It’s not every day you get pulled aside by a 75-year-old woman celebrating her birthday who wants to read you a poem that she wrote and wants your opinion on whether the c-word should be left in or removed from a stanza.
“I removed it because I didn’t want to offend that older lady,” said the birthday girl nodding to the woman across the room fiddling with her hearing aid. I found that amusing since the even older woman with hearing difficulties wouldn’t have heard it anyway.
It’s weird that she should pick me to ask my opinion. Or maybe not. After all, I am sometimes referred to both affectionately and derisively by one close friend as The Presbyterian Nun. Therefore staying true to my virtuous (uptight?) nature, I’m not about to be a big fan of the c-word even though I have read many of the arguments about how its reputation as the most shocking and taboo word in the English language derives from and represents misogyny and therefore we should, as owners of said part of anatomy, take it back. We should take back the c-word in a march or something and if we took back ownership of ourselves “down there” we’d happily be flinging out the c-word in casual conversation because we could, dammit! And with pride!
Of course, on closer examination, it’s not about us at all, or our anatomy. It’s about inequality and belief systems related to women’s sexuality and I guess we’d known things had finally, actually changed in the world when the c-word loses all potency as the absolute worst thing to say to a woman. It’s unlikely you or I will be alive to see that day.
For the record, I don’t like the b-word either. It’s probably my age but I’m regularly annoyed by the use of the word Bitch. Then again, I can’t say I typically throw around the word dick either but saying that to a guy certainly has less impact than the slap-across-the-face feeling that the c-word can provoke. Some guys would actually take it as a compliment.
I guess for me it’s more about feeling that such aggressive and angry language should be curbed in a world that’s elevated aggressive and angry to an art form, the Kama Sutra of anger. If each one of us refrained from using these aggressive words, we could, to use an overused phrase that makes me feel somewhat ill, even if I wholeheartedly agree with it in principle: “Be The Change We Wish to See in the World.” PUHLEEZ!
So my vote was take it out. Nix the c-word from the poem. In hindsight, I realized that it was actually the sentence that didn’t make sense and to C or not to C, was the secondary factor.
On a lighter note, I found this great joke off the First Presbyterian Church of Oneida New York website.
THREE NUNS WERE ATTENDING A YANKEES BASEBALL GAME.
THREE MEN WERE SITTING DIRECTLY BEHIND THEM.
BECAUSE THEIR HABITS WERE PARTIALLY BLOCKING THE VIEW,
THE MEN DECIDED TO BADGER THE NUNS,
HOPING THEY’D GET ANNOYED ENOUGH TO MOVE TO ANOTHER AREA.
IN A VERY LOUD VOICE,
THE FIRST GUY SAID,
“I THINK I’M GOING TO MOVE TO UTAH .
THERE ARE ONLY 100 NUNS LIVING THERE.”
THEN THE SECOND GUY SPOKE UP AND SAID LOUDLY,
“I WANT TO MOVE TO MONTANA .
THERE ARE ONLY 5O NUNS LIVING THERE!”
THE THIRD GUY YELLED,
“I WANT TO GO TO IDAHO .
THERE ARE ONLY 25 NUNS LIVING THERE!”
THE MOTHER SUPERIOR TURNED AROUND,
LOOKED AT THE MEN
AND IN A VERY “SWEET” AND CALM VOICE SAID,
“WHY DON’T YOU GO TO HELL…
THERE AREN’T ANY NUNS THERE.”
Oh, and for more information than you’ll ever need in this lifetime related to the C-word, check out this site by Matthew Hunt.