The feminists' chagrin at this expletive is far too often verbally manifested for my liking and I intend here to outline how their vilification of this humble lexeme is, most often, a complete non-argument.
One of the justifications for their disdain that is flippantly bandied about is that 'cunt' undermines the female gender. This is not only ludicrous and poorly-justified, but contemptably patronising. This argument may, on the surface, seem to be a defence of women's rights, but falters under closer inspection, and in fact demonstrates a misogyny that far outweighs the chauvenism they claim inherant to the use of the word.
For starters I would take issue with any offence taken at the use of an expletive.
Firstly, it does not demonstrate a poor vocabulary. to say that it is is to imply that the size of an individual's word-bank and their use of swear words is linked, and there is nothing to suggest that this is the case. Certainly, some people have a small vocabulary and swear a great deal, but some have a small vocabulary and seldom swear. Some of the most verbose of my friends swear a great deal. It is quite clear to anyone who takes the time to consider the relation between vocabulary and frequency of profanity that the two are completely incidental.
Secondly, it is often argued that swearing is unnecessary. This is true but since when did that affect anything? Plenty of things have no use whatsoever and yet we take pleasure in their existence. Their superfluity is the entirity of their charm.
Thirdly, the desire to oppress those who swear is not only an infringement of their right to free speech, but also their liberty. When viewed in the context of the world in which we live, swearing provides no justification for offence, unless everything more disgusting is reviled in equal measure. He who does not then condemn all war, religious oppression and all forms of abuse is then rendered a hypocrite. If someone vituperates 'foul' language then they are morally obliged to spend a relative deal of time polemicising against atrocities that far outweight the insignificant and victimless crime of using a word.
However, when it comes to 'cunt' the animosity is staggering. It is argued (with great vehemence, I should add) that the use of the word is degrading to women. A non-sequitor of the highest degree! Yes, it is a noun meaning vagina, but we are adults! We can discuss vaginas without needing to get embarrassed or ashamed, and, as I have elucidated the reasons for swearing being unoffensive, we need not see the words 'vagina' and 'cunt' as anything other than mere synonyms.
Also, if we do not see the words 'dick' and 'cock' degrading to men then we are vieiwing women as somehow more fragile to say that their sex can be undermined by 'cunt'.
Of course, there are those that will argue that cunt is a stronger word, but I see no reason why it should be. True, society does view it as stronger than its fellow expletives, but surely this reflects on society's apprehension regarding the female genitals, rather than any offensiveness inherant to the word.
It strikes me as obvious that the offense is not to be found in the word but in the context of its use. It is obviously offensive to go up to a stranger and ask to 'lick out their cunt'. However, this is not because of the word-choice, but rather the inappropriateness of the sentiment, the use of the expletive rendering the phrase more aggressive. However, asking a man if you can 'suck his cock' is equally offensive in sentiment. To say is it not is surely to patronise women at large.
I argue full-throatedly that any time where you could say 'vagina' in an informal setting you could substitute 'cunt' without being morally reprehensible. Those who find the word makes them uncomfortable as a matter of personal taste deserve to have this respected, just as someone who hates the sound of the word 'moist' (I know many) should be allowed freedom from hearing it where avoidable. However, to make an honest argument they must state that this revulsion is due to personal taste, and to glibly throw arguments of 'feminism' around which are clearly unjustified is to undermine the whole femenist cause.