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Calling his wife a cunt under his breath

(164 Posts)
toomanydaisies Fri 16-Nov-12 20:12:07

Please give me advice.

My friend called me in tears just now. She and her husband had had an argument - but she said it was nothing major. He went off into their bedroom and called her a cunt under his breath.

Not the first time he's done this apparently.

She told him she'd heard and he wasn't apologetic - just said he was speaking to himself.

I think this is terrible. Is it emotional abuse? I just don't know what to say to my friend...

Joysmum Sun 16-Nov-14 19:54:30

My husband is a wanker, he was one today and I called him on it wink

Are either of us abusive? No! We just have arguments and disagreements.

getthefeckouttahere Sun 16-Nov-14 17:55:18

interesting discussion this.

I agree whole heartedly with those who side on the 'its just a word' argument and i believe deep down thats true.

However i would never ever (and never have) used this word in anger in any relationship i have ever been in. I would find it beyond the pale, and i would never forgive myself.

Perhaps its because i grew up in an environment of physical abuse and heard my dad scream this at my mum. It was hate filled, horrible and left a young me absolutely shell shocked.


LostPuppy Sun 16-Nov-14 17:22:55

All the time. Not ask. Stupid autocorrect.

LostPuppy Sun 16-Nov-14 17:21:52

The word means far less to men. My friends and I call each other cunts ask the time. It's a standard retort when you feel the other person said or did something stupid.

Screaming it in her face is abusive. This is just casual cunting. Google it.

Prick and cock arnt hate words? Can't say I've ever told someone they're a prick and meant it in a nice way

Gennz Mon 19-Nov-12 00:52:35

All this thread proves is that every relationship is different, context is everything and some people are more offended by some things than others.

Yes it may very well have been abusive in the context of the fight/their relationship/their background/how offensive the wife found it – and so on. But to extrapolate from that, that “any man who calls his wife a cunt has zero respect for her” or “not much respect for women in general” is totally illogical.

DH and I sling the word around like nobody’s business. People at my work use it. I’m not offended by it. So in my life, this scenario wouldn’t be abusive. My DH is certainly no misogynist (if he was I wouldn’t have married him) – he’s a hard worker, supports me in my career, does his fair share round the house, yada yada and because he uses the word ”cunt” he has no respect for women. Come on.

HappyGirlNow Sun 18-Nov-12 20:21:28

Not respecting her (if that is the case) is not the same as being a misogynist. As I said, we'll agree to disagree..

AbigailAdams Sun 18-Nov-12 19:49:43

Sorry, that was meant to say "has no respect and because of the wider connotations of the word, mot much respect for women in general"

AbigailAdams Sun 18-Nov-12 19:44:57

Well you are being rude.

I'm out. I hadn't really intended to discuss misogyny on a relationship thread. But any man who calls his wife a cunt has zero respect for her. That would be deal breaker for me.

HappyGirlNow Sun 18-Nov-12 18:53:42

You're adding meaning to it in this context. How on earth can you say that this man definitely meant it in that manner? You can't.

And prick, dick, knob can be words of hate.

So any time a man insults a woman bu calling her a female type insult he's a misogynist, no ifs nor buts? But women can insult men using 'male' words and they're not bring sexist?,

Sorry, your arguments in this context make little sense to me. And frankly, in this context, I find it a bit ludicrous - don't mean to be rude, I just do.

AbigailAdams Sun 18-Nov-12 18:46:41

We (as women) haven't added meaning to the word cunt. Men did that for us.

And no reversing sexes doesn't work because prick and cock aren't hate words and there is no system of oppression against men as a sex. Cunt, bitch, slag slut etc are words that have been used to oppress women. Prick and cock don't oppress men (although they can be offensive).

HappyGirlNow Sun 18-Nov-12 17:50:07

Oh so by that 'logic' if a woman called an individual man a 'cock' or a 'prick' in anger it automatically means she has contempt for men as a gender and sees them as inferior to women? Really? hmm

In that scenario she really shouldn't have called him a cock but you can't just assume the rest..

This whole thread just highlights our insecurity/chip on the shoulder as a gender that we add meaning to words like that. The man may be a misogynist or he may not - you really have no conclusive proof from the OP.

It doesn't matter how often we rake this over, I stand by my opinions and everything I've said on this thread as I'm sure your do. So lets agree to disagree.

AbigailAdams Sun 18-Nov-12 16:56:13

Well, he spoke it in anger as a parting shot to an argument, within earshot of his wife. It was a misogynistic comment. (Using a part of a woman's anatomy to be offensive is misogynistic). It was an abusive comment. His wife found it offensive (and as she was called it she gets to name it as such). If someone in the street called you a cunt, that would be abusive. If you called your children cunts that would be abusive. Why isn't he being abusive and how much more about his intent do we need to know?

I can totally understand people wanting to reclaim the word cunt as it has only been an offensive term for the last 100 yrs or so. However, you can't reclaim it by accepting it being flung at you, offensively in anger by someone who is who is supposed to love and respect you.

HappyGirlNow Sun 18-Nov-12 15:02:28

Glad things are better Beryl , although I'm sorry you had to go through that.

BerylStreep Sun 18-Nov-12 14:58:39

I'm sad to say that my DH has called me this in the past.

I recognise it as being a sign that he is totally out of control and trying to inflame the situation and goad a reaction. The most effective response is none at all.

Our marriage didn't end because of it, but it was during a pretty dreadful time, when I seriously considered ending my marriage. Not for the use of the word in itself, but because of all the other connected anger and vitriol towards me, IYSWIM.

Quite a few threads on here, under other names. Things are better now though.

HappyGirlNow Sun 18-Nov-12 13:50:10

And that's the point Abigail , how can anyone know his intent? There is no other evidence to provide proof of intent and no-one can actually see inside the husband's head.. So all this misogynistic/sexist talk really falls a bit flat.

And actually, I consider being called un-educated, dense, not well read and someone who minimises abuse rather disrespectful of my opinions and boundaries!

And I respect people who have reasoned opinions demonstrated by the content of their posts (whether I agree with them or not) and not just knee jerk reactions to certain things.

I do think it's distasteful to label the man in question an abuser worthy of divorcing based on the very little information we have. My opinion.

AbigailAdams Sun 18-Nov-12 13:38:19

Happy, it isn't about disagreeing. It is about respecting other people's boundaries. Disbelief, bizarre, precious little flowers are all words that have been used on this thread to belittle those boundaries. There have been implications that people should get over themselves, ignore the modern origins, intent and meaning of the word and should grow up. None of this is respectful of their boundaries.

Fair enough if it isn't a deal breaker for you but no need to ridicule others and what they expect from their partners.

OneMoreChap Sun 18-Nov-12 12:56:53

there is only one reason a man says it to his partner

Mindreading; untrue as evidenced by other posts in this thread.

suggesting a woman who's been married for 30 years to a man who doesn't call her a cunt .....hasn't got a stable relationship

Reading comprehension; I expressed surprise that a 30 year relationship could be ended over the single use of a word. I'd go so far as to say disbelief.

JugglingWithPossibilities Sun 18-Nov-12 12:49:06

That all seems fair enough HGN smile

HappyGirlNow Sun 18-Nov-12 12:45:57

I understand what you're saying juggling , and as I've explained I also have previous experience of abuse. I totally agree that name calling should set alarm bells ringing and I also agree that it may have been the tip of the iceberg but some of the reactions seemed (to me) not in line with the crime we know about. That's just my opinion.

JugglingWithPossibilities Sun 18-Nov-12 12:33:25

"Why I find the extreme reaction to a vague example ... bizarre"

Maybe it brought up a lot of issues and previous experiences for people though HappyNow ?

To me the OP is often just the starting point for a wider discussion

HappyGirlNow Sun 18-Nov-12 12:27:10

You may use different terminology from me but I agree with your point and have said this myself upthread - a pattern of mistreatment is what should be looking out for. That's why I find the extreme reaction to a vague example (we don't really know the ins and outs) of bad behaviour bizarre.

strumpetpumpkin Sun 18-Nov-12 12:23:16

exactly Offred. As i said earlier. Even arguing with somebody is abuse of sorts. Calling someone names, yes its abusive, as is shouting and arguing, slamming doors.

An incident of abuse does not an "abuser" make.

Anyone who thinks they have never acted abusively to anyone ever is in denial.

I think its pretty much always a bad idea to get involved in other peoples relationship arguments. It never ends well. If you were talking about your own relationship then we'd have more info and background im sure.

Was her husband justified in calling his wife a cunt under his breath after a big argument? Maybe he was, maybe he wasnt. How on earth are we to know?

Offred Sun 18-Nov-12 12:12:24

Everyone perpetrates abuse from time to time. Abusers are people who behave abusively and either do it deliberately or subconsciously because the effects benefit them personally. It is more about a pattern of behaviour and the balance of power and is not easily recognised from inside the relationship.

HappyGirlNow Sun 18-Nov-12 12:05:38

So what is someone who perpetrates 'abuse' if not an abuser?

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