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Random Thoughts: The 'P' Word

I write ‘hot’, I write ‘steamy’, I write ‘spicy’, I write graphic. I write what my sister, referring to one female protagonist escorting her future HEA partner to a hotel room within the first dozen pages (gasp!), called a ‘scorcher’. I employ a variety of terms to describe the male anatomy, but draw upon a more limited repertoire in describing female genitalia. I had chosen, despite one reviewer’s advice otherwise, to avoid using the ‘P’ and ‘C’ words.

I participated on January 21st in the Women’s March on Washington. I was there not to protest, but to display solidarity with sisters and brothers, to add to voices seeking to ensure that the choices and decisions (destined to underpin policies and programs) to come are informed and inclusive.

The ‘P’ word was out in full force, with an occasional guest appearance from the ‘C’ word. Pussy hats, Pussy signs. Keep your hands off my P, keep your laws off my P. I control my P, I decide with whom to share my P. I am the proprietress of my P/C. Pussy as power.

I have developed no new affinity for the ‘P’ or ‘C’ word. I don’t know that I’ll incorporate either into my sex scenes. To date, “pussy” has been used just once, by a peripheral character in a throw-away comment to the Hero, disparaging the Heroine as a generic vessel. An element of that Hero’s challenge is to eschew all the pussy potentially available to him in favor of that single pussy belonging to the intelligent, capable and caring woman who might well be the key to his HEA. Through their connection, he has the potential to become a better man and human being.

That massive Saturday gathering reminded me of the power we assign words. The term ‘bitch’, used pejoratively by men, was reinterpreted long ago by many of the women within my circle to capture positive attributes, such as independence, assertiveness and willingness to speak truth to power. ‘Nasty’ was another word on display on the 21st, embraced by thousands of grandmothers, professionals, homemakers, mothers and adolescents. Fear of hurtful words and labels, for one day at least, had been conquered.

Pussy is power.

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