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Having lived on more than one continent I can say from experience that linguistic idiosyncrasies are often widely different across cultures, even more so across seas.

While the word cunt is taboo in most societies, it is all the more so in the United States, where religious sensibilities inform the lives of millions of Americans. This is also the case in the United Kingdom, though it is used more playfully.

My Shit Life So Far Frankie BoyleFrankie Boyle is a Scottish comedian – now retired – whose favourite word was cunt. Check YouTube for his name and Mock the Week and you’ll get the idea.

The point is that regardless of the culture in which certain words are used, they are often understood in disparate ways. This occurred to me today after becoming the roast of Twitter for the afternoon after playfully calling a woman a cunt for blocking me rather than answer what was a reasonable question.  Hell, I even used a funny script to indicate I was being playful.

As it happens, that was just too much for our American friends to take.

Their religious, illiberal sensibilities kicked in and I was vilified for the better part of the afternoon, called a liar, told I’m not as important as I think I am (I don’t recall saying I was important, nor do I think this to be so), and accused of cursing two women for answering my question (which neither did).

I was then treated to a cabal of flamers who were outraged at the situation, though I suspect they didn’t understand why they were outraged.

bush_cuntDo I wish that I hadn’t used the word cunt this afternoon? Yes, I do. But only because I cannot bear to see the absolute outrage that Americans feel when they think they’ve been wronged.

So, am I a misogynist? No, I am not. Not any more than so many of us who joke about other religions, traditions and cultures. There is no substantive difference, even if it feels as though there ought to be one.

To that woman I express regret that she was hurt by a playful bit of banter, and hope that tonight she is not praying my soul into hell.