back to article Jane Fonda c-word slip shocks US

Middle America is none to pleased with veteran thespiatrix Jane Fonda who yesterday entertained viewers of NBC's Today show with "a four-letter word for female genitalia". Host Meredith Vieira had asked Fonda about her appearence in stage play The Vagina Monologues, which contains a section entitled "Cunt". In her answer, the …

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Cock, wank, piss, shit...

Seriously, in a country that creates some of the most violent films, the most porn, and wages the most war, how is swearing such a bad thing??

It's bloody bonkers - there was something about CSI getting screwed for showing a buttock after 9pm or something, it's fucking ridiculous.

You know what happens when you stop people from seeing/doing things?? You add mystique and glorification to them...

America - the worlds most hypocritical prude...

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Coat

Holy Belgium!!

All this over a reference to a section in an extemely popular work of art.

Man, I hope they never try to show some of the more explicit Roman Fresco's on American TV.

What...you mean sex has been going on throughout history? Surely not!

I don't need it, I've got a towel!

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Missing the point

Another 'outrage' that demonstrates that no one knows what they are talking about. Anybody with even a cursory knowledge of The Vagina Monologues would understand the whole point of Jane Fonda actually saying the word.

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Trumps

This is the top trump if you ever are unfortunate to argue with an American. For laughs drop it in to day to day conversation when there's one about.

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Unhappy

America - get your priorities right!

Good to see America ensuring it has it's priorities right.

Saying C*** - wrong

Saying F*** - wrong

Using waterboarding and similar techniques of torture - That's OK !!!

Showing bare buttocks on TV - wrong

Making millions in internet porn - that's OK

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Anonymous Coward

You can shoot someone in the head.

Hell, you can shoot 50 people in the head. In close-up, technicolour, multiple-replay-from-different-angles. But don't say 'cunt'.

Team America, Fuck Yeah! (Can we have an icon for this, please?)

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Heart

Rude?

When I was working in Niddrie, one of the local youths (hired so we got local grants) once used the endearing term "Ya cuntin' cunt" at me. It was used as a compliment, as is the way in the schemes, and he didn't get sacked for it. I suspect he will never find work in broadcasting, which is just as well as no-one could make out most of what he was saying. Mubbers, we salute you.

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Alert

So there, she said it

Weird people, Americans. The said "millions of families" don't get horribly offended when the inbred jackasses shoot their own classmates, they're not shocked when their army inflicts democracy on other countries and when these same families use and discard most of world's irreplacable resources. But one mention of female genitalia, taken out of context and the end is nigh... Does it make them feel better about themselves, does it help them to feel like a superior nation that alone is responsible for preserving the morality in this world?

It's hard being perfect, I know - all these other imperfect people annoy you all the time.

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Alert

How to shock Americans

There are two failsafe ways to shock our American cousins:

1. Use the "c" word.

2. Tell them how much fuel (gas) costs over here!

What a bunch of fannies (cunts)

:O)

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Anonymous Coward

Title

It is a pity that 'even in this day & age' folk get uptight about certain sounds/words. If they didn't make a fuss, there wouldn't be anything to fuss about. Oh well, maybe one day they'll have left that in the past.

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OVERREACTION

I can't put it any more plainly than that. Seriously, folks, it's fine to go on about protecting the children ("Won't somebody think of the children!") but get a grip. It happens. No need to blow it completely out of proportion, especially since she wasn't even swearing - she was referring to the title of an act!

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Let me see now....

Cunt cunt cunt cunt.

Errr.... no. I don't feel offended by that. Let me try a bit harder....

Cunt cunt cunt cunt cunt CUNT!!!!!!

Nnnnnnnnnno... I still don't feel offended....

CUNT CUNT Fuck, Bollocks!!!!!!.....

....oh forget it! Look - it's not offensive. It's a word. That's all. It's not a personal attack on someone or some group of people. It's not a sleight on someone's hamster or goldfish. It's just a word. It's not "offensive".

I can't think of a single thing in my life (except maybe personal insults, but even there, I'm not bothered) that I have found "offensive". I would love to know what people actually feel when they say they are "offended". Being offended is very fashionable these days, and it's obviously pretty good because a lot of people seem to go out of their way to feel it, and I wouldn't want to think I was missing out.

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Publicity stunt

Fonda knew perfectly well that you don't say 'c---' on morning television, and it's not a word that just slips out unless you're angry, which she wasn't. Her use of the word was a calculated publicity stunt.

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Paris Hilton

Get over yourselves

If she had used it to refer to someone else and as an offensive remark, I could understand; but she was referring to a part of a play.

I agree the word can be taken to be offensive in any setting (God knows why), but there was an apology - let's all move on!

Why is it the USA is so protective of anything offensive on TV, but they're fine with it absolutely everywhere else? (Where "fine" means that they dislike it, but let it pass)

Paris, because she's offensive to our intelligence

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Anonymous Coward

A little hypocritical perhaps?

This coming from a country that broadcasts adverts for viagra and penis enlargement pills at 9am?

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Happy

PTC

I do hope that the PTC members provide their children with earplugs when they go out into the street...

btw Caprice said the same word on UK TV (I think it was on the appalling GMTV, the most offensive program on terrestrial TV) when she was promoting her role in the same "play", perhaps it's in the actresses contracts that they must say the word on TV at every opportunity.

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The power of the word...

I've never understood this... cunt and twat mean the same thing... however why is one seen as being the more offensive?

Surely all swear words should be placed in the same category 'offensive'... at the end of the day the offensiveness of a word is simply based upon popular usage.

It's the same with shit and crap... crap is seen as the less offensive version, but they mean the same thing! I don't quite understand the logic or the whole uproar regarding this.

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Flame

a never ending source of entertainment

You have to love the Americans. A four letter expletive or an exposed nipple will provoke a shit storm of outrage however rampant capitalist exploitation, erosion of civil liberties, blatant corruption and Orwellian oppression all commited openly and in full public view is willingly accepted.

Wake up America. There is so much wrong with your society and in all honesty four letter words are the least of your problems.

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Paris Hilton

"This programme has warped my fragile little mind ..."

Just mentioned this to a work colleague and apparently a friend of his performed the relevant section of the Vagina Monologues when she was at University. Obviously NBC didn't show clips as (apparently) the 'Cunt' section ends with the audience chanting the c-word at the tops of their voices.

And this is from the same country that brought us 'South Park' and 'Team America: World Police'.

To quote Cartman in the SP movie: "Fuck fuckity fuck fuck fuck"

That's better.

Paris, because she's evidently what the Merkins call 'culture'

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Unhappy

Its a nation of 3-year olds

Mummy mummy, the lady on the telly said a bad word.

Grow up America.

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Paris Hilton

Brilliant

The whole idea of the Vagina Monologues is to make people feel stupid for being scared of words like "cunt". Of course, she knew exactly what she was saying. Anyone who knows anything about the monologues will realise that.

Paris icon because, well... y'know...

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Gates Horns

Stupid Americans.

I'm an American, I find nothing wrong with the word, as a matter of fact I use it quite often, it's a fairly humorous word. The thing is, you have all these prudish up-tight upper class families, who don't beat their children, the sort you see on the Nanny shows, that cringe at the mention of a fart. They're so hoity-toity that even a natural process offends them, it's ridiculously absurd! I actually wished I could've seen the show, would've brought on a good laugh!

To you lucky Brits, don't be too harsh on the Amis, remember we're simple-minded, righteous folk. =P Believe you me, I hate us just as much! :D

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Paris Hilton

Let me get this right

Using the word "Vagina" over breakfast is OK. But another word that means exactly the same thing is not.

So is this because American children don't understand words with 3 syllables?

Paris, cos she's got one and Bill Gates hasn't.

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How do they know...

...that "millions" of families were upset by the outburst?

Oh, and would someone explain the adverts in the London Underground a few years ago? On one side the escalators were a dozen adverts for "THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES" while on the other side, were a dozen adverts for the DVD release of "PUPPETRY OF THE XXXXX". Since when was "vagina" acceptable and "penis" not?

Bunch of cunts.

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Flame

Stupid Cunts

Why is I can and do use the phrase YAC often and regularly at work and public, when what it means is Ya Cunt!

I even had it added to the urban dictionary, YaC!

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Pirate

RATM

Stuff like this always reminds me of my favorite one-liner from Rage Against The Machine:

"America, land of the free. Whoever told you that is your enemy"

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Anonymous Coward

Publicity cunt

I believe you may be right. Vagina Monlogues has, I believe, a section about reclaiming the word "cunt" from its present debased state. The reasoning goes along the lines of "why should a word for a thing that gives so much pleasure be transformed into one of almost universal insult?".

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Said it before, will say it again

From South Park

"Remember what the MPAA says: Horrific, deplorable violence is ok as long as nobody says any naughty words!"

It was true then, its still true now. Its BONKERS.

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Ru

Publicity stunt

Spleen, I'll point you towards Graham Newton's post up at the top there. The word didn't just 'slip out', it was the title of a part of the play she had worked in, which was the subject of the interview.

Perhaps the network should have reconsidered airing the subject of the 'vagina monologues' at that time in the first place?

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Question...

Out of interest, what are they doing over there with "Atonement"? You never get to hear the word, but it's written down. Do they blank it out? Or have they just given it a XXX certificate and forbidden anybody under the age of 90 to see it?

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Dead Vulture

Christian Taliban

Let us not forget that the original migrants (yes I know, pedants stay away) to the US were the Puritans fleeing religious persecution/looking for their own Afghanistan. If they weren't the living embodiment of the Christian wing of the Taliban, then I don't know who was.

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Silver badge

Regarding protecting kids ....

I would far rather my kids find legal, non-violent, consenting sex scenes on the web or TV (I really would not see a problem with that) than much of the realy obscene violence Americans take in their stride. In fact, even the A-teams almost cartoon violence which suggests that you can empty a clip of an AK-47 on a truck full of bad guys and nobody gets hurt is more questionable for kids than sex scenes. If the kids are really young, they simply think these grown-ups are behaving in a silly way. If they are old enough to be interested, they will find the stuff anyway, so at least let it be legal, non-violent, consenting sex.

Hypocrisy indeed

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@Simon Ward

I think you'll find South Park and Team America are Canadian in origin. Not American.

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Hardly surprising

in a country where you can lose your job for using the word "niggardly".

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Bunch of cunts.

HAHAHA!

Its ok to do gods work and torture and shoot brown people in the head, steal their land, money, prospects, and glamorize it on tv with a good 'ol stars and stripes waving in the background, but as soon as you tread on one of their hypocritical taboos, then bam, the inbred tractor driving middle-american army declare it a war.

bunch of cunts (and no im not referring to part of a play or work of art).

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Paris Hilton

Does anyone else think this is ridiculous?

What the FUCK?

To be honest, if someone had called someone else a cunt, that's straight up offensive. If they use it, as the title of a play or scene or act or anything else, it's fair use.

Do the people at this stupid "Parenting Company" go to art galleries and try and shut down the nude exhibits? Then again, it was in the U.S. after all and we all know they're complete fools....

Paris - because this article is as foolish as she.

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Re: Ru

It's irrelevant that it's part of the play. You shouldn't say 'c---' on morning television - I agree that America has a warped attitude towards swearing, but using the word before the watershed goes too far the other way. "It's just a word" is also a warped attitude - nothing is just a word. If "beer" was just a word I would have great difficulty getting what I wanted in a pub. "Beer" carries a meaning, which is "hop-based alcoholic beverage", and "c---" carries a meaning, which is "extremely derogatory reference to woman's genitalia".

Jane Fonda is an intelligent woman and was perfectly capable of speaking around the word, or substituting something. She chose not to.

(In case you're wondering why I self-censor, it's because it's an extremely unpleasant word and I only use extremely unpleasant words when something extremely unpleasant has happened. It's not for any kiddies who might read this, it's for myself - I feel extremely uncomfortable speaking the word out loud, or having it stare back at me from something I wrote, unless there's good reason for it. Besides, overusing a swearword takes away its impact. Since everyone is quoting South Park, there was an episode pointing that out as well a few series ago.)

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Boffin

@Rich

http://imdb.com/name/nm0005295/ - Trey Parker

http://imdb.com/name/nm0001778/ - Matt Stone

I think you'll find that both of the above are from the United States......not Canada. Perhaps checking your information before spouting off might be a good idea?

Perhaps this is an attempt to pass off someone you find distasteful as Canadian as the reverse of the usual attempts to claim anything popular which is Canadian in origin as "American"

Given that I used to live in Canada I agree with the sentiment that its rather presumptuous of the English speaking world to refer to citizens of the United States as "Americans" given that Canadians, Mexicans etc all count as "Americans" by virtue of the continent they live on.

Though United Statesian doesn't quite roll off the tongue as easily.

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Alert

Blame Canada?

"I think you'll find South Park and Team America are Canadian in origin. Not American."

Trey and Matt are both Americans, what the hell are you on about?

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See "Kurt"

He speaks the truth.

I enjoy mocking America as much as the next guy. The thing is every American I've actually met rather than seen on TV has been amongst the most lovely and down to earth people I've had the privilege to meet.

I guess it's the same the world over - there are plenty of sane people out there, but it's the nutters and spanners that end in Big Brother/Government/the Daily Mail letters page.

This particular incident smacks of publicity, and anyone that fell for it and went into wailing/sack cloth and ashes mode should be beaten with a rubber hose. Then removed from the voting lists.

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And let's not forget baseball

I'm still wondering why my government is so concerned about drug use by baseball players instead of the two wars we're involved with in the Middle East. I don't care if some overpaid player is using growth hormone because it's only a GAME... War on, the other hand, causes DEATH and is a waste of RESOURCES.

Even the illegal wire-tapping litigation is more important than what Jane Fonda said. What I don't understand, is why these people have their t.v.'s on in the first place when it's a given that something offensive is eventually going to rear it's ugly head. Maybe they should just remove their t.v.'s from their homes OR hot-glue the channel changer to one of their religious stations, to be safe. Are they that detached from the role of parent that they can't tell their children, "No t.v.".

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@Spleen

"I feel extremely uncomfortable speaking the word out loud, or having it stare back at me from something I wrote"

Then you're a daft cunt.

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Curb your Enthusiasm

I'm reminded of that scene where Larry David casually calls the guy a cunt for having a great poker hand.

Cue shocked faces, a man crying, a request to leave, and the crying man having to take time off sick from work from shock.

Oh America....

You can be fired for saying that over there? I can't work there then, i'd last about 5 minutes.

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Re: "Ru" by Spleen

"If 'beer' was just a word I would have great difficulty getting what I wanted in a pub"

But 'beer' IS just a word. Yes it has meaning. That's what words are for! No point having words if they don't have meaning, except maybe in a comedy sketch.

As for "...extremely derogatory reference to woman's genitalia"

It's only derogatory because you decide that it is. In your own head! As has been pointed out, "cunt" has been somewhat hijacked in the English language, in the same way as "gay" has been hijacked to refer to someone of a homosexual persuasion. As has been pointed out, one of the points of the play is to point this out and to reclaim the word. Check out Germaine Greer's thoughts on this. I'm not holding her up as the bastion of feminist thinking, but she objects strongly to the word "vagina"; derived from the Greek (or is it Latin? - sorry you'll have to check if you're interested) meaning "vessel". I don't want to misquote her, so check for yourself, but it's this meaning of "vagina" that she finds offensive (against her feminist views) and so believes it should not be used. She is on record as saying she much prefers "cunt" as it is a more correct and none-derogatory word.

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@ Spleen

Respect the cock! And tame the cunt! Tame it! Take it on headfirst with the skills that I will teach you at work and say no! You will not control me! No! You will not take my soul! No! You will not win this game! Because it's a game, guys. You want to think it's not, huh? You want to think it's not? Go back to the schoolyard and you have that crush on big-titted Mary Jane. Respect the cock. You are embedding this thought. I am the one who's in charge. I am the one who says yes! No! Now! Here! Because it's universal, man. It is evolutional. It is anthropological. It is biological. It is animal. We... are... men!

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Paris Hilton

America is such a custard....

... halfway between a cunt and a bastard

Paris... cos she's got one.

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@Spleen

"Besides, overusing a swearword takes away its impact."

Well, quite. So write out "cunt" a thousand times and it will NEVER...BOTHER...YOU...AGAIN...

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Flame

*Sigh* Not again!!!

This happens every time TVM is playing somewhere... Some actress comes on a chat show and mentions the title of the section she's in... What is it? Reclaiming the Cunt?

OF COURSE IT'S GOING TO BE SAID! GET USED TO IT OR BLEEP IT OUT!!!

Besides anything else, the people performing in the show are totally desensitised by now, so just live with it and stop being so bloody prude!

Pah!

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Anonymous Cunt

This reminds me of a George Carlin routine:

'There are 400,000 words in the English language and there are 7

of them you can't say on television. "Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, CockSucker, MotherFucker, and Tits" Those are the heavy seven.'

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Go

I'm an American, but live in Germany..

I love the way Europeans treat sex and profanity, as natural, and not something to be ashamed of. Words are representations of actions or emotions, if I'm angry and yell darn it or whatever equally absurd replacement, I am really yelling fuck anyway. Who decided what words are profane anyway, I missed that meeting, if I had been there, I would have chosen darn it as profane, then everyone would walk around saying fuck.

What kids are watching TV at 9:00am anyway, any child that would know what that word meant anyway would be in school long before 9:00am. Also whoever was letting their kids watch a show about vaginas shouldn’t be too surprised that cunt was said, I mean really, they need to get a life, and let it go. “Well honey a cunt is another word for vagina, but it’s not normally used in conversations, because some people find it offensive.” Wow, that was hard to handle wasn’t it? It’s called parenting, they should try it sometime.

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