This week's theme is linguistics; I say linguistics as that is the study of language rather than just language itself or maybe I'm trying to make y'all think I'm smart, whatever reason I'm talking about words and how they are used.
Unless you live under a rock or in an Amish community you'll have heard some horrible events took place in London and other parts of England last week. My twitter stream was full of tweets about the riots and looting and I was shocked by a lot of it and I'm not talking about the actual crimes themselves.
So let's step back a second; Rufus Hound is a "comedian" and tweeted this in response to the Malaysian student who was hurt, helped to his feet as other stole things out of his backpack. That act was atrocious; what Hound tweeted was also atrocious.
You have to call those criminals a cunt? Really? Everyone knows that cunt is possibly *the* worst swear word you can use. The worst word you could call someone is cunt and what is a cunt? It's a vagina. So the worst thing you could possibly be, if you are the most horrible, offensive scum of the earth is a women's genitalia.
Dworkin and MacKinnon would argue that the use of cunt reinforces the dehumanization of women or dismembers women to the point that all we can ever be an orifice. No one can deny that the power behind the word cunt is immense.
When I was a Women's Studies student back at University and hung out in a lot of fraternity houses I used the word cunt a lot and I told my professors about it. I thought that by using the word and seeing men's faces freeze in shock as this smiley, little blonde girl uttered *that* word I was taking the power away from cunt. If I could call them a cunt, well then they couldn't call me a cunt now, could they, because it had already been said.
While my professors actually approved of what I was doing looking back I don't think I was truly reclaiming the word. If we want to reclaim the word we need to start using it in a positive light. Anyone who's seen Eve Ensler's "Vagina Monologues" will remember the one called 'Reclaiming Cunt.' In fact I performed 'Cunt,' in front of my mother-in-law no less, several years ago at a charity performance and that is reclaiming the word.
So back to Hound's tweet. First let me say that his wasn't the only one I saw using gendered language to condone the looters; I saw several tweets calling them pussies as well but his was the only one I saw from someone in the public eye. I can only presume that Hound was trying to be cool (because aren't all comedians who use vulgarity trying to win cool points?) as when I tweeted him calling him out on his sexist tweet he didn't respond.
Am I the only one who calls people out on this? Does cunt make you recoil in disgust or do you embrace and love your cunt?
Feminist Friday XIV: Linguistics
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