AS Review: What inspired you to write both of your books, “Cunt” and “Autobiography of a Blue-Eyed Devil?”
Inga Muscio: For most of my life, I have not had a term for what inspires me. A couple of years ago, an amazing woman named Danica Anderson hooked me up with the concept of “Divine Vengeance.” When most people think of vengeance, “an eye for an eye” comes to mind. This kind of vengeance, indeed, makes the whole world blind. Divine Vengeance, as I understand it, is a highly admirable aspect of the goddess, enacted from a place of profound love and compassion. Divine Vengeance almost always involves creativity and imagination. Divine Vengeance tends to RESULT in damage to infrastructures of oppression.
In the context of “Cunt,” I believe I am seeking Divine Vengeance for the two men who raped and desecrated the small body of my mother when she was a child, as well as the crime against humanity that condones sexual violence in our society.
In the context of “Autobiography of a Blue-Eyed Devil,” I am seeking Divine Vengeance for white supremacist racism and imperialism. I do not think it is possible to truly understand sexual violence without understanding how white supremacist racism operates.
ASR: What would you like the audience to walk away with after your presentation here?
IM: I have a difficult time with expectations. Whenever I entertain expectations, I am almost always disappointed. That being said, it is always nice when people listen to me talk and walk away making connections between huge horrors over which we have no control and daily life choices that often enable huge horrors over which we have no control.
ASR: What advice would you give to college students or young activists?
IM: At this point in history, I think it is counter-productive to THINK of oneself as an “activist.” There are so many assaults against humanity, all animals and most plants on this planet, “activism” fractionalizes and puts limits upon realities that are all very much involved with one another. Say you identify as a prison-rights activist. The vast majority of people in prison are people of color and Indians. So you would have to be a well-educated “race activist” in order to be a prison activist too.
One out of four biological women are raped in prison, so your melding “sexual violence activist” into your identity is on the agenda. One way the U.S. competes with the global “marketplace” is to offer free prison labor (slavery) to huge multi-national corporations, so “anti-globalism activist” is part of who you are.
New privately-owned corporate faith-based prisons are cropping up all over the country. They are sprawling factories of misery and death. They take up space, and therefore devour the habitat of all the animals in the area. So you’re an “environmental activist” as well.
It pains us to realize that we have been indoctrinated in a society that compartmentalizes everything within a thought pattern of hierarchy. It is frustrating to apprehend how magnificently we THINK just like those we abhor, but that really doesn’t mean that we are somehow biologically incapable of THINKING DIFFERENTLY.
ASR: Any book recommendation?
IM: All I am reading right now are books by Terry Pratchett. I highly recommend all of his books. Arundhati Roy, Eduardo Galeano, Robin D.G. Kelly, Stan Goff and Luis Rodriguez are all authors you can’t go wrong with. Off the top of my head.
ASR: Anything else you would like to say?
IM: I don’t know who made this saying up, but it has been good to me lately:
Your heart is a muscle the size of your fist. Keep loving. Keep fighting.