As a writer, I have a profound respect and fascination for words; especially their usage and origins. Consequently, the infamy of the “C word” has long been a subject of my imagination. Why is it so vilified and only uttered in hateful, irreverent tones to decry the most sordid of women? It reminds me of the name “Voldemort” in the Harry Potter series, which was so feared that it became a taboo to even speak out loud.
I personally tend to take a George Carlin approach. “Cun” isn’t a bad word, but as soon as you add the “t”—hold on to your butts, some serious shit is going down!
My Latina aunt once told me that women of her culture take it as an offense of the vilest kind—you are essentially condemning the very quintessential elements of who they and their ancestors are. You are undermining their very existence, value and right to respect. By calling them this word, you are reducing them to a crude body part.
Cuntrast this with Australians, who use the word as a jesting term of endearment. “Ello, you cunt, I havent seen you in foreva!” My lucky roommate spent the entire summer last year in Australia, and she was amazed at how frequently they used the taboo word, without so much as flinching. Something about a word with such a delightful harmony of consonant sounds is just a pleasure to say. Whiplash from the previous paragraph much?
What I also find so personally befuddling is in how deeply personal this word cuts. Just one word knocks people completely off-kilter. I’m trying to think of a word, or any combination of words that would do that to me, and I draw a blank. You can offend my sensibilities, my identity, my intelligence, etc, but it’s ultimately up to me to take it to heart. Honestly, the words that have hurt me the most are always the ones of value which are never spoken or confessed.
I enjoy using cunt as a compound word or hyphenate to give it extra oomph, such as cunthammer or thunder-cunt. It’s delightful, you should try it.
The truth is, we’re all wrong. Cunt wasn’t a bad word for me to snidely sneak into my vocabulary of or for others to whisper and scandalize. Fun bit of a history lesson here:
“Cuneiform”, the most ancient form of writing, derives from “kunta” meaning “female genitalia” in Sumerian of ancient Iraq. “Kunta” is “woman” in several Near Eastern and African languages and a Mother Tongue that is being compiled by linguists today. It was also spelled “quna,” which is the root of “queen.” Since priestesses were known to be accountants/administrators of Temple of Inanna in Sumeria c.3100 B.C. when Cuneiform was first used, it is highly likely that cuneiform was “the sign of the kunta” who kept the books (clay tablets) for the temple economy/redistribution of wealth that evolved from communal economics of ancient mother-cultures.
So when an abuser calls a woman a “cunt” he is actually calling her a “queen who invented writing and numerals.” Girls and women can thus reclaim the words in our language that have been used as weapons against us in emotionally explosive situations. The word “prostitute” (law giver of the temple) and “whore” (houri, Persian, which means a gorgeous semi-divine female that awaits men in the 7th Heaven) are some of the finest compliments a woman can be given.
Many ancient languages did not have huge vocabularies as we do and the same word had many meanings, according to the context in which it was used. “Kunta” is also the root of kundalini (energy), khan (highest leader of the Eurasian steppe nomads, whose society was originally matriarchal and who still have remnants of a matriarchate), quantity, any words that start with “kw”, qu, or kh. Examples: Cunda, mother of Buddha according to Japanese; Cunti-Devi, Goddess of kundalini energy, India; Kunta, means literally one who has female genitalia, and describes a priestess, ancient Sumeria; Kun, Goddess of Mercy, India; Quani, Korean goddess; Qudshu, female priestess of ancient Canaan & Phoenicia, which became the Roman province of Palestine after they conquered it; Quadesha, Sumerian word for a type of priestess. Qu’ can also mean love, sensuality, sexuality, the divinity present in all females.”
That’s right ladies and gents, it was a powerful word, but not a derrogatory one. It indicated that the female’s role was to be revered and esteemed as a priestess, mother, authority figure. It was the ultimate empowerment. It almost makes one wonder who felt threatened by this female bastion of power and wanted to take it away to the point of making women use it as a weapon to degrade each other and whisper so as not to be heard in polite company.