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Men’s Rights Redditors baffled by women who don’t like the c-word

So the fellas over on the Men’s Rights Subreddit were having a little discussion the other day about the c-word, and wondering just why so many ladies get so offended by that word. I mean, it’s just a word. (Not like “creep” which is the worst possible thing anyone could possibly call someone else, and a clear abuse of their human rights.)

Funcuz, for his part, blamed Oprah for the unpopularity of the c-word among women:

Hardwarequestions, in a rather circular manner, blamed the offensiveness of the word “cunt” on women, for being offended in the first place:

The only one who seemed to think the insult was genuinely a big deal was expletive-deleted, who rather likes it that way:

Men’s Rights Activism at its finest!

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Dani Alexis
Dani Alexis
8 years ago

“It’s the nuke of insults.”

The ex-whom-I-not-infrequently-mention thought the same thing. Consequently, I’ve heard the word “cunt” used as an insult so many times (often directed at me) that now this “nuke of insults” gets no more than a raised eyebrow.

That said, “cunt” is not in my personal insult vocabulary – but I find it much more devastating and intellectually refreshing to insult people based on their chosen behaviors and opinions rather than reducing them to a single body part that we’re all supposed to assume by default is a “bad” one.

And if that fails, there’s always the Shakesperean Insult Generator.

Cliff Pervocracy
8 years ago

SHAMING LANGUAGE.

Anyway. Once a person has said “using that word hurts my feelings,” to you no matter what the word or what you think of it, you have two choices:
1) Stop using the word.
2) Intentionally and deliberately hurt that person’s feelings. (Which may be acceptable– if the word is “misogynist” or “homophobe,” for example.)

But you don’t get an option 3 of “keep using the word but insist it’s not hurtful.” They’ve put you on notice that the word affects them, not asked you “hey, do you think this word should affect me?”

…Which is a moot point in this case, because these dudes are gleefully taking Option 2. They wouldn’t even want to say c*nt if it didn’t hurt women’s feelings.

Snowy
Snowy
8 years ago

I imagine expletive-deleted as a small child, looking fellow classmates square in the eye and saying “You are a butthead”.

ragefromthebasement
8 years ago

It is a terrible word because it is symbolic of the power men hold over women. There is no male equivalent to cunt, just as there is no white equivalent to n***** or heterosexual equivalent to f*****.

I would seriously have doubts about even speaking to a man who called women cunts. It is a very hateful word, filled with implications of subjugation and violence.

Dracula
Dracula
8 years ago

I think when you come right down to it, the real nature of the complaint here is not that women find the word offensive, but that they have the audacity to complain, and ask to be respected like they were people or something.

Cliff Pervocracy
8 years ago

Dracula – And yet if the word didn’t bother women at all, they wouldn’t use it, because it wouldn’t be fun anymore. They specifically want women to be upset and not complain.

Women being not upset and not complaining wouldn’t satisfy, or they could accomplish that by just not using the word.

blitzgal
8 years ago

If less women acted like it was a big deal to use that word, it would be less of a big deal

People try to make this argument about racial epithets, as well. Guess what? You don’t get to mandate how someone reacts to being called a name. You have the right to say cunt. And I have the right to say you’re a fucking asshole for saying it. Free speech works both ways.

Dracula
Dracula
8 years ago

Yeah, that’s what I was getting at. Sorry I failed to make that clear.

viola
8 years ago

Insults tend to be rather less devastating when they’ve obviously been rehearsed.

thebionicmommy
thebionicmommy
8 years ago

The reason many women find the c word so offensive is because it’s associated with violence against women. Some abusive men use the word as a verbal threat against women. The MRM is the abusers’ lobby, though, so they love the word and want to use it without any social repercussions.

Cliff Pervocracy
8 years ago

Insults tend to be rather less devastating when they’ve obviously been rehearsed.

And even less so when they’ve obviously been carefully crafted, rehearsed, heavily fantasized about, and then replaced with incoherent sputtering at the actual moment of use.

If less women acted like it was a big deal to use that word, it would be less of a big deal

If fewer (sheesh) women acted like it was a big deal to use that word, MRAs would have to find a word that was a big deal, because like hell they’re going to pass up a chance to take a stab at women.

They have lots of words available to them right now that aren’t big deals, but they’re not interested in using those, because where’s the fun in that?

ShadetheDruid
ShadetheDruid
8 years ago

Sometimes I feel like I live in some sort of parallel universe.

Around here, at least with the people I know/knew when growing up, the word was always treated like the worst swear word ever (like fuck++). So much so that even the known bigots, even the ones that used “fuck” and “shit” on a regular basis in addition to all the “fun” racist, sexist etc slurs (as well as all the “jokes”), refuse to use it.

Even the guy I work with, who’s a giant bigoted arsehole (he’s still wondering why I just stopped talking to him at all, i’m pretty sure he thinks i’m the bad guy in all this) who’s been known to use the above (in addition “darkie”, and its more common cousin beginning with “n”, on occasion) refuses to use it.

I mean, i’m glad they don’t use it, but it’s really fucked up and confusing. Especially given the stance of MRAs, and misogynists in general, on the word. And the reputation us British have for loving the word.

Freitag
Freitag
8 years ago

And they are at a loss to understand why women don’t seem to like them or sympathize with their complaints…

Sara
Sara
8 years ago

I prefer the idea of reclaiming the word cunt, like in the vagina monologues. Cunt! Cunt! Cunt! Cunt! Say it, love it!

Christopher Hülsbeck
Christopher Hülsbeck
8 years ago

I have to say, that expletive deleted fellow is rather witty.

Cliff Pervocracy
8 years ago

I prefer the idea of reclaiming the word cunt, like in the vagina monologues. Cunt! Cunt! Cunt! Cunt! Say it, love it!

I dunno. I think “reclaiming” can be a form of submitting to the word. I’m not going to question other groups’ decisions to do, but personally, I don’t want to love “c*unt.”

I think it’s important to be able to say “no, I don’t want this, and I’m not changing my mind about that, I’m not backing down, I said I don’t want this and I goddamn meant it.” Not in a house, not with a mouse, not in a box, not with a fox, and not if we’re reclaiming it.

“C*nt is okay now because we’re taking it back and making it something positive” and “c*nt is okay now because we don’t care if it offends you” come from very different intentions, but the ultimate result either way is someone not respecting that a woman can put her foot down and just plain not want something.

Hank
Hank
8 years ago

Expletive-deleted is giving the game away with his manly honesty. And it’s fewer women not less women. (I’m a part-time pedant.)

Viscaria
Viscaria
8 years ago

I have absolutely no interest in reclaiming cunt, myself, but I’m not going to stand in some other woman’s way 🙂 just don’t use it to describe me or my body parts. Or at very least, if you do, don’t tell me I can’t be offended because “we’re reclaiming it now!”

Puella Sapiens
8 years ago

I realize that there are good reasons to be offended by the “cunt”: warmth/depth comment, but if someone tried to use it on me I’d probably laugh myself into an early grave. World leaders have been less tactically self-conscious when threatening to use actual nukes.

My theoretical offense would primarily manifest as an inability to take most of what they say seriously from then out.

ragefromthebasement
8 years ago

Men’s Rights Activists: Fighting for the right to call women cunts and have them still want to sleep with us. Why can’t these evil feminazi sluts just get that through their heads?

Linds
8 years ago

These are the same people who don’t understand why White people aren’t allowed to use the n-word, Y/Y/MFY?

Shaenon
8 years ago

It’s the nuke of insults. I’ve only gotten to use it once, however.

Muttered under his breath while slinking away.

Tulgey Logger
8 years ago

All this talk about reclamation has me imagining a giant disembodied vagina slowly rocking back and forth in the shallows off some little-known Atlantic beach, just waiting to be patched up and made seaworthy again. Ah, sailing.

Anyway, there is a nice, robust go-to insult that does not target gender—or even creep shame, the worst thing in the history of evils—and which happens to describe our r/mr friends: asshole. Not everyone has one, but anyone can be one.

Magical Laura (@_magical_laura)

It’s a gendered slur. I will describe myself in a casual way as ‘cunt’ but I’m fucked if I’m going to sit quietly while a man does it.

Dvärghundspossen
8 years ago

I thought the male equivalent was calling somebody a dick. Or is there a difference between being a dick and a cunt? I just know that both are insults, but since this isn’t my mother tongue I probably don’t really get the nuances.

Linds
8 years ago

@Dvärghundspossen
In English, dick is a mild insult while cunt is very aggressive (probably because a dick is desirable to have, and a cunt is implicitly inferior). To call someone a “dick” just mean they’re a jerk– rude and insensitive. A cunt is a woman who doesn’t know her place, and reduces her to her generative organs in a way that “dick” doesn’t for a man. “Cunt”, like “whore” and “slut”, is an extremely gendered insult and it’s uncommon to see it wielded against non-female-identified individuals, which feeds into the “reducing her to her genitals” thing.

Dvärghundspossen
8 years ago

Thanks Linds. You learn something new everyday.

themisanthropicmuse
8 years ago

Personally, I find it counterproductive to allow any word to hold enough power over me that that it makes it painfully obvious to my enemies that it is an effective weapon to use against me. I’d rather not offer them any ammunition.

Naira
Naira
8 years ago

Dvarghundspossen (sorry, can’t get the umlauts):

“Dick” isn’t as offensive as “cunt.” Dick actually comes off as a bit more of a middling insult. I’ve even called my fiance a dick, jokingly. “Cunt,” however, not so much. I’d be really upset if my fiance called me a cunt and thought it was a good joke.

Cunt is often also used in silencing women or people who stick up for women’s rights. Dick means is used more to describe someone who is being a jerk.

Overall, tone-wise cunt comes off as being a lot more offensive than “dick” or “prick” (which I’ve heard used interchangeably).

Naira
Naira
8 years ago

Thank you also Linds. I should have known someone would be quicker on the draw than me. 😀

ithiliana
8 years ago

The creeps think that women are too sensitive about c*nt? Well, as they say over at PZ Myers’ blog, they can take a dead porcupine and fuck themselves with it.

For those who want to argue c*nt and d*ick are the same thing, have some text from the Oxford English Dictionary. There is ONE entry for c*unt, and multiple meanings for d*ick.

OED text edited to avoid moderation:

Pronunciation: /kʌnt/
Etymology: Middle English c*nte, count(e), corresponding to Old Norse kunta (Norwegian, Swedish dialect kunta, Danish dialect kunte), Old Frisian, Middle Low German, Middle Dutch kunte < Germanic *kuntōn weak feminine; ulterior relations uncertain.(Show Less)
Thesaurus »
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1. The female external genital organs. Cf. quaint n.1
Its currency is restricted in the manner of other taboo-words: see the small-type note s.v. fuck v.

[c1230 in Ekwall Street-Names of City of London (1954) 165 Gropec*ntelane.]
a1325 Prov. Hendyng (Camb. Gg. i. 1) st. 42 Yeue þi c*nte to cunnig and craue affetir wedding.
c1400 Lanfranc's Cirurg. 172/12 In wymmen þe necke of þe bladdre is schort, & is maad fast to the c*nte.
c1425 Castle of Perseverance (1904) 1193 Mankynde, my leue lemman, I my c*nte þou schalt crepe.
1552 D. Lindsay Satyre Procl. 144 First lat me lok thy c*nt, Syne lat me keip the key.
a1585 Ld. Polwart Flyting with Montgomerie (1910) 817 Kis þe c*nt of ane kow.
c1650 in J. W. Hales & F. J. Furnivall Bishop Percy's Folio MS: Loose & Humorous Songs (1867) 99 Vp start the Crabfish, & catcht her by the C*nt.
1743 H. Walpole Little Peggy in Corr. (1961) XXX. 309 Distended c*nts with alum shall be braced.
a1796 R. Burns Merry Muses (1911) 66 For ilka hair upon her c—t, Was worth a royal ransom.
c1890 My Secret Life VII. 161, I sicken with desire, pine for unseen, unknown c*nts.
1934 H. Miller Tropic of Cancer 15 O Tania, where now is that warm c*nt of yours?
1956 S. Beckett Malone Dies 24 His young wife had abandoned all hope of bringing him to heel, by means of her c*nt, that trump card of young wives.
transf. and fig.
1680 Earl of Rochester et al. Poems 28 Her Hand, her Foot, her very look's a C*nt.
1922 J. Joyce Ulysses ii. 59 The grey sunken c*nt of the world.
1928 D. H. Lawrence Lady Chatterley's Lover xvi. 296 If your sister there comes ter me for a bit o' c*nt an' tenderness, she knows what she's after.
(Hide quotations)

2. Applied to a person, esp. a woman, as a term of vulgar abuse.

1929 F. Manning Middle Parts of Fortune I. viii. 159 What's the c*nt want to come down 'ere buggering us about for, 'aven't we done enough bloody work in th' week?
1932 ‘G. Orwell’ Coll. Ess. (1968) I. 88 Tell him he's a c*nt from me.
1934 H. Miller Tropic of Cancer 28 Two c*nts sail in—Americans.
1956 S. Beckett Malone Dies 99 They think they can confuse me… Proper c*nts whoever they are.
1965 V. Henriques Face I Had 69 ‘What d'you think you're doing, you silly c*nt?’ the driver shouts at her.
(Hide quotations)

Quick search results
Showing 1-7 of 7 results in 7 entries

Widen search? Find ‘dick’ in: » phrases (23)» definitions (29)» etymologies (29)» quotations (2086)» full text (1667)
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1. Dick, n.1 1553
…A familiar pet-form of the common Christian name Richard. Hence generically (like Jack) = fellow, lad, man, especially with alliterating adjectives, as desperate, dainty,…

2. dick, n.2 1847-78
…A leather apron….

3. dick, n.3 view full entry 1736
…A ditch….

4. dick, n.4 1860
…Abbreviation of dictionary; hence, ‘Fine language, long words’ (Slang Dict.)….

5. dick, n.5 1861
…In phr. to take one's dick = to take one's declaration….

6. dick, n.6 1908
…A detective; a policeman….

7. dick, v. 1948
…With around, about….

3. Comb.

1680 in Rochester's Poems Several Occasions (1950) 36 Fam'd through the World, for the C–nt-mending Trade.
1868 tr. Martial Index Expurgatorius 32 A satire on Baeticus, who was a priest of Cybele, and a c*nt-sucker.
1923 J. Manchon Le Slang 97 C*nt-hat,..chapeau de feutre.
1965 F. Sargeson Mem. Peon , ii. 28 We were all helplessly and hopelessly c…struck, a vulgar but forcibly accurate expression.
(Hide quotations)

Draft additions September 2008

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c*nt-struck adj. coarse slang infatuated, esp. sexually, with a woman or women in general (cf. love-struck adj.).

1876 Romance of Lust IV. 87 He..became in fact c*nt-struck upon her.
1879 Harlequin Prince Cherrytop 29 Changed from the gorgeous king to a buffoon, Be weak-kneed, c*nt-struck, fucked-out Pantaloon.
1975 S. Bellow Humboldt's Gift 204 Were we to end our lives as c*nt-struck doddering wooers left over from a Goldoni farce?
2003 London Rev. Bks. 21 Aug. 6/2 On the one hand, I was too inhibited; on the other, I was already terminally c*nt-struck.

pangea
8 years ago

Gotta love how one-sided MRAs are. They gnash their teeth when guys are called creeps, which isn’t even a male-specific insult, yet they expect women to giggle and say “Oh, you!” when they’re called cunts. Once again, bad things are bad only when they happen to them.

pangea
8 years ago

I thought the male equivalent was calling somebody a dick. Or is there a difference between being a dick and a cunt? I just know that both are insults, but since this isn’t my mother tongue I probably don’t really get the nuances.

I’d say the male equivalent is “prick,” but even that’s not as vitriolic as “cunt.”

Actually, there aren’t very many sexist insults meant just for males, at least not here in the United States. Even insults like “motherfucker” and “cocksucker” have misogynistic connotations.

pangea
8 years ago

Actually, there aren’t very many sexist insults meant just for males, at least not here in the United States. Even insults like “motherfucker” and “cocksucker” have misogynistic connotations.

Not to mention that femaleness itself is often used to insult men (“woman,” “girly,” “pussy,” etc).

Jessay (@jessay)
8 years ago

I actually love the word, I just don’t like the reason misogynists use it.

But that guy talking about that “awesome insult.” Fool, please. Come up with something original and then I’ll be impressed. Reusing someone else’s insult just makes you look sad.

Jessay (@jessay)
8 years ago

Gotta love how one-sided MRAs are. They gnash their teeth when guys are called creeps, which isn’t even a male-specific insult, yet they expect women to giggle and say “Oh, you!” when they’re called cunts. Once again, bad things are bad only when they happen to them.

And they obv don’t have a problem using the word fag if we’ve learned anything from yesterday’s post. Clearly what we can take away from these lessons are that any word specifically created and implemented to oppress and dehumanize anyone who isn’t white, straight, cis, abled, and male, is awesome and not hateful at all because ummm freedom of speech and pc police and reasons. But words that hurt everyone when used against them such as “creep” are NOT COOL U GUIZ! STAAAHP RAAAHNNN! etc

Actually, there aren’t very many sexist insults meant just for males, at least not here in the United States. Even insults like “motherfucker” and “cocksucker” have misogynistic connotations.

Basically, the most hateful language used against men is the type of language that insists that men are not actually men, or aren’t manly, or are homosexual. The worst thing you can call a straight man is a woman or a homosexual. Those are the things they get offended by. Meanwhile, women are normally insulted using terms that are specific to their gender, usually referencing their vaginas, or referencing their sex life.

And yeah, I really love hearing British people say cunt. I just love British people though so IDK. It’s just something about these strong four letter words. I love the word twat too. I dunno. Words don’t usually offend me, and when used against me, it’s not the word that offends me, but the intent which is to hurt and oppress me. If my girlfriend refers to me as “her bitch” it’s nbd, but if someone goes, “You fucking bitch!” then it’s a different story. I refer to myself as a bad bitch, or a boss bitch on occassion when I do something awesome. And oftentimes when someone calls me a bitch or even a cunt, I take it as I’m doing something right. People are afraid of powerful, outspoken women, so they try to take power back using those insults. When I just laugh and say, “you’re damn right” at their attempt to shame me instead of crying and being offended, I take away their power over me. That’s my personal philosophy.

That being said, I’m not above being hurt by it if I care about the person saying it or if I’m in danger. I also don’t think everyone NEEDS to be like me. I get being offended and hurt when people call you those words. I’m not about to tell anyone not to be offended. I know that MRAs use it because they can’t handle women who aren’t entirely docile and agreeable. Their insistance on using it says more about them than it does the women they’re using it against.

Jessay (@jessay)
8 years ago

awww, I finally fudged my first blockquote!

Ruby Hypatia
Ruby Hypatia
8 years ago

It was offensive before Oprah. And like the n-word and the f-word, I wish we never had to hear it again.

Rachel Maud
8 years ago

I’ve always hated the whole notion of “taking back the word”. A former friend of mine had this constant need to prove how she was such a “cool chick” (i.e. not like those other women who are so uptight). She always peppered her speech with swear words and general crudeness when we were around our male friends. One night at a party, she was up to her normal trick of loudly swearing up a storm, and she started using the word c*** quite liberally. I, along with other women in the room, started to become quite uncomfortable and offended. As her friend, I went up to her to let her know that she was upsetting quite a few people in the room, including myself, and I asked her to stop. Her response? “It’s just a word, you guys need to stop being so sensitive”. I repeated that we were offended by her use of the word. She said, “Women need to take back the word c***! It’s only offensive if you let it offend you”. I told her that was well and good, but she was still hurting my feelings. She responded by staring me dead in the face, repeating the word c*** until I walked away, and then laughing about how silly and sensitive I was. Needless to say, I was not her friend after that.

Linds
8 years ago

I have no problem with taking back words– there are definitely reasons to do so (look at Bitch Magazine, for example), but it needs to be done with full understanding of the ramifications of using a loaded word, and the fact that no matter how “reclaimed” it is, there’s the possibility of it upsetting people. Even something like “queer”, which has gotten to the point where most people can use it in a non-pejorative way, I know older gay and lesbian people who are extremely uncomfortable because of how it can be used as a weapon.

pecunium
pecunium
8 years ago

Ruby: Changed your mind on rape yet? No?

Then kindly stop pretending you are better than the sort of people who say Cu*t.

You aren’t.

pecunium
pecunium
8 years ago

BTW… that was shaming language, because you ought to be ashamed.

pecunium
pecunium
8 years ago

I mean, i’m glad they don’t use it, but it’s really fucked up and confusing. Especially given the stance of MRAs, and misogynists in general, on the word. And the reputation us British have for loving the word.

I spent some time playing with British soldiers. I heard twat more than I heard cu*t. It was interesting that the one time (once, in three weeks of being in the field with them) I heard it it was both notable (for being all of once, and a word that just doesn’t show up in the US Army), and prosaic. It didn’t seem possesed of the hateful venom it has in The States.

But that’s a single use, so I can’t speak to the way it was used at large.

pecunium
pecunium
8 years ago

Dvärghundspossen: The two words are not at all parallel. Cu*t is, in The US, at least, pure venom. Dick has nuance. It can be used in good humor, in a gently critical/corrective way, and in anger.

You can use it with people whom you don’t know well.

The only people I can imagine using it with, are lovers who like the word; and then only in specific contexts.

The only things I can see as anything close to equivalent are phrases, and describe men as passive, and weak: “You cock-slobbering faggoty fuckhole” is about as close as I can come to making the bemeaning, degrading, intent behind cu*t into an insult an MRA would feel had the same sting.

Apart from, “creepy”, of course; can’t forget the power of the “C” word on men.

pecunium
pecunium
8 years ago

Oops. I was too crude for the Spam-filter to let me speak to Dvärghundspossen’s question on the meaning of cu*t vs. dick.

Jessay (@jessay)
8 years ago

@Rachel, obviously that person is just trying to sound cool which isn’t something I support. It’s the whole, “Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins” type of thing. Being purposely hurtful like that is an abuse of freedom of speech if you ask me. Will I take away her right to say the word? No. But I will consider her an asshole for blatantly disregarding your feelings in an attempt to look like a badass.

I mean, I have the mouth of a sailor when around my friends but I won’t utter a single swear around my parents or the parents of my friends. It’s important to know and be sensitive to your audience.

blitzgal
8 years ago

Dick isn’t equivalent as an insult because there is a connotation of strength that goes along with it. A person tends to be called a “dick” when he exhibits traits that are traditionally understood to be masculine — aggressiveness being one of those traits. But words like “cunt” and “pussy” get used to connote weakness and filth. Male body parts are viewed as strong, female body parts are viewed as gross. It’s the context in which these words are used that mean everything, and why women react so harshly to the word. My close friends and I will jokingly call each other “bitches” and laugh, but the word takes on a whole different context and a very different emotional impact when it’s hurled at me by a stranger in the street.

Men Rising
Men Rising
8 years ago

“Cunt” is worse than “dick”? I don’t think so- not in reality.

Let’s face uncomfortable facts. Feminism espouses a dogma of female primacy; therefore, it stands to reason that feminists such as this motley crowd would find female slurs more offensive than male slurs. But that’s only your own perception; others may have a different opinion.

It’s circular reasoning- you find “cunt” more offensive than “dick” because it’s “more vitriolic” because you find it more offensive that “dick”, because you’re misandrists, and so “cunt” is more offensive than “dick”.

MRAs, such as myself, regard “dick” as the more offensive term, for various cultural reasons.

Sharculese
8 years ago

i know this is deck chairs/titanic, but i can’t get over how fucking lame his ultimate insult is

scarlettpipistrelle
8 years ago

And, one of the weirdest takes on the “c word” http://www.westword.com/2004-12-30/news/hall-of-shame/ “Instead, just as the regents rallied to her [then-president Betsy Hoffman] defense, the prez promised the public that the boys’ club would remain intact. And in a deposition she soon gave in the federal case, she put her literary education to bizarre use by dropping Chaucer and suggesting that the word “cunt” is sometimes used as a term of endearment. Go, CU!”

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