**WARNING*** There will be strong language in this post, and I assume any following discussion.

This morning on our local radio station there was an interesting discussion about the usage, intent and impact of swearing.

It was sparked by a satirical TV show, Dirty Laundry Live, using strong language to discuss Charles Saatchi, soon to be ex husband of Nigela Lawson. During the shows opening monologue the host Lawrence Mooney described him as a cunt.

To put it in context the comment was shown live to air although it was scripted. Mooney has stated they did have a strong discussion on whether to use it or not but he contends that it was both justified and effective.

The discussion it sparked was centered around the appropriateness or not of using that language on live to air television.

From a personal perspective I have no problem with the use of the word. Words are just words, some have more impact than others. Its the values you ascribe to that word, and the context they are use that matters.

In this particular instance I think calling the man a cunt was an effective and appropriate usage. Its not wording i would use around my children but again its not a show children should be watching.

The interesting part of the debate and what I was interested in discussing here was the contention that using the word contributed to violence against women. I can't say I agree with that argument.

As I said before words are just words. I'm sure that the word cunt CAN be used to denigrate women, but in the context it was used I don't think it does.

Is calling someone a prick, a cock head or a dick demeaning to men? Sure they aren't words with as much impact but they are all negative words associated with male genitalia.

If I use those words to purposefully denigrate a group then I should be condemned. But is that what has happened here?

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.


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I think I almost enjoyed the song more than peanut butter itself, I'm more for nutella.

If god doesn't like peanut butter, what MORE do we need to hear?  I hereby renounce my faith! 

Loren, there goes 1:18 I will never get back. Thanks a lot! I'll use my powers of witchcraft to turn your toenails into feasting grounds for fungus.

Yo, Joan!  :-P~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  [giggle!]

and a giggle back at you. 

Your intention makes no difference to those hurt by your words.  I support freedom of speech while acknowledging that words can be used as weapons - they hurt.  White people who use the "N" word may say it is just a word, or that black people also use it, or that they, "didn't mean anything by it".  How often do we have to hear that?  The reason 'cunt' is a swear is that it is used to insult women.  Its use suggests that women's sexual organs are nasty and bad.  To call a man a cunt is to say that he has the attributes of a woman's sexual parts, and that he is as low as a woman.  You didn't call him a 'chin', or an 'elbow' now did you?  

Swearing is lazy.  It shows a lack of creativity, and a small vocabulary.  When you called this man a cunt, what did that tell me about him?  Nothing at all, except that you don't like him, and that you don't respect women.  The knowledge that your words hurt lots of people should be enough to encourage you to use a dictionary, and call the guy what he is.  Is he selfish, ignorant, or maybe, arrogant?  Say so, just don't be such a knee!

Amen! (and LOL to "don't be such a knee!")

Saying what's wrong with that particular guy is also much more effective than simply declaring "I hate him! * "
* "And I don't mind using misogynistic language that demeans women and disparages their sexual organs."

The only problem with your first statement is that it demands that someone has a right not to be offended. Sorry I don't hold for that.

You are responsible for how you react not me. I think Eleanor Roosevelt's quote "No-one can make you feel inferior without your consent" is apt here.

If you spend your life being offended by what people say then you are going to be offended a lot.

I think the belief that you can go through life with everyone being nice to you is not only foolish. Its dangerous. This thinking has led to laws here in Australia where people can sue just because you offend them. Not that what you said did real harm, or even is untrue. Just that it upset them.

Context is the key. If I use actively denigrate someone then I should be condemned for it. However if you take something out of the context in which I meant it then it should not be my problem.

I'll agree that you cant always know the context in which i am saying something, communication is too complex for that. However that doesn't mean I am a bad person if you take offense to something out of its context.

As to your point about swearing is lazy and showing a lack of creativity. Says who? That's your standard. A well used profanity can distill a paragraphs worth of description to one word.

You say that calling someone a cunt doesn't tell you anything except the fact I don't like them. Guess what? Sometimes all I want to tell you is that I don't like them. Using one word to show that is effective communication is it not?

In most cases I should go on and explain why I think they are a cunt, but even if I don't that doesn't mean I can't call them that.

And i don't give a knee if that offends you.


I, for one, am not talking about any "right not to be offended".  Nor would I want any interference with freedom of speech, but that which courtesy may provide.  I say that "cunt" is a word that demeans women.  I did not say you could not use it whenever you wish. 

Dogly, I'm with you on this.

In the above context, when Man A calls Man B a cunt,

1) Man A is saying little or nothing about Man B, and

2) Man A is saying he has a problem with women, perhaps a well-founded problem with an abusive mother.

Two points:

1) Eleanor Roosevelt's quote "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."

Her words are indeed apt. Having read of her childhood, I believe she intended those words to help her recover from what was done to her. She did recover and our world is the better for it.

2) ...here in Australia where people can sue just because you offend them.

They can sue, but can they win their lawsuit? If they lose, do they pay the winner's costs?

The US of A is said to be a "litigious society". We are, and while being sued can be a traumatic experience, here in California the person who sues and loses usually has to pay the winner's costs.




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