I was involved in a discussion the other day about stupid and/or offensive band names and I invoked my constant need to follow-up any citation of the band Pussy Galore with the sheepish and not-at-all convincing argument that the band selected the name as it is the moniker of buxom Honor Blackman’s fabled character in the hallowed James Bond film, “Goldfinger.” That’s true -– Pussy Galore was a Bond girl, but even a passive perusal of the songs and aesthetic of Pussy Galore the band handily suggests that they chose the name to be willfully, giddily and proudly offensive. Mission accomplished. I had a similar problem with the name of Athens, GA’s Nashville Pussy, themselves named after a prurient remark made by Ted Nugent on his live album, Double Live Gonzo. Like their forebears in Pussy Galore, Nashville Pussy have zero qualms with the name and its connotations, none of which are especially nuanced.
Sorry, but I just hate the word “pussy.” I mean, I understand why people use it, but I just find it kinda stupid, juvenile and depressing, it ultimately being a term relegated to the lowest of possible denominators. I also hate that it's used as a misogynist pejorative to describe someone alleged of being weak, timid, shy and sickly. I have nothing against the notion of “talking dirty,” but comparable to my feelings about the overuse of the word “fuck” (a term I use myself quite a bit, despite efforts to curtail same), “pussy” just strikes me as an incalculably base word that objectifies and demeans. Maybe I’m old fashioned or prudish or too “politically correct,” but I just wish we could elevate the conversation a bit when sexual matters are invoked, … and throwing words like “pussy” around doesn’t really do that, to my mind.
Not that the word has ever gone out of fashion, but it got a major bump back into the zeitgeist when Donald Trump was caught on tape using it, prefaced with the exclamation “Grab’em by the…” After months of scandalous comments and deeds that all failed to do the candidate any damage whatsoever, this particular sound-byte seemed like the torpedo that was finally going to pierce the side of his campaign.
While I was hopeful and gunning for it to do so, I was also sort of bummed that it was a sexual matter that was poised to scuttle his ship, when -– honestly -– there had been so many other things prior to that which rendered him unfit (from mocking the disabled, through his comments about Mexicans to his myriad conflicts of interest, etc. etc.) While entirely indefensible and – again – stupid, juvenile, depressing and – let’s not forget -- predatory -- I resented that, in our very-arguably enlightened, cerebral and technologically advanced age, the fates of nations still rose and fell on the doings of men incapable of controlling their penises. But, of course, even the proof that Trump was a self-confessed serial groper did nothing to dissuade the electorate. Thanks, America -- YOU KNOW BEST!
So, anyway, yeah, I’d love to walk the conversation back upstairs and relegate the “locker room talk” back to whatever fictional locker room it spilled out of. I’d love to hear new terms to describe sexual organs that are maybe a little more imaginative and less derogatory. I’d love the conversation to evolve.
That all said, when I spotted the image below on Facebook this afternoon, I did laugh out loud.