Is the term BREEDER offensive? How much so?

To all straights, gays and everyone in between. What’s your slant on the term BREEDER when used to refer to heterosexuals. Do you find it offensive? If so, how offensive? How does it rank relative to other similar terms? Just curious…

I find it offensive. Maybe it isn’t the worst thing to call me but I wouldn’t appreciate being dehumanized in such a way.


OK, guess I’ll go first.

My wife and I have two children that we are very dedicated to.

Hearing or reading someone who is childless, for whatever reason, dismiss people as “breeders” is simply insulting.

I find it as offensive as the terms: faggot, nigger, kike, frog, mick, raghead, etc.

It’s dismissive contempt for someone based on one aspect of their lives. Uncool.

I dislike breeder with a passion. It brings to mind Nazi-esque eugenics programs and such…


I couldn’t care less. Doesn’t offend me in tiniest bit.

Like most all terms I find it neither offensive, no inoffensive in and of itself. It is how it is used. If the intent is to give offense I am offended. If that is not the intent, then what’s there to get excited about?

I’d never heard it before. Does it refer to all heterosexual people, in that we could potentially have children, or only ones it only apply to those who currently do?

My wife and I had several gay friends in the circles of people we would hang with. They would throw the term around. It become more poignant after my wife became pregnant, but I always found it kind of comical. I think you have to be pretty thin skinned to let that sort of thing bother you when you are not the repressed minority. I don’t think being called a “honky” would cut me that deep. But as a straight white guy, I wouldn’t use nigger, or faggot. Some groups have just suffered too much prejudice and the terms are blatantly derogatory. “Breeder” on the other hand: I can remember hearing some gay or lesbian friend saying, “I like breeders. without them, where would all the little hottie queers come from?” Struck me as pretty funny. Nope, not offended.

It doesn’t offend me, in the sense that I get personally miffed when hearing the term; however, I have only heard it used in the pejorative sense. Unlike the other, previously mentioned slurs, I have never heard one parent affectionally call another one (or himself) “breeder.”

Reporting from “the other side”, I dislike the term, and have used it occasionally in private conversation with other queer folk, but it doesn’t hit me as viscerally as nigger or kike or spic or faggot do. I don’t get the uncomfortable knot in my stomach that those words cause (not because I’m black or Jewish or Hispanic, just because they’re very hateful words).

Of course, I’m not the target of that term either, so my viewpoint is at least borderline invalid.

Straight=Breeder?? Hell no!! My wife and I “practice”. However, children are not what we are after. Childfree is the way to be. Thus I don’t find it offensive.

I reckon you’d have to have gossamer thin skin to be offended by this even if it intended as a perjorative. Me? I think kids are great. I can’t wait to have some of my own. Damn right I’m a breeder. Breeder cannot possibly be offensive to me.

It depends very much so on the 'tude of the person using it and the overall vibe around themselves i.e. if they’re acting rudely I’ll know they’re meaning it rudely. Otherwise, I just find it weak, like someone didn’t take more than 5 seconds to think of something.

I would say it depends on the intent.

However, I really wouldn’t reccomend it, anyways-think about it-some gay people have children-either in prior relationships, or through artificial insemination, surrogates, etc. So they’re “breeders” as well.

Also, some couples may desparately want children, but due to nature, are unable to do so. And calling them “breeders” may be doubly painful.

Is there some reason gay people feel compelled to use the term in the first place? Are there not other acceptable terms for straight people? As in, “straight people”? Or, “heterosexuals”?

If the term is used to show a sense of superiority over ‘breeders’, then stuff it. If it’s just a playful adjective, who cares?

It’s not offensive. It’s stupid. It sounds like an “insult” that was made up for a bad sci-fi movie or a particularly crummy episode of “Star Trek.”

Sam, I think the whole problem, like that with other generally derogatory but contextually ambiguous epithets, is that there are so many different meanings that can be instilled into the word depending on the tone of voice, the situation, the relationship between the person using the term and the person it’s aimed at, and an overwhelming number of other variables.

I know that I’ve heard it used in a way that was meant playfully, but if a racial epithet had been substituted it would have been a very bad scene. I’ve heard it used quite sincerely as a definite term of derogation. I’ve heard it used almost neutrally, much as the now-derogatory “colored” was used generally in the early-to-middle parts of last century.

I’ve personally used it in exasperation (when confronted with near-pornographic straight-couple activities on the dance floor of the local gay bar) myself, and in those cases it was not neutral. It was more in the sense of “We don’t go to their bars and dry-hump each other while trying to probe for laryngeal polyps with our tongues, so why are they doing it here?”

Although I will say, hopefully in mitigation, that I have never used it as a direct insult, to a straight person’s face.

I have to admit that the whole reason I started this thread is because I have been known to use the word. And I have been known to use it in a semi-pejorative way. In a way, it feels good to have some ammo with which to shoot back at some of the more bigoted heterosexuals. But I’m seriously reconsidering its use. I mean, I can’t even stand hearing other people use the word ‘gay’ in the negative, so I’m being a bit of a hypocrite when I use such language. It’s hard, because I have to be honest, it feels really good to say it sometimes.

I’ve always assumed that it was pejorative in intent.

I also find it so silly that I cannot take offense at it. Being called a breeder is rather like being called a grown-up by some child: the child may think it embraces all that they find wrong with older people, but I just find it descriptive.

I was not actually aware that it was a common term in the GLBT community. While it has shown up in the Pit a time or two, I had the impression that it was more likely to be used by some ZPG types, regardless of sexual orientation.

I can certainly see examples of situations in which parents have slighted non-parents or where parent-dominated groups have discriminated against non-parents: the “You can work late; I have to go home to my children” scenario is frequently mentioned. I find such bias and discrimination against people who do not have children to be unjust and indefensible. On the other hand, I find that the hurling of the epithet “breeder!” at a parent is simply comical and does nothing to further the discussion regarding the roles of parents and non-parents in any situation.

tom - One thing you are missing is that the term doesn’t refer to parents in-and-of-themselves. It refers to heterosexuals in general. In fact, I tend to use it mostly to refer to single heterosexuals.