Is 'The C Word' Sexist?

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Wadders:
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.

yup. cunt and fuck are my two favorite words to combobulate into adjectives/verbs/nouns/etc..

i'm american, and while i don't hear it that often, i don't see it being any more sexist than "dick" or such, and once again, it's just a word, the offender and intent BEHIND the word may be sexist, but the word is not.

now i'm going to proceed to use cunt for the rest of the day, just so america pulls its own weight in saying cunt as much as the UK does for one day :)

Nope. Hell, In Scotland it's a term of endearment and only the biggest prudes get offended by it. I can't even think of a context in which it would come off as sexist.

ClockworkPenguin:
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'?)

A wild stab in the dark here, but my guess is when Jeremy Hunt became the health secretary.

It's sexist in the same way that "bitch" is sexist: It's an insult that takes an inherently feminine thing (her vagina for cunt, the dog's gender for bitch) and portrays it as if it's something shameful.

By the same token, calling someone a "dick" is sexist, but towards men.

Is it worth worrying about? If you spread your insults around and don't show a preference for one "gender" of insult, then no, I don't think it's a problem.

If you only select one "gender" for your insults, then you really need to increase your vocabulary, man...

I've never really understood the black/white views on words. It's the context that matters.

I work in a bodyshop, repairing crashed cars for a living. We work in the same building as a bunch of mechanics. Yeah, you can probably understand why I'm not that bothered by it. 'Cunt' is probably uttered more times per day than 'hello', it's the go-to insult. The word has zero impact any more, and I have to watch that I don't slip it into normal conversations when not at work!

There are far better ways to offend people than using a totally overused word. But these way usually involve jokes about paedophilia or biscuit tins full of shit (don't ask!).

No more sexist (or offensive) than the word dick in my opinion.

But I'm also British.

Probably.

But in Ireland it gets thrown around a lot, in fact I'm quite fond of the word. Really like that hard "T" sound at the end of it.

It's not sexist. In my group of friends everyone gets called a cunt/pussy/dick at one point or another.

Darken12:
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.

Would "dick", "jerk-off" and "bastard" be included in the negative implications list?

No In the same sense cock or dick isn't sexist. Cunt Is just a word like any other Its meaning depends on its context.

Well, I live in Australia. Here it is not uncommon for good friends to call one another cunts on leisure. So it's safe to say that the word doesn't offend me, or any other Australians I know. I don't know why people would accuse it of being sexist though, it's no more sexist than any other "insult" or harsh word.

....I swear to god at the rate at which the "x words" campaigns are starting in the past month or so we are going to run out of words to actually use within a few years as every word will be taboo.

But for the topic on hand, cunt is not sexist. Just like calling someone a dick, douche (which is usually used on guys ironically), or pussy (also used on guys)

Using rude words pertaining to a person's genitals to insult them? Who would do that? A DICK that's who! A no good COCK! A real WIENER! A dirty PLONKER! A dumb WANKER! An asinine JACK-OFF! A stupid BELL-END! A sexist BONER!

I wish I wasn't a man, if I was a woman then at least there'd be no possible way for me to be sexist.

We Norwegians have our own set of swears, so it's generally pretty uncommon for such English swears to be used in a heated conversation, or even a casual one. Some English swears have almost completely integrated themselves with the way Norwegians speak though, especially fuck and shit are common. Actually, they are likely more common among young people than Norwegian swears are.

I guess there is a divide, older people are far more restricted in their use of coarse language, while young people simply don't give a fuck (pun intended). The Norwegian equivalent of "cunt" has pretty much become a commonly used word to mean vagina, and isn't considered any more insulting than "dick". The words themselves are not considered insulting or hurtful, but they can certainly be used to insult and hurt if that is the intention.

... About as sexist as "The D Word".

So, no.

Lonewolfm16:
Would "dick", "jerk-off" and "bastard" be included in the negative implications list?

With the same gravity or cultural weight? No. There's a tangible difference between slurs aimed at marginalised groups and slurs aimed at privileged groups, and while they are both based on prejudice, they do not carry the same weight or connotations. Slurs aimed at the LGBTQ+ community or at a person of colour are more harmful than a straight/cis person being called a "breeder" or a white person being called "cracker" or "white trash".

Someone who is opposed to insults/cursing on the basis of prejudice alone would not use dick, jerk-off, bastard, cock or any slurs based on prejudice.

While those slurs might all share the same root (prejudice) and might be considered equivalent on the most elemental basis, it would be highly disingenuous to presume they have the same cultural/historical weight.

Darken12:

Lonewolfm16:
Would "dick", "jerk-off" and "bastard" be included in the negative implications list?

With the same gravity or cultural weight? No. There's a tangible difference between slurs aimed at marginalised groups and slurs aimed at privileged groups, and while they are both based on prejudice, they do not carry the same weight or connotations. Slurs aimed at the LGBTQ+ community or at a person of colour are more harmful than a straight/cis person being called a "breeder" or a white person being called "cracker" or "white trash".

Someone who is opposed to insults/cursing on the basis of prejudice alone would not use dick, jerk-off, bastard, cock or any slurs based on prejudice.

While those slurs might all share the same root (prejudice) and might be considered equivalent on the most elemental basis, it would be highly disingenuous to presume they have the same cultural/historical weight.

Makes sense, though I disagree with you on females being a "marginalized group" and males being privileged. But that is a conversation for another day, on a less specific forum.

It seems that only cunts find the word "cunt" sexist so I don't care what those cunts think.

It's a lovely word in my opinion, it's so obscene it's hilarious.

I always believe if a word is terribly offensive just use it so much it loses its sting... then it becomes a happy word, a fun word, a word to unite others in harmony.

Its sexist and the amount it is used does not make it any less sexist. I had to spend over an hour educating a friend of mine as to why the use of the word "Gay" to mean "Anything not good" (See: "That's totally gay" or equivalent) is homophobic. Context is everything, true, and many people who use it, including myself, do not intend to be sexist in the slightest. However, it is still sexist.

One might as well argue that "Faggot" is not homophobic because it is used by so many people in certain communities, or "Nigger" is not racist for the same reason. Context is everything but content still matters. It is not even a question of whether or not you are offending the person you are calling a cunt, it is a question of if others are finding your language offensive that are in earshot.

It is why I do not like eating out with my sisters. I swear a lot, although I try and limit this to when it is socially acceptable. I swear more around my sisters, they swear constantly. They have no issue with speaking the same as they do when at home as they do in public and I find it upsetting.

FalloutJack:

Froggy Slayer:
Snip

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

Ah, This argument. It is a word with baggage. Like I said, context matters, but context does not change the content. Intent matters, but intent is not everything. If you totally and utterly accidentally buy stolen goods you can still be arrested for handling them, even if that was not your intent, for ignorance is not an excuse in the eyes of the law.

If I call someone a fucking faggot it does not mater at all if I meant "You very nice person who I love dearly", the term is homophobic REGARDLESS of intent. Same with calling someone a cunt. The term is sexist, pure and simple, (As are terms like "Dick" but you know what, that argument is circular and pointless). The question is how much you care and do the people around you care?

For whilst I will not stand for the F word that I have typed multiple times during this post, I can call people cunts. And I do. I accept that it is sexist, I also accept that my close friends are all male and that no harm whatsoever is meant. However, I am still being sexist. Much like when I posted the words "Ding dong the bitch is dead" on FB, that was a sexist remark, it was a gendered insult. It was wrong.

Most of our insults are insulting. That is sorta the point of insults. Denying that the term being discussed is not sexist based on either intent or proliferation is utterly, UTTERLY pointless, for all of the arguments made above.

Unless you intend to indicate that the F word or the N word used above are not racist or homophobic. In which case you are quite simply wrong.

I used to use the word cunt a lot in my guild/clan/team. Some American users (and only Americans) found it really hard to deal with.

So as a compromise I invented the word 'cuntpuncher' to replace it, and now it's all good.

I don't understand how using it on your guy friends suddenly makes it not sexist. Doing that is basically telling them "You have/are the genitals of a woman and that is insulting".

Mr F.:
Snip.

Freaking THANK YOU.

I'm not really sure, but it sure as hell is an absolutely hideous example of language. It just sounds wrong, my vocal cords just actively protest whenever I say it, and that has nothing to do with what it means.

Whether or not it's really 'sexist' I think is kind of up for debate, but it's still a pretty severe insult and don't be surprised if a woman slaps you if you call her one.

Only really sexist because of how it's used, and what it implies. It's used to demean people, and when used that way, it implies cunts are demeaning, so someone who has one is thereby put down. That's where the sexism comes from.

And I guess people call each other dicks too, but dick is hardly considered a real, hurtful insult by most people, and is often said in more joking terms. Either way, both are technically sexist, just as using 'lame' or 'retarded' is ablest.

I'd say yes and since you asked here's why. When used on a woman it's a rather dehumanising way to imply that all someone is is their genitals. Reducing a person to an orifice. When used on men it generally gets worse and often quite misogynistic. Comparing men to female genitals as an insult you're implicitly implying that being a woman or having female genitals is something less then being a man or worse. Also potentially that what ever action the man is doing is not "manly" and is somehow feminine and they shouldn't do it. This is often an incredibly sexist form of gender policing that men do to each other.

Opposing arguments I dislike immensely.

It's just a word/sound. Ok then you have no problem with me calling you a serial child rapist right? Those are also just words. Words represent things, ideas, actions and concepts through our usage of them have meaning and effects.

Dick vs cunt. Dick has a much softer meaning then cunt and isn't used the same way. I also don't like it and I don't suggest using either of them.

in britain it can also depend on where you grew up. round where i live cunt is on a par with git or bastard its barely classed as a swear word "aaa you cheeky cunt" said with a laugh in the voice is how i normally hear it (that or something similar) with it being switchable with git or bastard to mean the same thing.

i dont know if its a class thing, its pretty poor round here, or a london thing but i was really supprised when i first heard someone take real offence to the word.

it might be the differnt ways you can say it as round here you dont really say the T at the end so its a lot softer maybe that takes some of the sting out of it im not sure.

Morinen:
I don't understand how using it on your guy friends suddenly makes it not sexist. Doing that is basically telling them "You have/are the genitals of a woman and that is insulting".

Mr F.:
Snip.

Freaking THANK YOU.

You're welcome. I study sociology and one of my key interests is identity and gender and whatnot. Both of my parents were linguists (Well, my mum still is. My late father is not really any more, what with being my late father. Unless he is a zombie linguist. That would be awesome) and I am very interested in the evolution of words. I find it really, really annoying how some people seem to think that because context matters a lot, content does not. No matter the context, some content is sexist, homophobic, racist, whatever. And hell, as people are seemingly willing to accept, in some contexts innocent words BECOME sexist, homophobic, racist or whatever. It works both ways.

It seems strange that people are willing to accept one and not the other. I genuinely find it hard to understand that people can spend their entire lives using words without realising that both the word, and the context, have meaning and that neither is devoid of the other. Yes, meanings evolve and everything, but words have histories and histories must be taken into consideration. Just because "Faggot" used to mean a small bundle of sticks and has multiple meanings does not mean that it is not currently a homophobic term.

Yet I am preaching to the choir right now.

People say that? Hah, silly cunts.
But srsly it's a mean thing to say sure but I wouldn't say it's sexist.

I actually don't use cunt in my litany of angry swearing, I guess I just don't like the way it sounds, very harsh, like the German language. And I did not grow up hearing it, because I'm not from your grand ol' Cuntries.

Yeah it is, as much as dick is.

Froggy Slayer:
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.

Mr Cwtchy:
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).

I, too am from God's own cunt-ryside, and I've no problem with the word either.

It's vulgar, sure, but at the end of the day, it just refers to a vagina. It's slang with no inference beyond its base meaning, so it really can't be sexist. It's not like use of the word 'cunt' goes on to imply all women are whores, or that they're sex objects. It's just vulgar, and the closest thing to a sexist aspect of it is that there isn't really a word on the same scale of blunt harshness to describe a dick. Which is a none issue, really.

YunakoTheWitch:
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)

Same here, on about all of it. It's never been an insult to anyone I know, and we throw it around like bitch or dick. I was genuinely surprised to find it considered one of the "worst" words to use (which for me was only a year or so ago). So maybe it is a Colorado thing (I'm from here too)... That would be something interesting to find out.

i once use the word cunt in front of a woman, i did not call her it. i was saying a male friend of mine was a cunt. she proceeded to freak out on me like i was the child of satan. down the road shes calling some one a dick and an asshole and i was like wtf. i don't think the word cunt is any more sexist than any word relating to penis or but. our society likes to turn every word for our genitals into bad words. is it wrong yes. do i use them... yes.

BathorysGraveland2:
Well, I live in Australia. Here it is not uncommon for good friends to call one another cunts on leisure.

Good ol' Austarlia.

Were we call our friends cunts and our enemies mate.

In my opinion cunt is just another insult that lost value over time. You don't call some one sexist for calling another guy(or girl) a dick, it's just an insult. So either using the term dick is sexist(if that is the case, jeeze I'm so anti man that I don't have a metaphore.) or cunt isn't sexist. I also have NEVER seen anyone use cunt in my life seriously, for some odd reason. I guess it might be sexist based off context?

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

Your avatar kinda makes this comment hilarious.

ANYWAYS: The way I see it, being sexist is discriminating woman. If you call both men and woman by their specific derogatory terms equally with no thought as to their gender (outside of getting your terms right), then I don't see too much of a (sexism) problem. However, if you're respecting most men and insulting most women (or vice versa), then you're probably sexist.

No it's not sexist, possibly one of the more offensive swear words, but being British whenever I meet my friends it's usually used in a greeting.

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