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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  1. Tony Barnes

    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...

  2. bobbles31
    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!

  3. Graham Newton

    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.

  4. MarmiteToast
    Thumb Up

    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.

  5. Old Geezer
    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

  6. Anonymous Coward
    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?)

  7. Jared Earle
    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.

  8. kasparator
    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.

  9. Andy
    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)

  10. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    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!

  12. Rich

    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.

  13. Spleen

    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.

  14. Ian Yates
    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

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A little hypocritical perhaps?

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

  16. Alan Gregson
    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.

  17. James Brash
    Thumb Down

    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.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  19. Simon Ward
    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'

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Its a nation of 3-year olds

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

    Grow up America.

  21. Ryan Bass
    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...

  22. Kurt
    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

  23. spiny norman
    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.

  24. Iain Purdie

    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.

  25. Babylon Whore
    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!

  26. Peter D'Hoye
    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"

  27. Anonymous Coward
    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?".

  28. Adam West

    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.

  29. 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?

  30. Neil Hoskins

    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?

  31. Matthew
    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.

  32. Michael H.F. Wilkinson 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

  33. Rich

    @Simon Ward

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

  34. Niall

    Hardly surprising

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

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    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).

  36. Jason Croghan
    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.

  37. Spleen

    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.)

  38. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  39. Frank Bough
    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?

  40. Ross

    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.

  41. Eric Crippen

    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.".

  42. The Other Steve

    @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.

  43. Joe K
    Thumb Down

    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.

  44. Rich

    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.

  45. Ian Hunter

    @ 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!

  46. Henry Hughes
    Paris Hilton

    America is such a custard....

    ... halfway between a cunt and a bastard

    Paris... cos she's got one.

  47. Colin Jackson
    Thumb Down

    @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...

  48. Pete Mallam
    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!

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    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.'

  50. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  51. Kevin Kitchen
    Alert

    Context...

    Some of these bodies set up protect us from TV are out of their minds.

    In the context of the conversation this word is perfectly acceptable.

    The word c*nt, is just a word. It is fine to be angry about it when used an an expletive, but when used in the correct context, as in Jane Fonda's case, then I see no reason to pursue this matter any further.

    Personally I think NBC should retract their apology and tell The Parents Television Council to go f*ck themselves.

    Peace.

  52. Peter Gathercole Silver badge
    Alert

    Not just americans

    The BBC has a ban on it. I remember listening to Front Row on Radio 4 one evening at about 21:30, and there was a woman artist describing a live art work that involved a woman sitting with her legs open with little clothing, and the artist used the word (sorry, I'm not afraid of the word, I'm just posting through a content screen which may identify the word and take action) to describe aspects of the work, and Mark Lawson nearly tripped over himself with a repremand to the guest and an apology to the listeners.

    Laughed, I could have crashed the car!!

    I think that there were a number of audience complaints recieved by the BBC.

  53. Omar Marquez
    Coat

    Brits are cunts themselves...

    From the British knee-jerk reactions on here and in "real life" here in the UK, I can testify that you Brits need to stop being such hypocritical cunts yourselves...

    I hate to break it to you, but as a Mexican-American Yank living in the UK (8 years now) I can tell you that you folks aren't much better than the Americans vis-à-vis hypocrisy... you've got plenty of your own pedophiles, racists, murderers, wackjobs, and even laugh at the US for things like Puritanism on drink, yet you have your own big problems with binge drinking here in the UK (see any Friday night in the UK, the puddles of vomit!) You even have your own vigilantes whenever a suspected child molester on parole moves into a neighborhood, yet apparently usually end up beating up innocent people...

    *rolls eyes* To add to it, need I remind you of how popular white trash culture is here in the UK? (Big Brother, Jeremy Kyle, the Mirror, Bling Bling, etc...)? So from my experience, the only real difference between a Yank and a Limey is the lack of guns... and I've seen that you Brits certainly don't need guns to be vindictive, violent, drunk, uncouth, trash...

    I'll get my coat...

  54. Hugh Jorgan
    Boffin

    You'd thinks Brits would be able to understand Yanks

    Afterall, the Brits have done virtually everything the US has done - torture suspects, violate human rights, censorship, etc. etc. It's typical of people with inferiority problems to constantly put down others that do not seem similarly afflicted.

  55. JuanMa
    Thumb Up

    When in Rome do....

    ... as the Romans do? OK. I'm from Madrid and I've always been very careful with the words when speaking with native english speakers. You can't say this. You can't say that... Don't forget!.... In Spain we call names each other all the time and nobody cares, except when driving a car. In a car almost anything can be a casus belli, but that's the exception...

    But I've seen so many heated reactions here that I don't know what to think... Hey! What do the Romans do really?

  56. multipharious
    Heart

    Anyone who doesn't think cunt is offensive...

    ...hasn't learned to use it properly...

    Seriously: Overuse in the UK has watered down its delivery impact. Earlier comment regarding the mystifcation is dead on. Perfect example in Euro progressive reverse: in Germany you can wave your hands at someone which means "Fuck You Dumbass!" but give them the finger and they will write down your license plate and call the cops...for a 1500 Euro ticket which I seem to have slippery shoulders enough to avoid. But you know something, I don't do it often but there is nothing like giving someone the middle finger and then the sight of them freaking and gesticulating in their car when I flip them off for being a total dick in traffic.

    Mission accomplished.

  57. Theresa Jayne Forster

    The real problem

    The problem here is she quoted the Written title of a section of the Vagina Monologues that she was performing.

    in that context it was not being used as an expletive at all,

    Far from it, and for them to jump on her for its use is a contravention of the 1st amendment.

    Maybe i should become a top Bestselling author and name all my books after common swear words, I would shock them on TV when i announce my next best seller is called <deleted for expletives>

    <shrug>

    Theresa

  58. Richard Scratcher
    Coat

    The Today show should be praised....

    Okay, so they slipped up this once. But just think about the huge number of programmes they've successfully aired featuring George Bush, without anyone using the C word.

    I'll get my c**t

  59. Eduard Coli
    Thumb Down

    Hanoi Jane rides again

    Jane "C-Word" Fonda ought to go back to dropping acid or snorting coke or whatever it is that bored treasonous rich pseudo-actresses do when they are not trying to soak the public.

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Missing the point here...

    America has 300m+ citizens. We don't all move in perfect lockstep when some puritan asshole decides that our TV has become too risque, yet again. In fact, it's pretty hard to make 300m people move in lockstep for almost anything.

    Yes, the nanny brigade is in full force here, but that doesn't mean we all agree with them. In fact, I'd wager they get even more hate mail than your average American.

    Besides, didn't I just read something about how your own UK nanny brigade would prefer if video games not be set in famous London landmarks?

    Yes, it is unconscionable for the government, and their quasi-private "concerned parent" groups, to enforce censorship when the vast majority of the American public finds it distasteful and unconstitutional.

    So, speaking of that, what's the BBC and ITV's policies? Could I appear on a morning show there and say, "All you cunts who can't take my language should just change the fucking dial." Would there *really* be no fascist nannies in all of the UK, rushing to defend the delicate children?

    At least the US *has* a constitution. It'll get sorted out someday.

  61. Someone

    The Mundane

    To perform any work on stage with any degree of competency, you’re going to have to be well acquainted with its entirety. I’m sure the c-word came out in a matter-of-fact way. With a more El Reg-focus, you get the same effect with technical words. What starts off strange, alien, bizarre soon becomes ordinary, mundane. And, as has already been pointed out, that is the whole purpose of that section of the play. In the time between performances, Ms Fonda could well spend a lot of it with cunt on the tip of her tongue.

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No free titillation for you, America!

    "Showing bare buttocks on TV - wrong

    Making millions in internet porn - that's OK"

    Porn Industry Lobbyists: We can't allow the TV-watching masses to get free T&A now, can we? If they want naked flesh they should be PAYING US to see it, not getting it gratis during the half-time show.

    "Of course we teach freedom of speech, but say as we say and not what we preach." - Stiff Little Fingers "Can't Say Crap on the Radio".

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fanny pack/bag

    What sort of a country can use an expletive to describe a bag then get upset at the use of a different word for the same part of the body? Double standards if you ask me.

  64. John Cobb
    Paris Hilton

    TNA

    Not all Americans have a problem with nudity or profanity, just the most vocal ones.

    Personally, I'm very fond of both nipples and cunts. Love to talk about them, see them, and ideally make contact with them.

    PH because she's shown both.

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    I'm going to let you in on a shocker

    Words are not the same in the US. Connotations are different. In the UK, the word is a mild expletive. In the US, if I said that to my wife, I'd probably wind up in divorce court. Seriously. There's probably not a judge in the US that wouldn't view it as over the top abuse.

    What of it? Is there any reason we should march in lock step with your interpretation of words? Is there any reason you should march in lock step with our usage? I think that for all the hyperbole about it, that it makes a mountain out of a molehill -- Jane Fonda is to the American Left what Ann Coulter is to the American Right. Potty mouths and such, just out to grab headlines.

    However, since the FCC deals with infractions like this in $$, you can expect NBC to be mad about it -- her sleazy gain of a few thousand $$ in publicity will cost them in the millions. Well they should squeal.

    If you think "that's nuts, you can say what you want on the air". I say bullshit. The airwaves are public property, and subject to legislation about what can and cannot be said. If you don't like the laws, stop your bitching and change them.

    Personally, I'm happy about what just happened. There is no conceivable reason that we should have to let our society descend to the lowest common denominator at max speed. A media whore like Jane, with a long, traitorous career of pandering to publicity really deserves a large glass of shut the fuck up. You want to curse, or show body parts, that's what the Internet's for. NBC should have known what they were getting into. The woman is nothing but trash, and the play is just lesbian paedophilic porn.

    My advice is, stop getting pompous about it and enjoy the free show. This is unscripted reality TV at its finest. That, and if you're dealing with Yanks, watch out for that particular word. It will get you more than you bargained for.

  66. alphaxion

    re:

    well.. if you notice, all of the "profane" words are related to genitalia or bodily functions.

    We really need to get over this stupid hangup (both brits and ussies, well if I'm not allowed to call them americans then ussie seems to fit the template when you look at those from australia, remember not all of those from the usa are yankees either.. bit like saying someone from the nederlands is from holland!).

    I use so called profanity as a kind of verbal dressing to my sentences in order to get across my feelings - "you fucking goat felcher" gets across anger and actually fells better (since you have words to vent your feelings into) than simply saying "you ignoramus".

    People need to learn that it's the sentiment behind the words that are important, not the words themselves because words can have their meanings changed, the emotion and the sentiment when used don't.

  67. JesusJason
    Thumb Up

    Eh!! She said what?

    In my office the 'C' word can only be used on a Friday, a sort of rationing to keep it's Gravitas. I love all the fuss, it's just a shame she didn't have a "Costume Malfuntion" and showed her own at the same time, the GILF lovers would of shown their support for her then (a sort of Karma, Yin Yang thing to balance things out).

    BTW Omar, the phrase for "pools of vomit" is affectionately known as "Pavement Pizza" in the 24hour drinking, decriminilised drug using, happy slapping, chav culture, of this once great nation. I dodge them mostly on a Monday morning on my way to work.

  68. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    A couple of observations

    @Theresa Jayne Forster: Spot on: it's the distinction between using a word and mentioning the word. One is culpable, the other isn't.

    One of the problems, though, is that there is no friendly, cuddly word for that beautiful part of the female body. We blokes have willies, todgers or whatever, but ladies have either a latin anatomical term (scabbard in English) or a term of abuse. (And not 'front bottom', either because that devalues its beauty and amazing function)

    So - perhaps a new word is needed as the pet name for the lady's secret bit. Any offers?

    (Paris despite the fact that hers isn't secret - far from it)

  69. jcipale
    Paris Hilton

    Please remember...

    Not ALL of us Americans agree with what our phustercluck resident in cheif views as his 'policy'

    Not ALL of us Americans are puritancal jackasses

    Most INTELLIGENT Americans (and yes, there ARE damned few of us) agree that a play is a play and not apersonal attack

    Most INTELLIGENT Americans (even the Christian/Spiritual ones) have little or no regard for the Evangelical bastards who spout crap and nonsense.

    And YES, we tend to have a hypocritical society. But some of us are trying our damnedest to change it.

    ANd Paris gets it becuase... well she is more exciting to most of the dolts who inhabit this country than the War in Darfur, the War on Terror, Gas prices, the mortgage implosion,,,

  70. rachel
    Flame

    Not all Americans Agree with the idiots in the Parents' Council

    For Jane Fonda to use any other word to describe that part of the Vagina Monologues would be contrary to the intent of said monologues. The Parents' Council is obvious filled with the same idiots that want to ban anything they find offensive from library and classroom shelves. I'm a US citizan who disagrees with this wholeheartedly. To ban the word only encourages children to find the word 'nawty' and to increase their usage of the Cunt as derogratory. This goes against everything that the Vagina Monologues stand for.

  71. Crash Override
    Pirate

    freedom of speech

    So, the Americans promote freedom of speech except when it comes to the word Cunt. Any fine levied should be refuted as being unconstitutional

  72. Chris Matchett
    Alert

    I want to offend all of you!

    There I'll bet you're scared of me now

  73. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    re: The real problem:

    "..a contravention of the 1st amendment" -- apparently, the freedom of speech is now to be invoked to protect an overpaid and overhyped has-been's vulgar references to body parts, as opposed to concepts like ideas and freedoms on the justification that it is in a book or play somewhere. I'm sure I'd get real far using words like that at work, and HR would be real impressed that I read it in a book somewhere. They'll probably even be generous and give me plenty of free time to read that book.

    Let me straighten you out here -- there are places where vulgar language is appropriate, and places where it is not. On national TV, by agreement of the people and the FCC, it is not. Even if you read it in a book. They're my airwaves as much as they're yours, and we're all supposed to agree upon what is acceptable. Just try to get the FCC to change their position on that. It ain't likely as they got pushed into that role because people were unhappy with the language on the airwaves. Save the first amendment for when it is not about the interests of vulgarity and stupidity. Don't get on me about how this is an erosion of a basic right -- the erosion began when Janey decided she'd get some free publicity at the expense of the network.

    Jane Fonda -- giving a half-million Vietnam Vets a place to spit for over 40 years! It's all freedom of speech! They read about it in a book somewhere, so it must be OK!

    PH, because she has a lot more class than that.

  74. kain preacher Silver badge

    Get it straight

    THis not Americans as whole doing this but a small sect in the FCC that has absolute power. its about 5 people that have the power to tell the rest what they can and can not see and hear.

  75. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    dah dah

    At least its useful

  76. Lance Burpee

    They're ALWAYS "offended" by SOMETHING!

    people should just get over it, and stop being "offended" by every frigging little thing,..it

    slipped out -they apologized, get over it,.. more important things in the

    world to be outraged about, than mamby pamby shit like this. These people always

    being "offended" by something,.. This from a nation stupid enough to listen to, and totally believe, morons like Rush Limbaugh("Thrash Windbag"), Micheal Savage(and his Cabbage Nation!), Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Howie Carr, and the rest of those douche-bags.

    The more people get pissed off at Jane Fonda, the better i like her,..she's

    been 'scapegoated' by the Religious Right("relidgiots") for years - i'm tired of hearing about it,..

    i love that word,....it's sexy , AND it's powerful..

    C U N T !

  77. Graham Marsden
    Thumb Down

    The Parents Television Council...

    ... 'describes itself as "the nation’s most influential advocacy organisation protecting children against sex, violence, and profanity in entertainment"'

    In other words, a bunch of narrow-minded, puritanical, interfering prod-noses who think that anything they don't like is, ipso facto, unacceptable.

    The same sort of people who forced the writers of Grey's Anatomy to stop using the medically entirely valid word "vagina" in their stories and replace it with the childish "va-jay-jay"!

    What a bunch of cunts!

  78. Ishkandar
    Flame

    Americans

    @Mike JVX - No mate. You are a Canuckistani and those South of the (US) border/Great Wall of America are greasers and US citizens are usually, with notable exceptions, stupid !!

  79. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    re: A couple of observations

    "Cooze", just like the thing that you put your beer in to keep it cold is called a "coozie".

  80. DV Henkel-Wallace
    Boffin

    dearie me

    That sad monologue is all about the vulva. I guess they were afraid to say that word on stage.

  81. P. Lee Silver badge
    Alert

    Utterly missing the point

    Isn't the reason the word is seen as derogatory because its used in a derogatory fashion?

    Words are symbols to convey thoughts. If this word wasn't seen as derogatory then another word would be used, which by context and usage would be derogatory *because that is the intent of the user*. Should it cease to be offensive, offense will be given in another manner.

    Using it as a label for a person is offensive because it implies that the most important part of them (that which gets a mention) is their genitals. Its similar to calling someone a "brain" if they are intelligent, but we tend to value thoughts as being the essence of a person so that is not usually considered offensive.

    Don't blame the censors for being "puritanical", blame those who use the words with the intent to abuse and be offensive. I suspect the Monologues are trying to free women from the intended abuse by normalising the word. Many Europeans and non-native English speakers wonder what the fuss is about - the abusive connotations simply don't exist for them as its just a body-part label. That's why medical terms are usually not banned, but slang and swearing is. Its a rather crude (ahem) attempt to change the nature of the conversation, rather than banning some inherently offensive syllables.

    I'm not a fan of censorship but there is a time and place for everything. I suspect breakfast radio was not the time for the whole discussion, regardless of the specific wording. Some people just don't want to have to talk about the objectification of women via sex with their seven-year-old daughter over cereals. Some parents think that children have enough trouble without burdening them with the injustices of the world or things they would have difficulty understanding.

    There is also a good argument for not having surprising content. Certainly parents can and should switch the radio/tv off if undesirable content is broadcast, but it helps if there is a well-known pattern of content. That's why there is generally a 9pm watershed rather than having porn screened on random schooldays at 4pm. That's on a separate channel, usually with access controls in place. Then everyone knows what to expect and no-ones "rights" are infringed.

    I know the US has an odd attitude to sex, given its penchant for violence. When it comes to "thinking of the children". I (as the parent) am the gatekeeper of entertainment. That typically means every electronic media is banned at home unless proved exceptionally beneficial. That removes the burden of censorship from government influenced by lobby groups and involves me in my children's lives. A win for adult "freedom" and a win for the family as well.

  82. Jack Coupal, Ph.D.
    Happy

    In Trendy Hollywood

    ..an elderly actress needs to do something special to attract attention.

  83. tony trolle
    Coat

    re:twat

    in some places of the UK 'twat' is a light punch or hit; and also a fool or idiot. So you could twat a twat in the twat.

  84. Baruch

    It's not *Americans*, it's just some cunts in the US.

    Calling Americans idiots for the behavior of a few loud knuckleheads is unfair and foolish. No one has a monopoly on stupidity. Many of us here are decent, reasonable people, but unfortunately, we don't control the media.

  85. Jon Tocker

    Hmmmm

    "Banish the use of the four-letter-word

    Whose meanings are never obscure

    The Angles and Saxons, those bawdy old birds

    Were vulgar, obscene and impure

    But cherish the use of the weak-kneed phrase

    That never quite says what you mean

    You had better be known for your hypocrite ways

    Than vulgar, impure or obscene."

    <LENGTHY verses - alluding to (but studiously not mentioning) shit, piss, fart, cunt and fuck - snipped>

    "So banish the words the Elizabeth used

    When she was a queen on her throne

    The modern maid's virtue is easily bruised

    By the four-letter words when used all alone

    Let your morals be loose as an Alderman's vest

    So long as the words that you use are obscure

    Today not the DEEDS but the WORDS are the test

    Of the vulgar, obscene and impure"

    The above was penned by the editor of an American newspaper as a protest against the printing restrictions on certain words.

    For Fuck's sake, Middle America. Stop moaning about SUPPOSEDLY "offensive words" and stop your TRULY offensive wars.

    Brits: get off your moral High Horses - you have just as rigid restrictions on certain words being broadcast at certain times and you were also part of GWB's "Coallition of The Willing [to Invade a Sovereign Nation and Murder its Populace]".

    There are things out there that are a lot more obscene than words can ever be - "cunt" was a perfectly acceptable word for that part of the female anatomy until those filthy French river pirates killed the Saxon King (Alfred) and decreed that all Saxon words were vulgar and French was the only "civilised" language. In due course, "English" reasserted itself but retained a lot of French words and this stupid puritanical distaste for those Saxon words that refer to certain parts of anatomy ("hand" and "foot" were still deemed acceptable) and biological functions.

    Now "cunt" (M.E. "cunte", O.N. "kunta", L. "cunnus" - uncertain meaning, possibly "gash" or "slit") is rejected as "a negative connotation" but "vagina" which means "sheath" or "scabbard" (typical Doctors' arrogance, naming a part of the WOMAN's anatomy based on what MEN use it for!) is not a negative connotation. So, calling it (possibly) a "slit" is unacceptable, but effectively calling it "something to stick my cock in" is acceptable.

    Funny how "Thou shalt not murder" gets a place in the original Ten Commandments these "Moral" people profess to follow while "don't use profane language" is merely one of the thousands of little laws mentioned elsewhere (along with things like "don't eat pig meat" and other biblical laws the "Moral Few" are quite happy to ignore) - yet they're on their high horse about some woman publically quoting a play that happens to use a word that was once (to the Saxons) no more offensive than "hand" or "foot" while their sons and daughters "do God's work" murdering Muslims.

    Murder Muslims - but don't use any "dirty" words while doing it.

    "Hate your next-door neighbor, but don't forget to say Grace" ("Eve of Destruction", Barry McGuire)

  86. Rhys
    Coat

    The london Tube is just as retarded

    No Art thanks...

    http://stuff.co.nz/4402870a4560.html

    Mines the coat with the mayfair mag in the pocket, will someone call a cab for soho please?

  87. Mr Larrington
    Dead Vulture

    Makes me wonder...

    ...what sort of language is used in the typical USAnian school playground.

    (Bangs head repeatedly on desk)

  88. Dr Patrick J R Harkin

    As Flanders and Swan put it...

    Pee po belly bum drawers!

    Ha, America, anything you can do, we can do better!

  89. sack

    Cockney rhyming slang, anyone?

    Can't we simply replace the offending word on TV with rhyming slang.

    I think 'James Blunt' would be a suitable alternative

  90. Juliette Martens

    Think of the children

    I've never understood how children grow into healthy, balanced individuals on account of not hearing swearing on the telly. They'll pick it up at some stage no matter what you do to protect them - and if they don't, that's worse. Imagine a 16 year-old smiling happily at being called "twat" because he's no clue what the word means.

    And for everyone calling Jane Fonda a media whore for saying cunt, go read the fucking Vagina Monologues first.

  91. Mike Rodgers

    "millions of families" were offended???

    "While NBC's apology is helpful, it is not enough – millions of families were indeed offended..." Millions? Really, wow, who made all those phone calls to learn that?

  92. Damian Gabriel Moran
    Happy

    well thanks to The Dangerous Brothers

    we all know that the rudest thing you can say on television is "Bloody Big Jobs" so at least she did not cross that line

  93. Bruce Sinton

    OK for Edwardian

    My usually reliable sources say that in the Edwardian Era (Between Boer War and WW1) the word Cunt was perfectly acceptable but the word damn was NOT.

  94. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    when i were a lad.....

    ... several decades ago, the words 'cunt' and 'fuck' were equally taboo. Now it seems, the former is still Very Bad, while the latter hardly raises eyebrows (in fact it seems to be almost obligatory in contemporary action movies, especially if ones name is Eddie Murphy). I'm not quite sure why the difference...

    Anyway, considering what the Vagina Monologues was All About, why was anybody surprised when Jane used Word Numero Uno? Why hadn't all those upright horrified parents discreetly changed the channel as soon as the subject of Interesting Bits of Anatomy came up? Does it look different if it has a different name pinned on it?

    Talking of which, my suggestion for an alternative euphemism - how about 'pussy'?

    OK, I think I'll go and get my coat now - the nice warm furry one

    (Paris - because she probably has a nice warm furry coat too. In places, anyway).

  95. Jon Tocker

    @ when i were a lad.....

    "Does it look different if it has a different name pinned on it?"

    That lengthy poem I abridged makes that point - you can use any euphemism you like *as often as you like* provided you don't actually use ONE PARTICULAR word for it.

    Feel free to rabbit on for hours at a time about pussies, vaginas and the like but, as the poem puts it in the relevant section:

    "Beware the affront

    Of aping the Saxon

    Don't call it a..."

    Say "cunt" just once and you've somehow managed to offend the masses in less than a second when three hours of talking about "pussy" has failed to.

    Apparently saying it (and other "naughty" Saxon words) is a sign of a "limited vocabulary". Just got to love the IRONY of being told my vocabulary is "limited" by people who consciously CHOOSE NOT TO SAY "certain" words.

    Nah, mate, no fucking limits here.

    Then they'll turn around and say "using such language is a sign of low intelligence" in the baldest attempt ever to force you to adhere to *their* standards out of a desire to prove to them you are intelligent. Frequently used when there's a large audience so that they can "shame you" in front of others.

    The appropriate response in such cases is generally "well, I was going to call you an 'alopecic slubbertigullion with the cognitive abilities of a concussed simian' but I figured you wouldn't understand that so I settled for 'stupid bald cunt', OK?"

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