About 50 members of the Drake University community gathered in Bulldog Theater Tuesday evening to listen to Inga Muscio as she discussed controversial topics such as racism, violence and sex.
Director of Women’s Studies Beth Younger invited Muscio to speak at Drake after she read her book “Rose” last the spring.
The author read excerpts from her three published books, including her first book titled “Cunt,” “Autobiography of a Blue-Eyed Devil: My life and Times in a Racist, Imperialist Society,” and her newest book “Rose.”
Muscio kicked-off her hysterically engaging lecture with an applause for the controversial word that shares the title of her first book. Reactions were mixed when Muscio requested the ovation, but it was an icebreaker for the hour and a half long lecture.
“I just think Inga Muscio is an amazing role model,” said junior Cate O’Donnell. “I want to be her when I grow up, she swears a lot, writes and is just a baller.”
“Rose” addresses the impact of passive violence on people’s lives and the aspects that make up passive violence. Muscio expressed that passive violence is found in people’s everyday lives and almost always leads to physical violence. Passive violence is: betrayal, stealing, homophobia, sexism, gossip, stalking, abuse, social humiliation, drug abuse, alcoholism, fill in the blank rage, road rage, parking rage, ignoring and the silent treatment.
“For me I thought it gave an interesting perspective and is opening my eyes to other perspectives,” said junior Ryan Curtis.
A popular topic of discussion was the use of the word “cunt.” Muscio’s first book discusses the negative connotations attached to the word and encourages women to embrace the word, which she considers “the anatomical jewel.”
Muscio explained that in her time studying and learning about the 4,000-year-old word she has found that things with a long-standing history scare people. The author also explained it’s a hard word for some people to speak.
“It’s the cockroach of words,” said Muscio.
Younger agreed it is a difficult word to grapple with.
“It’s one of the hardest words for me to say,” Younger said.
Muscio commented on why she loves coming to colleges to speak at events like the one held on Tuesday night.
“It keeps me on my toes,” Muscio said. “I like to know what this generation is thinking and what is important to this generation know.”
Muscio’s lecture was eye-opening for students who attended.
“I always like learning about different things and seeing things in a different light. As a guy it shows me a different side,” said junior Eric Jordan.
Muscio lives in Seattle where she continues to write and helps teach refugees English. She earned her undergraduate degree at Evergreen in Olympia, Wash. To keep up-to-date with Women’s Studies check out their Drake Women’s Studies Facebook page.