"Not everything is a celebration.” A friend said that to me in a conversation about Cuntism Magazine shortly after our launch in March.
I was trying to convince her to contribute to the magazine, because I want to hear her stories, her perspective, just as I look forward to unearthing even more stories and perspectives from more women.
I understand what she means, though. And those words ring especially true in this issue. The stories we unearth are often difficult, heart-breaking, maddening. Many women in the world don’t have the means to speak freely, to express who they are, what they believe, or give voice to their pain or trauma without being mocked, vilified, or worse.
Those of us fortunate to reside in the United States enjoy a range of liberties and freedom. I have the freedom to launch and run Cuntism Magazine and dedicate it to women. That alone is worth celebrating.
We celebrate men every day, in museums and board rooms, in sports and entertainment, in politics and business. Is that starting to change? Absolutely. But 2016 revealed we still have a long way to go in tearing down old paradigms and double standards.
What’s also worth celebrating is creating and growing a place of respect. That’s not always easy; jealousy, suspicion, a need to feel superior can run deep. Playing into old standards like “it’s a man’s world” can be habitual, subconscious. The world population is approximately half female. By definition, it is not a man’s world.
The only way to change that perception is through education, respect, leadership, and celebrating women, just as we do here—through thick and thin, through triumphs and failures. There’s no one single action that can change where we are or how the “man’s world” is not designed to accommodate us.
In our last issue I mentioned the divisive nature of the word cunt. I know that for some women (and men) it’s an untouchable word. They may never come to a place where it’s acceptable. I respect that. But I’ll leave this here: What’s the male equivalent of cunt? What’s the worst thing you can call a man, without using a feminine derogatory term like pussy? Does asshole or dick come remotely close to cunt?
One last note on saying and using cunt: I get a lot of questions about how to use it properly. Look, I'm not the cunt police. I totally get that it can be a satisfying term when going on a rage-fueled rant. Language takes time to evolve. I'm simply asking those who are offended by the term to consider its history, its use. We can drive change and usage. And no, I'm not going to chastise you for using the word in an offensive way. I simply ask you to examine the history of the word, and how we can start to elevate its use and meaning.
We start this issue with a broad range of articles. I sat down with artist and gallery owner Katie Neeley for a candid discussion on serving in the Marine Corps, sexual trauma, and recovery. We have two return contributors this month: Tyler Stone continues with her “cunt crush” series, and Lex Voytek explores sexual fluidity. And Angela Lovell joins us with a poetic essay she wrote on the eve of Valentine’s Day in 2014.
Don’t forget to stop by the Pleasure Center to delve into the diverse and complex world of woman. What's posted now is just the beginning. We'll be updating throughout the month to keep you entertained and enlightened.
Special thanks to :
- Crash Lovedog for this issue's cover photo and illustrations.
- Ronnie Reynolds for his help with research and continual support.
- Roe LiBretto for facilitating a poignant conversation, and Katie Neeley for sharing a deeply personal history.
publisher, editor in chief