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February 17, 2007

CUNT

I was looking through our myspace friendslist of fabulously evil sluts (and the people who love them). I came across a blog from Franny, a sexy musician from Essex about the word "cunt". Here's an excerpt:
The fact that this word is the most offensive word in the English language is, as a woman, one of the most offensive things to me.

I often wonder, surely if you were to be called a cunt, it should be the biggest COMPLIMENT anyone can give you? After all, I am a woman and I am beautiful. I am a woman and my cunt is beautiful. I have a cunt and it is beautiful. Women are beautiful. Cunt is beautiful. Isn't it?
Feminists have spent decades trying to reclaim this charming word yet it still remains a taboo.


I particularly get frustrated when women themselves say "please don't say that word" and by doing this, their ignorance, through no fault of their own leads them to openly accepting these descriptions related to them and thus, accepting that they are too themselves all of the aforementioned. Well, accept this no longer because CUNT IS BEAUTIFUL. YOU ARE YOUR CUNT. YOUR CUNT IS YOU. YOUR CUNT IS BEAUTIFUL AND YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. CUNT IS A BEAUTIFUL WORD.
(Click here to read the blog entry in its entirety).

I have always wondered why some women found "the c-word" to be so much more offensive than anything else they could be called. I like the word "cunt".

It's similar to what was written earlier about why we use the word "slut". It's only offensive if you choose to be offended by it. Like "slut", reclaiming the word "cunt" takes the power away from those who would use that word against us.

From Expletive Deleted: A Good Look at Bad Language:
If women can reclaim the word as part of womenspeak, they can subvert the male-endowed perniciousness of the word. Some feminists argue that "the way to change some of the false and undermining messages is to change the usage of the word. . . . Defuse it, and in doing so we subvert the culture that prescribes negative meanings to words that don't deserve or need them".

Some women actively cultivate a use of CUNT that they hope will shift usage and attitudes, most especially so that girls don't grow up "believing they possess something disgusting in their bodies and young boys [don't grow up]... believing that what they were born from is the most offensive thing they can call another person."

According to the The Woman's Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects, English words like "cunning" and "ken" (to know) descended from words related to "cunt". In many religions and cultures, the genitals were a symbol of power, knowledge, and wisdom. This is likely how it came to be the word for female genitalia, however it wasn't considered vulgar until more recently (according to Wikipedia's entry on Profanity).
So when did it become the worst word in the world; that which must not be said; the cruelest thing you can call a woman...? When!?

Maybe part of the reason people take such issue with it is because it's just sooooo female. There's no escaping it or relating it back to men somehow, so the only thing to do is turn it into an insult. And the fact that men will use words like "cunt" and "pussy" to insult each other - and not just women - is also an indication of how masculinity is defined by society. It's not at all okay to be a "feminine" man or to ever say or do anything that might be considered "girly" because that would be weak or lame or gay.

On the flip side, the fact that women are afraid to embrace (or even use) the word goes back to how we are taught all our lives to be self-conscious and basically not proud of beinga woman. So I think it's hard for women to be like, "yeah, I'm a woman, I have a cunt, and fuck you if you don't like it".

I think we should embrace the word "cunt". We should honor it for what it truly is - not a vile person or disgusting thing - but a beautiful, perfect part of our bodies and our sexuality. Having a cunt is one of the main things that makes us women.

From Cunt: A Declaration of Independence:
Based on the criteria that "cunt" can neither be co-opted nor spin-doctored into having a negative meaning, venerable history or not, it's ours to do with what we want. And thanks to versatility and user-friendliness of the English language, "cunt" can be used as an all new woman-centered, cuntlovin' noun, adjective or verb.
Say the word outloud.

Cunt.

Cunt.

Cunt!

5 comments:

Franny said...

CUUUUUUUUUUUUUUNT! YES YES YES!!!

I AM HONOURED! THANK YOU. :)

X

Jezebel said...

There's a line in Cunt that I like that pretty much sums it up. "'Vagina' originates from a word meaning a sheath for a sword. Ain't got no vagina."

Teresa said...

Cunt is one of the most empowering books I have ever read. My older daughter is about to turn 14 and I am going to encourage her to read it. She may do the typical teenage "MOM!" thing but who cares. Everyone, woman and man, should read this book.

'Ain't got no vagina' is right!

Jon said...

Okay. Being a man, I'm not sure I'm entirely welcome here, but here it goes anyway. :)

My girlfriend (hate that word, especially since we both have 50 looming in the headlights, but what are ya gonna do) has undergone a turnaround on the word "cunt," and I feel pretty good for helping bring that about.

Her previous guy only used the word as an insult, to hurt her as much as possible. And when we first got back together sexually, some five months ago, I could see her stiffen up when I used it. But we discussed it and I explained how the word is to ME - not an insult at all, but a strong, powerful, positive word for one of the defining parts of a woman.

It has always bothered me to hear people insist on the weak, euphemistic, watered-down "pussy," with its connotations of cattiness, or the sterile, clinical "vagina," which conjures up images of a table with stirrups. "Cunt" is a fine word with a long history. It's strong and direct and definite, and if people have a problem with a powerful word for a powerful part of a woman, and want to hide from it, well, that's their problem.

Anyway, she's an intelligent and thoughtful and highly sexual person, and once I made it clear that "I love your cunt" is not at all the same as "You stupid cunt" (which is how she had always heard it before) she was totally on board with it. It may still be unacceptable to a lot of people, but between us, it's our word and we use it a lot, with good and positive feeling.

Anonymous said...

Um, so, I'm not exactly educated on most feminist matters, even though I would consider myself a feminist, so I could be showing my ignorance here. But I kinda disagree about the whole "use of cunt/douche/pussy etc. as an insult = sexism" thing. I mean, I understand where everyone's coming from, but it seems to me that it's purely that our culture and language uses sexual organs and bodily waste as our derogatory language. Fuck, shit, asshole, cock, bugger, those are all swearwords that have nothing to do with being female. And sure, maybe they don't have the same punch as "cunt", but I think they're a lot stronger than "pussy". Also, it seems like most of the characteristics associated with being a called a cunt or a douche aren't particularly feminine (being called a pussy is a bit different). I dunno, as I say I haven't really done my research and I'm pretty new to this whole thing but um, that's just my 2 cents.