Friday, January 19, 2007


Tonight our bookclub meets and discusses Cunt. I knew the selection of this title would cause quite a stir, but I didn't really think it would go as far as it has.

I should start by saying that, while this is not my favorite word, it doesn't offend me any more than any other word. It's just a word, and I firmly believe we give words power by making them so verboten*. A good friend challenged me to use it continually over the course of one day, and it totally desensitized me to it. In choosing this month's title, I thought it might give more positive ammunition in fighting the stigma of the word.

Turns out choosing a book called Cunt** for a Barnes & Noble (officially sanctioned) bookclub raises more than a few eyebrows. List it on the store's community events calendar? Give it the signage normal bookclub books get? Are you kidding me?! Haha. All of the marketing materials were actually printed before one of the store's printers got so concerned they contacted corporate headquarters in NYC. The big bosses up in NY evidently got their panties in such a wad that they called down to the store our bookclub is housed out of to ask what was up. Oh my...can't say I was disappointed in attracting the attention of corporate. I was, however, disappointed that Barnes & Noble is ok with selling and earning a profit from a book but not promoting it. Notice I said disappointed...not surprised. None of this is shocking.

The only thing that has shocked me at all is my discovery that I basically have no freedom of speech rights in the workplace. Perhaps it was a bit Pollyanna of me to think I had some kind of legal legs to stand on. Well, for the record, I do not. The courts have definitely not defined freedom of speech as an absolute. In the private sector, the First Amendment freedom of speech criteria (generalizing here...there are some instances where they may be applied) do not apply.

*I'm a bit of a hypocrite and will readily admit it. While I do believe we have also empowered the n* word, I would never say nor condone saying it.
**I can't say I was all that impressed with the actual book.


  1. They are being such wankers about this. It really annoys me. What if the book had been called "Cooter"...would they have made such a big deal about it?

  2. Anonymous2:23 PM

    Cunt... No, it's okay im taking it back. I just liked the Clerks 2 reference. Of course protecting profit margins will supercede the protection of our rights, we live in a nation were the words we say are more offensive that the violence we create, i.e. Michael Richards, Mel Gibson, Isaiah Washington. I don't in anyway way support the use of hate motivated speech, but it seems the message we are sending is it's better to kill those you hate rather than say something bad about them.

    Sticks and stones anyone...


  3. it is a tought spot to be in, because BN is just covering their asses. they don't want posters with Cunt up in stores and then one Mom complaining about it and raising hell. Should it be on the calender? yes, on the website yes. but i don't really blame them, they have to take into account the pathetic people around them