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Oh, don't be such a p***y...

I've been thinking about a word today. It's a word that I've been told my whole life is a crass, nasty word that I shouldn't use.

It's a word that women I've dated have actively cringed on the off chance that I might have used said word. It's a word that is so bad that it's one of the ultimate things one guy will say to another to emasculate him.

I'm, of course, talking about the word "p***y."

Okay, stop. Deep breath. I can do this.

The word is not "p***y." It's Pussy. There. I said it.

Pussy, pussy, pussy.


The thing is, I'm not ready to mount a crusade for the free usage of the word. I think I agree with (mostly women) I know who actively hate the word because it's simply ugly. I feel the same way about a different word for the same body part that begins with a "c." That word I can't even type because I truly think it's the ugliest word in the English language.

But we were talking about pussy.

This week, I watched Sex and the City. With my parents no less. Aside from that horror, the actual episode featured women saying that word several times. I started to wonder: "Well, if these New York women whom we're supposed to belive are quite sexually liberated can throw the P-word around like that, does it mean that 'pussy' is coming back into the lexicon? Can pro-feminist men now use the word, perhaps even employ it with a touch of irony that women will now find damn near irrestistable because not only are men now using it in a way that's not meant to be ugly and demeaning to women, but which is now an effort to take back the word and give it back to the people it belongs to: Those who are carrying the sex organs in question. Can we now yell, 'Pussy! Pussy to the People!' from the rooftops? Are we living in a Pussy-Liberated World? Oh, sorry, Mom and Dad. I didn't mean to say all that out loud."

The word has been around my whole life, obviously, in so many different contexts to signify and represent something that is ultimately about power, just the way the word "penis" and its various monikers are used to signify everything from bullshit patriarichal power structures ("penis envy") to mere assholery ("dick head"). Vaginas are similarly powerful creatures: Women have them, men don't, and from a very early age, men (um, straight men, I mean) are on a seek and inseminate mission that is as biological as it is sociological. Men seek it, women often keep them at bay, and suddenly it's a supply/demand/desire/chastity/acquisition/you-don't-own-it- you-just-lease-space-when-I-want-you-to/conquest/man-slave thing. I am not entirely a stranger to that, um, place, but at the same time I think most men feel like strangers in a strange land there; visitors in a hostile landscape, explorers with unstable flags, divers with no sonar.

Pussy, the word, has been around all the time, all my life, like a secret covered in gauzy, flimsy material.

There was a time I wanted to write a one-man show and do a skit in which I donned a pink full-body leotard and enacted the various states of a vagina. (There was going to be a water gun and lots of hand gestures involved.) It was supposed to be a purposely stupid enactment of The Vagina Monologues as told through the actions of an inept stage performer who took the title too literally. It was called, for a dark time when it was being written, but never completed, "The Pussy Project." I, of course, told almost no one about this little bit of stagecraft.

There was a skit that I was in where a fellow LCP member made fun of my news anchor character, saying, "Omar, don't be such a pussy!"

There are times when I pussyfoot around subjects when I should maybe be more straightforward.

I didn't see the Josie and Pussycats movie, but I like the lead singer from Letters to Cleo, so I may soon own the soundtrack.

I own a cat.

Obviously, I have no idea how to illustrate this entry.

There are "pussy willows," but I'm not sure exactly what they look like, and as such would probably get them easily confused with the closely related "vaginal tulips."

When I had my eye surgery, I used these milky drops, and when my brother saw them, he freaked out because it looked like my eyes were dripping pus. They looked "pus-sy," as it happened.

Prince sings about "Pussy Control" and even though it's been years that I've heard it, I'm still not sure what it means. There's probably a lot about sex that Prince knows that it will be decades before I come close to understanding.

There are funny bastardizations of the word you could make like Pussytastic! and Pussyriffic! which would be something really outstanding related to a pro-vaginal award of some sort. Instead of the very tired expression "Pussy-Whipped," you could instead say that someone who is beholden to a specific female sex organ has been Pussified or Pussimilated. You could say that someone who embodies the more noble and Pussyriffic characteristics of it is the very Pussonification of the word. Someone who believes that they are to be engaged in penetrating sexual relations, but who instead is given a clothes-on hump-centric substitute could be said to have been given a Pussybo. If you had very positive sexual relations on a cruise, you could have called it The Pusseidon Adventure.

This is Master P. I don't know what the "P" stands for but it's probably not "Pussy."

What I'm trying to say is that I'm very confused. I didn't want to offend anyone, but I'm sure that after this I have maybe two women readers left and one of them is about to write me a scornful e-mail.

All I want to know is if it's okay. Do you care if this word is used? Is it wrong? Is it time for "pussy" to make a comeback?

Should I stop being so scared? Am I just being a pussy?

It's 2001.

Are we ready for some "pussy?"



For the three of you still reading, I neglected to say something about The Lasik Operation last time and Fred was perceptive enough to ask all the right questions that I didn't think to answer last time.

Take it away, Fred:


First, how'd they stop you from blinking? I'm picturing some sort of fascinating clockwork orange type eyelid holding mechanism, and I'll be disappointed if it's something like, "they told me not to blink." So make up something good. Like a humanoid robot that grabbed your face and stretched your eyebrows so high you thought that the chinese were dancing on it. Run with that.


They showed me a picture of your mom. Naked. Is that good enough for you? I still can't blink after that.

No, sorry... They used some very colorful clamps that really didn't hurt at all. In fact, they were so friendly, I didn't even notice them once they were on, and I imagined them being sold to eye doctors as very cool, fashionable eye clamps. Kind of like selling a torture rack in pastel colors. This seems like a big deal to people who ask, but I was so high on the valium, you could have been clamping my eyes open with rusty staples and I probably would have been chatting about Kevin Smith movies.

Oh, and I have no idea what you're talking about there with the Chinese dancing on my eyelids. You're going to have to explain that question.


And how did they keep your eye focused straight ahead? Was the light brite? Did you have to put pegs into a black sheet of paper? I'm very excited about this. More robots would make for a good story.


There was no Lite-Brite™ that I was aware of, but I did have to stare up into a red light, very Terminator-like. In fact, I pretended I was Sarah Connor and I had to protect my son from opthalmalogists from the future out to destroy the eyewear and contact lens cartels. They were robot opthalmalogists programmed to ask you how you'd like to die: #1 death method (shotgun blast) or method #2 (fireball). One or two? Which one feels better? Shotgun blast? Fireball? One or two? Or about the same?

See, I managed to get robots in there. You're welcome.


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