“Cunt” no longer has any power over me.
It used to be a triggering word when I heard it used to describe a woman. It reminded me of when I was raped and the rapist would call me cunt. But that trigger is gone now, and I am glad to be rid of it. The word is thrown around so much as a silencing mechanism in online comments/discussions, that a switch flicked in my mind. If these are the types of people who call women “cunt” – these sexist, misogynistic, fearful douchenozzles – then I am proud to be a cunt. I wear that label with pride because it means that I scare them, it means that my ideas are threatening to their perception of life through their privileged lenses.
The pain associated with the word was overwhelming. Even within the atheist and skeptic communities, where people are quick to claim a position of logic and reason, there are people who are ready to jump on an opportunity to silence a woman with a pejorative term. The jarring feeling of cognitive dissonance that they experience when confronted with feminist ideas is enough for their purported logic and reason to fly out the window. They seem comfortable to say that the ideas of feminism are so absurd that they cannot take it seriously. So it leaves me to wonder why they do not approach the ideas of feminism with the same level-headed and logical approach that is taken towards claims of the paranormal or alternative “medicine”. Instead they attack feminism, and they attack the woman, with strawmen fallacies and ad hominem attacks. This used to frustrate me to the point in wanting to leave the skeptic and atheist communities, but now I revel in it because I know that these people are experiencing cognitive dissonance and that their ignorant comfort has been disrupted.
The choice I have had to make is to leave the atheist/skeptic communities because of the all-too-consistent verbal abuses that happen towards women online OR reclaim the words used against me (and countless other women and allied men). I choose to reclaim cunt. What was once used to take power from me now empowers me. I am an insufferable cunt and I want to make people feel very uncomfortable for their sexist beliefs.
I want other women in the atheist and skeptic communities to know that I do not expect them to also reclaim the word. We all deal with difficult circumstances in our own ways, and I would never push my method of coping onto someone else. I do not speak for all atheist and skeptic women, no one should assume that all women are now empowering themselves with the word cunt. Anyone who considers themselves an ally to gender equality should refrain from referring to someone as “cunt” in a positive way unless she has told you that she is empowered by it.
Realizing in full that I am probably alienating myself from certain portions of the atheist/skeptic communities, I have to admit that I honestly don’t give a shit anymore. So much of my time has been spent tiptoeing around the feelings of people who seem to completely lack the ability or drive to empathize. Instead they hide behind make-believe concern. My priorities are to make the atheist and skeptic communities a most hospitable place for marginalized people.
Cunt mode activated.