We couldn’t blame Samantha Bee, either. In fact, this moment made such an impression on us that we decided to gather a literary anthology in response and protest. It became Feckless Cunt: A Feminist Anthology.
Is Maryanne Trump Barry embarrassed by these leaks? Hopefully she feels unburdened. The only shame is silence, when fellow human beings suffer.
From the Introduction:
The country was in an uproar: the air was saturated with images of crying children, torn from their mothers and fathers, kept in cages. Stunned parents were paraded for the cameras so we saw them as criminals, less than, other. Trump’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy was a disaster. It seemed a reasonable expectation that his daughter Ivanka, an Assistant to the President who occasionally posed as an advocate for families, might help to clean the mess. But, instead, she posted a shockingly tone-deaf photo of herself with one of her kids wrapped tight in her arms. Samantha Bee called her a feckless cunt.
Suddenly, the cruelty at our border was lost among clutched pearls and shrieks of disingenuous outrage: Samantha Bee said a bad word! The worst word.
Cunt—or, as it is whispered by many otherwise mature adults, “the c-word”—is that word you keep in your back pocket. It is the one word you never, ever say…until you do. Then, the shock of cunt is a weapon. Forbidden so long, it takes on an almost holy significance.
Cunt is a complicated word because its power is held by those who benefit from gender oppression. There is a reason why the words for female genitalia make us gasp and cringe. Samantha Bee was scolded by some of the same pundits and politicians who helped lower the bar to the dirt for acceptable Presidential behavior. But it was when Donald Trump tweeted that Bee should be fired for her “horrible” language that my brain, fully engorged with rage, burst from my skull and squished down the street in search of a fight. I could not take one more day of it: the hypocrisy. The gleeful hate. The false equivalencies. The violent displays of white supremacy and misogyny. The greed. Trump’s smug, petty ignorance. We had all heard him admit to sexual assault, right? Although he said pussy, not cunt. It was not that this moment of hypocrisy and “outrage” was worse than all the others. But it was a moment of ENOUGH.
I posted a call for lean, furious, feminist responses to this moment in the resistance. I gave a tight deadline: July 4, an invitation to declare independence from the petty, patriarchal bullshit. My Inbox became a collective scream.