I remember the first time I ever heard it. I was around 8, sitting on the gutter of my driveway in the quiet court that I used to live in. All the kids who lived in the street were friends to various degrees, so when another kid was trespassing on our territory it was pointedly noted. Quickly. This little turd was riding his bike up and down OUR street and I guess we decided to pick a fight. He called my friend a cunt, and when I asked the friend what it meant (he was significantly older than my tiny, naive self) he told me it was “every swear word in the world, mixed into one”. I think this echoes most people’s sentiments. Except mine.
Fast forward from the 8 year-old me, to my 23 year old self last Sunday night. Somewhere between then and now, the C word and I became very fond of each other. Judge all you want—being vulgar is something I’m very good at. So I was watching the Real Housewives of Melbourne (I know) and I was pretty fucking offended, actually. Why? Because two grown women would NOT let it go that they had been called a cunt. They couldn’t even come out and say they didn’t like the cunt dropper as a person, it was just HOW DARE YOU CALL ME THE C WORD. “WOMAN TO WOMAN”. HOW DISGUSTING!
Now, why on earth did that offend me, you’re asking? Why is it even any of my business what these women were carrying on like animals in heat about? Well, I’ll start with the notion that a cunt is actually a slang term for a vulva. Women have a vulva. That’s what makes them women. The vuvla. The vagina. The cunt. So the notion that women should NEVER, EVER use this word is ridiculous. If anyone has the right to use such a word, is it not the people wielding one? The vagina is an almighty thing. And I have one. And I think, of anyone, that gives me the right to say the C word. More so than a man. Who has a dick. And funnily enough, if these women had have been called a dick, I don’t think they would have been sitting there calling the cuntee “vile”. If you can let “dick” roll off the tongue without so much as a blink, why are you not comfortable with cunt? Same, same. Seriously.
A lot of people would argue it’s not a ‘womanly’ thing to do. Men can drink beer and call each other a cunt down at the pub, but women shouldn’t never, ever, ever say it. Not even when inebriated. Not even when angry. Never. This incites pure rage from the absolute core of me. We are lucky enough to not live in the 19 fucking 50’s where a woman couldn’t venture from the kitchen lest she become lost and need rescuing. Let’s not regress back to that, please? Everyone should be free to enjoy the pleasures of the C word. It’s naughty. It’s taboo. It’s satisfying.
I’m not saying you should call your future mother-in-law a cunt or greet her with a “sup cunt”. I’m just saying, perhaps it’s no longer “every swear word mixed into one”, as it was so aptly put by my childhood friend. If you’re lucky, I’ll call you cunt. If I’m really mad, I’ll call you mate. I think that nicely sums up where this word sits in the modern vocabulary.
Written by Courtney Collins