*Warning: Post contains profanities that may cause distress or be an emotional trigger. I will be using offensive terms spoken by another person in this post.
I’ve had one of those days today. You know the days, the ones where you feel like you’re trying to empty an Olympic sized swimming pool with a drinking straw while it’s bucketing down with rain. Where I feel like what I do around fat acceptance and feminism is just a tiny grain of sand against a huge ocean.
It all stemmed from late last night when I read on Twitter a man I chat to referring to a politician and saying “get on a bike you fat cunt”.
Now I am not ashamed of the fact that I swear, in fact I’m quite proud of my blunt language. As Billy Connolly says, “Oh I know about 147 words, but none of them are as good as fuck.”
But to hear the term “fat cunt” used in reference to anyone, even a politician that I actually really dislike, makes my blood boil. Because it’s not the swearing, it’s what the actual statement implies.
The word cunt is something I hate with a passion. Because it is only ever related negatively to the female genitalia, and is about the most violent and derogative word to swear with. It never has a positive meaning, and is so derogatory of women, as though female genitalia are disgusting, dirty, low things that the ultimate insult is to call someone a cunt.
And what really bothers me is that there is no male equivalent. Oh yes, dick and prick are there, but can you honestly say they are as derogatory and offensive as the word cunt?
Add to that the other ultimate insult word of our society these days, “fat”, and you just take the insult to another level.
When will we be able to get through to men that this term to describe anyone is just not acceptable? That it paints both women and the fat as the lowest of the low.
There are other hate words, to refer to people of various skin tones and ethnicities/cultures, to gay people, to people of different faiths of course. The difference I notice is that when you hear someone utter those hate words, and protest about it, there’s pretty much always someone else who will stand up and say “I can’t believe that they thought that was acceptable.” There is no ambiguity about them being hateful, bigoted and derogatory.
However when I protested this man using the term “fat cunt” last night, I was attacked with “Lighten up” and “somebody is cranky” and variations of dismissive attitudes towards my anger and dissent at someone using what I see as a highly offensive term. Some of this was from women.
I honestly can’t fathom how a woman could ever find that acceptable. It literally boggles my brain to try to understand what would be going through a woman’s mind to think that it’s ok to refer to someone that way.
But it’s the dismissive attitudes that really got me riled up. As though I was being petty or whinging because someone used a term that is deeply offensive to ALL women. It opens up the old issue of the difference between when a man and a woman makes a complaint about something. Men complain, women whinge. Men are angry, women are cranky. Or as my friend David said:
“Bad things annoy men, but women are cranky. I understand this is because they have wombs.”
As I said, he’s on to something there, but I think it’s more likely the vaginas that are the problem than the wombs. There is such a hatred around the vagina as part of a woman that it has become this horrible hate word “cunt”.
So long as we accept being referred to in such abhorrent terms, women are always going to be seen as less than, lower than men, and fat women even less/lower than that.
More than anything I’m angry that despite my making it clear over many, many months that terms like this are not acceptable and that referring to women, and fat women in particular in such hateful terms is bigotry, it seems to have just flown over the head of so many people.
How do you combat such blatant displays of misogynistic, hateful attitudes? Do you ever feel worn down by the dismissive attitudes of others?