Friday, 15 May 2020

The C*nt Cheerleaders

"Students in the early feminist programs, such as the Cal-Art Feminist Art Program, were taught to say the word cunt until it lost its derogatory nature and female sexuality was revalued, and yet just a few years ago, at the "F-Word" symposium, an event organized to honor their legacy, its organizers were so tentative that they were unable to even spell out the word that defined the movement. (...) At the very end of the symposium, Faith Wilding got up and did the Fresno "cunt cheer". Give me a C... The audience's embarrassment, discomfort, but perhaps also awe could scarcely have been more palpable if she had peed on the floor!"
Schor (2009)

"To contemporary readers the use of the crude slang term cunt will generally be understood in a derogatory way, but this is not necessarily how Rowbotham understood it at the time. Like the reclamation of the negative term queer in the gay and lesbian community and the sitll controversial use of the term nigger by blacks, there was a (now decisively failed) feminist effort made to reclaim the word cunt in positive terms. A great U.S. example of this would be the "cunt cheerleaders," students from Judy Chicago and Miriam Shapiro's Feminist Art Program at Cal Arts, who would turn out at the local airport in cheerleading costumes that spelled out the word cunt to greet feminists visiting the program."
Wilson (2015)

- Schor, M. (2009). A Decade of Negative Thinking. Essays on Art, Politics, and Daily Life. Durham & London. Duke University Press.
- Wilson, S. (2015). Art Labor, Sex Politics. Feminist Effects in 1970s British Art and Performance   Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press
- photographs via and via and via