Jumping off the "Welshing" thread [misogynistic slurs]

I’m surprised about the offensiveness of “Welshing”. It’s not a word I remember ever using, but I understand and agree with retiring it. However, I am amazed and confused by the lazair faire attitude shown here for the words: t**t and c**t. I, and many women I know, find these words incredible misogynist, vulgar, and offensive.
I’ve gathered from context that this may have already been discussed here before. The Welshing discussion reminded me that I was pretty astonished that these two words are given a pass when other words that are no more/less offensive are forbidden. This is of course MO, but I thought I’d toss it out there.

Is this a thread about use of the misogynistic slurs c**t and t**t? You need to get a mod to sort out the formatting - it took a while for me to figure out what you were talking about, strange things happen when you use asterisks. You might also want to change the thread title to indicate what it’s about?

Yeah, that didn’t quite go the way I’d envisioned it. Apparently my attempt to not type the words in full collided with some formatting. I apologize for my error. And yes it is about those two words. :face_with_open_eyes_and_hand_over_mouth:
If a mod could correct my multiple errors I would appreciate it. And you are also correct that the title is too vague.

Based on what I see on TV, those words are a lot less offensive in England than in the US. British characters seem to use them as the slightly nastier, gender-neutral versions of “jerk” (the c-word) or “idiot” (the t-word).

I’m aware of the difference across the pond. However, I believe even there the words are slang for female anatomy, thus I feel sort of proves my point. Using female anatomy as derogatory insults is pretty offensive.

Theoretically, I suppose, words for female genitalia should be no more intrinsically outrageous as personal insults than corresponding words for male genitalia, like prick and dick.

Of course, theoretically, there’s also no reason why a modified color descriptor like whitey should be perceived as mildly derogatory while another modified color descriptor like n***** should be an absolutely unspeakable racial slur. The perceived offensiveness of words in actual language use tends not to follow theoretically consistent rules.

I agree – I would never use them myself. But it’s funny. I have a penis, yet I’m never offended when I hear someone called a “dick.” Must be my straight cis white male privilege.

I’d be curious to hear from our Anglophobes (or actual Brits) how the female anatomy insults came to be more acceptable over there. And while you’re at it, can you explain the origin of “taking the piss”?

It would be interesting to know how, “fa y” is more vulgar there than the words I’ve highlighted. It’s sort of amusing to me that it is also an acceptable woman’s name. I don’t know how popular now, but Jane Austen used it.
Hmm, I don’t know how to “censor” words, or what symbols could be used to censor them. To my knowledge fanny is pretty vulgar thus my attempt to censor it. Guh, what a pain.

Haha, when I read the first line I thought you meant “fairy.” I can’t imagine “fanny” being offensive – it seems like a totally innocuous version of “butt” – but if you say it is vulgar somewhere, I believe you.

This all sounds like the germ of a funny screenplay. An American and a Brit team up to fight an international villain and keep offending each other with words they think are tame.


This kind of thing is posted ad nauseam in threads like this, and it’s wrong - or at least, completely misleading. I’m just going to copy and paste what I’ve said before on the subject:

In the U.K., the word has a much wider range of usage. It can be used by men toward other men, in which context it can be as mild as a lightly mocking term of endearment. But it would never be used so casually toward a woman in that way. The range of possible meaning in the U.K. certainly encompasses U.S. usage as a severe misogynistic slur.

And everyone in the U.K. who has any online presence is aware of the more restricted usage in the U.S., and the strong taboo here. If a U.S.-centric message board disfavors or bans the word as a misogynistic slur, it will certainly not be surprising or confusing to British users.

The worst that might happen if the word were banned is that a careless British speaker might use it toward another man in a manner that an American might find mystifying as much as offensive. But that’s unlikely in a written post. And if a British speaker were to write it about or toward a woman, it would unambiguously be a severe misogynistic slur.

Considerations of British usage should have no bearing on Board policy, it’s a red herring.

I had a few British online friends who told me, “fanny,” means the same (though more vulgar) in England as the two words the thread is discussing…sort of. :slightly_smiling_face:

I would think the point of offensive insults is to be as offensive as possible. Where is the surprise? On the other hand, the exact same words might be used to talk about oneself in a sex-positive way.

It means the same thing, aka front bottom. But it’s less vulgar, on about the same level as U.S. pussy I suppose. And not used so much as a slur.

Fanny does refer to that part of the anatomy, but it is the mildest slang word of the lot.

Thanks for the detail and the accuracy. That makes sense to me.

I wasn’t really advocating for anything to do with Board policy, just making a causal (and not-very-well-informed) observation.

I don’t know if I was vague or you are being deliberately obtuse. The usage of those words as insults is not just insulting to the person you are insulting, but it is offensive to 50% of the population (the non-privileged half) to use their anatomy as an insult. I hope that was clearer, though I don’t think my original intent was that murky.

Ah, probably my faulty memory. It’s been 20 years since I chatted with those folks.

Isn’t that often deliberate? At the same time, yes, I am well aware that many people utter all sorts of things when out with the lads without giving it any thought at all. (Though IME real misogyny is seldom, if ever, inadvertent, by which I mean that those people who casually talk a certain way about women are truly despicable at heart and not being careless or clueless.)

So you feel misogyny is only intentional and not systemic?