Cunts, bitches and weeping syphilitic chodes

In a recent post, I called Brendan O’Neill a weeping syphilitic chode, and I was deluged by complaints that I had used a gendered insult. Hypocrite!  Twitter harrumphed. Look at the big mean feminist saying nasty things about men! 

I received more complaints from that one remark than I have ever received for using the word “cunt”, which, Cursebird tells me, has been 640 times on Twitter alone. A more detailed breakdown of my swearing was unavailable, but I imagine a large proportion of that was during episodes of Question Time, where I tend to tweet prolifically about how the entire panel is comprised of terrible cunts.

In fact, had I called O’Neill a weeping syphilitic cunt, I doubt much would have come of it.

I swear a lot, then. I will gleefully throw around cock, cunt, bellend, twat and ballbag with impunity. To me, anatomical terms are, as Forty Shades Of Grey puts it, just words

I use other body parts as insults too: arsehole, and its derivatives, for example. “You big shitting arsehole”; “you sphincter”, “you ringpiece”, e.g. I heard a fantastic anecdote which culminated in a thoroughly odious person being put down with being called a “little finger”.

I am not convinced that using a body part as an insult can be gendered. Gender is, after all, nothing to do with what is hanging between one’s legs. Men can have cunts; women, cocks; and moving beyond traditional binary notions of gender, anything goes. Anyone can have a weeping syphilitic chode.

To me, there are some slurs that do have gendered connotations. They are not disembodied parts of the anatomy. They are the words used to regulate behaviour of those who do not conform to their prescribed gender roles. Take, for example, “bitch”, which, with a variety of different uses tells women how to behave. Don’t set boundaries, or you’re a mean bitch. Don’t show more than the “correct” amount of emotion, or you’re a crazy bitch.

Some of these words are not even rude, but used to tick off women for behaving in a certain way: prima donnas, divas and drama queens. These are women who draw too much attention to themselves rather than sit meekly in the shadows.

Although I walked in the SlutWalk and self-identify as an ethical slut, I have misgivings about the word. We are in the process of reclaiming the word; it is still thrown as a weapon to attack women who fail to conform to society’s sexual expectations. I believe this word to be salvageable–a person who enjoys consensual sex–but we have far to go before the word becomes neutral.

These words are all thrown at men, too, once again to enforce gender-appropriate behaviour: if a man is a drama queen, a bitch, a diva, he is like a woman, which is supposed to serve as doubly insulting. Some feminising words are developed entirely to be hurled at men, like “sissy“. I am unfamiliar with any words which are used to enforce behaviour for men which do not feminise. If there are any, I would like to know.

It is the weapons to force me to behave in a manner which is acceptable to society that I truly find offensive. A floating anatomical part cannot hurt me. Behavioural enforcement can.

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5 responses to “Cunts, bitches and weeping syphilitic chodes

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