MPs label Marama Davidson's use of C-word 'disgusting', 'appalling'

Green Party co-leader James Shaw is refusing to talk about his co-leader's campaign to reclaim the C-word. 

Marama Davidson repeatedly used the word at an anti-racism rally attended by families last Friday, arguing that women need to reclaim the word typically used as vulgar insult. 

But she has very little parliamentary support. 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern does not back her, saying she "certainly wouldn't use that language". 

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters thinks it was wholly inappropriate of Ms Davidson to say it. He said it's "appalling" and "terribly degrading". 

National's spokesperson for Women Paula Bennett is also fuming. 

She told Newshub: "She may want to reclaim whatever she likes [but] she doesn't get to make that decision for other people's children who were in that audience and I think it is absolutely appalling." 

In a follow-up tweet, she described the language as "disgusting".

But Ms Davidson won't back down.

"So I can be called [the C-word] in a death threat, but I'm not allowed to say it myself at a protest rally? I'm really happy to stand behind what I said."

She said part of her responsibility as a leader is using her platform to resist misogyny and men using words against women. 

"Is reclaiming the C-word now part of the Greens' kaupapa? Nah, it's just something I said at a protest rally," she said.  

Ms Davidson does have the support of some of the caucus on this, but it's not them she needs it from. This was a speech designed to shock - a radical move speaking to the party activists. 

But it won't sit well with James Shaw, who's been trying to reframe the Greens as a sensible government partner.