DEL-Cunt: A Declaration of Independence (Live Girls)

by Inga Muscio

Paperback, 1998




Seal Press (1998), Edition: First Edition, 288 pages


The twentieth-anniversary edition of the original women's empowerment manifesto An ancient title of respect for women, the word "cunt" long ago veered off its noble path. Inga Muscio traces the road from honor to expletive, giving women the motivation and tools to claim the term as a positive and powerful force in their lives. In this fully revised anniversary edition of the classic testament to women's empowerment, Muscio explores with candidness and humor such traditional feminist issues as birth control, sexuality, jealousy between women, and prostitution with a fresh attitude for a new generation of women. Sending out a call for every woman to be the "Cuntlovin' Ruler of Her Sexual Universe," Muscio stands convention on its head by embracing the provocative and celebrating womanhood.… (more)


½ (364 ratings; 3.9)

User reviews

LibraryThing member lildrafire
I have mixed feelings about the content of Muscio's book. It is divided into 4 sections. The first section titled "The Word" (meaning the word cunt) was exhilarating and informative. Muscio writes in a conversational style that I found refreshing and not at all academic or clinical. She urges women
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to "take back" the word, which has been transformed from a word of power for women to a disgraceful, derogatory word. This was my favorite section!

The second section is titled "The Anatomical Jewel" and contains lots of information about the physical aspects of being a woman--menstruation and women's issues are discussed--without the slightest bit of blushing or hesitation. I found Muscio's experiences and proclamations fun and unusual.

The third section, titled "Reconciliation" was nothing more than militant feminism. While interesting, I felt uncomfortable with some of the ideas presented.

The last section is actually the expansion for the second edition. Muscio talks about her experiences after the first edition was released. She expands her call for women's power to lesbians and transgendered people as well. Rape is a topic examined to the nth degree.

The book contains many resources for women--and the same links and resources can be found on the author's website.
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LibraryThing member julie_
i wasn't sure whether to laugh or throw it out the window
LibraryThing member HeatherLee
Don't let the title scare you.

I loved this book, simply because Inga reminded me why we need to stick together and love each other. I have experienced so much viciousness from women in my life, and I'll stand for no more. Her writing was so personal, I felt like she was right there reading to me.
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She just reached right into my heart and opened it up to some things I didn't think of before. She supported some of my current work with women - no matter how much they resist love them anyway. We need to be kinder to each other in such a world like this today.
This is truly the most thought provoking book that I have ever read. I appreciated the way that Ms Muscio talked about how the choices that we make affect others. Before this, I never gave much thought to the type of business that I supported. The chapter on movies and the often violent content toward women really was a wake up call to me. Read this book with an open mind and an open heart.
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LibraryThing member hearthfirecircle
Very interesting and very radical piece of feminist literature. I found the concepts empowering, though not always medically factual.
LibraryThing member alexgalindo
With a fair mix of radical feminist rants, sincere criticisms of sexuality, and a compressed history of patriarchy
-this book shatters many misconceptions about feminist theory. Fresh, honest, and fluid Inga Muscio is as blunt as one can get.
LibraryThing member sorchah
Too "Out There" for me. And I am pretty out there. This completely put me off feminism (at least the "females are superior to males" type).

I was really annoyed with her about 80% of the time I was reading this. I couldn't even finish it. She needs to get over herself and get a better editor.
LibraryThing member stapledheart
i liked it very much. as i was reading it i felt some parts that hit very close to home. i also knew when something was going to happen and although i knew it was coming, it still shocked me each time. complete awesome read!
LibraryThing member urduha
Wow, I was not able to put this book down. I am so glad to be able to share its insights about menstruation to my daughter when the time comes for her. I loved the author's anecdotes, so funny and couragous. This book is not supposed to be an academic work, it is a manifesto, and it successfully
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got me to savour it on a visceral and emotional level.
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LibraryThing member rfewell
Really loved this book! I bought this for a few friends right after I read it. It was one of the books that made me realize I could be a librarian -- you can find books like *this* in the library! -- I was impressed.
LibraryThing member steenface
When one hears the word "feminist," it tends to immediately cause a cringing reaction as images of bra-burning butch dykes are called up. Inga's delightful humor takes the edge off and she openly talks about all issues of womanhood. While I didn't agree with all of her beliefs --- like boycotting
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tampons because it's an industry run by men --- her arguments and opinions were pretty well-written. The book as a whole made me think a lot more about my gender and sexuality, which is far more valuable than a lot of women know. If you like "The Vagina Monologues," you will most definitely like this book.
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LibraryThing member zsms
Thought provoking in some ways, dated in others. The author definitely has her own biases but is generally good at acknowledging them. It's a quick read and was worth the time I spent on it.
LibraryThing member findingmelmo
This book, although it can seem overly biased and overly nudgy to some who have not been introduced to some extreme concepts involving feminism, it is very imformative, has many events and statistics to back up the claims, and is budding with ideas for woman's empowerment. This book allows skeptics
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to take a look at our society and how it effects woman in our culture directly as well as indirectly. Through unity, understanding, and self-respect woman can fight rape and sexism. Masturbation is advocated to become atune with the body and a close look is given to the signifigance of pleasure and reproductive organs. Liberation and openess to all people are two words that describe Cunt. This book changed my life. It is complete brilliance and I can credit my love for my body and anthropology to this book. I love Inga Muscio!
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LibraryThing member beau.p.laurence
if you only read one third-wave feminist book, this should be it! a very down-to-earth conversational style. the 2nd edition is even better than the first, b/c Muscio corrected herself and included info & thoughts on non-women-born women
LibraryThing member HGard
A wake-up call for me. A book that reminded me of the power inherent in being female, particularly our ties to the lunar cycle and how it can be considered valuable and an alternate way to think of female lives.
LibraryThing member phenske
This is the second time I've read this book and I still love it! It's a book about freedom and how to get it. About all the issues those of us with cunts face and how we can help improve things. Love love love it!
LibraryThing member dysmonia
I learned a lot from this book; most importantly, that etymologically, "vagina" is derived from a term that means "sheath for a sword." So, as Inga Muscio puts it, "I ain't got no vagina." And I've since made it my personal mission in life to get people to stop saying "vagina" and start saying
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"cunt"; especially men who are terrified to utter the word for fear of having one ripped into them by a nearby offended female.
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LibraryThing member dysmonia
I learned a lot from this book; most importantly, that etymologically, "vagina" is derived from a term that means "sheath for a sword." So, as Inga Muscio puts it, "I ain't got no vagina." And I've since made it my personal mission in life to get people to stop saying "vagina" and start saying
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"cunt"; especially men who are terrified to utter the word for fear of having one ripped into them by a nearby offended female.
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LibraryThing member dysmonia
I learned a lot from this book; most importantly, that etymologically, "vagina" is derived from a term that means "sheath for a sword." So, as Inga Muscio puts it, "I ain't got no vagina." And I've since made it my personal mission in life to get people to stop saying "vagina" and start saying
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"cunt"; especially men who are terrified to utter the word for fear of having one ripped into them by a nearby offended female.
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LibraryThing member seongeona
Read the original version shortly after it was released and remember loving it so much. Traded that version in when this expanded/upgraded version came out and re-read it, again loving it. Somewhere between then and now, my views changed. As I re-read it now, I find myself cringing. Yes, it's still
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relevant because not much has changed (and is getting even worse than when it was written), but I much prefer a more academic study than this, which is highly personal and mostly opinion based on personal experiences (none of which I have experienced). The author seems to contradict herself often which makes me question her p.o.v. on just about everything (which I didn't pick up on the first few readings). I'm pro-choice, but 3 abortions with the same boyfriend because you are afraid of taking pills (while wishing only the worst on men who don't respect you by wearing condoms) is plain ignorance and irresponsibility. Identifying as a lesbian since age early grade school but, given the above and the desire to sleep with other men, maybe "queer" or "bi" would make the p.o.v. clearer. If the power of thought could cause an abortion, why couldn't it prevent a pregnancy? If you hate rape scenes in movies, refuse to watch, and advocate staging walk-outs, why in the world would you read books and watch movies with brutal rape scenes (written by a man) and then encourage a friend to watch the movie without a warning about the rape scenes (which apparently you knew would be a trigger)? Lastly, the statement, "We all have cunts, and it does not matter if they are biological, surgical or metaphorical" made me pause, especially in hindsight, because the vast majority of the topics deal with biological cunts with little-to-no mention of surgical ones and absolutely no mention of metaphorical.
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LibraryThing member heart77
I read this book in college, when I was still gung-ho about things. Years later, I've become conditioned to society in some ways, and I'm not as radical as I used to be. I appreciate this book for the way it didn't knock prostitution - while I don't agree with glorifying prostitutes as goddesses
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with some secret knowledge of womanhood, it's better than the majority of pop culture, which seems to hate women entirely.

I also found the chapter on abortions intriguing. Most of the stories I'd read about it, up until that point, were I think deliberately vague about the procedure, because they didn't want to scare people into becoming anti-choice. I thought her story of herbal abortion was good. I'm from Wisconsin, where Planned Parenthood has just been denied funding by Governor Scott Walker, and I think it would be healthier if women knew about herbal abortions. Instead of punching themselves in the stomach or trying to drink/drug the baby out of themselves, they could look up the necessary herbs, and then just do it at home without damaging their bodies.
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LibraryThing member SonoranDreamer
I couldn't finish this book because of the strange notes about including men when talking about women's bodies. Men don't have vulvas and so I see no need to include them. I don't want to read a book that starts out with an apology.
LibraryThing member Jan.Coco.Day
This is a pretty important book for a cisgendered heterosexual woman.

For everyone else...not so much.

The entire architecture of the book hinges on belief in the myth of binary gender. The second edition of the book has an updated chapter addressing the erasure of transgender people in the original
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edition. But it is apparent that Muscio isn't available to provide the measure of advice and resources for transgender women as she is for cisgender women. I recommend it, but think critically about what might be missing in messages of empowerment.
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LibraryThing member comradesara
I highly recommend reading this book, especially in public.
LibraryThing member wanderlustlover
Beyond brilliant, this book displays a wide open view of the differences between what it should mean to be female and what it does mean. It's sometimes political, sometimes spiritual, sometimes crass, sometimes tear making, often causes me to spurt a giggle of random laughter.

From it's evocative
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title to it's well founded research I would recommend this book to anyone who is a woman, knows women, or is touched by their lives, births, hearts, etc. I won't be forgetting the wisdom and ideas found in these pages for a love time.
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CLMP Firecracker Award (Nonfiction — 1999)


Original language


Original publication date



1580050158 / 9781580050159
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