No one asked, but I have a policy on use of what I’ll call here the C-word, not because I think it’s so terrible but because some of you read this page at work, and have informed me that your company’s firewalls may screen out certain profanity. Normally, I don’t mind coming right out and saying it, at least in appropriate company. But I’ll refrain.
So. I have a policy. It’s this:
** Men may not casually use the word to refer to women, although I grant exceptions in certain cases. For friends. Best not to drop C-bombs in my presence unless we know one another pretty well. In this, it’s sort of like the N-word policy that I hope most readers follow: Just because black folks use this word doesn’t mean white folks can. Again, some exceptions may apply, but when in doubt, don’t say it. It’s just one of those things.
** Personally, I will use the C-word only to describe a certain sort of woman, who actively works to the detriment of other women. In this category: Phyllis Schlafly; Laura Schlessinger; most of the female op-ed writers of the 1990s who opined that women with small children who continued to work “outside the home” were selfish and only doing it so they could buy Mercedes-Benzes and get a manicure every week; actresses who said the casting couch is no big deal; others. You get the idea. In the case of Ivanka, Barbara Ehrenreich appears to be following a version of this rule:
I have finally concluded that if you are a top advisor to the fiend who is ripping immigrant children from their parents, and if, in the midst of this ongoing horror, you post a photo of yourself kissing your baby son, you have earned the epithet “cunt.”
— Barbara Ehrenreich (@B_Ehrenreich) June 3, 2018
** In English-speaking Europe and in Australia, the word is an insult used on men as well as women. “Game of Thrones” viewers have probably heard it used this way, because the producers of that show are employing the old tradition of Creating New Worlds, which the show’s setting, Westeros, decidedly is: When in doubt, use British accents. And so when the Hound tells somebody he’s going to “shut your c*nt mouth,” and he’s talking to a man, that’s in line with the tradition. And speaking of high-budget HBO dramas, Marc Antony in the production of “Rome” some years back, had a swear that I always enjoyed: “On Juno’s c*nt!” So that’s OK.
Otherwise, I respect the word’s power, so I try to deploy it selectively, and only on the truly deserving.
Anyway, it wasn’t until I read my ink-on-paper Detroit News wire story that I heard the better line from Samantha Bee’s tirade, wherein she told the First Daughter, “Put on something tight and low-cut, and tell him to f*cking stop it!” Which made me laugh.
So now you’ve got it.
I expect the story of the weekend is the 20-page memo the president’s lawyers delivered to Robert Mueller in January. Of this I have nothing to say publicly. I think I heard someone on a podcast recently say they were “out of shock juice” for commenting on day-to-day outrages, and were instead fixing their gaze on November. That seems a sane strategy to follow. Also, I have a bad case of scintillating scotoma at the moment, a nuisance affliction that was hitting me twice a week a couple years ago, then went away entirely, and recently returned. I’m taking it as permission to close the laptop and take Wendy for a walk. You all enjoy your Sunday and start of the work week. I’m out.