Episode 4 – Unspeakable – The C Word And The M Word
Disruption is as easy as lock, stock and three smoking syllables.
Make sure your earphones are on for this dangerous episode. That’s right, Jay and Jen are unleashing the worst word in the world – and we’ll soon get sick of calling it “The C Word” so consider yourselves warned. Let’s dig deep into the patriarchal foundations to see why the most dangerous utterance a person can make is slang for a woman’s genitalia. Why is ‘The C Word’ so bad? What actually is it? Should anyone say it – and can we reclaim it?
And while we’re speaking of the unspeakable, Jay demystifies ‘The M Word’ – money. Why it’s taboo for women to want it, why we need it, and why we might be afraid to claim it.
Is it just coincidence that these dangerous words are words of great power? Get Shrews in your ears because this episode is breaking boundaries – lock, stock and 3 smoking syllables.
Get Shrews In Your Ears:
Thank you to the following sources we’ve used to fact-check, investigate, and back up our claims to make this episode.
Stephanie Newman: 3 Feminists On How To Be Responsible With Money
Emily Nickerson: 5 Myths We Believe About Women & Money
Amanda Montell: A Cultural History of Feminine Nouns Turned Into Insults
Amanda Montell: Wordslut: A Feminist Guide to Taking Back the English Language
Mina Sundberg: A Language Family Tree In Pictures
Historical cunt meaning: “As a noun it meant vulva, in a neutral sort of way.”
Josephine Livingstone: What’s So Bad About the C-Word?
‘Sex For One’ author Betty Doddson’s take on the word cunt, in the foreword of Inga Muscio’s ‘Cunt: a declaration of independence’: “both of us claim that old Anglo-Saxon noun ‘cunt’, which claims the innate power of the sex organ it names.”
Inga Muscio: Cunt: A Declaration of Independence
The Cackle Of Sisterhood
It’s been at least a couple of years since Jay and Jen’s friendship was forged by a mutual fiery love of feminism and the power of wordsmithery. It took a global pandemic and things generally going to hell in a handbasket for them to throw all the right ingredients into a pot and birth the Shrews Untamed podcast.
When they’re not yelling, “I know, RIGHT?” at each other on FB Messenger, Jay is an award-winning copywriter and copy coach and Jen is an author with her first book in the works. They are also mothers, sisters, daughters, and both fans of the C word.
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Our theme music is Celtic Impulse by Kevin MacLeod
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Disclaimer on historical and literary references, and views expressed on Shrews Untamed
Unless we say otherwise, the history sources Jay and Jen mention on Shrews Untamed are from the dominant Western scholarly tradition. (That means Western history and literature was written by white men, for white men, and about white men – and a few very ‘good’ and very ‘bad’ women.) Through Feminist scholarship, the achievements, stories, and voices of women are slowly being ressurected from the past; some are lost forever.
We acknowledge that for First Nation women and Women of Colour, the history books have been closed for much longer, and the pursuit of Herstory has not been equitable, or free of Western/colonial bias.
Unless we say otherwise, most of the literary references are made to Western literature. Western literature, poetry, and artistic tradition are all filled with the names, images, and stories of women – and of course, Western patriarchal bias which has dictated our history bleeds into literature and the arts. Whether writing based on Near-Eastern historical figures like Cleopatra, the Virgin Mary, and including Western fictional characters like our dear Kate from Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew – each were envisioned and written by white men, and shown as white women, or fetishised exotics, for a largely white male audience.
The literary, cultural and artistic traditions, as well as current views of First Nation women and Women of Colour, or any non-binary person, should be told by people who have with lived that experience and/or tradition. And they are.
As we say in the outro, all opinions on content expressed on Shrews Untamed are our own. Jay and Jen are both white, CIS-het women; we can only speak with authenticity of our own white, CIS-het experience of Western culture and our world, and we do so without apology.
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Acknowledgement of Country
Jay and Jen from Shrews Untamed would like to acknowledge the land of the Karuna and Noongar people. We pay respect to elders past, present and emerging, and acknowledge the cost that has come with the uneasy sharing of this land; land which was taken. We express hope that we can move to a place of justice and equity together.
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Copyright 2015 - 2020 Jay Crisp Crow & Crisp Copy TM
Jay Crisp Crow acknowledges the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and recognises their continuing connection to land, waters, and community. This business pays its respects to them and their cultures; and to elders past, present, and emerging.