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The Word ‘Pussy': Why Men Shouldn't Be Able To Say It Anymore

I love to say the word PUSSY.

I adore the way it feels when it flies out of my mouth. It's feels like a million glorious starbursts erupting off my tongue and brightening up the sweet, sweet air.

PUSSY. PUSSY. PUSSY.

I also happen to love everything about the pussy. I mean, how can you not wildly respect it? We exist because of the pussy, so how dare we ever disrespect it?

I say “pussy” a lot, and it pisses my mother off. She thinks it's a “rude” word and thinks we should use the proper terminology for our sacred sexual body parts. She thinks we should say “vagina” and “penis,” never “pussy” or “dick.”

I used to agree with her, but that was the past. Now, I really enjoy twisting my lips around the word pussy because it empowers me.

We exist because of the pussy, so how dare we ever disrespect it?

When I was a teenager living in conservative Connecticut, boys always said the word “pussy.” But the boys never said it in a positive way, like “I love and respect the power of the pussy, I'm so grateful to be alive because of the power of the pussy.”

No. They used the word pussy as a way to say something was lame, weak or stupid.

“Stop being such a PUSSY, dude!” a stupid, preppy boy (who probably moved his bleak life back to Connecticut and overly controls his disempowered wife who doesn't realize she deserves SO MUCH BETTER) would say to another boy when he didn't want to take a tequila shot, do a bump of coke, or try one of the other equally destructive and expensive things the stupid, preppy boys in my over-privileged school liked to do.

My whole life, I always heard men use the word “pussy” in this way. It made me hate the word.

In fact, as a passionate 14-year-old discovering feminism for the first time, I vowed to never say the word again.

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After all, a vagina is a beautiful thing. And the culture made me feel like “pussy” was a vulgar way to describe such an important life force, and I wouldn't dare do such a thing, right?

But then, when I was 16, I discovered this amazing, queer, feminist girl band called “Bitch & Animal” and heard the song “The Pussy Manifesto.”

In the manifesto/song, they start using the word pussy as a compliment. And that, my darlings, was the first time I was ever introduced to the power of reclaiming words.

I'm sick of my genitalia being used as an insult. Are you?
It's time to let my labia rip and rearrange this.

Here we go:
That was so Pussy of you to help me move to my new place!
Especially since I'm living on the 13th floor.
You've really made this a Pussy move!

That song changed my life.

I really discovered why controlling, narrow-minded people ban art and music. It's because it truly has the ability to reshape the way an entire generation thinks and feels.

After listening to that song, 17-year-old Zara, in her ripped fishnet stockings, her silver eyebrow ring and vegan leather jacket, decided she was never, ever going to let her genitalia be used as an insult again.

And I started to use the word “pussy” in all its reigning glory.

If I heard some fuckboy use the word negatively, I would chime in, “Oh, so you just called that boy a pussy. You must mean it was really awesome of him to have lost that basketball game, huh?”

The fuckboy would look at me blankly, and I would gaze right back, sweetly batting my large-and-in-charge eyelashes. “Well, the word pussy is a compliment because pussies are amazing things. They give and receive endless pleasure and bring fucking life to the world,” I'd purr.

The fuckboy would never know how to respond to my radical statement, so he would usually just slink away as I leaned back and smiled — feeling like I had totally reclaimed the word and was in control of my life. It was epic.

So as you can tell, I've fully reclaimed “pussy.” And I hope that all girls have reclaimed it, too. It's so liberating to take back that word. It makes me feel like I could sing opera right out of my pussy.

But you know who I'm not cool with reclaiming “pussy”? MEN.

Yes, boys, I'm fully aware that I just lectured you on your use of the word. And now, I'm telling you you can't use it at all. But hear me out: I'm not here to man hate; I'm here to educate.

Even when men say “pussy” in a positive way (which is rare), it makes my skin crawl.

Unless you have (or have had) a pussy and experienced the very specific hurt of having your precious, sacred genitalia be used as a hateful way to describe something weak, you don't know how painful and degrading hearing it feels.

And it's simply not your word to reclaim.

That's the way it works with any slur or bigoted word: Only people who have been affected by the word can reclaim it.

I can say the word “dyke” because I am a dyke and have been called a “dyke” by bullies since the seventh grade. It feels good to take the freaking power back.

But if you're straight, you've never felt the oppressing pain of having something you're proud of (like your sexuality) be used in a way to put you down.

You don't get the privilege of using that word as a means of empowerment because you've never been disempowered by it. Make sense?

So girls, lez all get down with the “pussy.” After all, the pussy is a gorgeous thing.

It's so pussy that you clicked into my article and are reading it right now. It's so pussy that it's officially going to be fall soon, and the leaves will be changing colors. It's so pussy that you have a pussy that lets you feel so much pleasure, girl.

And to the boys: If you respect and love the pussy as much as I do, you need to be formal and call it a vagina. It's sort of like calling your elders “ma'am” or “sir.” It's a respect thing.

Boys, if you respect and love the pussy as much as I do, you need to be formal and call it a vagina.

So girls, welcome to Planet Pussy. It's great over here.

Boys, we'll come visit you in Vagina Land, when (and if) we feel like it.

Otherwise, stay in your zone. Don't come bounding into ours, because you're not welcome right now. And it's rude to venture into an area where you aren't welcome. Every real gentleman knows that.

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Zara Barrie

Staff Writer

Zara Barrie is a senior writer for Elite Daily. She's consumed by style, sexuality, women, words, fashion and feelings. She identifies as a "mascara lesbian" and lives beyond her means on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
Zara Barrie is a senior writer for Elite Daily. She's consumed by style, sexuality, women, words, fashion and feelings. She identifies as a "mascara lesbian" and lives beyond her means on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

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