Reclaiming the C-Word

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There is only one word that, if I uttered in front of my Grandma, I’d probably get punched in the face for (by the woman herself). While it’d be hilarious and a fantastic story at the same time, as my Grandma is the smallest, sweetest woman I know, I’d never, ever say the word in her presence. Now, I’m not one for screaming obscenities at the dinner table when I visit her house for Sunday roasts, and I always consciously avoid dropping a casual “fuck” in anecdotes for emphasis like I usually would with friends, I don’t feel the need to censor myself to any great extent when I’m talking to her. However, if I were to use the word “cunt”, I’d be out of her will before I could speak the single-syllable word again.

Today’s world lends itself to all kinds of things that would not have been accepted in the years past. Cats have their own Instagram accounts. People get their genitalia pierced every day. Tony Abbott somehow got voted in as Prime Minister. I mean, shit, “selfie” has its own entry in the dictionary now.

So, why do some people still get offended when I use the word “cunt”, and I still feel apprehensive using it in front of someone I’ve just met?

There’s something about “cunt” that is different from any other word. It still holds shock value.

We live in a world where the use of the degrading and disgusting word, “nigger”, is something exchanged on the street. A word so demeaning that it was reserved exclusively to a race of people, for means of belittling and berating, based on the colour of their skin. Yet, this abomination is casually screamed between friends in public, littered throughout songs, and spoken in jest.

As I write this piece, my Word document is telling me that “cunt” is not a word in the program’s dictionary, but “nigger” doesn’t have a red line underneath its letters. I can’t make sense of this. Apparently racial slurs are fine, but society hasn’t accepted another word for a female body part?

Now, now, feminists, I hear ya. I’m not dim enough to pretend that this word is more often than not used in a derogatory way.

But what if it wasn’t?

Let’s take away the negative connotations from “cunt”. Hell, while we’re at it, let’s take the negative connotations away from “pussy”, too. Using these words as something that is an insult and something that we should be offended by is yet another form of body shaming. It is a form of suppression – a way in which women are implicitly told not to own their bodies.

Calling a person a “cunt” in a negative way is one of the reasons why female rape victims still get told they were “asking for it”.

Using “cunt” as an insult is enforcing the idea that men who have a lot of casual sex are “studs”, while women who exercise their right to sexual exploration are “sluts”.

When you call someone a “cunt” because it is the most offensive word you can think of, you support the idea that “feminist” is a dirty word.

Why wouldn’t you want to be compared to something that is so powerful that it has the ability to give life? I, personally, can’t think of a better compliment than being called a cunt.
It’s like Yoda or Betty White said, “Why do people say, “grow some balls”? Balls are weak and sensitive. If you wanna be tough, grow a vagina. Those things can take a pounding.”

Peace out, cunts.




Sarah likes bad nineties music, making people feel awkward when she asks to hug their dogs on the street, and dead writers. She is still trying to live down the shame of spelling “especially” wrong in a spelling test in grade four.