Sunday, 18 July 2010


CUNT! What is it about that short, four letter word that shakes us so? “You cunt!” It’s an insult; it’s offensive.

Germaine Greer says; "it is one of the few remaining words in the English language with a genuine power to shock.”

Such a tiny word; yet as a woman with the ability to curse along with the best of ‘em, it still shocks me -- even when I say it myself.

It’s just a word. It refers to a part of the female genitalia, essential for reproduction; the vagina. Somehow, shouting out “vagina”, or “vulva”, doesn’t have the same ring to it.

Even that other four letter word; “fuck”, pales into insignificance, compared with “cunt”.

I found this in Wiki. I’m not surprised that “Gropecunt Lane” fell out of popularity. Would you want it as your address?

Gropecunt Lane was a street name found in English towns and cities during the Middle Ages, believed to be a reference to the prostitution centred on those areas; it was normal practice for a medieval street name to reflect the street's function or the economic activity taking place within it. Gropecunt, the earliest known use of which is in about 1230, appears to have been derived as a compound of the words grope and cunt. Streets with that name were often in the busiest parts of medieval towns and cities, and at least one appears to have been an important thoroughfare.

Although the name was once common throughout England, changes in attitude resulted in its being replaced by more innocuous versions such as Grape Lane. Gropecunt was last recorded as a street name in 1561.

Some radical feminists of the 1970s sought to eliminate disparaging terms for women, including "bitch" and "cunt". In the context of pornography, Catharine MacKinnon argued that use of the word acts to reinforce a dehumanisation of women by reducing them to mere body parts; and in 1979 Andrea Dworkin described the word as reducing women to "the one essential - 'cunt: our essence ... our offence'".

Despite criticisms, there is a movement within feminists that seeks to reclaim cunt not only as acceptable, but as an honorific, in much the same way that queer has been reappropriated by LGBT people.

I'll be crossposting this to Frequently Felt in a day or so.

1 comment:

  1. Billie- yes fascinating about this little word isn't it? When I began writing erotic fiction, I steered clear of using cunt, going for pussy, or various slightly more mainstream words!!But after a while, I became more comfortable with it and now see it as an acceptable term for use. As most of my work is aimed at the famle market, even though I am a man, I think I was wary of criticism from women that I was degrading or insulting them by using the word. As you say though, it is simply a word and as most women are happy with it.........I use cock, shaft, pole, God knows what for a man's genitalia, sometines I think..........somebody give me a few new words for both sexes anatomy, a bit of variety is always welcome!! What do female writers feel about this please? The word frig / frigging is maybe more used in the US but it comes from the Norse Goddess Freya, who symbolised fertilty and sexual love!!? Cunt is derived from the Old German word kunta, simply meaning female genitalia.Thanks Billie XXX