Haven't read all the replies, but apparently c*nt is an ancient title of respect for women. So the fact that the meaning has developed into an expletive is quite indicative of the status of women in society.
There is a great book called "C*nt: A Declaration of Independence" by Inga Muscio in which she explores womanhood and the status of women in Western culture. This book changed my life. She says we need to embrace the word and make it our own, make it a symbol of power. After all, vaginas are awesome, they are the gateway of life - we should definitely respect and honour them!
If someone called me a c*nt I'd give them a serve back as I'd know they are intending to insult me but the word itself is fine. Vaginas rock!