Why is cunt still the ultimate insult?
I saw two Midsumma plays at La Mama on Friday night: both used "cunt" as their ultimate insult word.
I say and write cunt. I've used it as an insult (about women) and a compliment. One of the best phrases I've heard was someone telling me they were in the middle of a "cunting grant application". I've said cunt in frustration, I've used it sexually (a pussy is a cat and Fanny is a woman called Frances). I've used it to shock and to fit in, but mostly because it's the best word to use at the time.
I don't think cunt's a taboo word because I don't think cunts are disgusting.
Cunts are cool.
I love mine.
What I try to never do is use cunt to insult a man (I call them cocks), but too often I hear cunt used to insult men because it's the worst thing they can possibly be. You may be a poof, but I can insult you more by calling you a cunt, a woman.
Fag Boy and the Married Man and Cock are both plays about intolerance and cunt is only used three times over both, but that was enough to make me raise my eyebrows and scowl.
I don't think either writer was even aware of their hypocrisy. Fag Boy screams about the pain of word choice and one of the stronger moments in Cock is a man saying how anal sex doesn't make you a girl and that being a girl is not the worst thing you can be. (Although it might be a winner to say "woman", especially as it follows a list of men compared to a list of boys.)
Despite all our reclaiming and See-you-next-Tuesday-ing, cunt is so ingrained as the worst word that it's used too often without realising what it means to call someone a cunt.
So what are some better words that are really vile?
Hangover spew, burst hemaroid, rotting roadkill, month old lumpy milk, Alan Jones, Tony Abbott, Kyle Sanderlands, the NRA, Westboro Baptists, the Australian Christian Lobby?
No, they're not bad enough. We need a word that there's no coming back from because of the hate and fear and grossness it represents.
So, the next time you go to use cunt as an insult, please substitute "myki".
(If you don't live in Melbourne, Google myki and be prepared for some impressive complaints.)
PS. I tried to find a pic of the Girlesque show that has a back drop of C-U-N-T in giant gold letters, but I couldn't find a search phrase that helped.