Thursday, April 3, 2014

Blogging from A - Z: Challenge April 3 C

C is for The “C” Word

When I saw The Vagina Monologues, it included a very funny monologue from a Koori (Aboriginal Australian) woman who said that the “C” word is a term of endearment in their culture. It is rarely used as an insult. She gave these sorts of examples:
“How ya goin’ ya C*? Have a good day?”
“You won the raffle at the club? Ya lucky C*”
As we were all laughing, she even included this, suggesting her people will coo over a baby and say: 
“Ohhh, look at the little C*”

All of this was tongue in cheek of course, and yet it also wasn't. She was trying to make a point that runs in conjunction with the idea that words need to be reclaimed and empowered to mean something fine, rather than derogatory. The perfect modern example of this is “Queer” - rarely is that word able to be used as derogatory any longer.

We do need to reclaim the ‘C’ word. It is not acceptable that the worst thing you can call a person is a slang word for vagina. The worst thing you can call someone, should be a misogynist, homophobic, racist a slanderer or liar. There are many words that have been reclaimed, and some that were the norm that are no longer acceptable to use. 

This is called progress. It implies beauty and delicacy of speech, choosing our words, rather than others doing it for us. It doesn't mean avoiding something distasteful, it means becoming active in its re-framing.

That night I spent at The VaginaMonologues changed the word “Cunt” for me forever. Remember, in some cultures, it is a term of endearment, and that came after the slur. We can reclaim that word, and every other that has been used to rob a person of their dignity.  


  1. I totally agree. The C word, and equivalent for men should be å word of honor, and not an insult. In the north of my country, calling someone a horsedick is quite common. It's and insult, but commonly used, and socially accepted in the oral language >:)

    Cold As Heaven

    1. It's a nice idea isn't it? And when you think of the word "Queer", it could no more be used as an insult than to call someone a "warrior" and assume it could make them feel small.

  2. I have one word that I dislike and it is that word and I agree we do need to reclaim them so it is not negative but I was called this once and it was a very scary moment. I believe we have to change people's attitudes and that is no small feat

    1. Hi Birgit - I'm really sorry for your experience, and I'm very grateful for you writing about it in this comment. These things are delivered with venom and hatred that is so viscous, it shocks the receiver, and causes great emotional damage.
      I'm truly sorry someone did this to you.

  3. Another blog used cunt as their word because of their dislike for it since it's used as an insult. I'm more of the lines of this one because of romance/erotica. I've not seen it used in a negative way but in a very hot/sexy/endearing/loving way. First time I saw it I was a little shocked but then more and more I've grown to like it and be okay with it. Not my first word choice for lady bits but one that doesn't offend me and in a couple books the use has been an incredible turn on because of the awe and rapture of the hero when using the word.

    Happy A to Z-ing!
    herding cats & burning soup.

    1. Hi Anna - thanks for a great comment.
      I use it in my own erotica writing at times - and I guess that is the shadow of the abusive interpretation, used in a sexual moment, it is arousing because it is normally such a dangerous word.
      I guess if it lost it's power, it would lose its sexual power also, but I'm still with you. It took me a while to come 'round, but I can see it used positively in erotica.

  4. Great post. This monologue is very interesting.

    1. yes! It's not completely relevant to the text, but I always like to give the Vagina Monologues a bit of a plug. They're a bit dated now, but they were so subversive and shocking in their day, and the point of the show was overall the one I was making int he post.