unfortunately still way too healthy misogynist tendency in Australian culture.

But now that women outnumber men in Aus, shouldn’t we be the norm? Shouldn’t we be considered human?

Of course it wasn’t long before the next question came up, why bother getting married at all? And the way fundamentalists portray marriage, that by marrying a woman consents to sex and therefore can’t claim she was ever raped, well, why indeed would you ever get married?

Mixed messages.

It’s one of those WTF? Kind of days. You could be forgiven for wondering what’s going on in Aus these days, what with the media pulling things back and forth all over the place. A symptom of being in it for the money and damn the torpedoes. A mentality of exploitation and all that…

A photo of a female golfer was published in a “lad mag”, a class of publication that manages to combine pornography with misogynist tabloid journalism in a most depreciatory manner. Locker room “journalism”, if you like.

Golf star sues over ‘lustful’ claim. from The Age is also run as golf champ sues over saucey photo in the Sydney Morning Herald. This is not the first time this has happened. Laura Bingle, the bikini clad woman in the “Where the bloody hell are you?” tourism adverts also sued them for publishing photos of her. Oddly, mention of this seems to have vanished from the papers’ archives. A search on the subject now returns porn. Hmmm. Worse, the comments section in the Daily Terror where a bunch of jocks deride the woman for taking her clothes off and being ‘not that hot’.

All this could be shrugged off as merely convict mentality, however the article appeared next to this one. US chastity evangelist targets Aussie kids.

The issues of course are the focus on marriage, which according to Dr. Muriel Porter in her thesis ‘sex, marriage and the church’ is a historical anomaly anyway. Until late in the 18th century it wasn’t legally necessary, most “marriages” were common-law, that is de facto, and only because of widows’ benefits in the world wars being given only to women who were legally married, did so many couples opt for the formal ritual.

Secondly a concentration on abstinence is in some cases replacing useful sex education regarding contraception, disease prevention and homosexuality.

Interesting messages to send, don’t you think? Sign here, promise to keep your knickers on until you get married… but in the meantime you also have permission to be considered meat. It’s a bit like Britney Spears supposedly being a virgin but at the same time prancing around like a stripper. Is there any middle ground? Can we all be simply human and let sex stay in a happy place and get on with life? Nah. Sex sells, and they’re in it for the money. Whether it’s selling “soft” porn or subjecting children’s minds to insitutionalised religious guilt, it’s all about money and power. What century are we in, again?