The Word ‘Cuck’

So, you might have heard this word being tossed around in internet discourse of late. If not, well … welcome to Internet Discourse 2017. If you’re not familiar, cuck is an insult chucked around by right-wing nuts and trolls, generally targeted at progressive leftie types, specifically males. Now, it being the case that words is totally my thing what I’m good at, I thought I’d take a look at the why of the word Cuck, and why it’s used as an insult.

Cuck is short for cuckold, or any of its derivative words. Whenever I encountered the word cuckold I assumed it meant a man who was subservient to his wife, similar to the expression ‘wears the pants’ or the idea of a woman owning her partner’s balls. That definition is somewhat true. The dictionary definition (http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/cuckold) notes that it refers to a man with an adulterous wife. Definitions vary as to whether the man is aware of it or not.

Interestingly, the word cuckold is derived from the Old French word for cuckoo bird, a bird who invades other bird’s nests and infests them with its young. Interestingly, some species of cuckoo notably engage in polyandry, though this is a notably contained and recent example despite how well it fits with the definition of cuckoldry. So, in this, we can see how the cuckoo bird gave its name to cuckoldry. A cuckoo laying its eggs, a cuckolded husband finding his brood is not his own. As noted in the article just prior, the idea of cuckoldry was used by Chaucer and Shakespeare. So, this idea does have quite old legs.

More contemporary is the idea of cuckoldry as a fetish. Personally, I think this is the idea that people flinging the term cuck around want it to be associated with, but that’s pure conjecture. Cuckoldry as a fetish is the practice of enjoying a partner’s infidelity (commonly thought of a man who enjoys the infidelity of his wife with other men). The reason I believe that this is the connection that those who use the word cuck want to create is the wider connotations of it.

Cuck is often used adjacent to, or in the same circles, as the term ‘virtue signalling’. Virtue signalling in this context is the idea that, again, men espousing liberal ideas are only doing so in an attempt to appeal in the hope that they’ll sleep with them. Both get at a similar idea. The people who use these terms clearly think that men don’t really believe what they’re saying. They just want sex. It’s an attempt at creating a commonality. ‘I only see women as sex objects. This guy does too, he just won’t admit it.’.

This is what the people using these terms want to be proved right on. They can ignore women’s opinions because they don’t respect women much, and any men agreeing with the women don’t really believe what they’re saying. It’s a way to shut down the other viewpoint without considering it. That’s the power of cuck.

That, and it sounds like fuck, which is a swear that people do.

 

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