Did You Just Call Me A Pussy? …Cool

Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.

-William Gibson

Once upon a time a friend of mine said with great authority and certainty, “There are three types of people in this world: assholes, dicks and pussies. Assholes go around shitting on everything. Dicks fuck everyone. And pussies just take it. Don’t be a fucking pussy.” When I heard him say this, well, I had to disagree. (I didn’t know this at the time but he was basically quoting from Team America, which I’d never seen). And to make clear the stakes of this debate, I should provide a little context. He said this on a construction site. I used to paint houses with my best friend, which meant we spent a lot of time around construction workers. When you spend hours on construction sites you’re privy to a sort of unvarnished male wisdom. When my friend offered his theory, it was to a contractor, a carpenter, another painter and me. He had the audience on his side from the start. And so, I learned that arguing with a roomful of macho construction workers and admitting that you think if the world is all just assholes, dicks and pussies, then you’d rather be a pussy, is basically like saying, “Here, does anyone need this penis? Because I sure don’t need it.” They just kept laughing about how I’d rather be a pussy than an asshole or a dick. I stood tall, which only made them laugh more. But I said it happily, based on their stupid analogy. It had to be said. And I’d say it again.

Generally speaking, I don’t mind when people reduce the world to statements like, “there are four types of people” or “there are two kinds of people in this world,” or whatever number they feel fits the variety of people they’ve met. I find it kinda cute. Of course, it’s a generalization. Of course, there are exceptions to their rule. Regardless of all the obvious flaws in their argument, it’s always fun to hear where and how someone draws a social divide. My friend (by way of Trey Parker and Matt Stone) had segmented the world into sexual organs. Asssholes. Dicks. And pussies. What a world, indeed.

The gist of the argument is there are basically three ways someone reacts to the unfairness of life. Once can take advantage of it, act like a dick and just go around fucking everyone. Looking out for number one, because you should make no mistake, a dick always makes sure to get theirs, and then they get going. Slam, bam, thank you, ma’am. The way my friend explained it- dicks are all about power and pleasure.

Another way to acknowledge the great unfairness of life is to decide none of the rules apply to you, and so, you go through the world like an asshole. Now, those folks aren’t go-getters like a dick is. Instead, like some well-fed bull, assholes lazily shit where they please. These are the people who ruin their girlfriend’s birthday party because they get so drunk they wind up cussing out a table full of her friends and family, which doesn’t really register with them as a problem because people should know how shit comes out when people fuck with them. They ruin things because they are an asshole.

Last, but not least, are the pussies of the world. They are the ones who “take it” in life, yet because life is funny and unfair, they also give the most in life. They willing volunteer to suffer so that others might know happiness. They give their time, energy and effort, knowing it most likely won’t be reciprocated. Pussies aren’t terribly selfish. They’re motivated by pleasure but they can give and take. And because of that they usually end up getting the fuzzy end of the lollipop.

You may have noticed, Kanye West weighed in on this particular worldview on his latest album, Yeezus. Although, he didn’t use the same language, he made nearly the same point. On his track “New Slaves,” he rhymed:

“You see there’s leaders and there’s followers, 

But I’d rather be a dick than a swallower.”

Being Kanye, he expanded the analogy and included mouths as sexual organs, which I guess they are, but his version of the analogy still suggests the same basic idea. He articulates the modern hustler’s attitude. Kanye may be very of our moment, but I believe future people will laugh at his attiitude the same way we laugh at the make-upped French aristocrats who lost their heads in the revolution. Personally, I find it hard to listen to the life philosophies of anyone who spends seven-hundred and fifty thousand dollars to buy a pair of solid gold toilets. Yes! He and Kim recently purchased thrones for their bathrooms– solid gold shitters. He isn’t just rapping some next level shit- he also insists he’s crapping next level, too. What a dick.

The cult of self-aggrandizement is the central fallacy of the assholes-dicks-pussies worldview. No one is a god. Not even Kanye. The same way I’m not the reincarnation of Wilson Pickett no matter what I might say on a first date or after some tequila. You and me, we all eat, play, breathe, pray, fuck and yes, shit next to everyone else down here on Earth. We all share this murderous garden we call Earth. Sure, people are often kinda fucked up and will do things to screw you, shit on you, fuck you, etc. Regardless of that truth, living in fear of that happening isn’t really the best response.

Holding yourself above others, living at a great remove, feeling that your presence is more valuable than someone else’s is no way to go through life. It means you act out of fear. All those assholes and dicks are just motivated by fear. The only ones who are strong, who are brave, who are unafraid of what life throws at them, the only ones who invite the world inside them because they enjoy, trust, and sustain life, are the pussies. It takes a lot of courage to be vulnerable, to be open to the world.

When assholes get scared, they clench up and become anal-retentive. The only time they’re really flowing is when they’re dumping their troubles. And dicks, don’t get me started, charming as they may be for some, once they get what they want, they lose their size, they shrivel up and aren’t much use for anything. But a pussy is a pussy is a pussy. It’s almost always ready to give and take. And every month it openly bleeds for a few days just to remind the world how tough it is.

On the internet, there’s a slew of versions of the popular meme that attributes Betty White with the joke, “Why do people say ‘grow some balls?’ Balls are weak and sensitive! If you really wanna get tough, grow a vagina. Those things take a pounding.”

Unfortunately, as awesome as the quote is, she didn’t say it. It was actually a comedian by the name of Sheng Wang. It’s still a great line. And I totally agree with its upside-down logic. Pussies are way tougher than dicks or assholes. And pussies are more generous. Think about what each offers the world.

If Kanye and my friend are right, and the world is filled with assholes, dicks and pussies, then, being an asshole or dick, is a horseshit response. That’s letting the world shape you. That’s reactionary. That’s just going with the horde. Running opposite those attitudes, pussies aren’t afraid to “take it” because they possess this strange individual power. They’re confident because they know they give something worthwhile to the world. They take what the world dishes out and keep going. I don’t wanna be follower or a swallower, but I’d be proud to be a pussy.

It always bothers me how culturally “pussy” is somehow considered something less-than. You hear it all the time. “Don’t be a big pussy.” It’s such a common saying. It kinda reminds me of how nigger became nigga and on any given Tuesday I can drive up to a street corner with my windows down and hear “No, my nigga- You gots to understand me, my nigga, this stupid ass tried to clown me in front of everyone in the shop, my nigga…” And when I turn my head, there is not a black, or even brown face on that corner.

Black intellectuals like to say we reclaimed nigger and made it our own. I’d say we just made up a new word and now everyone uses it. It’s certainly no longer our own. And somehow, that’s okay. Maybe that’s part of the answer. Crazy as it sounds maybe everyone has to become “niggas” and that’ll help us transcend the idea culturally. I don’t know. But if it works, I think it’d work the same with pussy. Feminists have been reclaiming the word pussy for decades. However, due to the nature of groups, they don’t all agree. Some feminists think pussy is a diminutive term. Some think it has power and get its point across since the word still makes lots of people uncomfortable. Remember how much fun was it to hear the news broadcasters say Pussy Riot over and over again on the news segments back when they were still a top story?

Partly inspired by some neo-riot grrrls I’ve known (although I’m sure they’d hate that label), sometimes when I see something I like, I’ll say, “Whoa, that’s fucking pussy.” That may still sound vulgar to your ears, but think about it, people say pussy all the time. Flipping it into a good thing is why it stands out so much. Let it stand out! Make it a thing to be proud of – an exclamation of coolness. Like, whenever I see something I really love, sometimes I’ll say, “Dude! That Chevelle is superpussy!”

Since so much cultural value comes down to the words we use, and those values color the way we see the world, you have to decide for yourself: Do you wanna think like Kanye? Cool. You can go be a leader (dick) not a swallower. I hope it works out well for you. Personally, I see the world a little differently. Any day of the week I’ll stand tall to a roomful of construction workers who think it’s hilarious that I don’t get that it’s an insult to be called a pussy. To me, it’s a rad reminder of how to live bravely, confidently and remain open to the give and take of life, rather than just shitting on or fucking everyone. So, if you wanna call me a pussy, all I can say is, that’s cool with me, my nigga. TC mark

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TC site

image – Ravo86

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