CALL someone a c**t twenty years ago and your face probably would’ve had a quick meeting with that person’s fist.
But nowadays, the C-bomb, as it’s been affectionately dubbed, is on the verge of becoming a staple in Australian culture with younger Aussies embracing the swear word more than ever.
Teenage boys claim being called a “sick c**t” is the highest of compliments but not everyone thinks it’s as relaxed as Aussies make it out to be — including YouTube, which has taken a strong stance on the word.
Aussie YouTuber Lewis Spears jokingly declared in a video yesterday that “YouTube discriminates against Australians”.
“Hi, I’m Lewis Spears, true blue Australian and certified sick c**t,” he said in the video.
Over the past year, YouTube introduced a strict demonetisation policy on videos that have excessive swearing or potentially offensive content.
If it is deemed “offensive”, the video platform bars advertisements from playing before the video, which is how most YouTubers make money.
The change has been universally slammed by content creators for YouTube who said it was stopping them from pushing the boundaries for fear of losing their livelihood.
“Swearing in Australia is not offensive, it’s just how we talk. It’s a part of our culture and to take that away from us is discrimination at its finest,” Lewis said.
Macquarie University Lecturer of Linguistics Dr Nick Wilson said depending on whether or not the C-word is still offensive depends on its context.
“If it isn’t used offensively, it shouldn’t cause offence. It’s all about context,” he said.
Dr Wilson, who specialises in social linguistics, admitted Australians have one of the world’s most relaxed approaches to swearing — but that doesn’t mean the C-word is OK.
“There’s a line somewhere and c**t crosses that,” he said.
While Dr Wilson said Australians have become “desensitised” to plenty of swear words, he said it wasn’t up to YouTube to determine what is and isn’t offensive to viewers.
“It’s all about context and YouTube should be context-free. They can’t predict what’s going to be offensive because people are offended by different things on different levels. They need to determine their exact motivations,” he said.
In Lewis’ video, he brings up the court case of the time then-PM Tony Abbott was labelled a c**t by Sydneysider Danny Lim.
Lim, well-known for his activism and for wearing sandwich boards around the city, donned one in 2015 that read, “Peace Smile, People can Change, Tony You Can’t.”
Only problem was — the “A” was upside-down, implying Abbott was a c**t.
While Lim was originally convicted of offensive behaviour, another judge quashed that ruling in August, declaring it was simply a “play on words”.
Judge Andrew Scotting also said c**t was “not necessarily offensive, even when used in a public place”
“While the conduct was inappropriate and in poor taste, I am not satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that it was offensive, or so offensive as to be considered in the high end of the range of what would be considered to be offensive.”
The C-word, which is widely described as “the most heavily tabooed word of all English words” has been used since at least the 13th century.
A dictionary from 1785 said c**t was a “nasty name for a nasty thing” and even Shakespeare dropped a few C-bombs in some of his plays.
But whether or not the C-bomb will follow the same trend of the F-word in Australia remains to be seen.
In October last year, a judge ruled the word f**k was no longer considered legally offensive in Australia.
Sydney judge Geoffrey Bradd dismissed the charges against a group of protesters hauled before the local court for saying”f**k Fred Nile” and calling people “f**kers” at a rally in support of same-sex marriage.
Fred Nile is the leader of the Christian Democratic Party.
Cat Rose, who was one of the women charged with saying the swear word told a policeman at the time that “f**k” was “part of the common vernacular”.
After all of them were cleared of any wrongdoing, Ms Rose said: “We’ll keep protesting until we have our rights, and you can expect a few F-bombs along the way.”
You can watch Lewis’ whole video below but be warned, he obviously uses the word c**t a lot.