The performativity of class status

Ally Fogg on the other hand has an interesting (as opposed to familiar and deadly-boring) post on the meanings and resonances of “cunt” in the UK, with an emphasis on the class aspect.

In my last blog, I noted in passing that I am prone to using very offensive language, including the word ‘cunt.’ I think it was coincidence, but around the same time Ophelia blogged on that very topic, and inadvertently created a perfect case study of the phenomenon I was discussing.

It was entirely coincidence; I hadn’t seen Ally’s post when I wrote mine. I wrote mine because of the inspiration of Ricky Gervais’s Facebook post.

As PZ noted in a follow-up called ‘How to drive a Brit crazy’, anyone objecting to the use of that word is likely to reap a torrent of comments saying “it’s a perfectly acceptable word; everyone says it in England.”

I’ll return to the question of whether ‘everyone says it in England’ in a minute, but first let me observe that what PZ describes is a classic example of the “you shouldn’t be offended by that” fallacy. [Read more…]

Ubiquitous? Actually, no.

PZ has a post on The Cunt Question (that’s where I saw Maki Naro’s tweet, and there are more there).

The defenses are hilarious, irrational, and indignant. It’s incredibly common to see people protest that it’s a perfectly acceptable word; everyone says it in England; it doesn’t have any sexual connotations at all, because apparently, people in the UK are so stupid that they don’t remember that it’s a word that refers to the female genitalia. The Argument from Regional Ubiquity simply doesn’t work — would we accept that Southerners get a free pass on calling people “nigger” because everyone down there is rednecked cracker, so it’s OK?

I must remember to call it that, because I have this argument over and over again. It’s The Argument from Regional Ubiquity and it is bullshit.

There are a lot of good comments.

The first, for instance, by aziraphale:

I’m a Brit and I have never, in my whole life, called anyone a cunt. Possibly because if I did, my female friends (mostly also Brits) would never speak to me again. [Read more…]

25,789 others like this

Another blow struck for the right to call people cunts.


Ricky Gervais
If you grabbed Hitler and shouted “stop killing innocent people you cunt”, someone on Facebook would call you out on your sexist language.


Has Ricky Gervais ever done a Facebook post saying “If you grabbed Hitler and shouted ‘stop killing innocent people you kike’, someone on Facebook would call you out on your anti-semitic language”?

I don’t know for sure, but I seriously doubt it. People like him don’t defend calling people niggers or kikes, but they do defend calling people cunts. Why is that? Because the first is not ok while the second is ok. Why? I can only conclude it’s because hatred of women just doesn’t even show up on the radar of people like Ricky Gervais.

I despise people like Ricky Gervais…and Penn Jillette and all the rest of the “it’s hip to use misogynist epithets because everybody knows women are dreary buzzkilling cunts” crowd.

H/t Stephanie


I’m reading Jon Krakauer’s Under the Banner of Heaven.

The core facts: a Mormon man [Dan Lafferty] converted to radical polygamist female-subservientist fundamentalist Mormonism and converted his five brothers. The oldest brother [Ron Lafferty] was divorced by his wife as a result. The wife [Brenda] of the youngest [Allen] resisted all of them. Ron and Dan killed her and the pair’s baby daughter.

Some particulars:

Although standing up to Allen meant standing up to the entire Lafferty clan, Brenda did not shy away from such confrontations…[S]he possessed an impressive command of LDS scripture that allowed her to more than hold her own when debating fundamentalist doctrine with Ron and Dan. They came to despise her for defying them and for her influence over Allen, whom they considered “pussy-whipped.” [Read more…]

What misogynists call outspoken women

It’s about time.

Rebecca has pointed out the activities of her more obsessed and malevolent haters. I’ve been following one particular clump of them, at intervals, all this time – yes they’re still at it. Would you believe it?

I’ve now amassed a following of obsessive creeps who have seemingly devoted their lives to hounding me down and making sure I never dare to speak my bitch mind again. Their tactics? Scientologist-level private investigation to dredge up the deepest, darkest mysteries of my past combined with grade school-level name-calling. It’s impressive, really. Really. Really. [Read more…]