Recently I was in a social setting, and I heard one of my male friends call someone a cunt. I was exhausted and absolutely did not have the energy to unpack the reason they used that word or to let them know how uncomfortable it made me feel.
So I just let it go.
Because honestly I can't break down subtle and even overt sexism every time it rears its crappy little head. If I did, I would just collapse from exhaustion every single day.
But it's been bothering me.
Why should I have to hear that word used to describe another woman?
Is it okay? Am I being uptight? What the fuck is up with people using body parts as a way to describe people they don't like?
I can say definitively that in 2018, it is not okay to use the word cunt to tear someone down. Post #metoo, I think we can all agree that using that word as a way to describe a woman is sexist and ignorant.
But that doesn't necessarily mean the people using the word are entirely sexist or entirely ignorant. In fact the person who used this word to describe another woman is someone I really care about. Someone who has had a hugely positive impact on my life.
And so I feel like I have to blame the culture.
I know there was a time when it was common to just sling the word cunt around like cheap beer. Nobody got offended and nobody's feelings were hurt.
Or were they?
Was it ever really okay to use the word cunt?
Did women ever really feel okay hearing a man say that word to describe another woman?
"Watch out for her. She's a real cunt."
"The reason he's so miserable is because his wife is such a cunt."
"She would have a lot more friends if she weren't such a cunt."
Those words hurt.
Not because they are directed at you. You aren't the cunt in question. You're just a person, a woman, standing by hearing another woman get called a word that is derogatory slang for one of your gender's most vital and sacred organs.
Sure the heart keeps the blood pumping.
The brain keeps your shit in order.
But the vagina is your pleasure centre.
The place that you create life if you choose to. It's the place you bleed from every month -- or sometimes not, and then it's the place that you worry about.
The vagina is somehow off limits to talk about. Men seem to talk about their penises a lot. Like A LOT. Even women talk about men's penises a lot. In fact women seem to talk about penises more than they talk about vaginas.
In my opinion that's messed up. Why has the vagina become both a taboo and a body part with what seems like an endless array of slang terms?
But back to my point.
No woman should ever have to hear a man call another woman a cunt.
Ever. A cunt is a vagina. And a vagina is a beautiful and vital part of the female anatomy. Not a way to describe someone who you think is a pain.
If we're going to tear people apart, let's be specific.
Maybe the person you don't like complains a lot. Or nags a lot. Or wears clothing you don't like. Or has opinions you don't like. Or WHATEVER. But trust me, they are not a cunt.