I was gonna post this at Pandagon but, honestly, I think I've done enough to drive its traffic into the gutter for awhile. Let me nurse my obsessiveness here, instead.
In this post, I said:
Do you really need to talk about how Ann Coulter looks? It doesn’t actually hurt Ann–you know, Ann, bestselling author, fabulously successful (if repulsive) media personality, that Ann?–if you type on your blahg that she’s Mann Coulter. She doesn’t read your stupid blog. She doesn’t CARE. The transgendered person who settles in for a fun evening of Coulter-bashing at your stupid blog, however, who discovers hirself being used as the chief weapon against Ann–that person cares. Ditto the liberal women who have to read about what a skank she is. WE care.
And we remember that there yet exist men who can criticize conservative women without going there, and we read them instead. So, really, fuck you and your eighth-grade drag queen jokes.
And I was pretty tickled when this earned a response from Roy Edroso, the blogger linked in the excerpt above. Roy said, in part:
Also, I still say "cunt" and "pussy" a lot. Now, when used in reference to the female pudend, these terms should be unobjectionable to any thinking person. But sometimes I use them in unflattering reference to human behaviors, and that can raise -- and has raised, in my comments -- objections that I am saying something bad about women by using female genital referents as negatives.
My only answer is this: language is my metier, and I try to use it to my best advantage. One of the best tools toward that end is the unexpected choice. Sometimes I put academic, literary, or other elevated types of language into situations that do not seem to call for them. (George Plimpton was a pro at this schtick. I remember him writing about Amateur Night at the Apollo Theatre, and saying of an act that was about to emphatically get the hook, "The crowd desired that he would be silent.")
Sometimes I go another way and use crude language as a crotch-kick against pretension -- as when I called this thick-necked Men's Rights blowhard a pussy. As for "cunt," well, it's just a fun word.
Pass over that last bit for a second because it's the part about "the unexpected choice" I want to talk about first--or rather, I want to say that the unexpected choice, the change-up, the decision to go vulgar against pretension and pretentious against vulgarity--none of that is at all what anyone was objecting to in any of the myriad discussions that sprung up in the wake of this post. At least, I don't think anyone was doing that; it was, after all, a very long thread.
But the funny thing about Roy saying "Sometimes I go another way and use crude language as a crotch-kick against pretension" is that I'd had just such an example of his cited in an attempted gotcha-you're-a-hypocrite maneuver by someone in the Feministe thread. The question:
*What* do you guys read around here in the way of other liberal blogs? Roy just said ‘cunt’ a bunch of times today, so plainly he hates all women and should be blacklisted.
Roy’s cunt thing: I wasn’t too bothered by that, since one of the points was to use as many of the seven dirties as possible to show how ridiculous a standard for moral rightness “no cussing” is when the ideas you’re espousing are reprehensible. I wince every time I see the c-word, and Roy’s post was no exception to that, but I saw the joke, and Roy’s too hilarious for me to quit.
And now, NOW we can talk about "cunt" being "just a fun word to say:" Sure it is, when you're a guy. When you've had it directed at you personally, not to refer to your parts but to reduce you to them, it's not such a blast. Roy gets this, I think, but the kinds of guys who want a cookie for being bravely Politically Incorrect(TM) never do.
But beyond that bit of obviousness, there is the further obviousness--or so I considered it to be, before the thread that ate the internet--that the way the word is being used, what it means in a particular context, affects how people react to it. That's why I could give a halfhearted pass to the use of "cunt" in Roy's post mocking the idea that it's only dirty words that make a thing uncivil: It's used once to insult Instapundit as a "stupid cunt," and then a second time to refer to the female pudend (Michelle Malkin's, as it happens). In fact, if I were inclined to target that post as an example of hate speech, I'd be far more likely to go after "stanky-ass cum buckets" and "twinky-ass bitch" than the instances of the c-word.
But I'm not inclined to target that post, because the point of that post isn't to tell women to shut up and make Roy a sandwich, or to tell 'em to wipe the ejaculate off their chins, or to shame fatty into a fad diet or onto the treadmill. The point of that post is to make plain that reprehensible ideas are reprehensible no matter how you word 'em, civilly or uncivilly. Or to give you the thesis:
If some stupid cunt says we're "not anti-war, just on the other side," why the fuck shouldn't we call the motherfucker out?
Exactly. But again, addressing the bravely Politically Incorrect(TM) who refuse to see the difference:
Call 'em uptight, call 'em oversensitive, call 'em whatever you like, but it turns out most feminists, and more'n a few just plain women, find being reduced to a hot-or-not fuckhole, rather than being treated like the human beings they actually are, reprehensible. And THAT is the idea behind 99.95% of the usage of "cunt." That's its most popular meaning: A woman scarcely worth the organ she's providing a life-support system for. That's what's vile, not the word itself. We are not being language police when we say "please quit calling us cunts;" we are being worse than that. We are being idea police, and we'd like the idea that you cockslaps have any right to dehumanize us, any of us, to die, now. It is past time.
And as I've been round and round and round again about this enough times to know what's coming, here's my response:
The reason you shouldn't call out that motherfucker Dafydd ab Hugh for being too fat to serve in the military, despite his being the best thing that ever happened to war porn, is that it misses the fucking point, which is that whether he weighed 98 pounds or 298 pounds he was never going to serve anyway, because that type never does; and in between the real point and the dumb point you chose to make was an area wide enough (ho, ho!) to accommodate a gaggle of halfwits who couldn't even follow the dumb point all the way through--and thus was "too fat to serve in the military he claims to adore" abbreviated to "too fat."
And thus were innocent large persons annoyed, and thus did they complain, and here I must observe for only the 473rd time that "complain" is not synonymous with "blacklist," "police," or "prohibit." So quit pitching a fit about the PC-police at Feministe already, ya fuckin' douchebags, because last I checked the Piny Campaign for Language Dictator had run into fundraising difficulties, so I really don't think you need to worry about having your rights infringed upon from that quarter. Maybe take your own advice and fight the real enemy? I don't know.
And with that, I am done. Call me if the horse gets up again, but I think he's done too.
UPDATE: Fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck.
A cursory read of the comments at alicublog makes it pretty plain that the commenters are reading Roy as agreeing with their position that it's totally okay to use "cunt" whenever you want to, because the problem always lies with the silly-ass cunts who get offended when you do so; just like the problem with "nigger" isn't its oppressive usage history, but rather the rampant-running PC Police who stir up those temperamental black folk to raise a needless fuss about it. This, for example, is fairly typical:
Here's another way to look at it: The staggering diversity of opinion on what cunt means just on this thread makes its intent cloudy no? Could mean a lot of things -- thus, like in MOST THINGS, context matters. And the context of nigger does too -- obviously.
But that doesn't even address the fact that blacks can choose all by themselves what they consider offensive, just as everyone else can.
The "staggering diversity of opinion on what cunt means," it will not surprise you to learn, is achieved almost entirely from members of the class who have traditionally used the term, and scarcely at all from members of the class against whom it has been used. Pardon my incivility, but fuck your fake diversity, you bubbling leg-dribbles of choleric shit.
So what'm I getting out of this? Chiefly, that there are more ostensible progressives out there than I thought who want to have it both ways. On the one hand, they want to dissociate themselves from assholes like these, feign shock and horror that similar-such behavior could be occuring in our most elite halls of learning, and congratulate themselves on not being one bit like that themselves* because they appreciate and understand context, see.
On the other hand, they want to throw a motherfucking neverending tantrum, weeping and wailing and gnashing teeth all over the internet, anytime someone points out that their understanding of the context is incomplete due to the unavoidable limitations of their own lived experiences--a point which should be obvious, and which any of these jackboot-licking nerds could easily prove or disprove merely by walking up to any large man of African-American descent and explaining to him why he shouldn't choose to find the n-word offensive. But these whiny-ass tittybabies aren't going to do that, because deep down they know that's going to end in an ass-kicking, with the probability of the ass getting kicked being theirs approaching 1.
So let's take swipes at the dumb cunt feminazis, instead. What can they possibly do about it?
*No slam meant against junk science; just noting that the closing lines:
We need to spend time shaking our heads that such people exist and congratulating ourselves for being better than them. We don’t need to be above pointing out that we’re better than them.
--reflect perfectly the attitude of the guys who told us they could take whichever cheap shots they wanted to because they're on the side of the angels. You aren't, but you could be, though until you are, I hope you choke. The End.