Saturday, February 12, 2005


In discussing Deadwood, the subject of swearing came up. It certainly does leave the words "cocksucker" and "cunt" at the front of my internal dialogue, where they usually only come up rarely.

The other thing I noticed was that Keith Carradine is one of the few Americans I've heard use the word "cunt" convincingly. I've come to think its less about our accent and more about our comfort level. Since we so rarely use it, it becomes not only a word that rolls one step too slow off the tongue... In the same that "incisor" might not, there's that split second of wondering if its "in-SIZE-or" or "IN-size-or" and while you pronounce it right, it doesn't come out with quite the same comfort and speed as the word "banana".

Part of our problem is the insistence that it's more offensive than other vulgarities, which I think it wrongheaded. I think acceptance of the word "pussy" as somehow less offensive a vulgar term for female genitalia than "cunt" demeans women further. "Pussy" is a weak word, it rolls off the tongue in a demeaning, dismissive tone, equivalent of the male "wiener" or "tallywacker". "Cunt" is the Power Vulgarity. It shoves forth from the mouth like "cock". It demands to be noticed and recognized.

I think a society that considers the powerful cunt more offensive than the piddling pussy - Ack! There's a terrible unintended pun there! - is one in which women are accepted as the lesser sex without a second thought... even their sex itself is weak and silly. I think the acceptance of that represents an unconscious acknowledgment and even endorsement of that view.

It's not right. We must rethink our vulgarity and how we perceive and utilize it. We are the Puritanical and backward society, but to have even our choice of vulgarity endorse that is despicable and, really, just fucking weird.

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