CUNT! Cuntcuntcuntcuntcunt…

Now was that so hard? I think not.
But the folks at the Chicago Tribune disagree. Because of a last-minute freak out over the contentious c-word, editors were running around like maniacs pulling out the Women’s News section from their Wednesday papers.
The Tribune had originally planned to run an article, “You c-nt say that (or can you?),” which discussed “cunt” and whether the word was becoming more acceptable.
Instead of the intended article, which was written by freelancer Lisa Bertagnoli, the Tribune ran a piece about military widows. This only reached readers in the city however; those in suburban areas didn’t get the Women’s News section at all.
The weirdest thing about this story (at least to me), is that Bertagnoli never even uses the word cunt! But apparently because she hints at it by “providing words it rhymes with and making its anatomical reference clear,” it was offending enough.
So it’s not just the word that the Tribune folks find offensive…even the idea of cunt is too much!
I know that people have pretty divergent thoughts on this, but how does removing an article that is simply attempting to open some dialogue serve anyone?

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4 Comments

  1. Posted October 28, 2004 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    How very odd, yet sady predictable. In Seattle, the newspaper asks a different bookstore each week to name it’s top 10 bestselling fiction and nonfiction books. A couple of years ago, they asked a bookstore with a strong feminist leaning to submit their list. I opened the Sunday paper to find that “Cunt” by Inga Muscio was in the top 10 list for that bookstore (a pretty good book, I might add). That bookstore has not been asked to submit a top 10 list since.

  2. sarah
    Posted October 29, 2004 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    The Tribune is a conservative newspaper in Chicago. They even endorsed Bush, so this doesn’t really surprise me too much.

  3. Posted November 2, 2004 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    as a [trying to be] feminist-supporting husband, i have never felt particularly comfortable using the C-word, but dang, my wife sure throws it around a lot when certain women make her mad. they have to make her really really mad, though. i’m wondering what other people here think about the use of the C-word for non-celebratory purposes. [i greatly enjoyed the segment on this subject in the vagina monologues, but even thinking the word makes me nervous! so, i guess it was good for me to hear it in that context.] i think a lot of men who were raised the way i was probably have similar feelings about it.
    as for its titular use in literature, i guess it reminds me of the way a certain book title by joseph conrad makes me flinch whenever i see it…

  4. Posted November 11, 2004 at 3:52 am | Permalink

    In the UK, cunt is used for anyone you’re pissed off at – man or woman. And as taxi drivers and lorry drivers and other people who think they own the road tend to be men, I’d hazard a guess that, over here, men get called cunt far more than women do.
    Another usage: when completely wasted/shitfaced/trashed, people (male or female), will say ‘I’m absolutely cunted.’

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