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Jane Fonda Uses the "C-Word" on Today Show, Offends Idiots

Something so simple and yet so hard for so many people to understand: A word's meaning derives from its context.
 
 
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Disco Ball bless Jane Fonda for saying "cunt" on TV.

Ah, I love moments like this. Grown adults scrambling around, getting completely offended over something that's got no logical reason to offend you. If you've seen the play, you know the piece she's talking about, and the whole point of it is to make the audience face up to the irrational fear caused by the sound of the word and realize how silly they're being.

Something so simple and yet so hard for so many people to understand: A word's meaning derives from its context. So many people want so badly for the sound of words to have this magical power, like there's something inherent about the sound [kuhnt] that should give offense. Do we blanch to hear someone say "country", even though that sound is in there? No. It's hard for me to respect taboos about words.

Calling someone a cunt is pretty offensive, but again, that's based on context. This was about the least offensive use of the word imaginable. I can't help but think that the fact that irrationality so easily wins this round is just a symptom of a greater sickness of our society (maybe all societies, to be fair)--this epidemic of having rules that are inexplicable but must be followed, leading people to base their morality more on T-crossing and I-dotting rather than actually developing a philosophy that makes sense. Which then leads people to think rules are less about right and wrong than about getting caught or not. If you think about it, a lot of social problems can be traced back to this conundrum.

Amanda Marcotte co-writes the popular blog Pandagon.

 
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