Leighton Smith on Marama Davidson’s wish to reclaim c*nt

Marama ‘ C**t Davidson co-leader of the Greens

Leighton Smith was all fired up over Marama Davidson’s desire to reclaim the word c*nt: Quote:

There was a story on TV last night about the most objectionable word on the broadcasting control list.

We are issued with lists of words that are unacceptable, that if I used, any of the top four or five, certainly, I would be taken off air and correctly and I might not finish the year, just don’t know. That’s how unacceptable these words are.

All be it, that this particular word, the one that has been at the top of the list for a long time, has dropped from I think 73 per cent unacceptability to something like 60, it dropped a few points.

Now the story was there because the Green Party co-leader,?Marama Davidson, says New Zealand must reclaim this word.

What does she mean, I’m not interested in her opinion.

I could say something right here that might get me into a bit of trouble. How on earth she got elected as the deputy leader of the Green Party is beyond me, well it’s not really because it’s a reflection on the Green Party itself.
Enough said.? End quote.

I too found it strange but for a different reason.

We hear constantly about Maori being upset that someone or other is partaking in “cultural appropriation“, usually for profit, but often times just because.

What we have here now is an attempt by a Maori wahine, to claim back the word c*nt. Who would have thought we’d ever hear a Maori wahine want to claim a word from Middle English that is derived from Germanic and Scandinavian words and was first used in 1230AD: Quote:

Cunt?has been attested in its anatomical meaning since at least the 13th century. While?Francis Grose’s 1785?A Classical Dictionary of The Vulgar Tongue?listed the word as “C**T: a nasty name for a nasty thing”,?it did not appear in any major English dictionary from 1795 to 1961, when it was included in?Webster’s Third New International Dictionary?with the comment “usu. considered obscene”. Its first appearance in the?Oxford English Dictionary?was in 1972, which cites the word as having been in use from 1230 in what was supposedly a London street name of “Gropecunte Lane”. It was, however, also used before 1230, having been brought over by the?Anglo-Saxons, originally not an?obscenity?but rather an ordinary name for the vulva or vagina.?Gropecunt Lane?was originally a street of prostitution, a?red light district. It was normal in the?Middle Ages?for streets to be named after the goods available for sale therein, hence the prevalence in cities having a medieval history of names such as “Silver Street” and “Fish Street.” In some locations, the former name has been?bowdlerised, as in the City of York, to the more acceptable “Grape Lane.”? End quote.

Further the etymology of the word make it rather strange that a Maori wahine would want to claim such a word: Quote:

The etymology of?cunt?is a matter of debate,?but most sources consider the word to have derived from a?Germanic?word (Proto-Germanic?*kunt?,?stem?*kunt?n-), which appeared as?kunta?in?Old Norse. Scholars are uncertain of the origin of the Proto-Germanic form itself.[7]?There are?cognates?in most Germanic languages, such as the Swedish,?Faroese?and?Nynorsk?kunta;?West Frisian?and?Middle Low German?kunte;?Middle Dutch?conte; Dutch?kut?and?kont;?Middle Low German?kutte;?Middle High German?kotze?(“prostitute“); German?kott, and perhaps?Old English?cot. The?etymology?of the Proto-Germanic term is disputed. It may have arisen by?Grimm’s law?operating on the?Proto-Indo-European?root?*gen/gon?”create, become” seen in?gonads,?genital,?gamete,?genetics,?gene, or the Proto-Indo-European root?*g?neh?/guneh??”woman” (Greek:?gun?, seen in?gynaecology). Relationships to similar-sounding words such as the?Latin?cunnus?(“vulva“), and its derivatives French?con, Spanish?co?o, and Portuguese?cona, or in?Persian?kun?(???), have not been conclusively demonstrated. Other Latin words related to?cunnus?are?cuneus?(“wedge“) and its derivative?cun?re?(“to fasten with a wedge“, (figurative) “to squeeze in“), leading to English words such as?cuneiform?(“wedge-shaped“). In?Middle English,?cunt?appeared with many spellings, such as?coynte,?cunte?and?queynte, which did not always reflect the actual?pronunciation?of the word. End quote.

So, media aren’t allowed to use the word, as Leighton Smith points out, but Marama Davidson wants to claim the word back…from where exactly? Will she try a Treaty claim for the word? It would seem forlorn since if derives from Germanic and Scandinavian words…or indeed Latin, all of which are somewhat older than Maori “civilisation”.

It seems to me that Marama Davidson seems guilty of cultural appropriation.