Post #10: Sources Activity

Article by MWLivestrongUSMC (Blog) /
March 02, 2015 /
Click here to view original /

Popular Source: “Never Said Nothing” by Lindsay Zoladz

1) Lindsay Zoladz writes a piece about the word “cunt” in popular music. She gives a brief history of the word and cites current figures using the word in popular culture, specifically female vocalists in recent years.
2) “These early uses of “”cunt”” in song aren’t derogatory addresses to a female subject, but are instead used to grasp for easy provocation, empty of specific or explicitly gendered meaning.”
I assume that this claim is true; it is significant, because the uses being referenced are from the U.K., Ireland, Australia, and are different than American.

“”Cunt” is a monosyllabic torpedo. If you don’t believe me, say it to your gynecologist. Say it to a stranger.”
I assume that this claim is true; it is significant, because one would most certainly offend if they were to speak it to a stranger or professional.

3) This information stands up to my own experiences and observations in a couple ways. On two different occasions, I have seen women transition to a verbal confrontation to a physical fight after the word “cunt” being used. In my partying days, I spent time with British, Irish, and Australian people, and learned from them that the word is more common outside of the U.S.; this word is common with Australians and used fairly regularly. “Shit-cunt” is actually the “negative” usage of the word “cunt” over there.

This information supports my working thesis, as I am going to raise awareness to females using the word, as opposed to males using it.

I will use this information to support my thesis and contrast the uses in the U.S. to other countries in popular culture.

The information raises context questions – “Should it be used in media channels today?” or “Why does it seem more acceptable to say in music, but not in person?”

The information connects to the other sources I’ve read, because they all look into the word “cunt” used in current, popular culture. Another connection is that the sources draw the idea that although the word may be questionable in the least in some contexts, it most definitely has the potential to offend in others.

Popular Source: “The Euphemism Chapter” by Lauren Rosewarne
1) Lauren Rosewarne writes a piece about sex and bodily euphemisms in popular culture. She explores different reasons for why euphemisms are used in a variety of media channels. Rosewarne also presents different perspectives as to reasons euphemisms should or shouldn’t be used.
2) “Sometimes euphemisms eschew the assumed sugar-coating intentions and instead are deployed to be offensive.”

I assume that this source’s claim is true; this is significant, because although there are various reasons one may use a euphemism, “cunt” is, more often than not, used to offend more-so than any other reason.

“Instead of being explicit in dialogue about sex, humans often favor euphemisms. Such euphemisms are detectable throughout popular culture, notably in songs and on the screen.”
I assume that this source’s claim is true; this is significant, because it highlights how people often prefer to use euphemisms to add style to language, which is evident in popular culture today.

3) This information stands up to my own experiences and observations, because I have heard or seen it used to offend in popular media channels by Nicki Minaj, Eminem, Azealia Banks, Rihanna, Jane Fonda, and in “The Interview” and “Orange is the New Black.”

I will use this to support my working thesis and emphasize that the word still offends, even when not intended to do so.

I will use this information in my paper to discuss how the word is used in comedy, music, slip-ups in the news media, and movies; in nearly all of these examples, the word is intended to offend.

This information raises the questions, “As consumers of media, are we obligated to listen to this word?” “Are you protected from the First Amendment when using this word?”

This information connects to other sources I’ve read, because people like to use euphemisms, for reasons of different types. Often, the word still offends in America, but not so much in other cultures.

Scholarly Source: Gender-Linked Derogatory Terms by Deborah James
1) Deborah James writes an academic journal about the contrasts and comparisons of gender-linked derogatory terms used by both men and women. She explores, in detail, how derogatory words/phrases hold different “weight” and meaning when used by different genders.
2) “There are indications that some terms are coming to be used by both sexes in a more gender-neutral way than has been the case in the past, and that it is women who are leading in this direction. Such shifts towards more gender-neutral usage imply some convergence of gender norms and blurring of the rigid lines separating the social categories ‘woman’ and ‘man’.”
I assume that this source’s claim is true; this is significant, because James suggests that words like “cunt” are shifting towards a blurred line separating gender in context.

“Derogatory terms that are used primarily to label women or primarily to label men reflect and, in turn, enforce very different prescriptions as to the ideal woman and the ideal man.”
I assume that this source’s claim is true; this is significant, because her research shows that, when women are called “cunts,” they fall into categories as sex objects, mistreating others, or masculine/lesbian (cunlapper/cuntlicker). However, when men are called “cunts,” it is generally to say that man is either weak in character or like a woman.

3) This information stands up to my own experiences, as most times I have heard this word used, it falls into one of these categories. Even when the word “cunt” is used to arouse, it falls into the “sex object” category.

This supports my working thesis and I will use it to show that women are increasingly using the word “cunt,” but it still has a negative connotation.

This information raises the question “If our society desires to make progress in bridging the gender gap, then why would women want to use this word?” “Why aren’t men held more accountable in the media when the word is used?”

This information connects to the other sources I’ve read, because it backs up the idea that the word “cunt” is used in a negative, gender-slanted context regardless of how it is meant to be used.

Source: Cunt: A Declaration of Independence by Inga Muscio
I decided to not use this book, as I discovered it is not a credible source. I feel like this source will not serve my research paper and is strictly opinion-oriented with no citations.

Scholarly Source: Profanity and Gender: A Diachronic Analysis of Men’s and Women’s Use and Perception of Swear Words by Michael Gauthier

1) Michael Gauthier writes an academic journal exploring language, profanity, and answers many relevant questions about how gender influences these things. He analyzes the historical development and evolution of derogatory terms/swear words in regards to both men and women.
2)…” language and speech patterns are constantly evolving, as well as other variables influencing the parameters we are dealing with such as society, the status of women and men, the media… All this make the topic of profanity and gender an ever-changing one, hence the need for a relatively recent study, which could hopefully “update” the information we have about the current status of it.”
I assume the source’s claim is true; this is significant, because Gauthier analyzes and raises questions about the gendered degree of tolerance and the use of profanity from an evolutionary point of view, which is a rare find.

… “Women tend to adopt what we called a “neutral stance” regarding profanity. Since they do not take gender into account when swearing, the influence of the casualness of the situation may be what creates this contrast between men and women. Even at home, men may tend to adapt their speech to the gender of the people they live with, which might be the factor lowering their usual rate of use of swear words.”
I assume the source’s claim is true; this is significant, because gender influences many aspects of life, whether it be what you wear today, what you say, when and how you say it.

3) This information is relevant to my own experiences/observations, because I have seen when men will use the word “cunt” among each other but never around women. I notice that more women are in the media using the word, but the manner in which they use it in has a different perception behind it.

I feel like all of this information supports my working thesis. I will use it to expand on ideas previously mentioned.

I will use this information in my paper to back my theory up that although speech is evolving and gender does play a major role in terms of perception of derogatory words like “cunt,” it still is a taboo word with the power to offend the majority of audiences.

This information raises the question of, “Is there more of a stigma attached to women who swear than men cursing?” “Are women more uncomfortable with swearing than men and, if so, how would we measure if this were changing or not?” “How large of a role does the media and internet play in catalyzing these changes?”

This information connects to other sources I’ve read in terms of gender, evolution of language, and the perceptions of how “cunt” is used in different contexts.