Cunt cunt cunt cunt cunt cunt cunt

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American comedian Samantha Bee is in ridiculously hot water this week, after calling Ivanka Trump a ‘feckless cunt’ on her TV show. People – by which I mean mostly American right-wingers – are up in arms because calling the daughter of the US President a ‘cunt’ is apparently one of the most heinous things you can do. So let’s talk about the word ‘cunt’, shall we?

I have a cunt. I like calling it ‘my cunt‘, and although I’ll use ‘vagina’ if I’m talking to doctors about it, I will only ever call it my ‘pussy‘ on the day that hell freezes over. Cunt, as a word, has so much more power. Not just in the sound of it, but because it’s seen as the worst swear. Say ‘shit’ in front of someone’s mum at a wedding and you’ll probably get away with it, but ‘cunt’ will cause sharp intakes of breath, muttered whispers, and potentially even a tut or two.

Perhaps, if an American person is nearby, they’ll tell you that you shouldn’t use that word – that it’s a horrible way to refer to a person. And you can explain to them, if you’re British, that we don’t have quite the same relationship with ‘cunt’ as they do. If you know a little of the etymology of the word, you’ll know that ‘cunt’ is the oldest word in the English language to describe a vagina. You might also know that ‘cunt’ comes from words that mean either woman, knowledge, creator or queen whereas ‘vagina’ just means ‘a sheath in which you put your sword’ – thus defining my genitals entirely by what someone else might like to shove inside them. You might also point out that in England you don’t have to be bad to be a cunt: you can be a ‘good cunt’, or a ‘funny cunt’, or a ‘romantic cunt’ or a ‘loveable cunt’. Cunt is a powerful word, and you can use its powers for good: when my partner calls me a cunt, with a twinkle in his eye and a roguish smile, it’ll make me feel happier than it would if he’d called me ‘darling.’

But let’s not pretend that Samantha Bee used ‘cunt’ against Ivanka Trump in this way. And no matter how many Brits are entirely baffled by the news that Bee retracted her comments and apologised, it doesn’t take great leaps of imagination to recognise that she meant it cruelly. She meant that Ivanka Trump was a feckless cunt.

Would her statement have had as much power if she’d said ‘feckless ass’ or ‘feckless twat’? No. The show’s writers chose that word because it’s the strongest insult. I might use the word ‘cunt’ in bed because I find it hot, and as a term of endearment because it works well for that too, but let’s face it: most of the time I use it to describe people who are absolutely terrible cunts. Because ‘dickhead’ doesn’t cut it.

Perhaps in the US, ‘cunt’ is a more gendered insult – thrown more frequently at women, and therefore more biting in that context. Perhaps the fact that it’s rarely used over there means I can never be a good judge of whether Sam Bee’s insult was appropriate. Perhaps I should shut my mouth and step aside for this one…

But fuck it, I’m a cunt, so I’m wading in.

Ivanka Trump – as Samantha Bee pointed out in the segment before the much-publicised insult – is a senior White House advisor. She is not just the President’s daughter, she is one of his closest allies. In a week where we learned that Trump policy involves tearing families apart at the US border, Ivanka Trump tweeted a photo of her holding her young son tightly to her, and smiling as they both enjoyed a cuddle.

I explained earlier that where I come from ‘cunt’ can be a term of endearment as well as abuse. Well, also where I come from ‘truth’ is usually a watertight defence when someone’s trying to get you to shut up. And the truth here is that Ivanka Trump is a feckless cunt.

Not just feckless: cruel. Monstrously, horribly cruel.

Imagine what has to happen in order to take a young child away from its parents. First the family travels to the US border, usually fleeing violence and terror in their home country. They’re frightened and desperate. They are looking for help. When they reach the border, they are separated. But ‘separated’ is a euphemism here, and if anything it’s far more offensive than any use of the word ‘cunt’, because it covers so much horror. In order for a family to be separated: someone has to physically remove a child from their parents’ arms. Border guards will watch as all that fear and desperation wells up in children too young to understand what’s happening, and the grief and panic in the eyes of the parents who are powerless to stop their kids being taken away. This is not a ‘mistake’, or bureaucracy. This isn’t someone losing a pile of forms and destroying lives through carelessness: this is a deliberate choice. A policy.

At some point further up this chain, someone decided to do this. As many have pointed out, this is the first time something like this has been done in America. Jon Favreau called it ‘uniquely barbaric.’

I don’t know about you, but where I come from that’s when we crack out the c-word. The people doing this are fucking cunts. Those who help this happen are cunts. Those who give the orders? Monstrous cunts. And those who stand by, who have the power to intervene and stop this but choose not to do so? What can we call them other than ‘cunts’? If we have this powerful word – the strongest and most controversial and terrible – but we don’t use it against those who would do such appalling things, what the cunting fuck is the point of even having that word in the first place?

No, Ivanka Trump is not solely responsible for this – there are many more cunts who hold more responsibility. But Ivanka Trump not only fails to speak out against the brutal, racist policies implemented by the White House where she works as a senior advisor, but is so breathtakingly callous that she posts a picture that looks bizarrely like a ‘fuck you’ right in the middle of this news breaking.

Don’t be shocked that Samantha Bee called her a feckless cunt: she is.

Maybe what I’m saying here is really shocking, but I am honestly baffled by how many people can seemingly be outraged by the word ‘cunt’ yet fail to summon the same level of horror at the knowledge that families are being torn apart at the US border while Donald Trump – the worst cunt in America – sits smirking in the Oval Office.

By the way, while we’re on the subject of offensive words, I’d rather hear ‘cunt’ a thousand times than hear the President of a supposedly democratic country referring to human beings as ‘animals.’ That is far more disgusting than any genital-based swearword, and if you’re worried about the impact of ‘cunt’ on Ivanka, you should be proportionately terrified of the effect this dehumanising language has on the humans who sit at the sharp end of Trump’s policies.

Ivanka Trump is a cunt. Donald Trump is a cunt. Anyone who works in that administration who has not spoken out against its racism and brutality is a fucking cunt. Samantha Bee – or whoever at the network ordered her to apologise – is a cowardly cunt for backing down and apologising for saying something so patently, demonstrably true. And every single person who complained about Ivanka being called a ‘cunt’, while giving not one single shit about children being forcibly removed from their parents, is also a fucking cunt.

I’m a cunt too. I’ve done some terrible, cunty things in my time. And I’ve been called a cunt – with very good reason – by people who both love and hate me. I hope that I’ll always be lucky enough to have good friends who’ll call me a cunt when I do terrible things. I’m not arguing here that ‘cunt’ is always justified – like any good swearword its power is strongest when it is used in the right context. When it punches up instead of down. When it draws attention to appalling behaviour, rather than being used to silence or intimidate the weakest. But if anything this furore over the word ‘cunt’ only serves to highlight its power, and demonstrate to me why Samantha Bee was absolutely right to use it.

If this word really is the most powerful, shocking, and insulting then it’s times like this we need it most. When the world is being run by racist cunts, aided and abetted by cruel cunts, and cheered from the sidelines by ignorant cunts, ‘prick’ just isn’t going to cut it. I love this word, and I’ll continue to embrace it in positive and insulting ways: I will fuck with my cunt, talk about my cunt, call my friends and lovers cunts, and then when I’m really angry I’ll turn the dial up to 11 and spit a bitter, rage-powered ‘cunt’ at the ones who deserve it most.

We need the c-word right now. We need it desperately. And if you want to take it away you’ll have to pry it from my cold, dead cunt.


  • Valery North says:

    I’m always fascinated by the connotations of insults. Compare how “cunt” versus “pussy” get used in that way.

    Most of the time, when “cunt” is used as a negative, it’s about someone who has some kind of power, and who has offended or transgressed against the person using the word. It is a word denoting strength and power! (Which, again, ties into the old English etymology…)

    No wonder Patriarchy finds it the most offensive word possible: it’s a word that associates women with power.

    • Girl on the net says:

      That is a really interesting point, I’d not thought about that before.

    • Governor_Marley says:

      Very interesting contrast. As far as I’m aware “pussy” is almost always used to accuse someone of weakness. Usually by men insulting other men for their lack of strength or daring. It’s used to insult someone who has offended or transgressed against the commonly held notion of masculinity – to police that behaviour and reinforce the wider social expectation.

      Super interesting. More sweary etymology chat pls.

      • ken barnes says:

        Pussy can just mean “vagina” e.g. “I love to suck your pussy”, etc. Not sure why it’s hated by some

      • Enam says:

        “Pussy” as an insult is a bastardization of the term “pusillanimous”, which refers to timidity or cowardice. It is unrelated to either vaginas or cats.

        • Girl on the net says:

          That’s interesting, but I can’t find anything that references it – do you have a link? I’d add, though, that even if ‘pussy’ did begin that way, it certainly isn’t used or intended that way in 2019.

  • GG says:

    Fucking brilliant. You’re a good cunt for writing it.

  • Zebra Rose says:

    Fuck me, you’re a clever cunt and no mistake. Brilliant writing.

    I’m reminded of the South Park movie – making the same point about linguistic puritanism I think; getting incensed about ‘bad’ language is a diversion from the cuntish things people do to each other in the name of power.

    In fact, the outraged response to the description of Ivanka sounds a lot like tone policing – ignoring the point of the message and getting upset about how it is phrased in order to derail discussion of the thing that prompted the description in the first place.

    • Girl on the net says:

      Yes, 100% this: nitpicking the language here seems like a way to distract from the substantive criticism. As well as some kind of weird tit-for-tat after Roseanne’s show got cancelled. People seem to be either forgetting or entirely ignoring the fact that Roseanne’s racism is far grosser than the word ‘cunt’, in literally any scenario.

  • digitool says:

    And this is why I read what you write!
    Superb ‘ranty’ piece!!!!!

  • ken barnes says:

    Cunt has different connotations in North America than I UK or Australia

  • Curly Hair says:

    It’s amazing that the “put on something tight and low cut to go and talk to him” comment hasn’t got as much focus. I’d prefer to be called a cunt than have incestuous attraction from my father implied!

    Nevertheless, they are all a bunch of cunts.

    • Girl on the net says:

      Good point! Although as someone pointed out on twitter the other day, Trump himself has said some pretty gross things about Ivanka along these lines which is why that joke lands in the first place. It’s really hard to take criticism of ‘bad language’ or meanness seriously from people who support DT – there is nearly always an example of him saying something far more grotesque.

  • D says:

    Love love love this post! I have three points to make in relation to it:
    1. As someone originally from England but now living north of the wall (Hadrian’s that is) folk are super liberal with the word up here and I love it! The word ‘cunt’ can sometimes just mean ‘person’, not necessarily bad or good. For instance, if going somewhere which might be busy you could say “there’ll be loads of cunts there” not in an insulting way, simply meaning there’ll be a lot of people. It’s a very Scottish attitude and one that I adore. It leads to an overuse of the word and it’s easy to forget it’s not the case everywhere when you casually use it when visiting family in England. Occasionally you can see the colour drain from their face if you drop the ‘c-bomb’ at any time. It’s kinda fun.
    2. Use of the word in a sexual context is AWESOME! “Fuck my cunt!” is one of the sexiest things someone can say in order to get an immediate reaction from me. Although I don’t mind the word pussy it does have a connotation of something less desperate, less immediate. For example, “lick my pussy” implies to me that you should take your time over it.
    3. People who are offended over words more than actions. It reminds me of a documentary with Russell Brand talking to racists and they try to take the moral high ground for his use of swearing. “That language’s offensive!” is the common defence of people who’s actions are massively offensive to the human race. The recent use of the word “gammon” would be another support of such behaviour. Words are powerful. Cuntily powerful.

  • Kev wilson says:

    The absolute best piece of writing that I have seen and read in my seventy odd years of reading about eroticism, which this is definitely NOT. You have educated me further, on and about my favourite word, cunt. I have always considered this to be predominantly a male word, which I now understand that it is not but when used by a woman it is greatly exaggerated, no, it gives more power and meaning to the subject, topic or theme. You are a clever cunt but also a very educated cunt in the fields that you talk about. I love your blog, which has added greatly to what I have always considered to be an open mindedness about sex, love and relationships. I still like to use the word to shock and to watch the reaction but prefer it as another tool to good sex. Many thanks for sharing.

  • Kev Wilson says:

    As an addendum to my mail on cunt, I have further to say that your piece on Ivana Trump and the Mexican wall have completely filled my mind and have filled me with disgust and abhorrence over the treatment of the Mexican children that have been separated from their parents. Obviously I have been aware of Donald Trumps plans for a wall but never once have I considered, or even thought about the consequences that it would have on the Mexican people as a whole. Obviously you have researched this topic, which I, to my shame, have never thought twice about. How insular does that make me? You have now put a bee in my bonnet on this subject and I am going to read more about it. I am sure that your blog was not politically motivated but it just goes to show the strength and power of the word “cunt”, as Bill Clinton will testify.

    • Girl on the net says:

      Thanks so much Kev! I’m glad this post spoke to you and I confess I absolutely am politically motivated in a lot of what I write, so I’m glad it’s introduced you to something that you may be able to speak out against. Thank you for leaving these comments – you’re a kind cunt and no mistake =)

  • Rhi Kavok says:

    I just discovered this and I’m pretty sure it is the best thing I have ever read. Dude. Yes.

    The word is infinitely powerful. It’s majesty will outlast all the evil cunts who consider their power eternal and unbreakable.

    Now I just need to work out how I can teach this to my year 11 English class tomorrow, without getting in trouble with the cunts in charge.

    Love you, GOTN; you magnificent, word-wielding splendour-cunt x

    • Girl on the net says:

      Blimey – thank you! You are a lovely cunt and no mistake. I reckon year 11s are old enough to understand the beautiful nuance of the word cunt, and it’s an excellent idea for a lesson. But don’t listen to what I say, I think I am a terrible teacher =) x

  • Eric says:

    I have never used the word as an insult. I think it’s offensive, degrading, and mean to do so. But I love hot, passionate, raunchy sex. And I love dirty talk. And when a woman refers to her own pussy as her “cunt” it is a tremendous turn on for me.

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