A New Zealand MP has claimed women need to 'reclaim' a vulgar term after using it three times during a public rally where children were present.
Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson said the word 'c**t' three times at an anti-racism demonstration attended by families in Auckland on Friday night.
Ms Davidson said she stood by using the word, which she said needed to be reclaimed - turned into a positive - by women.
'I stand by using that word,' she told Newshub.
'That word is a powerful word for women and shouldn't be used as abuse. I think it's a word that we have to disarm and reclaim.'
Ms Davidson said people had used the word towards her while threatening to kill her in relation to her support for banning Canadian speakers Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux from council venues.
'Part of my responsibility as a leader was using my platform to resist misogyny and men using these words against us.'
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern disagreed with Ms Davidson saying she 'certainly wouldn't use that language'.
Opposition Spokesperson for Women Paula Bennett said Ms Davidson's language was 'disgusting'.
'You may want to ''reclaim the word'' but you should not use your privileged position to decide for parents that their children should hear you repeatedly say it. There is no excuse for bad manners,' she tweeted on Wednesday.
Ms Davidson refused to back down despite the criticism.
'Is reclaiming the C-word now part of the Greens' kaupapa (policy)? No, it's just something I said at a protest rally,' she said.
Research published by the Broadcasting Standards Authority found 'c**t' was the word New Zealanders found most offensive, followed by 'n****r'.
Five years ago 72 per cent of people believed 'c**t' was an unacceptable word to use in any scenario - but that has now dropped to 63 per cent of those surveyed.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
© Associated Newspapers Ltd.