Not many people dare to use the ‘C’ word, let alone make it the title of a book. And even fewer are willing to explore issues of racism and imperialism still in existence in America today. But many people will want to hear Inga Muscio speak on such topics come the end of January. Western Washington University’s Women’s Center is hosting Inga Muscio, a controversial author and dynamic speaker on January 26.
Muscio is the author of “Cunt” and, most recently, “Autobiography of a Blue-Eyed Devil: My Life and Times in a Racist, Imperialist Society.”
This isn’t the first time Muscio has made an appearance on Western’s campus, according to Women’s Center Co-coordinator Hana Kato. “Inga came here four years ago when she had written ‘Cunt,’ which is an amazing book,” said Kato.
Besides writing, Muscio speaks at universities, conventions, and festivals. In describing what she generally speaks about, she said she usually addresses the ways in which “feminism, environmentalism, anti-racism, and love for the queers and transfolks are all intricately connected,” as she describes it on her Web site, www.ingalagringa.com. Muscio also said that she often “tie[s] these in with how cultural violence is related to racial, sexual, and family violence.”
The interconnectedness of Muscio’s message fits well with Women’s Center goals for the year, Kato said. Kato and Co-coordinator Kelly Grotke “are trying to be as inclusive as possible,” said Kato. She describes this as exploring the links between feminism and other issues such as the environment, animal rights, race and class, and people with disabilities.
“Cunt,” according to Kato, deals mainly with feminist issues, whereas “Autobiography of a Blue-Eyed Devil” deals with the persistent issues of racism in our culture. Muscio will speak to both books and the issues she raises in them, Kato said.
Both “Cunt” and “Autobiography of a Blue-Eyed Devil” have raised eyebrows and, in some cases, anger. Muscio writes on her Web site that she sometimes experiences this when she is booked to speak. “There’s the localized and obligatory outcry in some communities when I do speaking engagements,” she said.
More specifically, Muscio’s second book has received criticism for its subject matter, racism and imperialism. “’Autobiography of a Blue-Eyed Devil’ has been met with far, far, far more negativity than Cunt, and so far, much of that negativity comes from media sources that liked ‘Cunt,’ which I find interesting,” Muscio wrote on her Web site.
“A lot of people aren’t willing to accept and acknowledge some of the issues raised in ‘Blue-Eyed Devil,’” said Kato. “I hope people will be willing to listen. I hope people come ready to hear what [Muscio] has to say,” she said.
Kato for one is excited to see Muscio’s performance. “Inga has a wonderful way of speaking in an accessible way, but also in a beautiful way,” she said. Kato said that Muscio does indeed deal with some weighty issues, such as feminism, abortion, and racism. “It’s not all hearts and flowers. Inga is hilarious, but can be serious too,” said Kato.
Inga Muscio speaks for free in the Viking Union Multipurpose room on Thursday, January 26. The event starts at 7 p.m. and is open to the public, so arrive early if you want a seat. For more information on Inga Muscio or the event, contact Hana Kato or Kelly Grotke at the Women’s Center, Viking Union 514, 650-5114.