What 'cunt' has in common with most other contemporary swear words is its connection to bodily functions.
Genital, scatological, and sexual terms (such as, respectively, 'cunt', 'shit', and 'fuck') are our most powerful taboos, though this was not always the case.
'Cunt' is a primary example of the multitude of tabooed words and phrases relating to female sexuality, and of the misogyny inherent in sexual discourse.
Kate Millett sums up the word's uniquely despised status: "Somehow every indignity the female suffers ultimately comes to be symbolized in a sexuality that is held to be her responsibility, her shame [...] It can be summarized in one four-letter word. Our self-contempt originates in this: in knowing we are cunt" (1973).
'Cunt' is a short, monosyllabic word, though its brevity is deceptive.