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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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felixBC
felixBC
8 years ago

“Dick” is also still a fairly common short form of “Richard”, and “prick” has many non-penis related uses as well. Unlike the c-word.
I try not to use “dicking around” when I mean “ineffectually messing up or interfering with” something, as it is a gendered insult. Funny though, in several accidental usages, I’ve never seen the person I’m speaking to even blink at its use. It’s just not as insulting to gender something male, even dicking around.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

I’m with Holly on this. I have no interest in reclaiming “cunt”. In this case I don’t think attempting to do so is reclaiming at all – it’s capitulating to pressure not to be that woman, the one who isn’t “fun”, the one who isn’t tough enough to hack it. Fuck that. It’s a word whose only purpose is to say ” you are woman, and that makes you a thing rather than a person”. Why would we want to reclaim that?

Also, I’m a Brit, and the idea that we all casually throw that word around is nonsense. It’s regional to a large extent, and in some regions it is common, but it’s not that the meaning of the word is any different, it’s just that in those regions swearing is kind of rampant in general, and even there it’s not a word that you’d use in front of your granny unless you want everyone to think you were raised by wolves. The fact that even the men who use it all the time don’t generally use it in front of female family members just illustrates how offensive it is, even in the UK.

(Men calling each other that when no women are around is definitely a thing in the UK, and not something I’m willing to sign off on because it still reinforces the vagina = bad, disgusting, weak idea. But it’s definitely many magnitudes less offensive than men saying it to women, and if you’ve seen the kind of usage I’m talking about you’d notice that the tone in which men use that word towards each other versus how they use it towards women is very different – it’s much more malicious when aimed at a woman.)

WordSpinner
WordSpinner
8 years ago

Weighing in on “reclaiming” the c-word. I just don’t think that it works to reclaim as something you call a person (at least in the US). I feel like reclaiming bitch can work because it has connotations of “outspoken woman” and a lot of feminists can be like “Yeah, I am. So what?” Cu*t is just a really nasty insult.

On the other hand, I don’t mind it so much when used (a) in erotic scenes (b) used to describe female genitalia, mostly because it kind of harmonizes with cock. But I release that is definitely YMMV.

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

Men Rising sounds… familiar. Maybe that’s just because these clowns never come with original A game material.

nwoslave
8 years ago

Don’t expect to never hear men call women foul names if men can’t expect to never hear women call men foul names. Also you can’t dictate what level of hurt certain words have towards men/women. As Cassandra points out, a man calling another man c*nt is meaningless, but a man calling a woman c*nt is particularly hurtful.

A while back, on the laughable elevatorgate thread the poor lassie called a man creep/creepy. A woman calliing another woman creep/creepy means nothing, but a woman calling a man creep/creepy conjures images of stalker/rapist. Everyone of you claimed creep/creepy wasn’t bad at all. Being a woman, it carries no inherent insult. For a man it does carry an inherent insult when said by a woman. Ya’ll defended that little girl’s right to call that guy creep/creepy. Ya dictated it wasn’t bad at all. Pretty convenient.

ragefromthebasement
8 years ago

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

Like being self absorbed narcissists with a persecution complex?

Is “cultural reasons” code for “because I said so?”

I seriously doubt that you even believe what you’re saying. Or maybe I just can’t comprehend the fact that a seemingly functional individual such as yourself is so divorced from reality. Would you argue that “honky” is worse than “nigger” for cultural
reasons too?

You MRAs really just make yourselves look ridiculous at best; mentally disturbed psychopaths at worst. And you think you’re going to get what you want? A fart will stick around longer than you guys.

Argenti Aertheri
Argenti Aertheri
8 years ago

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.

And again the MRM wins ALL THE PROJECTION —

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

You’re right about that laughing kid, he is a total “cnut”.

ragefromthebasement
8 years ago

I think “various cultural reasons” is code for “I’m trying to sound smart so you’ll take me seriously and believe that I’m right even though I’m completely incapable of presenting a factual and logical argument.”

Crumbelievable
Crumbelievable
8 years ago

Women! They all love Oprah! Man those MRAs sure do make the most biting observations about peple.

Sharculese
8 years ago

et’s face uncomfortable facts. Feminism espouses a dogma of female primacy;

uh, it doesn’t, duder. that’s a thing you guys keep saying because you desperately want it to be true cause it makes your crusade against women seem less sad, but it’s still just a thing you keep saying over and over, and nobody is fooled by it, kiddo.

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

being a whiny little babyman who invents reasons to believe he’s oppressed isn’t a ‘cultural reason’. it’s just a dumb thing you made up to feel special.

ozymandias42
8 years ago

I find ‘cunt’ a very satisfying insult sonically (the hard k sound! the monosyllabic bark!) but would never use it because, at least for me, it is far too deeply connected to misogyny to extricate properly.

Crumbelievable
Crumbelievable
8 years ago

Has there ever been a time when someone says “Let`s face facts” or “That`s a fact” when stating an actual fact?

Cupcake
Cupcake
8 years ago

It’s interesting to hear you all say that “cunt” in the US is usually used against women, and attacks them just for being women. Where I live, that’s not how it’s used at all. In fact it’s almost always used to talk about men. A guy who does something particularly admirable or who is generally likeable will often be referred to as a “good cunt”; the only times I’ve heard people talk about women in the same way, they’ve altered the expression to “good bitch”. The word is still considered the “worst” swearword, but when used as a sincere insult it’s generally applied to people who are really horrible – it’s like “asshole” only worse. My friends use the word all the time and it doesn’t offend me, but it sounds like overseas it carries more gendered connotations and I guess in that context I would find it more offensive.

captainbathrobe
captainbathrobe
8 years ago

When I was in high school, being a dick sometimes meant being annoying and sometimes meant being mean. Now, it seems primarily to be interchangeable with “asshole,” though there are subtle differences in connotation, with “dick” connoting a more petty sort of unpleasantness (c.f., Jon Stewart calling Tucker Carlson a dick).

Still, when I call someone a “dick,” I’m not insulting him for being a male–I’m insulting him for being a dick.

jennydevildoll
8 years ago

Some nuke. They’ll never be able to turn a phrase around a c-bomb like the late great Kathy Acker.

But she was deconstructing a lot of that type of thing, as well as language. Speaking of which, from what I understand, the etymological origins of this also are the same as the German “kunst” (associated with art/creativity) and earlier “kenaz” both denoting the vagina and also wider ideas of driving creative force. I hear there’s a whole book about this, but I haven’t read it yet.

Djinna
Djinna
8 years ago

Threads along these lines always bring to mind the scene from Boys on the Side – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0112571/quotes?qt=qt0236690

Elaine: [kindly] It’s a cunt, dear

I’d say that made me more comfortable with the word, as the thought behind it is just as offensive if “hoo hoo” is used, but I just don’t remember it being that popular as an insult much before that time frame. Pussy/bitch/whore, sure, but cunt was rare outside of porn dialogue, while definitely known to refer to some female part, not a whole person. I was confused enough at one point to poll male friends in college as to whether it referred to the external/internal/both lady parts. No clear consensus, back in the day. Odd, but probably not the least bit meaningful.

burgundy
burgundy
8 years ago

I vaguely recall that there’s a scene in Heathers that was originally supposed to involve the use of “cunt” as an insult, and it was watered down to “bitch.” (I cannot substantiate this because I can’t think of a way to Google it without getting scary results.) Considering what else was in that movie, I think that speaks to the impact of that particular word.

I have never used it to describe a person. It’s never crossed my mind as something to apply to a person. But when it comes to talking about body parts in non-clinical ways, I find it much more euphonious than “pussy.” In fact, I really hate “pussy.” I also prefer “cock” to “dick”. I don’t consider that “reclaiming” the word, though.

Anna
Anna
8 years ago

Another (regional) Brit perspective: yeah, it’s the ‘worst’ swear word and more commonly used by men (as swearing = unladylike, although where I live it’s not unheard of for women to use it. I use it myself on occasion, for the shock value) but it’s not gendered in its implications in the same way these guys use it, and is more often directed at men or the universe at large. 🙂

The same goes for twat, which is more common than cunt. ‘Twat’ as an adjective means ‘hit’, as in ‘I got twatted on the head with a big stick’.

Argenti Aertheri
Argenti Aertheri
8 years ago

burgundy — Looks like it was changed to fuck. The script has one use of cunt, and it looks like it was changed to fuck.

That’s saying something if fuck is considered less offensive.

Anna
Anna
8 years ago

As a VERB. Back to primary school with me.

Tatjna
Tatjna
8 years ago

On the level of insult associated with dick vs c*nt:

Call your Dad a dick. Then call your Mum a c*nt. See what happens.

I rest my case.

burgundy
burgundy
8 years ago

Argenti Aertheri – that was it! Thanks. And yeah, that’s pretty significant.

pangea
8 years ago

Feminism espouses a dogma of female primacy

No. It espouses the notion that women matter as much as men do.

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”.

That’s some ingenious reasoning, right there.

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

That’s because MRAs espouse a dogma of male supremacy and thus find male slurs more offensive than female slurs.

pangea
8 years ago

Being a woman, it carries no inherent insult.

Wait…you’re a woman? Or did you mean, “For women, it carries no inherent insult”? Say what you mean and mean what you say.

In either case, you’re wrong. What was that about not dictating the level of hurt that certain words have on men and women? Y-yeah. That. “Creep” is defined as “an unpleasant or obnoxious person.” Notice how it says “person” and not “man.” As a socially awkward woman, I constantly worry whether people think I’m creepy.

Kiwi girl
Kiwi girl
8 years ago

I tend to use “fuck” when something goes wrong, and don’t use any other swear words, apart from damn or “oh shit” very occasionally. My computer tends to bear the brunt of my language.

Swearing at another person in the way that a number of commentators have mentioned (many mentioning it as observers, rather than being the person swearing), is a way to deliver emotional pain. It’s a crude, boring tool that preschoolers are capable of using. Without wishing to encourage people to be nasty to others, I have found that when I am being sorely pushed by an adult, who has ignoring my repeated requests to stop harassing me, and when I am not in physical danger, that a verbal putdown that targets all their sensitive buttons (and without swearing) can be devastating. I try to treat people with respect and kindness, but if I’m being harrassed/insulted/bullied, the gloves come off.

ozymandias42
8 years ago

I feel obligated to mention the best use of the word ‘cunt’ ever:

VoIP
VoIP
8 years ago

Ruby:

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

And yet you think torture is hi-larious. Go you.

Argenti Aertheri
Argenti Aertheri
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.”

…does she mean fuck? She who finds prison rape a justified and humorous thing is offended by the word fuck? Maybe if we say fuck enough she’ll fucking finally fuck the fuck off? Know what I find fucking hilarious Ruby? People fucking offended by the fucking word fuck.

burgundy — no problem, I’d been reading on Brevik so it’d have been difficult for that search to be more offensive.

Dvärghundspossen
8 years ago

Me and my husband started discussing what the worst Swedish insult we could think of were. We couldn’t really come up with anything worse than “Jävla svin” or “jävla arsle” which literally translates as “devilish pig” and “devilish arse”. (The former is of course pretty specisist…).
But then we remembered that “hora” (whore) is quite often used as an insult by more or less misogynistic douchebags, and that’s a gendered one. There’s really no male equivalent.

VoIP
VoIP
8 years ago

…does she mean fuck? She who finds prison rape a justified and humorous thing is offended by the word fuck?

I thought she meant fag and, you know, that’s bad, but I think actual physical abuse–in many cases leading to injury, death, or later suicide–is much fucking worse.

Ruby, you like torture. Think about your life choices.

ShadetheDruid
ShadetheDruid
8 years ago

Random internet opinion, activate!

I tend to swear a lot (at least when I talk to myself and when i’m with friends), but i’ve pretty much tried to (and continue to try to) ditch all the derogatory words I can from my “swearing” vocab. Luckily most of the vagina-specific ones were never there in the first place (probably for aesthetical reasons rather than non-sexist ones). The ones that I sometimes say, and regret after, are pretty much always ableist ones rather than sexist ones.

I’ve even mostly ditched the penis-specific personal insults, because i’d feel hypocritical otherwise. That is, if I believed (which I do) that gender-specific insults were bad, but still used “dick” or “prick” (even though I don’t think i’ve ever used “prick”; another aesthetics thing). Obviously they still aren’t as severe as (no matter what the MRAs say), and don’t have all the cultural connotations/baggage of, the vagina-specific ones.

I still use some penis-specific words, but it’s usually as an exclamation of surprise or frustration where there’s no targeting of an individual or where it relies on the implication that the body part it refers to is somehow bad.

In that case, it’s just me being really, really mature and yelling out rude words that I find funny. For this purpose, it’s usually “penis” or “balls”, or “bollocks” (as well as “damnit”, “fuck” or “shit”). Basically situations where you could replace it with any other word and retain the meaning (conveying frustration or surprise, without relying on the implications of a specific word), like “knee” or “finger”.. except those words aren’t funny.

“Spleen” would work though.

scarlettpipistrelle
8 years ago

Meanwhile, over at The Spearhead, Price is waxing theological again. “According to the Christian faith, a woman who leaves her husband is an adulteress — even if he consents.” How can a man write so much while having such a shallow mind? How many times will be be simply and factually wrong in public before he becomes the laughingstock that he has earned the right to be?

lauralot89
8 years ago

Hey, NWO: You’re a creep. I’m not saying that because I think you’re a stalker or a rapist. I’m saying it because you’re a fucking creep.

Pear_tree
Pear_tree
8 years ago

NWO, I think after what happened at elevatorgate, the man was vindicated and women will remember to be cautious about describing men in their lives as anything but “nice”. I think the men’s rights movement scored a strong victory against the word “cr***py” but that is only my interpretation.

cendare
8 years ago

@Shade the druid: you pretty much covered my feelings about “dick/prick”. Basically, I do feel that “cunt” is worse, but I also think “dick/prick” are sexist. The thing is, I *like* dicks (which is a little dangerous to admit, perhaps, and I could expand on it, but you get the picture). So calling someone a dick or dickhead is just… wrong.

It’s like when my husband calls someone a cocksucker. I just look at him, deadpan. I tried to explain it to him once, why I didn’t really like that as an insult, but he still doesn’t get it.

Also also, I used to swear by saying “X!” Just that, the letter. It has a satisfying sound. And yesterday I was at work and I found myself swearing by saying “croup” (like crap, but one level more innocent, and has the advantage of being something else that does suck.)

(On a side note, I use “sucks” all the time, and that’s probably not good either. Sometime I have to examine it.)

LeftWingFox
LeftWingFox
8 years ago

Call your Dad a dick. Then call your Mum a c*nt. See what happens

Once upon a time, in Vancouver, I saw two women, one white, one chinese, get into an argument. It ended with the chinese woman loudly calling the white woman a “Honky” before storming off.

The reaction was nervous laughter from the bystanders, rather than shocked gasps.

Thinking about that made me realize the difference. Insults are meant to “put people in their place”, and a cracker breeder dick like me is on top in the grand scheme of things.

I’m not at risk of being dragged to death behind a truck, refused a job, discriminated against by the economic majority, raped, lynched, enslaved, beaten or spit upon just because of who I am. At worst, I might feel guilty about being on top. If I lacked perspective, or was outright delusional, then I might make turn petty or imagined slights against me or “my people” into making honky JUST AS TERRIBLE as any other racial epithet.

MorkaisChosen
MorkaisChosen
8 years ago

May I promote the use of inherently ridiculous profanity for moments of stress when a bit of silliness might help?

‘Fuckbudgies’ and other such profanityanimals work wonders.

Cliff Pervocracy
8 years ago

NWO, I think after what happened at elevatorgate, the man was vindicated and women will remember to be cautious about describing men in their lives as anything but “nice”. I think the men’s rights movement scored a strong victory against the word “cr***py” but that is only my interpretation.

“Elevatorgate” always struck me as a particularly nasty MRA/misogynist effort because Watson’s “offense” was so small. She didn’t get the guy arrested or expelled from the hotel, she didn’t attack him, she didn’t even share his name. She just complained that he bothered her.

The fact that she was fucking dogpiled for this, for speaking out in the smallest possible way, says less “oppressed group fighting back against a hate incident” and more “abuser’s lobby asserting control.”

And maybe I read too much into things, but I read it as a threat–if she can’t get away with even talking about it, you ladies just imagine what would happen if you really fought back.

Myoo
Myoo
8 years ago

I often say “Flarb” instead of “Fuck”. It just sounds better to me. Also, when I’m pissed off at something, I sometimes go “Gni”(Guh-nee).

cloudiah
8 years ago

I like to use place names as substitutes for swearing. Yonkers!

Cliff Pervocracy
8 years ago

I have an elaborate array of pseudo-swears for work.

Oh my word! Oh dear! My goodness! Well jeez! Shoot! Darn! Gosh! Aw heck!

I sound like a hybrid of a grandmother and an extremely modest cowboy, but I don’t shock the patients.

ShadetheDruid
ShadetheDruid
8 years ago

Cliff: “…hybrid of a grandmother and an extremely modest cowboy…”

Weirdest mental image ever.

blitzgal
8 years ago

The fact that she was fucking dogpiled for this, for speaking out in the smallest possible way, says less “oppressed group fighting back against a hate incident” and more “abuser’s lobby asserting control.”

QFT

thebionicmommy
thebionicmommy
8 years ago

I have an elaborate array of pseudo-swears for work.

Oh my word! Oh dear! My goodness! Well jeez! Shoot! Darn! Gosh! Aw heck!

I sound like a hybrid of a grandmother and an extremely modest cowboy, but I don’t shock the patients.

I use the same modest words around my kids. I even replace the mild cuss words like fart, butt, and barf. I’ll use words like toot, bottom, and throw up instead. When we have a babysitter and it’s just me and my husband, though, we use more colorful language.

Dvärghundspossen
8 years ago

@LeftWingFox: That’s so true. Insults are easy, or at least easier, to shrug off if they come from somebody lower down on the social ladder. It’s when they come from above that they really hurt.

I sometimes fool myself that I’m sort of an extra confident kind of person who’s too smart to let silly comments get to me… Like, recently there was this guy who was calling me some misogynistic shit over the internet and I briefly got a bit pissed off, but didn’t let it bother me much. And then I’ll think that I’m too smart or cool to let shit like that affect me.
The thing is, I’m pretty high up on the privilege ladder. I’m a thin white able-bodied university professor, so often when someone says something insulting that person will be “below” me. I have to remind myself that when an older male colleague once said some pretty condescending remarks I got really upset about it, so no, I’m NOT super extra confident or an extra good person who’s above letting these things affect me. (I e-mailed him later when I had calmed down and explained why I had been hurt by his remarks, and he apologized, so I sorted that out… But I couldn’t just shrug it off, like I could with this internet guy.)

Pear_tree
Pear_tree
8 years ago

I think, I have learnt that what you can say online can have very real ramifications for your own personal safety and happiness. I agree with your point, however whether my reasons are morally correct, I still feel it is best to avoid being too critical of men, even with the theoretical protection of anonymity.

Cliff Pervocracy
8 years ago

Oh shit, pear_tree, I thought you were being sarcastic. Didn’t realize you were a sockpuppet troll!

My bad.

Cliff Pervocracy
8 years ago

Seriously, “cr**py?” That shit’s hilarious.

ShadetheDruid
ShadetheDruid
8 years ago

We used a word when I was younger for “fart” that I haven’t heard for a long time (until recently anyway), but I find it awesome and hilarious: “Guff.”