Body Positive Activism, Education, Featured

The C-Word Dilemma. Do You Say It?

Like an orgasm there is something primal, powerful, and releasing about using a few choice words to express your feelings; the ‘c-word’, being the most shocking and offensive choice. Many of us have heard ‘You’re a Cunt!’ spat out and harsh from one man to another like it is the most horrible, disgusting thing a person could be.

Really? A word for the portal of the heights of human pleasure, life and death is offensive? While it is true that dick and prick are used in a disparaging way as well, they are used in a significantly more light hearted way than the word cunt. At the heart of a society that holds ‘cunt’ as the most hostile thing you can call another person, is a culture that is still hostile to sexuality and in particular empowered female sexuality.

When I first began writing this article I couldn’t think of a single situation in public life were I wouldn’t find cunt offensive and aggressive. However, on Saturday night I was walking to a music gig when a taxi load of drunk men pulled up next to me at the traffic lights and started verbally harassing me. ‘Cash for a flash of the slash,’ one of them called out repeatedly. ‘I do not have a ‘slash.’ I have a hairy, non-labioplastied, full grown women’s cunt!’ I replied, in my head, after the lights had changed off course.

All that those men had heard from me was passive silence, ingrained from childhood, ‘Ignore him and he will stop’ or worse ‘It means he likes you’. I no longer want to be afraid of offending someone or appearing aggressive when I need to defend myself, saying cunt loud and clear may just be the remedy.
So should we be using cunt as often as often as we use dick? Certainly some feminists think so, claiming it is empowering and will eventual normalise the word and therefore normalise female sexuality. I wonder if continuing to use and promote using the words for genitalia as profanity just reinforces the attitude that sex is bad and dirty.

The ‘Cunt’ spouting feminist can also reinforce the stereotype that to be a feminist you must be aggressive, perhaps contributing to the low number of women comfortable with identifying themselves as feminist.

Cunt is powerful and sexual in a way that vulva isn’t. A woman that uses the word cunt to describe her lady bits certainly sounds like someone in control of her sexuality happy to stick the finger up at society’s expectation for her to be a nice, passive girl. Perhaps some will still see it as degrading yourself; creating excitement by embracing the taboo, ‘dirty’ implications of the word. If it is your free choice to be degraded and it turns you on then who am I or anyone else for that matter to interfere?

Vulva gives women an accurate and inclusive way to describe her genitals but it does have the whiff of a mouldy anatomy text book about it. I think women do need an arousing way to describe their genitals just as a man is more likely to say cock than penis in a sexual context.

Cunt vs Vulva what are your thoughts? Would you call someone a ‘cunt?’ I think I now have the courage to say cunt and I have found it empowering and sexy; in the right context. I no longer have a pussy; tame, accommodating and passive. I have a cunt, with its own pleasure agenda. I also doubt that I will ever call anyone a dickhead again – there are far more creative ways to insult someone’s intelligence.

Image credit:© Andres Rodriguez –

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