Is 'The C Word' Sexist?

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I'm not going to mill around. This thread is about the word cunt.

I've seen a lot of people get incredibly offended by the word cunt being used as an insult. Obviously, it's a very strong word, but the people who dislike it that much usually say that it is sexist. Being British, I believe these people to be wrong, but I would like some bloody Yanks to explain to me how sexist it really is over there, for I have heard conflicting reports.

Any people of differing nationalities may also give perspective on how cunt is used in their nation.

Eh. I don't know, I have friends that call dudes cunts too. It doesn't sound very good coming from anyone's mouth or directed at any gender.

I'm also British, and I don't consider it sexist. I do think it's quite a strong insult though, and it's one I generally reserve for people who I feel truly deserve it(i.e. politicians).

In North America, it's pretty much the worst word you could use on a woman. I know it's fairly commonly used elsewhere, but here it's pretty horrible. If someone said it to me, or someone I cared about (and meant it), there would probably be a punch to the face involved.

My sister and I call each other it sometimes when we're really angry at each other, though (we're both adults). On the flipside, my mother can't stand the word and gets really upset when she hears it. It's a little more common with my generation (Gen X/Y), but still not a word used in normal speech. Or even hateful speech. Throw 'fuck' around all you want, but if someone says 'cunt', it's gone too far for most people.

Edit: The sexist part of it, I guess, would be the fact that it's insulting a woman to the nth degree and saying all she is is her body parts. And in media, it usually is the word reserved for those committing assaults or who really have issues with women.

Just in case, I never use it. Just like the words bitch, whore and slut, it's got ugly implications and it's not like there's a shortage of swear words I can use instead.

D-d-d-did s-someone mention th-th-the "S" WORD?!?

MuSt-CoNtRol-FiSt-oF-DEATH!!!

*gasps for self control*

On...topic...

No. In some cultures it's barely considered pejorative (England) while in others it's highly offensive (USA).

It's typically used as an insult but it isn't inherently more s-s-s-the "S" WORD than calling someone a "dick".

Leaving...I must go--now!

Huh, I thought you where going to say 'Culture secretary' (Is that joke too old now, after how many years does it stop being a 'current event'?)

You have to be fair if you want to call it sexist.

If the word "dick" isn't sexist to you, then the "c-word" shouldn't be to you, either, for instance.

I could never understand that. Why does it matter what word someone uses to offend you? If someone really wants to offend someone he might not even have to slur. Or what, when someone screams "YOU BITCH!" it's okay, but when the same guy in same situation screams "YOU CUNT!" it's somehow different?
Intend is what matters. Hell, all my skype calls with friends start with "Sup, *INSERT ANY RUSSIAN WORD FOR VAGINA HERE*" and we laugh at it. But when I screw up and my friend just says "you are stupid" it really hurts.

Really? I didn't think anyone took that word seriously, most everyone I know doesn't even consider it to be a real insult, something smaller then "Idiot" Strange.. I live in Colorado though, Maybe its a regional thing? People call each other cu##s and other various words all the time for $$$$s and giggles (I'm 25 so its not like I'm in middle school or something) my self though, I never use the word... it just sounds stupid to me, like a half assed attempt at a insult. I'm truly intrigued that anyone finds it offensive at all.
(Edited for Respect for others)

Copper Zen:
D-d-d-did s-someone mention th-th-the "S" WORD?!?

What's the s-word? "Stupid"? If so I can totally understand your stance.

OT: "Cunt" can't be a truly offensive word, it starts with a K-sound, which is scientifically proven the most fun sound in the English language!

Well, I can understand why it'd be considered sexist. It's basically calling someone "you vagina!" after all, as if vaginas and by extention the possession thereof is a bad thing.

But then again, I do use cocksucker as one of my top tier swears, and I certainly don't think there's anything wrong with that activity whatsoever. I might be slightly hypocritical on that point.

I do, however, tend to avoid to use swears that targets a woman's sexuality. Why? Because they're the kind of swears that are bad. I still remember the high school days, when "whore" and the likes where nothing than an awful way of policing girl's sexuality and self-worth, in effect, keeping both those values trodden down. And that is revolting. I also try to avoid the guy-version of that, too, and avoid using "gay" as a negative quality in a swear. But as the "cocksucker"-example above shows, I've still got some ironing out to do.

I guess it all depends on targeting and context, in the end.

Well, yes, you are using an obscene term for female genitalia as an insult.

However, the amount that it is sexist is based on the amount that it's an insult. As mentioned, this varies a lot, in places where it's not particularly obscene or insulting, I'd say it's much less sexist.

It does come with a lot of baggage though.

Not in Britain.

I once participated in a 67-post Facebook discussion about how much of a cunt Jeremy Kyle is. The word came up in basically every post.

Yeah, not exactly a big deal.

Depends if you consider calling someone a cock/prick/dick sexist.

If you do, then yes (and grow up); if no, then no.

It has a pretty crude connotation, so you can't help but feel that initial punch when uttered. But I wouldn't call it sexist.

Definitely not in Britain, although we don't have all that 'check your privilege' malarkey. People just deal with it.

Our Atheists don't flip out when someone says "Happy Christmas" to them either, so I guess we must be really laid back or something.

It depends in who's using it and the intent behind using it really.

I call people cunts all of the time, as do most of my friends.

If an American uses it and means it in a derogatory way, it's pretty sexist then. It seems to be a much more loaded word in the states.

A word can't be sexist. It is a word. The voice behind it can be sexist. It is a voice.

Conversation over.

IndomitableSam:
In North America, it's pretty much the worst word you could use on a woman. I know it's fairly commonly used elsewhere, but here it's pretty horrible. If someone said it to me, or someone I cared about (and meant it), there would probably be a punch to the face involved.

My sister and I call each other it sometimes when we're really angry at each other, though (we're both adults). On the flipside, my mother can't stand the word and gets really upset when she hears it. It's a little more common with my generation (Gen X/Y), but still not a word used in normal speech. Or even hateful speech. Throw 'fuck' around all you want, but if someone says 'cunt', it's gone too far for most people.

Edit: The sexist part of it, I guess, would be the fact that it's insulting a woman to the nth degree and saying all she is is her body parts. And in media, it usually is the word reserved for those committing assaults or who really have issues with women.

I thought the worst word was "bitch"? You know since bitch pretty much means " female dogs" . And you know how dogs are obedient , and loyal , and does what their master tells them . People ( especially women ) hate being called bitches because it's basically calling them dogs , and telling them they aren't people . However , i will admit that i am guilty of calling everyone and their mother a bitch ( including mine ) despite knowing that . Yes i'm a horrible person . I try ( really hard i may add ) to never call a woman a bitch unless she a) deserves it or b) am friends with me and i know she won't mind .

OT: Cunt . Means vagina right ? I can see why that's offensive and sexist . Women don't want to be perceived as walking vaginas ( I.E things to put you penis in ). So sure it's sexist . But not more than an array of other words . Every demographics has an offensive word to describe them .

On a side note . What the hell are we suppose to call people or say to the. When we get angry or they piss us off? THEIR TAKING AWAY ALL MY WORDS!

Not for me but some people will get offended by it, what're you gonna do.

krazykidd:
On a side note . What the hell are we suppose to call people or say to the. When we get angry or they piss us off? THEIR TAKING AWAY ALL MY WORDS!

Depends on why you are pissed off.

You also need to do that if you want to prove them wrong, rather than just insult them, of course. No matter how wrong someone is, there's always some supporter that could do with having it explained.

The motivation of word relies on the context given by the speaker. I've come to think of cunt to be a unisex, and even then I don't understand how an insult becomes "worse" when associated with a gender. It's not like you're insulting someone for being different (like "aspie" or "fag"). You're using a word that has come to mean bad person through association, and is meant to be thrown at those who you considered bad people at the time. If you happen to be sexist, or put it in a sexist context, that's not really the fault of the word, is it?

Shia-Neko-Chan:
You have to be fair if you want to call it sexist.

If the word "dick" isn't sexist to you, then the "c-word" shouldn't be to you, either, for instance.

Always wondered why "cunt" is considered terrible, yet the same very people likely use the word "dick" in a derogatory way at the same time. Never understood the difference.

CityofTreez:

Shia-Neko-Chan:
You have to be fair if you want to call it sexist.

If the word "dick" isn't sexist to you, then the "c-word" shouldn't be to you, either, for instance.

Always wondered why "cunt" is considered terrible, yet the same very people likely use the word "dick" in a derogatory way at the same time. Never understood the difference.

New thread, is it sexist that cunt is considered sexist but dick isn't?

It is literally the best curse word ever, when used sparingly in insults. Also great when adapted as an adjective, like 'cunted' - meaning really really really drunk :)

I certainly dont find it offensive, but a few girls I know dont really like the word. I'm English, if that makes a difference. I probably wouldn't call a girl a cunt out of respect to them, but I've no fundamental problem with anyone calling anyone else a cunt.

I don't mean to be a DICK, but if you call someone a CUNT suddenly you're SUPER SEXIST GET THE FUCK OUT

I use it as a casual insults to girls and guys, although I never call my friends cunts (unless it is humorous in context)

A dude whose English was bad was in an argument with me (over something silly) and he comes out with "you're Mother has a cunt" Well mate, I wouldn't want to know she has a dick.

Quaxar:

Copper Zen:
D-d-d-did s-someone mention th-th-the "S" WORD?!?

What's the s-word? "Stupid"? If so I can totally understand your stance.

OT: "Cunt" can't be a truly offensive word, it starts with a K-sound, which is scientifically proven the most fun sound in the English language!

I think you might be on to something there, it's only got 4 letters, yet two of them are really sharp and annunciated. It's just such a visceral thing to say. Ooooh it's giving me tingles.

As for if it's sexist, I think it's about intent. I can think of a whole host of words that are commonly used as insults which have transcended their gender connotations in favour of just being insulting, for you to throw around with your friends or launch from a cannon at enemies. Likewise perfectly ordinary words can become sexist, racist or outright derogatory by sheer malice. So unless the intent is to specifically compare someone to female reproductive organs as a slight against women then I wouldn't call it inherently sexist.

It's probably sexist in the most literal sense, since the word is likely to target women specifically on the grounds of being female here in America, but so far as I know, the word is so despised because it's become the most hateful word we can use to describe a woman, not because of its sexism.

Meh, I don't think it's sexist at all. Their is a long tradition of using the genitalia of both genders for derogatory slang. As long as the word dick is synonymous with cunt, I'm totes fine with it. In fact, someone called me that the other day, I replied, "thanks and f-you too". Personally, I think it sounds funny to my ears but then I don't get offended easily.

I'm an American and I don't discriminate who I call a cunt by gender - male or female, everybody has the potential to be a cantankerous cunt. For me, its one of the highest insults I have for somebody. I never really heard of the word though until I came across some George Carlin, so it'd make sense if I use it differently than from most people.

Are you arguing that it's sexist in the sense that there's no equally offensive term that applies specifically to men? If there are gendered insults for both genders and only one word from the whole set of gendered insults gets attributed exceptional levels of offensiveness, then I'm not sure it's sexist as much as unfortunate.

Froggy Slayer:
Snip

No, I would say being abusive and misogynistic is sexist. Cunt is just a word.

Mostly only guys are cunts...Most people that I hear that are called cunts are guys. Girls get the "bitch", "slut" and "whore" you know the usual.

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