Tuesday, May 14, 2013

"Cunt", "Bitch" and "Whore": A little background




"Cunt" is very arguably the most powerful negative word in the American English language. “Cunt” is the ultimate one-syllable covert verbal weapon any streetwise six-year-old or passing motorist can use against a woman. “Cunt” refers almost exclusively to women, and expresses the utmost rancor.

“Cunt” is related to words from India, China, Ireland, Rome and Egypt. Such words were either titles of respect for women, priestesses and witches, or derivatives of the names of various goddesses: In ancient writings, the word for “cunt” was synonymous with “woman,” though not in the insulting modern sense.

The words “bitch” and “whore” have also shared a similar fate in our language. This seemed rather fishy to me. Three words which convey negative meanings about women, specifically, all happen to have once had totally positive associations about women, specifically.”

~inga muscio, cunt: a declaration of independence

Painting by Elisabeth Slettnes

6 comments:

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  2. Hi Carmen - I don't advocate using it as an insult AT ALL as there are just too many negative connotations with the word. But I do think it is important to know & understand the origin of the word.

    This info came from the book I reference above: Cunt.

    If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it!

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    1. I read "Cunt" a couple of years ago and loved it. It opened my eyes up to a lot of things and changed the way I think about the language used to describe me. I've taken back ownership of the word. I am a wonderful Cunt.

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  4. Ah ok, I didn't realize the cultural context. I'd say the best thing is to get the word out about the real meaning of the word. Would be interesting to see how it would be used once people realized that.

    Enjoy the book - it's my Feminist Bible!

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