Is 'The C Word' Sexist?

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no not at all, i've always found the notion of that retarded...
if i say dick or dickhead am i a sexist?
thought so

'Cunt' is certainly no more sexist an insult than 'dick,' 'cock,' 'knob end,' or 'wanker.'

Personally, though, I never use 'cunt' as an insult because it is my favorite word for female genitalia and I very much enjoy the sound of it.

I have no issue with it personally. Then again, I'm a guy. Still, I only think there only a few contexts in which it is acceptable to use in real life, but those are mutually agreed sexual situations. If one is going The best argument I've heard against it is from 30 Rock: There's no male equivalent.

Seeing as the primary purpose of an insult is to be insulting I don't really see the problem with people getting offended over it, that's kinda the point.

Doesn't mean there's no problem with using insults, it's just that the problem is with the person, not with the word.

As such the word cunt, or any other insult, isn't in any way negative. In fact if it causes a lot of offense then the word itself is pretty damn positive, it does exactly what it's supposed to do and does so extremely well.

It's a derogatory word for a woman's sexual organs that you use to describe someone in a negative light. Yeah, I'd say it's pretty sexist. Doesn't matter if it's a guy or girl who's the person you're calling a cunt either.

thaluikhain:
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.

Yet, I suspect you wouldn't consider several other words particularly sexist. For example, any of the pejoratives that mean penis. Or the the ones that reference male masturbation, or semen.

CAPTCHA: take it all. I'm not sure how to take that.

Is it sexist? Well. Would the word and your use of it be robbed of all meaning if males and females were exactly the same in all respects? If so, then it's sexist.

(Note: By this test, "dick" is also sexist.)

Is it inherently insulting? Moreso in the U.S. than in the U.K. Like all swears, it depends on who hears you say it.

I'm from the U.S., but I once saw an episode of Coupling where they only *alluded* to this word ("You can relax now. She just said 'you can't.'" "Believe me, that wasn't can't.") Am I correct in reading this to mean that you normally wouldn't hear that word on TV in the UK?

(Just so everyone can calibrate their swearometers, IIRC they weren't afraid to say 'hell,' 'damn' or 'shit' on the same show, along with a bunch of English swears. I can't remember if they ever dropped the f-bomb. There were constant allusions to adult situations, but no partial nudity, even in the episode about partial nudity.)

It isn't generally considered sexist I don't think, but it is considered pretty much the strongest curse word you can use.

I don't know and personally who cares? I use the word "cunty" for both men and women alike. Word's don't have racism, sexism, etc ism's, only the intent should imply racism or sexism.

Of course this always differs between certain cultures.

While it can obviously be used as an offensive word, here in New Zealand it can often be used in a positive light. If a person is pretty cool we often say, "yeah he's a good cunt" Though to be honest I never really hear it used to describe a women that way.

Is being alive sexist?

I think so seeing as how the word is attached to everything anymore, that it's become a farce. I could die a happy man if I never see the fucking word used in any context ever again.

It's a pretty terrible way to reduce a woman down to her sex organs. I use the word, but generally just around buddies who I know won't care or when I'm swearing to myself. People who think that cunt is just another word are right, but it has a long history like the word nigger that can bring up a lot of negative emotions. Say what you want about not being upset by words, but people aren't robots and words can cause a myriad of emotions.

I must confess that I have called a woman by that one time in my life. But in my defense, she was extremely drunk at a bar where we were celebrating New Years, and she was going around and poking people in the eye and she even hit one of my female friends in the face for no apparent reason. I was almost going to fight one of her friends(a guy), who took offense to my use of the word, but cooler heads prevailed. He couldn't really disagree that she was being a pretty terrible person that night, and I agreed that it was a pretty strong word to use. He was actually a really nice dude, but he was stuck with the job of babysitting a group of completely hammered girls.

Cunt is one of my most favorite words and I'm not even sure why. Maybe it's just the irony of it being such a hard, ugly sounding word for what a vagina is supposed to be; a dainty, pretty, little flower. (Ya, I probably used the word irony wrong there, but I don't care.) I can see how it can be considered sexist, sure. But, I don't completely understand the offense taken to it. I think it stems from self-esteem issues that a woman might have with their pretty little vaginas that they're not supposed to talk about because society says she'd be considered a slut.

I use it a lot whenever I injure myself, and I save it for special times when I really do meet a cunt of a person. B oy, have I met some cunty people that really needed to know that they're cunts. I'm also a polite Canadian if that puts this in perspective.

The word is used a great deal at my workplace in just about every possible conversation. Even the women use it and aren't bothered by it lol :/

OP: I don't think it's any worse than words for Male genitalia in regards to sexism.

I guess? I mean, a word is a word and the only power behind it is the power its given. I've never actually heard anyone use the word cunt without being derogatory (even when they're referring to vaginas), and I guess its as sexist as saying a guy's a dick. To me its the same as saying the N word (which i still cant really bring myself to write out unless i'm rather pissed much less say) is racist but thats only when its directed to smeone of african decent. If its between two Caucasian people then it just sounds weird, just like its weird hearing two girls use the word dick against one another and hearing two guys say one is a cunt. It definitely has its own gender ascribed to it, but in general its just a derogatory term.

Laurents van Cauwenberghe:
no not at all, i've always found the notion of that retarded...
if i say dick or dickhead am i a sexist?
thought so

You are aware that you just used an ablest term to state that you find the idea that a sexist term is sexist to be stupid? The irony is amazing. I assume retard is also totally not offensive?

I've only read the first page of discussion, so I'm not sure if any ongoing arguments are happening.

But for the OP, In Britain the word doesn't mean much, the reason it does here is because America has been a separate nation for ~250 years and different cultures develop different linguistic eccentricities; simple as. If you mean specifically why, you could probably write a dissertation on the exact history of the word, so you're not going to get a good answer on this board.

If you mean why is it sexist, or rather 'more' sexist than similar male oriented words like dick or cock, it's because males haven't been subjugated for thousands of years and we already enjoy an overwhelming social androcentrism - it simply carries no particular weight to call someone a cock.

Power dynamics are a huge and objectivally relevant part of sociology, I want to be relatively inoffensive about making this point but if you aren't able to accept this at least in some sense you're about 60 years behind the times.

The sexism of the insult is in the eye of the beholder. Though if I'm at the point where I'm calling someone a cunt, it's just another short-hand for "worthless sack of almost-human meat", like a multitude of other insults.

*Two pages later*

Whelp, Mr. F didn't get a warning for being a deliberate irritant towards me. You know, trying to make a statement about mere words when I don't even get ONE TENTH as annoyed at words over action (such as the internet VS real life) is silly. No, cunt is just a word. Much like F is just a letter. Though, it WAS a devious plot. If his words were really that much impact when he insulted me, the mods would've decked him for it. And if they didn't - which is what happened - then he's proven wrong. I love being me.

I wouldn't ask. There's an endless parade of people who will wrongly assert that they're right, and I say fuck the lot of them. It comes down to making your own mind up and knowing your audience.

My own 2-worthless-cents: I don't consider it sexist or offensive. It's one of many arguably "gendered" insults that I throw at the women in my life on a regular basis, knowing full well that they can handle it.

This was touched on by my friend with her Forgotten woman speech. "Loaded terms" to be more specific but I honestly can't remember exactly what was said which sucks.

My thoughts... I dislike the sound of the word, it seems forced to me but as a word I don't give a toss about it since I don't believe there is such thing as 'loaded terms'.

I wouldn't exactly call it sexist, but I think it's not a good word to use as an insult. Not in the sense that I find it particularly offensive, but in the sense that, as many people have already pointed out, it's taking a good thing (a vagina) and turning it into a bad thing. Too many women--and men, too--are already taught that vaginas are bad and dirty and shameful. We don't need more of that. Same reason "gay" should never be used as an insult, either. Consciously or otherwise, it perpetuates and encourages a hateful way of thinking.

That said, I actually really like the word "cunt" and wish it got used more in a positive sense. Reclaim your cunts! Cunt cunt cunt cunt cunt! :D

Mr F.:

However, despite my lack of being a linguistics professor, I am still infuriated when people try and make the baseless claim that words lack any meaning. Its a very, very stupid argument. If it held true, communication would be impossible. And there are those within this very thread who are attempting to make that claim (You are not one of them.)

Wait... what?

I don't think people are claiming that words have zero meaning, on the contrary, I think that most people are arguing that they have multiple meanings... many of which don't get considered when it comes time to compile a dictionary because they're too regional, or potentially controversial. "Controversial" not being a synonym for "wrong".

"Appropriate language" is informed by cultures, which develop their own brand of humour which is itself subjective and forever evolving. It's all in flux. It's simultaneously meaningful and not. So I can't really begrudge anyone for not showing deference to the sanitised, formal iteration of a language that is handed to them. Language is ours, it doesn't belong to dictionary publishers, and different perspectives are valid. Especially considering that the people who tend to get offended, tend to get vocal, and they end up being the people that need to be appeased. It doesn't make them right, it just makes them awkward.

Well in New Zealand it can be used as both a greeting and another way of saying "Good Job", so yeah. Its not *that* offensive here.

Froggy Slayer:
I would like some bloody Yanks to explain to me how sexist it really is over there, for I have heard conflicting reports.

I don't know dude, it's just weird how it has a different connotation here. "Why" is it in unutterable? No clue, it's just what society seemed to collectively decide. I find it kind of weird considering how it's not that big of a curse in the UK. I was talking to some of my female neighbors at my dorm, and they tell me that they find the word incredibly offensive. Maybe it's just the ones I've talked to, but if they find it offensive than I won't say it.

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

Then why the hell didn't you just sway cunt in the title? It reminds me of the Louis C.K. rant about saying "the n word" instead of nigger.

Froggy Slayer:
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.

I can't speak for everyone in the U.S., nobody can because what is and isn't considered a swear word varies between the regions (from my experience).

Anyway, I use cunt the same way I use dick, either as slang for genitalia, or as an insult that's similar to asshole that I might fling at either gender if they act like a big enough asshole.

But even if it is only used against women. So what. It's not saying "you're a piece of shit because you're a woman" it's just the female form of "asshole". It'd be like calling someone Mrs. Jackass and then someone else saying you must've called her that because you dislike women.

No, it is not sexist. It is just a word and since sexism sort of requires some bias or discrimination towards one gender, it is the attitude and tone of the person, not the word that seems more the determining factor, especially taking into account that it can be and often is used on both genders, it is the flip of calling someone a dick or cock and it can be used casually without being offensive or sexist in nature. If it was sexist, none of those would apply.

From what I read, the people calling it sexist do so based on the reaction it gets from others. I am sorry, but being offended is not the same as sexism, regardless if the word itself has relation to female organ. Trying to use the "women have been subjugated" bullshit ignores the reality of the present, the evolution of language and presents a (rather sexist) idea that one gender has to be treated differently then the other because of shit that happened in the past. And no, before anyone jumps at me for it, I am not saying there isn't equality issues in past of present, merely the stupidity of using that to justify creating different equalities. Same reason why I think use of the "N" word being alright by some races but not all is inherently racist.

It's sexist. The implication is that female sex organs are bad and, by extension, anything associated with them. It's not neutral because dick isn't sexist, too; that's backwards. Dick and cock are just as sexist, although it could easily be argued that they're not as damaging since men still command a greater quantity of power in most societies.

It's impossible to have insults without demeaning someone or something. If you call someone an asshole or a fatass or a crooked tit you're promoting negative body image issues. If you call someone a bastard you're hostile to single-parents. If you call someone an assfucker or fuckface or slut or whore you've got backwards ideas about human sexuality. And really, are cocksuckers really so bad? They certainly make me feel good. Retards and lunatics really can't help the way they are, either, right? Not even psychopaths, even though they're not technically crazy. They didn't consciously choose a life fraught with the perils of blunted affect so maybe we should be a little more sympathetic to their unfortunate condition as well.

During a previous conversation about the political correctness of 'retard,' someone kept mentioning alternative insults, like "bell end." I chuckled a little when I read them. I think you have to break taboos in order to adequately insult someone. They're expressions of your irritation, or anger, and going out of your way to protect the delicate sensibilities of bystanders betrays a certain restraint or calmness that contradict what you're supposed to be feeling. Likewise, unless you're what I would consider unusually sensitive to people insulting you(and then you would be more gullible than they would be effective), you're going to miss the non-verbal queues associated with totally losing your shit. Speaking without inhibitions could indicate genuinely threatening or provocative behaviour; that's serious business. Calling someone a bell end conveys, at best, a cool air if disapproval, something else that's sure to send one into hysteric laughter.

I live in Australia, so I hear it a lot. That being the case, I'd never really thought about it, or cared much, though I don't say it often myself. I'd say, like other people, that no, it isn't sexist, but can of course be offensive. Context.

here in Zealand (and more so in Australia) its probably used more as a greeting/minor joking around insult, its become so common here people say it almost automatically.

And hey even if it is sexist, what does it matter.

I think it's just the new curse word now that "fuck" has lost its impact. There will probably be a new one in a few years that's worse.

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.

Over here in new zealand we call eachother cunts... the only people that take offese are women yet we can still call eachother dicks and no one gets offended.. Would they rather we call each other vaginas?

OhJohnNo:

ToastedCorpser4Lunch:

OhJohnNo:
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.

Jeez! You said that as if butter would melt. You should put something on the end of it mate!

Uh... were you trying to tell me that was a sick burn?

No idea. My brothers watch his show and he says that a lot. That said, he is a massive cunt.

I don't think it is sexist, just like calling someone a dick isn't classed as sexist. I don't even find it that offensive as it means the same as twat or pussy, it is also my go to for when I'm angry as it has that nice bluntness to it that makes you feel better.

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