[English is not my first language, nor is the Australian culture my native one, so this post is to be taken with a grain of salt.]
How do people use the word, cute?
I don't see an inherently bad meaning within the word, but when I hear the word used around me, it's often used inappropriately I think. I think when people use the word, cute, to describe someone, it carries a sense of superiority over the person you are describing, and I find that disturbing. I mean, for example, why would you describe an elderly couple walking along together, crossing the arms, or holding hands, cute? No, no, you don't say that! That's not cute. You don't say that's cute. You say that is beautiful! When you see a long-lasting relationship like that, you ought to say beautiful, not cute. Or, why would you describe a young boy trying to grow up and acting adult-ish and say, cute? Cute? That's so feminising and condescending to be attributed at a man, however young (or old) he is! Now I come to think of it, it is often the girls who use the word, cute, to describe people, and girls, as far as know, don't really like to be called cute. They know there are better words they want for themselves like pretty, beautiful, attractive, lovely, enchanting, sweet, etc, but not cute! Sure, guys use the word cute too, and there are times when it is used without any subtle or the almost-subconscious attitude of superiority, but it is rare.
I think the word, cute, is often used by women who want to be in a higher, or more authoritative position than men. How often do we hear on TV where women describe a man cute when they find him attractive and have a lustful desire for him? And those women are often very dominating in their character and in their relationships. Some may think I am drawing a conclusion too quickly too harshly, but I really think this common and disrespectful use of the word, cute, is a reflection of the society which is deeply affected by feminism, and full of manlike women and full of feminised men.
It could be just me, but think about it when you hear or say the word, cute, the next time.