by Marinka on August 14, 2008

So, this is where I am in my life. All things being equal, I’d rather be called “cunt” than “sweetheart”. Not by my husband or a anything, although if he started to suddenly call me “sweetheart,” I’d be really suspicious, unless he did it in this Humphrey Bogard lisp-thing, but even then, I’d start asking questions about why suddenly he’s calling me “sweetheart” when never before had it occurred to him to call me that and that may really annoy him and if here were more John McCainlike, he may call me “cunt”. Of course if he ever knew that I referred to him, even in the subjunctive as John McCainlike, he would call me a lot worse than “cunt,” which according to my equation would be “sweetheart,” but that is where my reasoning has a fatal flaw. Or at least a flaw that puts my reasoning in intensive care. With a DNR sign slapped across it.

Anyway. Last month, a colleague called me “sweetheart” in a professional setting. And I found it really annoying. It smacked of, “get me a cup of coffee,” even though we were speaking on the phone. And just like that, I had no response. What was I supposed to do, call him “honey bunny”? Generally I don’t like things that leave me speechless and what I hate about “sweetheart” is that it is so passive aggressive. We were not discussing our weekend plans and he was not expressing affection towards me. He was putting me in my place. He was reminding me that he’s been doing this longer than I have. After we’d hung up, I thought that I must be a fucking weirdo because the word “cunt” has never bothered me, but sweetheart, honey, dear, darling, all those Hallmarked words are like nails on my soul.

I know that as a woman and as a feminist, as a mother and as an avid TV watcher (what? I can’t throw that in?) I am supposed to be offended by “cunt” to my very core. I am supposed to call it the c-word, in some nod to the atrocity that is the n-word. But I can’t do it. I have no need for it. But I may start calling sweetheart the s-word.

One year ago ...

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Kate August 14, 2008 at 6:06 am

Even if someone calls you “the c-word” they are empowering you to some extent. Cunts anger people, upset them, intimidate them. Sweethearts just comply.

I think I’m a little too much of a sweetheart sometimes. That is something that I’ve been actively working to change. Thanks for providing further incentive.


Kristine August 14, 2008 at 6:41 am

I can’t wait to see what kind of google searches this particular post brings you!

Also, while Iw ouldn’t necessarily prefer cunt over sweetheart, I do have a name that could be used above all else. Heck “Hey you” is preferable to me.


wfbdoglover August 14, 2008 at 6:57 am

I HATE being called sweetheart AND kiddo…. Makes my bloog boil!

I find it very condesnding.


Vodka Mom August 14, 2008 at 6:59 am

here, here. I’m with you babe, I mean sweetheart, I mean honey, oh crap. I could go ON and ON.


Melissa August 14, 2008 at 7:05 am

Sweetheart gets to me, too. And in here in TX we hear it all the time. Along with honey, hun, and darlin’. But it really depends on context. Women over fifty can get away with it, unless you realize that the “nice” word is a stand-in for “bitch”. But men in an office setting? Never.


h31n0us August 14, 2008 at 9:16 am

Yeah, the only place they can seem to pull crap like that is in New Orleans where everyone calls you, ‘baby.’ I recommend carrying a sprig of stinging nettle to swack the offender in the forehead with.


anymommy August 14, 2008 at 12:07 pm

Marinkunt is my favorite moniker in the history of monikers. It rocks. The next time the asshole calls you sweetheart, will you say ‘that’s Marinkunt to you.’ Please? Just for me?


Insta-mom August 14, 2008 at 12:28 pm

If anyone ever calls me sweetheart (or something similar) again, I am TOTALLY going to reply “Thanks, sugar” just so I can share their reaction with you. Because honestly, how freakin’ funny would that be.


Quart August 14, 2008 at 2:01 pm

Weren’t you looking for a new name for your blog a while back? I think you found it, Marinkunt!


therapydoc August 14, 2008 at 9:32 pm

Southerners do this, you know, just to be sweet. You can’t judge them. It would be like judging a New York accent.


funkimunkii August 15, 2008 at 4:36 am

i usually just say in my sweetest (juliette lewis from natural born killers) voice “are you flirting with me?” that always throws people off. they don’t know what to say, and start back pedaling.

then i change the subject and leave them stuttering like idiots.


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