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  #201  
Old 05-22-2020, 10:02 AM
Modesty Blaise is offline
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Originally Posted by QuickSilver View Post
So no room at all for 'common use' interpretation of what's misogynistic and what has perhaps fallen outside that strict boundary?
Would you allow exceptions of “common usage” for any of the other hate words?
  #202  
Old 05-22-2020, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Modesty Blaise View Post
Would you allow exceptions of “common usage” for any of the other hate words?
I can certainly think of some common use exceptions right off the top of my head. I bet you can too.
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  #203  
Old 05-22-2020, 10:29 AM
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No, because the symmetry you claim is an illusion that could only have any validity if the speaker operated in a social vacuum, entirely ignorant of any unintended consequences of his choice of vocabulary. If a term is insulting to a class of people, and the speaker knows this, at that point the only possibilities are either that his primary intent is to insult them, or that he doesn't give a shit if he insults them as collateral damage.
Agreeing, and expanding on it.

People do sometimes use denigrating terminology without realizing it. The question is what they do when they're told about it.

Years ago, I knew somebody who said in casual conversation that someone had tried to "Jew him down." I said, "Did you Christian him back up?" He said "what?" and I said, "You said he tried to Jew you down. I asked whether you Christianed him back up." He said "I never thought of it that way." And he probably didn't -- it was just a phrase he'd heard, and used, his whole life; he didn't think of it as having anything to do with Jews.

And he didn't use it again; at least, not in my presence.

I used to use "Oriental". I didn't know it was offensive. When I found out that many people from various parts of Asia do think that it's offensive, I quit using it. I didn't ask for proof that every single person in Asia or of Asian ancestry thought it offensive. I didn't go looking for examples of some person from Asia who had, at some point in the last century, used it themselves. I just quit using it, because I didn't want to tick people off.

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Originally Posted by QuickSilver View Post
Fair point. I adjust my behavior to conform to a reasonable request. .
So it's your position that the requests of women who you know in physical person are reasonable, but the requests of women on this message board are unreasonable?

Why do you think that's a reasonable position?

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Originally Posted by QuickSilver View Post
We appear to be in general agreement that insults using male or female slurs for genitalia are culturally common and significant.
- While there is a misogynistic or misandristic (?) meaning to these words, this is not always so because there are common examples in our culture in how they are used gender agnostically.
- Therefore, a sexist meaning is not always implied nor should it always be assumed. .
It is culturally significant that these words are such common examples in our culture that they are used for people of any gender. That doesn't mean that the cultural significance is not misogynist.

It's an insult to call a man a "cunt" because a cunt is thought of as being something insulting in itself. Calling someone a "dick" carries less power precisely because dicks are thought of within the culture as something to be proud of. It comes across more as shorthand for "thinking with one's dick doesn't work out well" than as shorthand for "having a dick is in itself wrong and dirty". However again I'd be perfectly happy to ditch both of them.

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Originally Posted by Modesty Blaise View Post
Why not use whinging or whining? There are always, always other insults that could be used.
Try "kvetch(ing)". Somebody who's whining is probably kvetching; but it's possible to kvetch without whining. I think the sense is closer.
  #204  
Old 05-22-2020, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by QuickSilver View Post
It applies in the following way:
- We appear to be in general agreement that insults using male or female slurs for genitalia are culturally common and significant.
- While there is a misogynistic or misandristic (?) meaning to these words, this is not always so because there are common examples in our culture in how they are used gender agnostically.
- Therefore, a sexist meaning is not always implied nor should it always be assumed.

So when I call Pierce Morgan a "cunt", I'm not trying to emasculate him or say he is something less in the sense of his social standing based on gender. I'm just using a cuss word that is part of the cultural lexicon.

QED: Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
This a dispute over what the word signifies in our culture. You claim it's one thing; other people claim it's something else.

"A cigar is just a cigar" is not an apt description here, because with that you're implying that somehow your interpretation of the word's significance is somehow more straightforward, and that other interpretations are more convoluted. That's not the case.
  #205  
Old 05-22-2020, 10:39 AM
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On an incidental point, I would not think that anyone has any problem with the use of "bitch" as a verb, as in to bitch and moan about something? My sense is that this usage has drifted away from misogynistic connotations. Or am I mistaken in that?
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Originally Posted by Modesty Blaise View Post
Yes, you're mistaken.

Why not use whinging or whining? There are always, always other insults that could be used. You don't have to use a word founded in misogyny. You don’t have to use a hate word. Really you don’t.
Thanks, I wasn't trying to find some back door to using hate speech here, it was a genuine question, and I'm glad I asked, since my intuition was wrong here.

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Originally Posted by Modesty Blaise View Post
Would you allow exceptions of “common usage” for any of the other hate words?
Well, I don't know if this is what you mean, but obviously "bitch" can literally mean a female dog, or the archaic slur "spade" can mean a garden implement.
  #206  
Old 05-22-2020, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
Years ago, I knew somebody who said in casual conversation that someone had tried to "Jew him down." I said, "Did you Christian him back up?" He said "what?" and I said, "You said he tried to Jew you down. I asked whether you Christianed him back up." He said "I never thought of it that way." And he probably didn't -- it was just a phrase he'd heard, and used, his whole life; he didn't think of it as having anything to do with Jews.

And he didn't use it again; at least, not in my presence.
I've had the exact same experience. It appears to be pretty common.

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Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
So it's your position that the requests of women who you know in physical person are reasonable, but the requests of women on this message board are unreasonable?

Why do you think that's a reasonable position?
I did not say their requests were unreasonable. We're just having a conversation on a topic that is of interest/import to those participating. If your expectation was that I should simply capitulate then this wouldn't be a conversation, would it?

As stated previously, I'm actively re-evaluating my position. If I appear to be pushing back, consider the entire premise of these boards - to allow people to have these kinds of deeper conversations and examine each other's premises.


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Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
It's an insult to call a man a "cunt" because a cunt is thought of as being something insulting in itself. Calling someone a "dick" carries less power precisely because dicks are thought of within the culture as something to be proud of. It comes across more as shorthand for "thinking with one's dick doesn't work out well" than as shorthand for "having a dick is in itself wrong and dirty".
I simply don't consider these words the same way you do. But we've already done enough rounds of the 'when is a cigar just a cigar' conversation. I don't expect we'll reach agreement about this right now.
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Last edited by QuickSilver; 05-22-2020 at 11:39 AM.
  #207  
Old 05-22-2020, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
I am thinking of the opinions of all those women that have left this message board because of that attitude.
My PMs have been filled over the years with those women. I don't get many PMs on this board, but almost all of them have to do with the misogyny on this board. MANY of those women don't post here any longer. I don't come here much at all any more - and the misogyny - and the ongoing excuses for tolerating the misogyny year after FUCKING GODDAMN year are part of the reason. The rape apologists and the "I'm just asking" and yes, the tolerance of the use of misogynistic language.

Its a shame, this can be a great community - but I've lost my tolerance at having to wade through the shit and watching the women near me just give up. So I swing through far less regularly to see if anything catches my eye.

It is really a shame that over the twenty years I've hung around here a number of women on this board have made the point about the word cunt repeatedly, and yet we are STILL HERE. Its spitting into the wind. Or its actually having a hateful nasty word thrown into your face over and over again, and when you say "guys, that isn't a nice word and it hurts when you use it" having everyone say "well, it doesn't REALLY hurt you that bad. I have this friend who is female who doesn't think its that bad." That's gaslighting. Its mansplaining. Its disrespectful of hundreds of women who have come through here over twenty years who do have a problem with that word.
  #208  
Old 05-22-2020, 01:31 PM
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I've had the exact same experience. It appears to be pretty common.
And what do you think of the person who responds to you by saying 'I'm going to keep on saying that because in my universe it doesn't mean anything about Jews'?

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Originally Posted by QuickSilver View Post
I did not say their requests were unreasonable. We're just having a conversation on a topic that is of interest/import to those participating. If your expectation was that I should simply capitulate then this wouldn't be a conversation, would it?
From my point of view, the conversation we're having looks rather like this:

Multiple people: would you kindly quit using that specific language? It's insulting/offensive to us.

QuickSilver: [PLEASE NOTE THIS IS NOT INTENDED TO BE A QUOTE FROM QUICKSILVER. It is instead the general sense I'm taking from QuickSilver's posts in this thread.] Well, maybe. But first we have to have a lengthly and detailed discussion of every reason I can possibly think of why you should not, in my personal opinion, feel insulted/offended. And it's entirely reasonable to expect you to need to have this discussion every . single . time any individual wants to have it; or else to shut up and expect to keep seeing/hearing the language, no matter how important it is to you to not have to hear/see it.

The classic statement about this is that when somebody asks you to quit stepping on their foot, the thing to do isn't to stand there with your weight on their foot explaining at great length that you didn't intend to step on their foot, you just happened to be walking that way for other reasons entirely, you didn't even notice their foot, you don't think there will actually be any significant injury from your having stepped on their foot, lots of people walk down that street without looking where they're putting their feet, and so on and so on. It doesn't matter a bit even when all of that is true. The thing to do is to Get Off Their Foot.
  #209  
Old 05-22-2020, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
From my point of view, the conversation we're having looks rather like this:

Multiple people: would you kindly quit using that specific language? It's insulting/offensive to us.

QuickSilver: [PLEASE NOTE THIS IS NOT INTENDED TO BE A QUOTE FROM QUICKSILVER. It is instead the general sense I'm taking from QuickSilver's posts in this thread.] Well, maybe. But first we have to have a lengthly and detailed discussion of every reason I can possibly think of why you should not, in my personal opinion, feel insulted/offended. And it's entirely reasonable to expect you to need to have this discussion every . single . time any individual wants to have it; or else to shut up and expect to keep seeing/hearing the language, no matter how important it is to you to not have to hear/see it.

The classic statement about this is that when somebody asks you to quit stepping on their foot, the thing to do isn't to stand there with your weight on their foot explaining at great length that you didn't intend to step on their foot, you just happened to be walking that way for other reasons entirely, you didn't even notice their foot, you don't think there will actually be any significant injury from your having stepped on their foot, lots of people walk down that street without looking where they're putting their feet, and so on and so on. It doesn't matter a bit even when all of that is true. The thing to do is to Get Off Their Foot.
Understood.

I offer my sincere apology to everyone whom I've offended.

Thanks for your time and patience.

Be well.
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  #210  
Old 05-22-2020, 05:29 PM
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Thank you!

(Said sincerely.)
  #211  
Old 05-22-2020, 05:39 PM
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Too late to edit:

I really should have credited that stepping-on-foot image. I didn't use the same phrasing; but the general analogy seems to have been originated by Hershele Ostropoler, in a post that no longer appears to be up on the net.
  #212  
Old 05-22-2020, 06:15 PM
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I dont mind them banning those words, I dont use them much anyway. But last time, there was a huge outcry. Much gnashing of teeth when Ed tried to ban 'cunt".

And then of course, "dick" and "prick" should be banned. Or we are hypocrites.

So, sure, Ok by me, but it wont be pretty.
  #213  
Old 05-22-2020, 06:36 PM
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And then of course, "dick" and "prick" should be banned. Or we are hypocrites.
Nope, there's no symmetry here. This is not about some theoretical abstract model of language, it's about dealing the reality of our social history, the semantic baggage carried by certain words. There is no similar history of misandry conjured up by the use of those words. We might choose to avoid them for consistency, but they are not a problem in the same way.
  #214  
Old 05-23-2020, 08:27 AM
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So, sure, Ok by me, but it wont be pretty.
It's not pretty now.

"Pretty" isn't always an option.
  #215  
Old 05-23-2020, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
It's not pretty now.

"Pretty" isn't always an option.
This is an awesome point, we’ll said.
  #216  
Old 05-23-2020, 10:47 AM
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Probably depends on if the husband is black or not.
I guess I was assuming that Max S. was assuming the husband to be white. After all, he talked about using racial slurs as a personal insult.

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Originally Posted by QuickSilver View Post
Anybody have any objection to the use of, "Nazi cunts", or "Fascist dicks"?
Seems to me there exists generally acceptable, even approved, use.
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Originally Posted by QuickSilver View Post
Can I call a Roy Moore a "cunt"? Can I say, "Jen's being a dick"?
Yeah, the objection to "cunt" doesn't go away because the target is evil. The objection to "cunt" is based on the semantic content of the insult.

Also, despite there being an anatomical parity between the terms "cunt" and "dick", there is not a semantic equivalence. Terms like "dick" and "dickhead" are not saying "You have a dick, therefore you are worthless", whereas, that is the root of what makes "cunt" an insult. So trying to make an equivalency between "cunt"/"bitch" and "dick"/"bastard" is a false equivalency.

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Originally Posted by Sunny Daze View Post
I'll aver as a woman that bitch and cunt are both sexist slurs, and are both serious insults. I would support a ban. We've always said that the laws of the jurisdiction where the Board exists should apply to discussion here. I see no reason at all why other interpretations and usages of the word "cunt" need to be considered. Using it here is very bad and should not be allowed.

Yeah, yeah. Some of you aren't happy. "but we used to", "but we want to", and "but mah freedom" are not valid arguments. Things change and we adapt and evolve.
Excellent! Well said!

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Originally Posted by What the .... ?!?! View Post
Can I get some examples of posts that are misogynistic ... whether it depends on the context or a clear case regardless of context.
Well, I will point out we've already had some examples, though you will determine for yourself is you think they qualify as misogynistic.

Example:
Quote:
Originally Posted by madsircool
Quote:
Originally Posted by Siam Sam
We had reservations this month in downtown, so we would have been in this stupid bitch's territory.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Siam Sam
I suppose I should have mentioned that the stupid mayor wants Vegas -- casinos, restaurants, you name it -- reopened RIGHT NOW, but eh, it's the owners' responsibility to figure out how to make it safe, but do it RIGHT NOW, and hey, it's just a little virus, we've had viruses before, what's the big deal? Stupid cunt.
This board does have a misogyny problem. Its not just Siam Sam but also the so-called liberals who have posted here and let it slide.
Example:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colibri
Quote:
Originally Posted by Siam Sam
Jesus Fucking Christ! Did you see the CNN interview with the mayor of Las Vegas? That is one ignorant-as-fuck bitch. Makes me even glad we had to cancel our Vegas trip and makes me wary of ever going there while she's in office.
Moderator Note

Let's keep invective like this to the Pit. In particular, let's refrain from misogynistic epithets like "ignorant-as-fuck bitch." No warning issued, but given that I've already given one note about this in this thread other ones may receive one.

Colibri
Quarantine Zone Moderator

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Originally Posted by Sherrerd View Post
The main point about the second construction, though---which I think you're either missing, or dismissive of---is that its message is NOT that the Las Vegas mayor is deplorable because of particular actions and policy positions. Its message is that the Las Vegas mayor is deplorable because she's female.

Likewise, the construction "Piers Morgan is a cunt" is a claim that Piers Morgan is deplorable not for particular actions or words he's responsible for, but for being 'like a female'. The fact that this is the ultimate insult is pure misogyny.

As others in the thread have said, hatred and dislike of the female is part of our culture. It's the air we breathe. Many people don't notice it until it's pointed out, and even then greatly resist any suggestion that there might be some negatives involved in embracing it. (In this case, the negatives being the fact that many women who might otherwise support this message board, don't feel welcome in the face of some "casual insults" used here---and therefore that potential support is lost.)
This whole post is excellent, but I wanted to emphasize this portion especially.


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Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
Years ago, I knew somebody who said in casual conversation that someone had tried to "Jew him down." I said, "Did you Christian him back up?" He said "what?" and I said, "You said he tried to Jew you down. I asked whether you Christianed him back up." He said "I never thought of it that way." And he probably didn't -- it was just a phrase he'd heard, and used, his whole life; he didn't think of it as having anything to do with Jews.

And he didn't use it again; at least, not in my presence.
That's awesome! I wish I had thought of that response. I was left (a) floundering because I didn't know what the expression meant, and (b) floundering because of the obvious nature of the slur and that the speaker didn't seem aware of it.

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Originally Posted by Dangerosa View Post
It is really a shame that over the twenty years I've hung around here a number of women on this board have made the point about the word cunt repeatedly, and yet we are STILL HERE. Its spitting into the wind. Or its actually having a hateful nasty word thrown into your face over and over again, and when you say "guys, that isn't a nice word and it hurts when you use it" having everyone say "well, it doesn't REALLY hurt you that bad. I have this friend who is female who doesn't think its that bad." That's gaslighting. Its mansplaining. Its disrespectful of hundreds of women who have come through here over twenty years who do have a problem with that word.
I will let your words round out my post.
  #217  
Old 05-23-2020, 12:08 PM
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Separated to address this specific line of argument.

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Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
I fail to see the relevance of that point. Are you implying that gender-specific insults should be off-limits because gender-specific insults are hate speech? That it is the gender-specific quality of a curse word which puts it past a bright line? I don't agree, but I would be interested in hearing the argument supporting that premise.
It's not about being "gender-specific" so much as being about the root of the insult.

As I said above, "cunt" and "dick" might be anatomically equivalent gender terms, but they are not semantic insult terms. Also, one conveys a much stronger level of contempt than the other.

Quote:
It's a complicated question but I'm going to say no, calling a black man who punches your wife a nigger is not hate speech just because you called a black man a nigger. It could be hate speech if you show hatred towards a class of people, but I am of the opinion that the word "nigger" alone does not do so. Not even when used as an insult or ethnic slur.

I'm probably on my own with that opinion, but hey, I read replies with an open mind.
Gah! I'm flabbergasted. "Nigger"* inherently shows hatred toward a class of people. The whole root of that insult is "you are Black, and thus subhuman".

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Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
Can not the word mean, "you are lesser than me"? When I hear someone call a black person as a "nigger" it does not imply that all black people are lesser than the speaker. In some contexts the word can be used to imply that all black people are lesser beings, which would be hate speech, but not all insulting uses of "nigger" imply that all black people are "niggers".
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Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
When determining whether speech is hate speech, I think you're giving more weight to opinions of the insulted, whereas I'm giving more weight to the intention of the speaker. We can agree to disagree on that. I can certainly see it your way.
Okay, that at least gives me a bit of insight into your thinking.

This is more complicated than my initial reaction. Language evolves. One demonstration of that is that the words used as insults can shift meaning over time.

Take "bastard": the original insult was based on the concept of birth legitimacy and the possibility of inheritance. Being born out of wedlock was an undesirable state because of the social ramifications, so it was a term used to insult a person. Over time, our society has stopped caring about the concept of legitimacy - now being born out of wedlock doesn't mean much. Certain moral perspectives still frown upon it, but the status of being born out of wedlock does not carry any legal or social weight. Thus, the term "bastard" has shifted meaning to mean "a despicable person", probably male.

Similarly, let's consider "motherfucker". To most people nowadays, that's not really a literal accusation the person fucks their own mother. That element of the insult is so lost that some people have pondered why it's an insult, as there are plenty of mothers whom are desirable to fuck. To many people, the word is simply an offensive word that people use to show anger and provide insult.

Okay, so that kind of meaning shift occurs. Let's look at "nigger". You seem to be proposing that the same kind of meaning shift has occurred, and that word is less about the historical root of it's racial implication and more about being a word that causes shock and insult. Basically, it's something a person can call someone and make them mad.

That's not entirely outlandish. It is, I think, the underlying reason behind the term "nigga" being permeated in black culture. The idea is desensitization through overuse. And I have witnessed an encounter where I think the term was used not so much because the user was a raging racist as that he just wanted to insult and anger the black man he was addressing. So to some extent, there is an argument to be made that that process is occurring. To a degree.

However, I don't think it's that far along in the process. There may be some white subcultures where this attitude has started to spread, but I think the majority of people still see the historical and cultural baggage of the term. Basically, "You are inferior because you are Black." And there are still plenty of raging racists out there using the term precisely for that reason. "Nigger" is not dissociated from it's origin in the way "bastard" is.

Thus, to use "nigger" as an insult is inherently racist, and trying to use it just to insult one person without denigrating the whole class is not possible. The user may not mean to denigrate the whole class, but society as a whole views it that way. It is the basis of the insult. That word is not a generic make-you-feel-bad word the way asshole, dipshit, moron, bastard, shithead, etc. are.

Quote:
The same goes for "bitch". As an insult, it does not necessarily mean all women are mean or overbearing, although it can be used in such a way ("they're all bitches").
Okay, this leads to a different discussion. You are applying the term "bitch" to reflect particular traits of behavior, as opposed to mere female status. There are other terms that are largely used in a gendered fashion, such as "gold-digger". It is almost never used to refer to a man, it's always about a woman.

This is a more justifiable position, IMO. In a lot of people's mind, "bitch" is sort of the female analog to "bastard". It has lost connection to the root of being a promiscuous woman and turned to a term reflecting a display of attitude. Also, there is a secondary slang use to refer to a person as being subsidiary: "I'll make you my bitch."

So an argument could be made that it is okay to have gendered terms for dastardly people, and use "bitch" and "bastard" as parallel terms. However, there is still an underlying misogyny in the same way that English usage has been pushed to reduce gender-specific terms. For example, "flight-attendant" replacing "steward" and "stewardess". Although we still have a long way to go in that respect, as that shift is a hard one. We call women and men "Doctor", but we refer to actresses and actors. We're fading on the use of "comedienne" and shifting to a genderless "comedian".

So right now, there is some attention being paid to casual misogyny, the kind of subconscious use of words that convey a disparity of status for women. And one place this stands out is in the use of insults. Thus, the bitch/bastard dichotomy, and the idea that bitch is typically a female insult term, and thus about being female rather than displaying mean behavior.

Now let's bring this around to the 100 lb gorilla in the room, the main issue in the OP - "cunt".

To be honest, this is not an insult I've run into in the "wild". My encounters with that word as insult have been from this board, not through in-person encounters. So I don't know if that's because that word is perceived as too harsh even for someone who drop's "motherfuckers" and "cocksuckers" everywhere, or if it is just a reflection of my geography and socio-economic status.

As such, I can't really judge the statements that to Americans that word is perceived as out-of-bounds harsh. To this American, it's just not a word encountered. So I will take the word of the women on the board who say it is indeed an extremely harsh insult word.

What I can perceive is that the root of the word is "you are a woman so you are worthless". That is inherent bigotry against women as a class. Calling one woman a cunt, or calling a man a cunt, may to that speaker signify "this person behaves appallingly", but it has an underlying connotation of "this person is a woman, and therefore inferior". That's the message that a lot of women receive from the word.

So in that way, it very much is the sexual equivalent of a slur just like racial slurs. And that is why I think we can eliminate the use of that word without necessarily eliminating the use of any gendered slur, such as dick, dickhead, prick, etc.

As for "sonofabitch", it's not a term I particularly use. While some people have made the mental disconnect of that word from "bitch", to me that insult is essentially an insult against the recipient's mother. It's the white "yo' mama". It's, once again, a term to enrage a person by insulting his mother.

-----
* FWIW, I really feel shitty using that word so much in this post. Even though I'm only referring to the word, and specifying the word is important, I nevertheless feel bad using it. My apologies to anyone offended. It is not my desire to make anyone feel bad or that I think of anyone as inferior or subhuman because they are Black. It is sad that I have to stoop to this level of conversation to make the analogy in order to argue the point about "cunt"**.

** My apologies for using this word so much. It is the word we are addressing, but I still don't like insulting women as a class, or being perceived as doing such.
  #218  
Old 05-23-2020, 12:15 PM
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This word is the worst thing about this board. I experience it as a disgusting insult to women in general and whoever it's aimed at. As someone who sees no need to call anyone names, it also seems unnecessary. If invective is needed, creativity is more effective. Allowing this word is a great way to drive people from this board (which does not allow other group identity or group membership insults that are considered offensive in the US).

I normally don't wade into these threads, and I'm not going to defend my visceral response, since nothing I can say will convince someone who thinks it's necessary for their free expression, whatever that means in the context of a moderated message board that purports to support civility. The use of this word puts the standard of "don't be a jerk" to the test, and this community fails that test.

Last edited by susan; 05-23-2020 at 12:16 PM.
  #219  
Old 05-23-2020, 12:32 PM
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* FWIW, I really feel shitty using that word so much in this post. Even though I'm only referring to the word, and specifying the word is important, I nevertheless feel bad using it. My apologies to anyone offended. It is not my desire to make anyone feel bad or that I think of anyone as inferior or subhuman because they are Black. It is sad that I have to stoop to this level of conversation to make the analogy in order to argue the point about "cunt"**.

** My apologies for using this word so much. It is the word we are addressing, but I still don't like insulting women as a class, or being perceived as doing such.
Nice post.

If you use the phrase "the word 'X'" consistently, it makes the use/mention distinction clearer, I feel. So only and ever "the word 'nigger': or "the word 'cunt'". Using just quotes like you did is a good move, but I think adding that "the word..." makes it even clearer you're distancing yourself from usage.
  #220  
Old 05-23-2020, 02:12 PM
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.



It's not about being "gender-specific" so much as being about the root of the insult.

As I said above, "cunt" and "dick" might be anatomically equivalent gender terms, but they are not semantic insult terms. Also, one conveys a much stronger level of contempt than the other.



Gah! I'm flabbergasted. "Nigger"* inherently shows hatred toward a class of people. The whole root of that insult is "you are Black, and thus subhuman".

...
What I can perceive is that the root of the word is "you are a woman so you are worthless". That is inherent bigotry against women as a class. Calling one woman a cunt, or calling a man a cunt, may to that speaker signify "this person behaves appallingly", but it has an underlying connotation of "this person is a woman, and therefore inferior". ....

I see, so how do we rank these insults on a semantic scale? How many points, and where is the cut off? Sure "dick" isnt as bad as 'cunt", but then 'wop" or "kike" arent as bad as "nigger". (I'd rather use "n-word", but since you post uses it over and over, no use to try avoiding it.)

I have never heard of ""you are a woman so you are worthless"." it is always "you are a nasty or rude person, thus we are calling you a 'c--t'". Some nasty persons arent worthless at all.

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  #221  
Old 05-23-2020, 02:21 PM
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I see, so how do we rank these insults on a semantic scale? How many points, and where is the cut off? Sure "dick" isnt as bad as 'cunt", but then 'wop" or "kike" arent as bad as "nigger". (I'd rather use "n-word", but since you post uses it over and over, no use to try avoiding it.)

I have never heard of ""you are a woman so you are worthless"." it is always "you are a nasty or rude person, thus we are calling you a 'c--t'". Some nasty persons arent worthless at all.
Arguably, the K word is just as bad if not perhaps worse than the N word. My evidence? 6 million dead.
  #222  
Old 05-23-2020, 02:27 PM
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I see, so how do we rank these insults on a semantic scale?.
We don't, because it's impossible. You are constructing a strawman.

There will never be a lexicon of banned words. There will never be a definitive ranking system. These things are not necessary to enforce a general standard of polite discourse in a community.

This is why even the Supreme Court recognizes the concept of community standards, because what is obscene or egregious in one community might be different in another. Because even within a particular community, what is obscene or egregious will evolve over time. Just as it's done here on the Dope.
  #223  
Old 05-23-2020, 02:42 PM
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Allowing this word is a great way to drive people from this board (which does not allow other group identity or group membership insults that are considered offensive in the US).
I responded to this in an earlier post by Riemannand both his post and my response got ignored. Can the mods chime in on this? To my knowledge, this is a special case. It's important enough for the mod team to allow this exception so...why? What makes this so valuable that the normal rules don't apply?

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The use of this word puts the standard of "don't be a jerk" to the test, and this community fails that test.
The words of the women on this board are, once again, drowned out by literal pages of writing from men defending their right to use this word. And the words of the women are routinely ignored or dismissed. Several women have said in this thread and others that they view this word as a slur and it's use drives them from this board. Would any mods care to address that?

This board is skewing more white and more male year by year. There's a reason for that. And that reason is deliberate choices by moderators as to which words are slurs and which aren't or, to put it another way, deliberate choices on which groups are welcomed and which aren't. Anti-gay and anti-Jew slurs are modded far more stringently on this board...we have a gay mod though so it's not a surprise.

It's disgraceful that the entire mod team that they aren't listening to the targets of the slurs but are privileging those who wish to use them to the point of breaking the board rules to do so. If they had listened to homophobes then faggot would still be allowed but it isn't. Special rules again.
  #224  
Old 05-23-2020, 02:44 PM
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Arguably, the K word is just as bad if not perhaps worse than the N word. My evidence? 6 million dead.
I wish people didn't make these kinds of comparisons. They serve no good end.
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  #225  
Old 05-23-2020, 03:05 PM
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We don't, because it's impossible. You are constructing a strawman.

There will never be a lexicon of banned words. There will never be a definitive ranking system. These things are not necessary to enforce a general standard of polite discourse in a community....
Irishman, whose post I replied to and to whom those questions were directed 9altho of course, all are free to reply) seems to think there is.

So what is your solution?

The boards solution seems to be - disallow these terms used against posters and non-public figures. Except in the Pit. I disagree with the "except in the Pit" part.
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Old 05-23-2020, 03:12 PM
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dup

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  #227  
Old 05-23-2020, 03:14 PM
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I wish people didn't make these kinds of comparisons. They serve no good end.
I didnt make the comparison. Its an example of how this sort of language serves to dehumanize its targets and allows the users to brutalize them. The fact that the K word doesnt have the same sort of evil connotation as the N word is just stupefying to me.
  #228  
Old 05-23-2020, 03:25 PM
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Ha. We have our own K word in South Africa. And you can go to jail for using it.
  #229  
Old 05-23-2020, 03:26 PM
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Ha. We have our own K word in South Africa. And you can go to jail for using it.
Does that mean the autobiography using that word in its title cant be sold in SA?
  #230  
Old 05-23-2020, 06:51 PM
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I see, so how do we rank these insults on a semantic scale? How many points, and where is the cut off? Sure "dick" isnt as bad as 'cunt", but then 'wop" or "kike" arent as bad as "nigger". (I'd rather use "n-word", but since you post uses it over and over, no use to try avoiding it.)
My point in that comment is that different insults have different levels of offense. For instance, most people think "fuck" and "fucker" are stronger than "dick" and "shit". However, I have seen at least two T-shirts with "fuck" on them, so that may be shifting.

I know I brought it up, but I don't really feel the urge to defend the need to use the word "dick" on the board. I was just trying to explain that it's possible to argue against the word "cunt" without requiring equal service in dismissing "dick". Playing the "this word is harsher than that word" kinda falls into the trap you outline above, where different racial epithets get treated as different levels of offense, even though they shouldn't. So if the feeling is that we should be avoiding gendered insults, then maybe "dick" should be off limits as well. I'm agnostic on that point, as "dick" doesn't have centuries of oppression behind it.

And while we're at it, nobody has even mentioned the use of the word "pussy" to denote a weak, cowardly male.

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I have never heard of ""you are a woman so you are worthless"." it is always "you are a nasty or rude person, thus we are calling you a 'c--t'". Some nasty persons arent worthless at all.
Sure, the speaker may have the intent of "You are a nasty, rude person," but why is the word "cunt" the epithet to apply? Simply because it's a sex organ, and sex organs are dirty? Or is it because of an expression of equivalence to femalehood? Many people, especially women, feel it is the second reason. Thus, this thread.
  #231  
Old 05-23-2020, 06:57 PM
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And while we're at it, nobody has even mentioned the use of the word "pussy" to denote a weak, cowardly male.
Which, to some, is the worst insult you can make. That word was flung around at almost anyone in the US Army, supposedly to make you try harder. It only made me laugh.

"Hey, troop, ya got a rag on? Pussy!"
  #232  
Old 05-23-2020, 10:31 PM
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....


Sure, the speaker may have the intent of "You are a nasty, rude person," but why is the word "cunt" the epithet to apply? Simply because it's a sex organ, and sex organs are dirty? Or is it because of an expression of equivalence to femalehood? Many people, especially women, feel it is the second reason. Thus, this thread.
I will defend my right to call trump a despicable cunt and bitch, or dick, or prick, or asshole, or fuckhead or whatever name I like. And republicans can do the same with Biden. Or any such politician, male or female. Politics makes strange bedfellows and rules. Feelings run strong.

Now, yes, other posters? Even in the Pit? We can & should drop those words, and even be a little careful with other, similar words. Same with any non -politicians.

Can we agree on that as a compromise?

Last edited by DrDeth; 05-23-2020 at 10:33 PM.
  #233  
Old 05-23-2020, 10:44 PM
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DrDeth: I want to call people a cunt.
Other dopers: Please don't use that word.
DrDeth: OK, we'll compromise. I'll call people a cunt, and you don't complain about it.
  #234  
Old 05-23-2020, 11:01 PM
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DrDeth: I want to call people a cunt.
Other dopers: Please don't use that word.
DrDeth: OK, we'll compromise. I'll call people a cunt, and you don't complain about it.
No, I said I want to call Politicians that name, not people.

And I agreed it should not be used for anyone else.

However, dont speak for "other dopers"- speak for just one- TroutMan.

We are discussing what the rules should be for that word and similar words. Are you saying I dont get a voice? That you - apparently speaking for all Other dopers and the staff here- have made a decision?

Other members here also think it shouldnt be censored.
  #235  
Old 05-23-2020, 11:02 PM
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Can we agree on that as a compromise?
That depends. Are "we" the ones that establish the rules for this message board?
  #236  
Old 05-23-2020, 11:07 PM
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That depends. Are "we" the ones that establish the rules for this message board?

Not at all, but "we" are discussing it, no?
  #237  
Old 05-23-2020, 11:14 PM
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Not at all, but "we" are discussing it, no?
"We" can find differing opinions on every single rule that this board has established(and that we agree to in exchange for permission to post here).

Last edited by Czarcasm; 05-23-2020 at 11:16 PM.
  #238  
Old 05-23-2020, 11:14 PM
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No, I said I want to call Politicians that name, not people.

And I agreed it should not be used for anyone else.

However, dont speak for "other dopers"- speak for just one- TroutMan.

We are discussing what the rules should be for that word and similar words. Are you saying I dont get a voice? That you - apparently speaking for all Other dopers and the staff here- have made a decision?

Other members here also think it shouldnt be censored.
I am speaking for the dopers who said they didn't want that word used. I mean, their posts are right on this page, I'm not guessing here.

You certainly get a voice. But don't pretend it's a compromise when a lot of people say the word itself is offensive, and your solution is to keep using it.
  #239  
Old 05-23-2020, 11:18 PM
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....
You certainly get a voice. But don't pretend it's a compromise when a lot of people say the word itself is offensive, and your solution is to keep using it.
and a lot said otherwise.

In fact when Ed banned it, there was quite a bit of uproar, and there was much rejoicing when Miller rescinded that rule.

Look, I have said we should never use it for anyone but politicians. That is a compromise.
  #240  
Old 05-23-2020, 11:23 PM
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Look, I have said we should never use it for anyone but politicians. That is a compromise.
No-That is just a weakening, if not the total elimination, of an established rule that serves a very real purpose.
  #241  
Old 05-23-2020, 11:25 PM
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and a lot said otherwise.

In fact when Ed banned it, there was quite a bit of uproar, and there was much rejoicing when Miller rescinded that rule.

Look, I have said we should never use it for anyone but politicians. That is a compromise.
People in this very thread have written that the sight of this word and the hateful baggage it carries upsets them greatly. It drives people away from this board. And yet you seem to feel free to ignore their real feelings so you can use the word to attack politicians of all people. Can you not think of another word? Can you not think of other people? At this point in the discussion, using that word here on these boards is very Trumpian.

Last edited by madsircool; 05-23-2020 at 11:27 PM.
  #242  
Old 05-23-2020, 11:25 PM
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No-That is just a weakening, if not the total elimination, of an established rule that serves a very real purpose.
what rule?
  #243  
Old 05-23-2020, 11:28 PM
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People in this very thread have written that the sight of this word and the hateful baggage it carries upsets them greatly. It drives people away from this board. And yet you seem to feel free to ignore their real feelings so you can use the word to attack politicians of all people. Can you not think of another word? Can you not think of other people? At this point in the discussion, using that word here is very Trumpian.
And others have said they see no issue with using it. Nor have I ignored anyones feelings, the use here is as a example, and has been used by both sides.

In fact, other than here, I have not used it, iirc.

I was suggesting a compromise.

If you dont like it, fine.

It really doesnt matter what we do or say here anyway.

Here is the original big debate.
https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...highlight=cunt

Last edited by DrDeth; 05-23-2020 at 11:30 PM.
  #244  
Old 05-23-2020, 11:30 PM
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Can we agree on that as a compromise?
No.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDeth View Post
Are you saying I dont get a voice? [ . . . ]
Other members here also think it shouldnt be censored.
And other members here also think it should be. Are you saying we don't get a voice?

I don't know what, if anything, the mods are going to do. But clearly we're not going to be in agreement.

Politicians are people. Even when they're corrupt, spineless, hypocritical, willfully ignorant, thieving, poltroons who don't give a shit about their constituents and ought to be taken out with the garbage because they're not fit to be made into compost. And even if they weren't people, using a word as an insult is still using a word as an insult, even if what you're insulting is your toothbrush.
  #245  
Old 05-23-2020, 11:31 PM
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And others have said they see no issue with using it. Nor have I ignored anyones feelings, the use here is as a example, and has been used by both sides.

In fact, other than here, I have not used it, iirc.

I was suggesting a compromise.

If you dont like it, fine.

It really doesnt matter what we do or say here anyway.
If it were the ONLY word in our language that conveyed that specific meaning then maybe your attempt to reach a compromise would make sense. But there are many words and many phrases that convey the exact meaning without pissing people off.
  #246  
Old 05-23-2020, 11:32 PM
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I don't call standing still and having others move towards your position a compromise. The proper term for that is capitulation.
  #247  
Old 05-23-2020, 11:37 PM
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I don't call standing still and having others move towards your position a compromise. The proper term for that is capitulation.
What rule were you speaking of? The rule against using the c-word was rescinded some time ago. or didnt you know that?

Currently the rule is you can use it vs other posters in the Pit, and vs anyone else anywhere else. Unless the Mod in that forum thinks you are out of line for doing so, of course.

I was suggesting only politicians, anywhere. Isnt that a compromise on the current rules?
  #248  
Old 05-23-2020, 11:38 PM
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If it were the ONLY word in our language that conveyed that specific meaning then maybe your attempt to reach a compromise would make sense. But there are many words and many phrases that convey the exact meaning without pissing people off.
I give up, you win.
  #249  
Old 05-23-2020, 11:39 PM
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I was suggesting only politicians, anywhere. Isnt that a compromise on the current rules?
A compromise is when both side agree to give a little. What are you willing to give for this rule adjustment to happen?
  #250  
Old 05-23-2020, 11:41 PM
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A compromise is when both side agree to give a little. What are you willing to give for this rule adjustment to happen?


What rule were you speaking of? The rule against using the c-word was rescinded some time ago. or didnt you know that?

Currently the rule is you can use it vs other posters in the Pit, and vs anyone else anywhere else. Unless the Mod in that forum thinks you are out of line for doing so, of course.

I was suggesting only politicians, anywhere. Isnt that a compromise on the current rules?
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