While I am still comfortable and have successfully resisted the pressure to stop saying the word ''nigga'' I may be able to wean myself from the word ''bitch''. I used wean and bitch in the same sentence purposely; a "bitch" is a living creature by definition, not a hateful thing/woman/person etc . Like "nigga", the word "bitch" can be used in many different contexts yet it still remains true that the correct and proper use of the word indicates a female canine. As my feminism increases in strength I do believe that I may one day reject it as a term of emphasis.
This thought leads me to a term, a curse word that I find prominent only among whites and it drives me unto distraction: "cunt". I actually read an article that I shall have to track down again, plotting out the word origins of the word "cunt", its lingual heritage and forbears. "Cunt" and "cunny" are words that date back to Middle English and they both were words to indicate or describe the vagina. Yet, even in the Middle Age they also were be used as curse words.
Here we come to the crux (no that isn't punny: crux means "crossing" look it up!): this is an ugly word. This,in my book, is a Bad Word.
Today I ran across a quote by Ann Coulter posted on one of my political Facebook pages called The Everlasting GOP Stoppers from an article she wrote saying: "Perhaps Someday blacks will win the right to be treated like volitional human beings. But not yet." This is a shocking statement for all that it reveals about her, about the GOP, about how blacks are seen in this nation by conservatives. But then again one examines the source and reasons that actually it is not at all shocking. Ann Coulter is rather openly racist, homophobic, xenophobic, anti-semitic, un-feminist and generally hateful to all who are not WASPS.
So, naturally, the comments on this page devoted to leftists expressed shock and outrage.
Over and over people deplored her sickening racism and reached for the deepest expression of their contempt, so that scrolling through one read the word CUNT! in capital letters many, many times.
Ann Coulter is a despicable human being, there is no question. Yet, must we call her that word? Why is that when people need to express extreme censure against a woman they reach for feminine curse words, that one in particular? Bitch, at this point in time, has become rather lukewarm, rather a low level curse. Once hip-hop appropriated the word it nearly sanitized the term, in a somewhat ironic fashion, just as they have with nigga. The offense still remains inherent yet it is not so offensive or outlandish that it can't still be spoken in a primetime drama on the public networks like NBC, CBS or ABC. It's abrasive and rude, of course, but it has achieved a status of an "acceptable" curse word.
Yet, on the other hand, words like bitch and cunt which specifically are meant to defame all things female in particular are perhaps more hateful for achieving this level of acceptability. It simply reinforces a form of safe, everyday misogyny that everyone, male and female, can get in on. And this presents a danger with consequences that may not be immeidately apparent.
I shan't pretend that my objection to "cunt" isn't primarily aesthetic because it is: it's an ugly word. The hard "C" sound crunching down onto the "un" and hard "t" create a sound like ice cubes crunching between teeth resulting in a particularly harsh glottal action. Yet aesthetics in this case served a higher purpose for me. Because I was initially offended by the SOUND of the ugly word then I began to think upon its meaning. To study it and to observe its usage. (Allow me to point out that this is one demonstration of the power Conscious Glamour: those things of popular culture based in fashion or beauty which appear shallow and meaningless can serve a purpose that upholds feminist consciousness, racial empowerment. It demands practicing aesthetic principle in a manner requires contemplation and concentration on empowering individuals, to flip the script, turn the harmful energy around to forge meaning and positive usage for self and community as well. )
If we examine Ann Coulter seriously one cannot help but to come to the conclusion that she is a lightening rod for hate and her words are literally repulsive..
Her brand of hatred is not even disguised, she openly submits it as political thought, and she glories the visceral hatred that she inspires in her opponents. Yet, in the effort to describe just how horrible a person she is, they begin to play with her very own weapons.
On the face of it (god! Cunt - on the face of it!! Oh you're so clever!! Shut up!Get your minds out of the gutter!) this gendered word doesn't really mean the female anatomy when it is used as a curse so it causes no real harm does it? Do let's think on this: certainly the vagina itself is the very conduit of human creation and should be the last muse of foul, degrading language. Interestingly enough in my informal observation of its usage I discovered one other social indicator tied to its use, which is that it is primarily - though not solely -- used by white men. As I mentioned, this word has its origins rooted deep in Anglo Saxon/English lingual tradition and has managed to evolve to the present.
Frankly I think this word may even present whites with the same burden of black rappers who have glorified and raised the word "bitch" up to their own queenly standard.
Why does it matter? It's just a word. If you've ever argued with the Millennials regarding their ease and comfort with words that are considered foul language to many a Boomer then you have heard them say nonchalantly with a shrug "It's just a word. I mean it isn't that deep. You can't hurt anybody with just a word. We've taken the words and made new meanings." It's the New Age argument of Sticks and Stones and many a generation has been lectured by parents on that school yard rule.
The hurt is that words absorb deeply into the psyche and effect the way we view ourselves as individuals. The most extreme and dangerous consequence is that words teach hate and produce more Ann Coulters,(the Joan of Arc of Haters) who are at risk of becoming utterly desensitized to the humanity in their fellow human beings. Once one can equate the word "cunt" to a tall,skinny, white woman it is only a small step to apply it to all women. At some point words incite action. And god forbid that women should have to experience the limitations and abuses that have imprisoned an entire gender over the centuries. We are standing in a moment of enlightenment where women's consciousness is being raised all over the world. Tragic, doesn't even begin to describe what loss of this consciousness, a return to the Dark Ages would mean. This Age of Feminism has in its hopes and possibilities of freeing women from being seen as only useful for the reproductive organs and it frees males as well from the chains of expectation and tradition once equality is embraced.
But that is an extreme consideration of the potential of damaging words. However the risk of devaluation of female life is a battle that women
fight against daily. That is real.
Ann Coulter is a deplorable human being but let's not call her a "cunt" please, I beg you. The vagina has been maligned terribly in speech yet it is the female anatomy that is integral in the creation of more human beings.
Also it's a damn ugly, horrific sounding term that grates in the ears and presents a visual image of something foul, deep, dark and nasty. Allow that image to fester in the mind and the negativity of the curse to marinate too long in an unhinged mind of one who is inclined to disrespect women, and you may have created a perfect formula for pure misogyny, a person entirely unable to see the humanity in women at all.
White people - all people - stop saying "cunt."