||ani difranco. napoleon.
To Inga, one of my many idols,
I think that blandly colored green and white paper we call ‘money’ is well spent, in my situation, a freshman college student who can claim two dollars in her wallet as her own, when I have a copy of your book ‘Cunt’ to call my own.
I bought your book offline probably in late November. I forget where I first heard about it. I just remember the day it came in the mail, walking back from the parcel pick up building on campus, ripping open the brown packaging and getting giddy as hell. I ordered the second edition of your book. I love the bright colors on the outside of it. Yeah, I’m one of those foolish people who are enticed by the cover of a book, not so much judging it, but wishfully thinking hey, this’ll be gooooooood.
I actually haven’t finished the book yet. I’m a little more than half way through it. I’m having a very busy semester, and last semester being my first semester in college ever, I was very freakish about where I put my priorities. The week of finals I recall lying in my bed, finally remembering what it was like to relax, and I had your book in my grips. I felt so enlightened. I’ll be frank, I didn’t and still do not exactly agree with every little thing you’ve said in your book, but I greatly respect the way you elaborate on certain issues.
I’d be playing a big fat joke on you if I said your book hasn’t deeply impacted my life. I’ll just let you in on one little insight of me-ness. For about a year, give or take, I was on birth control. The sole purpose, for me using it, was to regulate my period. After a while of being on the pill I started to get lazy about taking it, therefore making myself sick when I’d lose track of my schedule. I had been on Ortho Tri Cyclen, back when it was still on the market. Then my gynecologist told me about Nuva Ring. Wow, did I ever love that ring. I’m sure you know about it, so I won’t go into detail on how it works. My insurance company wouldn’t pay for the new form of birth control since it was just that, so very ‘new’ and all. So I had to start taking these hormone pills that weren’t a contraceptive. I was thrilled about it. My insurance paid for them. So I started taking them. It takes a few months until the drugs adapt well to your system, or vice versa. My period wasn’t regular for quite some time. Then I read the part of your book about how you dealt with your period, how you changed your outlook on all that it was. That night I decided to stop taking the hassle of my medication. I felt sickened that I was allowing myself to be controlled by these little white pills. Why would I want little white pills controlling my body instead of me controlling my body? Mind over matter, hmm? And I haven’t taken pills since. I am hesitant to use any sort of medication when I might be feeling ill nowadays. I try to convince myself that it’s at least partially psychosomatic.
A funny thing now, and I’ll try to be brief with this, if that’s even possible. A few weeks ago Vagina Monologues was performed on my college campus. I was SO very excited to attend. Since I’d stopped taking my pills for the regulation of my period, the last time I ‘remember’ having my modest ambrosia was probably the first week of December 2003. I had previously counted how many days it had been since my last period. It was about 70 days since I’d last had it. So I’m sitting there in the audience of Hart Chapel and I’m thinking to myself, how ironic and laugh-tastic would it be if I finally got my period TONIGHT? Well, after a while I started to feel really sick during the show. I wasn’t really sure where the bathroom was, so I didn’t want to go venturing off into the darkness of the building, especially during the performance. My stomach was killing me. I had no idea what had caused my sudden sickness. But I absolutely adored Vagina Monologues. Now my friends and I go around asking people, in two words, what would their vaginas say if they could speak? My response is, “Hoo-HA!”. You know, like Al Pacino says when other characters insult him in the movie “Scent of a Woman”? Yeah, JUST like that, but a little more effeminate. Anyway, after the show is over, I walk back to my dorm. First I stop into the bathroom to relieve myself of liquids. And POOF, my modest ambrosia had returned! I couldn’t stop being giddy; it was virtually impossible at this point in time. I ran back to my room to fix myself up. When my roommate came back in, I told her my grand story. I got online and told my friends about it. I was completely ecstatic. I was in a lot of pain, but I didn’t care one bit. I was just so struck by the irony of the night; it’s all I could think of. And I promised myself (since I eventually forgot, this time) that the next time my modest ambrosia graces me with its presence, I will use mind-over-matter to avoid taking Midol. I concentrated on my cramps for little spurts of time here and there that night, and I did seem to coax myself into believing the pain was lessened, if only ephemerally. I think that alone is an achievement in itself. And the night of Vagina Monologues? Maybe I’m taking this too coincidentally, but I still think the whole situation was just pristine as hell.
Since I have a very busy and tedious, pressure-bearing semester for this spring, I only read your book while I am working out at the rec center. After exercising (I call it prevention, rather) and reading bits of your book I feel like it is my goal in life to go out and grab the world by the tailfins. Your book is the little taste of honey sitting on my desk. My friends visit my room and see your book on my desk. I tell them not to be offended, but to crave knowledge. To wonder. I tell them not to be brainwashed by society, but to make it a point to see what else is out there, to find out all those little things we can discover that the media is hiding from us. I now freely use the word ‘cunt’. I love provoking the ignorant ones. I feel it is my duty to make them aware that hey, if they would get the rod of fixation out of their asses, maybe they’d gasp a little less heart-stoppingly when hearing a word like ‘cunt’ in everyday conversation.
So, fear not, someday I shall finish your book. But I’d rather not ‘zip’ through it anyway. I’d like to take it in slow like honey. At least that way I can be sure I’m not missing anything really good, ya know? Taking anything enlightening for granted in life is just a pure shame. But you probably already know that much.
I would all in all just like to thank you for having the guts, confidence, and individuality to produce this book. In the eyes of some, a book like this may seem like a mere stepping-stone. But that’s what it is, to be truthful. It’s a stepping-stone we must recognize as one of those little things in life that helps us ‘step up’ to greatness, to experience epiphanies, to find triumph and beautiful realizations, to finally know our worth.
Have a splendorific week. Thank you for your time, I truly appreciate it. And keep that intellect rolling, for the love of Lordisa, keep it rolling.
(an 18 year old freshman at Clarion University of Pennsylvania)