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Tue Nov 27, 2012, 11:15 AM

On "Bitch" and other Misogynist language

Cross post from Another forum. With an addendum. I did NOT block out or use punctuation for certain words.

This article is from 2007. Have things gotten better? Or worse? Given the yet again, 'dust ups' over language, I found this post apropos to current events in general. What's sad is we still have to explain, over and over, why context is everything. This is a much longer post than the excerpt I have here and has a couple of embedded articles.


Quite honestly, I've had almost this exact same conversation before with male, self-identified liberal/progressive bloggers at whose blogs I objected to the use of sexist language, which is why I'm not identifying the blogger with whom I had this conversation. It's far too typical for me to single him out. I was, however, particularly disappointed by the way this conversation went, because I had thought that the person with whom I was speaking would be receptive to hearing how alienating it is, if for no other reason than because it will necessarily limit their audience. I was evidently mistaken.
By which I shouldn't be surprised, given that, as I said, I've had this conversation before, and it always goes the same way. So let me just respond to this point-by-point, since they're the same responses I inevitably get in such exchanges, and all of them have been raised in the comments of Shakes on multiple occasions:

1. The Brits use it. Some segments of British society are indeed fond of using the word cunt a lot. There are pubs in London where three seconds doesn't go by without someone shouting "yeh feckin' cunt!" at his or her mate. And…that really has nothing to do with its use at an American blog about American politics.

It also, btw, has nothing to do with whether it's intrinsically sexist. There are also bars in America where not three seconds pass without one guy calling another guy a fag. The frequency of its use in specific regional areas doesn't make it not homophobic—in those areas, or anywhere else.

Relatedly, the attempt to rip misogynist slurs from their roots to try to redefine them doesn't fly. "I'm using it in the European way" is just a cynical ploy to justify the continued use of misogynistic language that feels good to use. "Asshole" just doesn't have the zing! of "cunt," which is why we get these tortured explanations about how "cunt" isn't being used in the misogynistic way, but in the British or European way, where the word's ubiquity is fallaciously used as evidence that the word has lost all its meaning.
Throwing around the word cunt as if it has no meaning anymore—or some "new" meaning separate from gender—is ignorant and lazy, and contributes, in spite of all protestations to the contrary, to a culture of inequality.

2. I use it. My using the word cunt to describe myself and a man using it to describe another man are fundamentally different contexts. To pretend that this difference is not patently fucking obvious is what August calls a fabricated belief. No one with two brain cells still knocking together honestly believes that white people using the n-word as an insult and black people using it for any reason are equivalent, nor that a gay man describing himself as a faggot is the same as Ann Coulter describing John Edwards as a faggot. And no one should have the slightest bit of trouble wrapping their heads around the idea that my (or other women) reclaiming the word cunt (or bitch, or other sexist euphemisms) to describe ourselves is not the same as a man using it as an insult.

I love the word cunt, and I'm all for reclaiming it—but reclaiming "cunt" is about a woman wearing it herself and wielding it ironically, which is necessarily as a compliment, not an insult. If I call my girlfriend "a beautiful cunt" for expertly handling a sexist wanker, that's got reappropriative power. If I call her "a dumb cunt" because she does something foolish, not so much.

There are ways to use words and there are ways to use words—and knowing the difference, rooting out the subversive context from that which simply perpetuates oppression, is not remotely difficult.

And no matter how often women use it in a reclaimative fashion, it doesn't give anyone (of either sex) permission to use it as an insult. The whole "you use it" justification strikes me as a rather pathetic bit of whining; why do you get to use it and I don't? As if that's some big coup for the girlz. Trust me—in the whole "undeserved privilege since birth" v. "getting to use cunt" cage match, you've got the better end of the bargain. So STFU.

3. The guy who used it is "no misogynist." He was using this term for female genitalia to insult a man, after all, and his intent was not to be misogynistic. Okay, first of all, let’s pull this apart into two pieces:

A. Intent: If you're turning part of a woman's body into a slur to insult someone, the implication is necessarily that cunts are bad, nasty, less than, in some way something that a person wouldn't want to be or be associated with. That's how insults work. When cunt is used as a slur, it is dependent on construing a woman's body part negatively—and it thusly misogynistic, because it inexorably insults women in the process. Specifically using a misogynistic slur against a man can't be anything but intentionally misogynistic. If you don't intend to demean women, then don't use misogynistic slurs. It's really as simple as that.

B. Not a Misogynist. How often does one have to use misogynistic language before one can be identified as a misogynist? Twenty times? A hundred? An infinite number of times, as long as he doesn't beat women? During the "cunt/whore" dust-up recounted here, Piny wrote a great post addressing this very question:

I wholeheartedly agree that there is a difference between someone who posts an ill-conceived blackface photoshop caricature and, say, Nathan Bedford Forrest. I will also happily concede that there is a difference between someone who openly identifies as feminist but casually uses misogynistic slurs and graphic misogynistic riffs to deride people–women in particular–and, say, John Knox.

This does not mean that it’s a good idea to restrict “a racist,” “a sexist,” and “a misogynist,” to the very worst of the worst. …t reduces complaints about all of these words to matters of personal affront, such that “sexist” and “cunt” are equated. “Sexist” becomes not a criticism of someone’s demonstrated beliefs, a term like “reactionary,” but an epithet as crude as the slurs to which it responds. It’s mean and unfair to call someone a sexist.




http://www.shakesville.com/2007/11/on-bitch-and-other-misogynist-language.html

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Reply On "Bitch" and other Misogynist language (Original post)
ismnotwasm Nov 2012 OP
niyad Nov 2012 #1
snooper2 Nov 2012 #2
seabeyond Nov 2012 #5
Blue_Tires Nov 2012 #7
snooper2 Nov 2012 #9
Kaleva Nov 2012 #13
Whisp Nov 2012 #108
aikoaiko Nov 2012 #11
ismnotwasm Nov 2012 #12
Jeff In Milwaukee Nov 2012 #39
Tsiyu Nov 2012 #51
Jeff In Milwaukee Nov 2012 #86
SidDithers Nov 2012 #69
Son of Gob Nov 2012 #80
backscatter712 Nov 2012 #88
AlexSatan Nov 2012 #103
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #126
AverageJoe90 Nov 2012 #112
Aerows Nov 2012 #113
TalkingDog Nov 2012 #119
hobbit709 Nov 2012 #3
ismnotwasm Nov 2012 #16
hobbit709 Nov 2012 #18
redqueen Nov 2012 #21
hobbit709 Nov 2012 #23
redqueen Nov 2012 #24
pnwmom Nov 2012 #64
AlexSatan Nov 2012 #104
RC Nov 2012 #59
Gormy Cuss Nov 2012 #118
hobbit709 Nov 2012 #127
Gormy Cuss Nov 2012 #128
i am thee modren man Nov 2012 #46
pnwmom Nov 2012 #63
LanternWaste Nov 2012 #71
Iggo Nov 2012 #4
brewens Nov 2012 #6
TrueBlueinCO Nov 2012 #28
redqueen Nov 2012 #8
Zorra Nov 2012 #27
redqueen Nov 2012 #33
FrodosPet Nov 2012 #94
redqueen Nov 2012 #95
Arcanetrance Nov 2012 #10
gollygee Nov 2012 #14
Arcanetrance Nov 2012 #19
gollygee Nov 2012 #22
Arcanetrance Nov 2012 #25
redqueen Nov 2012 #30
Arcanetrance Nov 2012 #32
niyad Nov 2012 #96
AlexSatan Nov 2012 #105
redqueen Nov 2012 #20
TrueBlueinCO Nov 2012 #35
cyberswede Nov 2012 #47
TrueBlueinCO Nov 2012 #52
AlexSatan Nov 2012 #106
LanternWaste Nov 2012 #77
gollygee Nov 2012 #85
Little Star Nov 2012 #34
mythology Nov 2012 #123
Little Star Nov 2012 #124
Spider Jerusalem Nov 2012 #60
SidDithers Nov 2012 #72
redqueen Nov 2012 #82
ismnotwasm Nov 2012 #15
seabeyond Nov 2012 #17
Pacafishmate Nov 2012 #26
ismnotwasm Nov 2012 #41
Pacafishmate Nov 2012 #81
Lars39 Nov 2012 #84
JimDandy Dec 2012 #136
gollygee Nov 2012 #87
quinnox Nov 2012 #29
Little Star Nov 2012 #31
Sissyk Nov 2012 #38
Little Star Nov 2012 #74
Sissyk Nov 2012 #91
rrneck Nov 2012 #36
Whovian Nov 2012 #37
Lars39 Nov 2012 #42
ismnotwasm Nov 2012 #45
Whovian Nov 2012 #50
redqueen Nov 2012 #54
Whovian Nov 2012 #58
rhett o rick Nov 2012 #129
TorchTheWitch Nov 2012 #133
ismnotwasm Nov 2012 #57
Whovian Nov 2012 #66
ismnotwasm Nov 2012 #73
Whovian Nov 2012 #92
ismnotwasm Nov 2012 #116
redqueen Nov 2012 #40
ismnotwasm Nov 2012 #44
redqueen Nov 2012 #48
rhett o rick Nov 2012 #117
opiate69 Nov 2012 #53
MadrasT Nov 2012 #61
KitSileya Nov 2012 #43
redqueen Nov 2012 #49
Whovian Nov 2012 #99
redqueen Nov 2012 #100
Panasonic Nov 2012 #109
redqueen Nov 2012 #115
Zorra Nov 2012 #120
Panasonic Nov 2012 #122
Zorra Nov 2012 #130
Kalidurga Nov 2012 #55
MadrasT Nov 2012 #62
Zorra Nov 2012 #65
ismnotwasm Nov 2012 #67
Little Star Nov 2012 #76
gollygee Nov 2012 #78
Zorra Nov 2012 #97
redqueen Nov 2012 #98
gollygee Nov 2012 #101
Panasonic Nov 2012 #110
gollygee Nov 2012 #111
duhneece Nov 2012 #56
ismnotwasm Nov 2012 #68
Tuesday Afternoon Nov 2012 #70
SidDithers Nov 2012 #75
redqueen Nov 2012 #79
thesquanderer Nov 2012 #83
gollygee Nov 2012 #89
lumberjack_jeff Nov 2012 #90
sigmasix Nov 2012 #93
ismnotwasm Nov 2012 #114
lonestarnot Nov 2012 #125
Starry Messenger Nov 2012 #132
Quantess Nov 2012 #102
LineReply .
snagglepuss Nov 2012 #107
Jersey Devil Nov 2012 #121
notgoinback Nov 2012 #131
niyad Nov 2012 #134
redqueen Nov 2012 #135
redqueen May 2014 #137

Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 11:26 AM

1. k and r--and counting. . .

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 11:29 AM

2. I recommend people all start using car parts...

You stupid fucking crankshaft--


You think like a Chrysler transmission shifts--


You are acting like a Pinto's ass

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Response to snooper2 (Reply #2)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 11:34 AM

5. that is kinda cute. my 15 yr old will appreciate that. i will throw it out there

this afternoon.

he is soooo cute when i make him giggle.

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Response to snooper2 (Reply #2)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 11:42 AM

7. Why don't you go bleed your brakes, tough guy?

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Response to Blue_Tires (Reply #7)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 11:46 AM

9. keep talking like that I'll set your timing

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Response to Blue_Tires (Reply #7)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 11:55 AM

13. Oh! Another comment from the Turn Signal Not Working gallery!

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #13)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 05:56 PM

108. They blow their gaskets so darned easy around here. n/t

 

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Response to snooper2 (Reply #2)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 11:51 AM

11. You're a fouled plug.


LOL

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Response to snooper2 (Reply #2)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 11:52 AM

12. 'You have the logic of of a Mazda'

All rotary engine.

Heh

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #12)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:04 PM

39. Show me your volvo

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Response to Jeff In Milwaukee (Reply #39)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:27 PM

51. I'll show you my volvo if you show me your prius n/t

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Response to Tsiyu (Reply #51)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 03:08 PM

86. You know, its a darned shame that many people object to the word...

Tranny.

Because it would work so well in this thread.

But you won't see ME going there....

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Response to snooper2 (Reply #2)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:21 PM

69. Alright, that's pretty awesome...

nicely done

Sid

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Response to snooper2 (Reply #2)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:53 PM

80. Keep it up and I'll shove my banana in your tailpipe.

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Response to snooper2 (Reply #2)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 03:10 PM

88. Kiss my driveshaft!

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Response to snooper2 (Reply #2)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 05:39 PM

103. Seriously!?! I'm the first one to use "dipstick"!!!??

 

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Response to AlexSatan (Reply #103)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 09:22 PM

126. nah, we used that as an insult in my neighborhood in gradeschool.

 

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Response to snooper2 (Reply #2)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 06:06 PM

112. Love it!

I'm a gearhead so it kinda comes naturally to me.

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Response to snooper2 (Reply #2)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 06:08 PM

113. I'll change your oil

you broken rotor!

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Response to snooper2 (Reply #2)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 07:06 PM

119. Our recent favorite: Calling people J-holes.

It sounds like it should be a slur.

Stop acting like a J-Hole.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 11:30 AM

3. Note to word police:

banning words will not alter people's thinking.

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Response to hobbit709 (Reply #3)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 11:57 AM

16. Were you contemplating banning them?

I wasn't.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #16)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:04 PM

18. I believe in total free speech.

You have the right to say anything you damn well please no matter how objectionable, but be prepared to face the consequences when using "fighting words"
I have the right to not listen.
Groupthink has never been successfully legislated.

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Response to hobbit709 (Reply #18)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:10 PM

21. Perhaps you misread the post. It said nothing about banning.

You did read it, didn't you?

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Response to redqueen (Reply #21)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:15 PM

23. My comment was aimed at the word police.

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Response to hobbit709 (Reply #23)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:21 PM

24. This thread is about hate speech. nt

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Response to redqueen (Reply #24)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:05 PM

64. +1000. n/t

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Response to redqueen (Reply #24)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 05:40 PM

104. So you don't want to ban hate speech

 

What are you proposing be done about it?

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Response to hobbit709 (Reply #18)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:45 PM

59. +10

 

True words.

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Response to hobbit709 (Reply #18)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 06:42 PM

118. So you believe in the right to shout "Fire!" in a crowded theater?

That's the classic example of a reasonable limit on free speech. Others are when you say something slanderous, or advocate for the overthrow of the government. Freedom of speech is never absolute under the law. In fact, it's way beyond fighting words, it's against the law.

More to the point, internet discussion groups define their own language limits. DU has had some limits on for years -- no advocating for candidates other than Democrats, no crazy talk, no bigoted hate speech to name a few.

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Response to Gormy Cuss (Reply #118)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 10:49 PM

127. As I said "Be prepared to face the consequences"

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Response to hobbit709 (Reply #127)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 11:01 PM

128. Jail time's a good consequence, as is social shunning. n/t

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Response to hobbit709 (Reply #3)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:22 PM

46. Note to you: it doesn't fucking matter, Zippy.

 

Let me throw around the N-word and the K-word for Jewish peeps and see how long your little dictum lasts...

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Response to hobbit709 (Reply #3)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:04 PM

63. Does that apply to the n- word, too? But, as it happens,

you're wrong. Language DOES have an impact on thinking. Using misogynistic language reveals AND reinforces a sexist way of thinking.

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Response to hobbit709 (Reply #3)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:26 PM

71. Word Police to the left, Dramatic Labels to the right...

Word Police to the left, Dramatic Labels to the right...

(Personally, I like to use "Grammar Patriots" if I feel my argument isn't strong enough on its own, and must validate it with dramatics, but I imagine 'Word Police" does the precise same thing... )

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 11:30 AM

4. Goddam word wars.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 11:39 AM

6. I know that if a woman call a guy a dick or asshole, it's no big deal. I'm kind of used to it

by now anyway.

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Response to brewens (Reply #6)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:29 PM

28. They are still sexist words

 

that for whatever reason get a pass that bitch and cunt don't.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 11:45 AM

8. Related: 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence 2012

http://saynotoviolence.org/16days2012

Violence against women and girls is the most pervasive human rights violation. Up to seven in ten women experience violence in their lifetime. Governments have promised to end this pandemic. UN Women is calling on them to fulfill this promise and make new commitments to end violence against women and girls.


The fact that we ignore hate speech against women is indicative of a much larger problem.

It is one symptom of a sick society that we must change.

Words have power. People have no problem recognizing this regarding homophobic or racist slurs.

It is time to stop treating hate speech against women as if it is no big deal.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #8)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:29 PM

27. K&R for the OP, and for your post as well.

I can't help but believe that you understand that there are still many people who have problems recognizing that words have power regarding homophobic/transphobic slurs as well.

It's just that they are not quite as deeply ingrained as perfectly acceptable in the collective cultural consciousness as slurs based in misogyny are, possibly because homophobia is only just one more ugly by-product of the institutionalized fear and resulting hatred of women that has been a societal norm in too many cultures since antiquity.

Trying to remove the mote in god's eye is difficult and frustrating.

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Response to Zorra (Reply #27)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:41 PM

33. Thank you, and yes, I do.

It is unfortunate that pop culture's acceptance of hateful language has resulted in the appearance of some words as being socially acceptable.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #33)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 04:37 PM

94. Does it matter who is using it and how it is being used?

There is a show on SiriusXM satellite radio - Derek and Romaine, which consists of a gay man and a lesbian. They call their fans and friends "bitches" all the time.

http://dnrshow.blogspot.com/2012/03/attention-bitches-freaky-friday-alert.html

Is that use acceptable? Or should any use in any situation be unacceptable?

And when a woman uses it as a self identification with pride - even wearing it as a shirt - is it her identity=her choice, or does it make her a misogynist through the continued propagation?

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Response to FrodosPet (Reply #94)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 04:59 PM

95. Did you read the OP? That is No. 2 on the list.

It is one thing for a woman to use it with her friends in a non pejorative way... a gay man with such a woman doing so is probably not going to offend anyone either.

The issue here is really pejorative use. That is what people complain about. And responses like yours are all too often the reaction.

It needs to stop. This is really not complicated.

By pretending its complicated, the message is sent to people who use misogynist hate speech that, 'hey, go on and do it, we'll help make sure society doesn't come down on you by constantly trying to make it look like this is all really subjective and confusing' when it is anything but.

Edited to add the relevant part of the OP:

2. I use it. My using the word cunt to describe myself and a man using it to describe another man are fundamentally different contexts. To pretend that this difference is not patently fucking obvious is what August calls a fabricated belief. No one with two brain cells still knocking together honestly believes that white people using the n-word as an insult and black people using it for any reason are equivalent, nor that a gay man describing himself as a faggot is the same as Ann Coulter describing John Edwards as a faggot. And no one should have the slightest bit of trouble wrapping their heads around the idea that my (or other women) reclaiming the word cunt (or bitch, or other sexist euphemisms) to describe ourselves is not the same as a man using it as an insult.

I love the word cunt, and I'm all for reclaiming it—but reclaiming "cunt" is about a woman wearing it herself and wielding it ironically, which is necessarily as a compliment, not an insult. If I call my girlfriend "a beautiful cunt" for expertly handling a sexist wanker, that's got reappropriative power. If I call her "a dumb cunt" because she does something foolish, not so much.

There are ways to use words and there are ways to use words—and knowing the difference, rooting out the subversive context from that which simply perpetuates oppression, is not remotely difficult
.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 11:46 AM

10. Language and words change.

It wasn't that long ago gay was just another way of saying happy. If you were to ask someone if they preferred to have agay marriage they would just think you were talking about a happy one. I remember in the 90s the word Nimrod became an insult when it's original meaning was a compliment. So I believe one can use the word cunt and not be aware or even think of the term in a misogynistic way cause the words usage has changed everyone can be called one. This isn't me endorsing the word just making an argument as to how it could me used without having misogynistic tendencies by the individual

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Response to Arcanetrance (Reply #10)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 11:55 AM

14. If someone wasn't aware that it is a misogynist term

And they were told, "Would you mind choosing another word? You might not be aware of it, but that one is a misogynist term" and they said, "Oh, OK I didn't know that! Sure I'll choose another term" then I'd buy that argument.

But that isn't what happens. We say that it is a misogynist term, they say no. We say women are very often called that to dismiss them as being nothing more than the body part as they're being beaten and raped, so please use different language, and we're told we're too sensitive. We say that women right here at DU have gone through this and react strongly to that word because of it and people suggest that calling someone an asshole is equivalent.

I just don't buy that argument.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #14)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:08 PM

19. I disagree on the equality of cunt and asshole not in the same ballpark imo

I really think in a lot of circles the word is being seen less as an insult just aimed at women and more as a generalized insult to everyone. I think part of it is a general lack in civility and insensitivity towards others. I know during my angry teenage years I used it without a thought to what I was saying. I will agree that the word should cease to be used in any format cause it does disparage knowingly or unknowingly. But I really think it's become so deeply entrenched that in a lot of ways its lost its meaning to the world

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Response to Arcanetrance (Reply #19)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:11 PM

22. No, you not being aware of its meaning doesn't mean its meaning has changed

Someone else not being aware of its meaning doesn't mean it has changed either. It isn't a generalized insult, it is very specifically and obviously a name for a woman's genitalia.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #22)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:21 PM

25. I don't think everyone who uses the word think about it being used as a term for a vagina.

Over time with the mass acceptance of words people do stop thinking less and less about the meaning of things and it becomes more about its just another insult in the mass majorities mind. Like I said in first post I strongly dislike the word I grew up in a family of mostly women.

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Response to Arcanetrance (Reply #25)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:31 PM

30. It makes no difference.

We don't tolerate words that denigrate entire groups of people because 'everyone says them' and 'they don't mean it that way'.

We recognize that despite the intent, these words cause real problems for real people, and we educate people who are ignorant about the hateful ideas they are supporting by using those words.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #30)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:36 PM

32. I agree with you if has been fun discussing this with you.

I must be off to work I do agree with everything you said but sometimes amongst a group that agrees on everything someone must play the Devils advocate

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Response to Arcanetrance (Reply #32)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 05:01 PM

96. welcome to DU--and guess what? on this subject, everyone is NOT in agreement, and we do

not need a devil's advocate--we have plenty of people who disagree. you will see that if you are around a while.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #30)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 05:43 PM

105. What does "not tolerate" them include

 

if banning is not the intention?

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Response to gollygee (Reply #14)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:09 PM

20. Very well said. I hope people read the post,

and don't just react to the headline.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #14)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:44 PM

35. I pretty much never hear asshole or dick used to insult a woman, just men

 

I'm pretty sure that makes them sexist terms.

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Response to TrueBlueinCO (Reply #35)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:23 PM

47. Asshole isn't gender-specific

...and just because you don't hear something doesn't mean it isn't done.

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Response to cyberswede (Reply #47)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:30 PM

52. I know that it's not gender specific per se

 

but you aren't going to convince me that it isn't used in reference to a male 99% percent of the time.

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Response to TrueBlueinCO (Reply #52)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 05:44 PM

106. I use it with absolutely no regard to gender (nt)

 

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Response to TrueBlueinCO (Reply #35)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:35 PM

77. And the time may actually come when sexist insults are part and parcel

And the time may actually come when sexist insults are part and parcel of the collective and historical oppression of men as a whole.


Until that time arrives, my suggestion would be merely to choose not to insult anyone-- as it denies the problem (on an individual basis) before it has the opportunity to appear; unless of course insulting a person or a group is simply that important to a person.

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Response to TrueBlueinCO (Reply #35)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 03:07 PM

85. Opinions are like assholes . . .

You know the rest.

I don't use the word "dick" to describe someone for the same reason. There's an argument that there's a societal power differential and therefore words that hurt women have a stronger societal "sting" to them, but I don't really worry about that in my personal life and just in general avoid calling people by the name for their genitals.

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Response to Arcanetrance (Reply #10)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:43 PM

34. When women are saying the word is unacceptable then it is!...

what's so hard to understand about that? Women are the ones who have had those terms used as hate speech against them. And some LGBT people have too.

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Response to Little Star (Reply #34)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 07:49 PM

123. Which women?

There are some who say that the word bitch is inherently misogynistic and there are others who disagree. Or is it that any woman finds a word offensive enough to make it so that it's to not be used (which is somehow different than being banned)?

My personal line is if somebody who's opinion I respect asks me to not use a word around them, I won't. But just because somebody somewhere might be offended, or somebody who I don't respect, I see no reason to change my behavior toward them.

I personally only rarely use words like bitch, but that's mostly because I find it lacks imagination and precision.

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Response to mythology (Reply #123)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 08:02 PM

124. This subject is not about any one woman. It is a societal problem....

and even a rare use of such misogynistic language is unacceptable.

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Response to Arcanetrance (Reply #10)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:45 PM

60. Language and words not only change, they mean different things in different places

"Cunt" is in common usage in the UK, much more so than in the US; but in British usage, it's almost exclusively used of men, not women, and frequently as a sort of rough term of camaraderie, even (a not uncommon working-class greeting in, say, Glasgow: "how are you, you old cunt?") But then on this side of the Atlantic "bitch" also retains its meaning of "female dog" much more frequently than in American usage where it's by and large become purely a term of insult.

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #60)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:29 PM

72. Yup. I cringe every time I watch Shaun of the Dead with my kids (12 & 14)...

when Nick Frost's character asks his mates "Can I get any of you cunts a drink"



Cultural differences can make for interesting situations

Sid

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Response to SidDithers (Reply #72)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:56 PM

82. Number 1 on the list.

1. The Brits use it. Some segments of British society are indeed fond of using the word cunt a lot. There are pubs in London where three seconds doesn't go by without someone shouting "yeh feckin' cunt!" at his or her mate. And…that really has nothing to do with its use at an American blog about American politics.

It also, btw, has nothing to do with whether it's intrinsically sexist. There are also bars in America where not three seconds pass without one guy calling another guy a fag. The frequency of its use in specific regional areas doesn't make it not homophobic—in those areas, or anywhere else.

Relatedly, the attempt to rip misogynist slurs from their roots to try to redefine them doesn't fly. "I'm using it in the European way" is just a cynical ploy to justify the continued use of misogynistic language that feels good to use. "Asshole" just doesn't have the zing! of "cunt," which is why we get these tortured explanations about how "cunt" isn't being used in the misogynistic way, but in the British or European way, where the word's ubiquity is fallaciously used as evidence that the word has lost all its meaning.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 11:56 AM

15. The worst and most illogical argument in language 'wars'

Is that words do not matter. Thought I'd point that out.

It depends on how they're used and who is using them and the intent of the user. That's one of the things the blogger is trying to say.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #15)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:02 PM

17. words matter so much they create who we are by our chosen words to self, who others are,

who we are as a whole.

the fool that says words dont matter when reality we know.... words very much matter, all thru society.

we only choose to acknowledge they matter when it is to our benefit, then pretend they dont, if it does not fit our story.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:27 PM

26. Worrying about words: First world problems

 

Also as an addition, this person probably thinks its perfectly ok to call a guy a dick.

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Response to Pacafishmate (Reply #26)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:08 PM

41. You think

Developing nations don't have language or language boundaries? Interesting POV.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #41)


Response to Pacafishmate (Reply #81)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 03:05 PM

84. Word usage affects how people see and treat women worldwide, and yes even those

in third world countries. Not seeing women as people can lead to not allowing family planning, which can definitely lead to overpopulation, where food is scarce and resources are permanently ruined in order to feed that overpopulation.

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Response to Lars39 (Reply #84)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 08:59 PM

136. He's a crusty pizza pie. n/t

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Response to Pacafishmate (Reply #26)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 03:09 PM

87. Two points

1. No, this is a really big problem around the world, in all countries.

2. We are in the first world so I guess this means you agree this is a problem here?

Hmm actually more than two points.

3. That's a very interesting assumption, that the person thinks it's OK to call someone a dick.

4. If you agree that it isn't OK to call a man a dick, then maybe that means you agree that calling a woman a cunt is also not OK?

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:30 PM

29. where the article lost me is when they talked about permission

 

the author apparently thinks people need "permission" to use certain words freely. Nope. It's that pesky first amendment thing again. No permission required.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:31 PM

31. I am going to copy part of a post I made earlier because it fits here..

One thing that pisses me off is when people try to paint us women like we are against swear words. I can say bad words in anger or in fun just as well as any other person. I have no problem with swear words in a proper context/situation. I don't need a fainting couch or to clutch my pearls.

Misogyny and sexism are NOT swear words like fuck, asshole, etc. Sometimes I wonder if they are just too ignorant to understand the difference but I doubt that is the case. They want to conflate the two in order to try winning their point. Pisses me off to no end that they are allowed to get away with that.

Edit to add: Word police my ass!

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Response to Little Star (Reply #31)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:55 PM

38. But, the thing is the f word was what was yelled

and spit at me.

Little Star, I am replying to your post because you often make great post that get my attention. However, sometimes people can be very hypocritical when it comes to word usage. the c word and p word may very well be what victims of rape were called by. I, however, heard over and over and over and over and over "I'm gonna fuck you until I rip you open". Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! every time a slap or a punch was directed my way.

There are more than a handful of people on this website that fight daily to stop the usage of pussy and cunt; but they constantly and repeatedly was fuck in their post. Over and over and over and over and over again. Feminist that don't see the harm in that word. Feminist that hate the usage of pussy or cunt because they have been, or seen video of, or heard stories of, the rapist using the word. They seem to not realize that fuck can be used over and over and over and over again by the rapist so they keep using it over and over and over and over again.

However, I decided I WAS NOT GOING TO BE A VICTIM FOREVER!!! I was going to take the time to heal, grow, and go on with a happy life. To do that, I also had to overcome the scenes that flashed in my head every time I heard the word fuck! And, I did.

My point, for my happy life, is that words can only continue to hurt you if you let them.

Hugs to you, Little Star!!

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Response to Sissyk (Reply #38)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:30 PM

74. Sissyk,

I am very sorry for what you had happen to you. Breaks my heart and I wish I could give you a hug in real life. I know it's not easy to talk about even on a message board. You are very brave.

I feel bad that the f word is a trigger word for you. And that is just what it is, it's not misogynistic. Just think for a second, any word, color, smell, sound, etc. could just as easily be a trigger. Breaks my heart for you but I don't think we can expect people to stop using that word.

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Response to Little Star (Reply #74)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 03:52 PM

91. Thank you, Little Star!

Talking about it is part of the healing process. Believe me, I've talked about it for years and years until my therapist and family probably wanted to plug their ears! lol!

I understand all about trigger words. Believe me, I do! I brought it up because of your statement "too ignorant to understand the difference". I understand the difference, but wanted to try and show that some words seem misogynistic and/or hurtful to some while to others they may not be misogynistic and/or hurtful. I dont believe I, myself, can tell any one else which words they should be hurt or offended by.

I'm not making myself very clear here, I know. Let me try to explain. I have been reading here lately about "some" words being "trigger" words and therefore should not be used on DU because they may trigger someone's past. I was just trying to point out, that words like fuck, that is not considered misogynistic, can be someone else's trigger word whereas p c b and twat may not bother them. However, again, due to not wanting to be a victim my whole live, I was able to overcome the pain and fear I once had of the word fuck. I guess in doing that, I also overcame the fear and pain of the other words. They hold no power over me any more than fuck.

I try to focus my time on preventing rape, equal pay for women (I work in a men's field), and more women in government. Word wars I dont have time for. I'm not saying it is not important to some and they can do it all. However, I realize this is a public message board that has all kinds of people from all walks of like, each with different experiences. Therefore, I try to realize I am one of many on the board and there are placing (forums, boards) I may go to if I don't want to be involved with all the people.

I know this is scattered, and probably doesn't make any sense but I am tired. Ive worked 29 hours straight and need to get some sleep. Thanks for "reading" me, anyway.

Have a Good Evening, Little Star!

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:44 PM

36. Context includes

why a term is used, the person or persons hearing it, and what we know about the person using it. These factors have both a temporizing or an magnifying effect on the power of the word.

Hitting your thumb with a hammer and saying a bad word in front of your wife is different from using it specifically to hurt her. A general expostulation in a crowd is different from broadcast hate speech intended to malign an entire group of people.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:49 PM

37. Words evolve in their meaning.

 

More often than not when the words bitch or cunt are used today they have little sexual connotation. Just as the word fag no longer denotes a log fore the fireplace, those words are not implicitly tied to the female species in a derogatory manner.

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Response to Whovian (Reply #37)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:09 PM

42. No, words evolve in their meaning for *some* people, not for everyone, and certainly not at the same

time.

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Response to Whovian (Reply #37)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:18 PM

45. Really?

What led you to that conclusion? I know meanings evolve--I agree. But specifically the words bitch and cunt are no longer used against females in a derogatory sense on your opinion?

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #45)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:26 PM

50. "Bitchin' wave, dude." off the top of my head.

 

Karma's a bitch.
Damn, that hurt like a bitch.

Plenty of other examples are out there if you listen to popular music from the last 20 years.

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Response to Whovian (Reply #50)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:32 PM

54. "Bitchin'" is not pejorative.

When it is used in a pejorative manner, it denigrates women.

Please read the OP, if you haven't already.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #54)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:43 PM

58. SEZ YOU! Perjorative is in the eye of the beholder.

 

The word has its roots in the word bitch, includes the word bitch so why should it be held out as different?

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Response to Whovian (Reply #58)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 11:48 PM

129. I find this discussion interesting. So you think that pejorative is in the receiving

and not the saying? I am torn. You cant insult someone that doesnt accept the insult or maybe doesnt understand the insult. But on the other hand, I believe that some words can be made pejorative by the intent of the speaker.

I hope that makes some kind of sense.

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Response to Whovian (Reply #58)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 06:41 AM

133. I don't find it different at all and don't understand why anyone does

The only reason anyone considers it different is because of such common use. Unless one is using that word in identifying a female dog it is STILL a gender slur. It's just a gender slur that for some reason started being used for other reasons usually to describe something difficult, hence why the word was chosen as "difficult" is just a milder term then the ones it has always connotated. So long ago the word was only meant to identify a female dog and why it was chosen to be used as a gender slur against women to mean cranky, mean, nasty, evil, DIFFICULT, etc. There is a reason this word started being used a gender slur against women (which occurred of course during the middle ages around the 1400's - the most repressive time in history for European women)... female dogs ARE cranky or mean or difficult when in heat, pregnant or protecting pups, and reproduction was their major function then.

What I particularly dislike about it's modern usage that are not meant as a gender slur but to describe something difficult or painful, etc. is that it only serves to make hearing, using, writing and viewing the written word that much more mundane and thus that much more mundane when used specifically as a gender slur.

That word for me personally causes far more visceral reaction and anger than any other gender slur including the c-word that is what is generally the most vile of gender slurs to most women and it's because of my going through life being insulted FAR more with that word by both men and women than any other and the one more than any other that I'm considered "too sensitive" for objecting to it and that others throw at me that it's no big deal. All of that plus the ridiculously common use of it in society is what sets off my "fuck you" meter more than any other.

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Response to Whovian (Reply #50)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:41 PM

57. "Bitch"

I kind of get your point, but its still mostly reserved for as a derogatory term women, and a heterosexist slur for men. It's evolving but it hasn't evolved. Its been picked up in the general population as an all purpose word, denoting difficulty--and yet-- Ever go dog shopping? You'll find female pure breeds sold as a bitch. Brings it full circle

'Cunt' hasn't changed much. Partly I believe because of syntax, it's an ugly sounding word, auditory nails on a chalkboard. It hasn't evolved in my opinion, and it may never.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #57)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:09 PM

66. can we agree and disagree?

 

I don't care for the c word at all and have never really used it. Bitch on the other hand is a great descriptor for an extremely disagreeable woman, a whiny man, and dozens of other derogatory uni-sex applications. It has been used in these ways for nearly half a century that I can personally recall. Calling Ann Coulter a bitch is akin to calling Sean Hannity an asshole. Both descriptors are crude but neither are sexist IMHO.

While our language does not have the feminine and masculine descriptors such as Latino/Latina we still have gender specific words.

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Response to Whovian (Reply #66)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:29 PM

73. We can

I realize its problematic, as I said while bitch is evolving it hasn't evolved, but it seems to me there is a third party here, and that is the gay male; Word that are typically used to degrade women are also used to degrade a males 'masculinity'. I think this is the area heterosexism in language shows most clearly. If a male isn't 'man enough' he gets called names reserved for women or words that refer to women's genitalia using by language often reflect heteronormative standards that are far too often sexist.

I can't really speak for gay males however, not being one. Simply my opinion.

And a disclaimer; I'm no language angel. I don't use the word bitch however because of those shop for-a-dog descriptors. There was a time I'd use it without thinking.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #73)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 03:54 PM

92. I feel we also need to realise the different local and economic cultures

 

in which the etymologies of words often saddle many words and descriptors with vastly different meanings. I've been blessed by being fairly well read and with acquaintances from across the globe. I can usually figure out pretty quickl which words and phrases might be offensive to those within earshot. Not everyone can nor everyone wants that though.

The plus side to this is I can't think of a single word that would cause me to take personal offense. I've been called everything and since I was a kid, no word has ever done me harm.

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Response to Whovian (Reply #92)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 06:25 PM

116. That is also a very valid point

I grew up with racists for instance. I grew out of them through experience and education. Now I don't allow them in my life and I'm richer for it. But what I experienced growing up as a working class white female isn't the same as growing up as a black female.

I don't 'take offense' at words either, but I do think people should try to understand the point of view of oppressed or objectified people.

Especially on- line. As social media grows, my wish is for social media courtesy to grow with it. We can't really get to know people from a distance unless effort is put into it, so it's best, IMO to practice courtesy first, then snark if the situation calls for it. We're all fallible.

That doesn't mean people have to be somber and watch every single thing they say, just ingrained patterns of speech that hurt.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:05 PM

40. I wonder how many people are even deigning to read the damn post.

Not very many, apparently.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #40)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:14 PM

44. Very few

It's what I expected though, the article isn't so much about the words themselves as the context they're used in. Well, both I guess, the point being one can't be separated from the other without critical thinking skills.

But clearly not reading the article, posters are jumping right into the fire of unproductive argument.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #44)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:24 PM

48. And also providng real time examples of exactly the kind of excuse-making and rationalization

that the OP describes.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #44)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 06:40 PM

117. I read the post and will read it again at least once more.

First, thank you for posting. THis is an important subject that needs discussion. I doubt that I understand this issue very well. I have long wanted to discuss this issue(s) (actually more than one issue here), but am very cautious because in DU it is easy to be misunderstood and get labelled one thing or another. Some people have agendas and cant wait to slap a tag on you and run you up the pole to push their agenda.

A couple of things. The post used the word "cunt" repeatedly instead of the more common "c-word". I am glad to see that because I personally think it is intellectually ridiculous to use representations like "c-word" or "b-word" instead of the actual word. I am not a linguist and would love to learn more, but IMO words are sound(s) or a combination of letters that are used to communicate a meaning. When we talk about words, like the OP, we are not communicating a meaning and therefore not using the word in a pejorative manner.
And when you substitute "c-word" for "cunt", in this context, the meaning is exactly the same. So who are we fooling?
Please understand that this argument has nothing to do with the meaning of the words. That's a different argument that I will try in another post if I get my courage up. This argument is merely intended to be my rant about using the representations like "c-word" and "b-word".

Different subject. In posts 54 and 58 there is an apparent disagreement regarding whether pejorative use of a word is in the eyes of the beholder or not. I find this argument to be very important to this discussion and would like know how you feel.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #40)


Response to redqueen (Reply #40)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:59 PM

61. But but but FREEEEEEEEEEEE SPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEECH1!1!!!!

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)


Response to KitSileya (Reply #43)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:26 PM

49. Oh, that's good!

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Response to redqueen (Reply #49)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 05:15 PM

99. OMG, I can't believe this got hidden.

 

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Response to Whovian (Reply #99)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 05:23 PM

100. Ha, I am surprised it took so long.

It says bad words!

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Response to redqueen (Reply #100)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 06:03 PM

109. Sorry. I juried this one, and was among the 5 members to hide it.

 

Jury results here:


At Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:12 PM an alert was sent on the following post:

Great post.
http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=1889687

REASON FOR ALERT:

This post is disruptive, hurtful, rude, insensitive, over-the-top, or otherwise inappropriate. (See <a href="http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=aboutus#communitystandards" target="_blank">Community Standards</a>.)

ALERTER'S COMMENTS:

Other posts routinely get hidden for use of this language. Even in this very thread. Posters have been PPRd fir it. Either it is acceptable or its not

JURY RESULTS

You served on a randomly-selected Jury of DU members which reviewed this post. The review was completed at Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:18 PM, and the Jury voted 5-1 to HIDE IT.

Juror #1 voted to HIDE IT and said: No explanation given
Juror #2 voted to HIDE IT and said: Juvenile behavior. Just seeing how far they can push the envelope.
Juror #3 voted to HIDE IT and said:

Hide this childish image.


Juror #4 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: No explanation given
Juror #5 voted to HIDE IT and said: This is not very appropriate for GD.

We lost HopeHoops yesterday because of that, and we don't need to lose any more.
Juror #6 voted to HIDE IT and said: No explanation given

Thank you very much for participating in our Jury system, and we hope you will be able to participate again in the future.

--

It was an appropriate alert, IMHO.

I was juror #5.

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Response to Panasonic (Reply #109)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 06:19 PM

115. You think it was a good alert, you voted to hide it, so why apologize? nt

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Response to Panasonic (Reply #109)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 07:11 PM

120. That's interesting. And yet, yesterday in GD, we had this actual TITLE of an OP

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=1882694

Did you see that post? Oh, yeh, I suppose so; here's where you posted in that thread:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=1882761

So you apparently believe that the word Mother*****r is appropriate for GD, in the title of a thread in GD, which made it to the Homepage of GD. Did you alert on that post, or any of the many posts containing the word motherf***r in their subject lines, or did you think it that that word, and the myriad of other colorful words in that thread, were perfectly appropriate for GD?

But you voted to hide an expository graphic that debunks the excuses of misogynists for the use of misogynistic language, posted by a woman who was trying to make a perfect point, and used the the explanation that her post was inappropriate for GD?!?

Why? What is your reasoning here?





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Response to Zorra (Reply #120)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 07:31 PM

122. Hm.

 

People here say that phrase all the time.

Honestly, I voted to hide the thread but understand this, if it was on Meta, I would have voted to leave it - that's why I checked to see if this was a continuing HopeHoops thread or not. I lost a friend yesterday, and I don't want to lose more people, so that's why I'm kind of reluctant to do this kind of thing. I have excused myself from the jury from MANY misogynist threads because I'm a male, and I have women in my family - and I really relate with HH because he has daughters, I have a mom, two sisters, and a wife, so I'm really careful.

Misogyny is ALWAYS going to be a problem here in DU, and I have learned in the past few years (believe me, I've been here a long time) to really avoid those kind of antiwomen threads.

I remember when slinkerwink (a old friend, regularly hangs out at Kos) was offended by the word "b*tch" and complained at Ask the Admins back then, and there was a very long thread discussing it. I'm sure the thread is there somewhere if one bothers to Google it.

So I'm sorry if my initial reaction was to support hiding that post, but upon further review, maybe I should have just excused myself from the jury duty and let others complain about it at 4-1. (Note: I *almost* said the b*tch word, but substituted "complain" instead)

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Response to Panasonic (Reply #122)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 12:04 AM

130. "Misogyny is ALWAYS going to be a problem here in DU"

Yes, I totally agree, and the reason for that is institutionalized and enculturated (meaning socialization: the adoption of the behavior patterns of the surrounding culture) misogyny. Many people have difficulty recognizing misogyny within their processes and behaviors, simply because misogyny has been a cultural norm for their entire lives, and for thousands of years prior, so they generally don't recognize the latent misogyny within themselves, at least until some life changing event leads to an epiphany (ie a sudden realization about the nature or meaning of something) and reveals to them the existence of their own unrecognized misogyny.

And this phenomenon is not just a "man thing", it is frustratingly prevalent among women as well, although it appears to be a bit more common among men.

Thank you so very much for posting the jury results, and for your candid response to my question as well.


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Response to KitSileya (Reply #43)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:36 PM

55. Didn't see T-1 yet

But, I will check back when I get home. Thanks for the chart. I think it will probably prove useful in other conversations about derogatory language use.

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Response to KitSileya (Reply #43)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:01 PM

62. This rocks. n/t

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Response to KitSileya (Reply #43)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:07 PM

65. Bingo! Stole it for future use, thanks. nt

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Response to KitSileya (Reply #43)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:09 PM

67. My new wallpaper

Love it!

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Response to KitSileya (Reply #43)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:33 PM

76. Book Marking.

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Response to KitSileya (Reply #43)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:48 PM

78. Ha!

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Response to gollygee (Reply #78)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 05:10 PM

97. OMG! That post was hidden! One of the most perfect validations of a DU OP ever!

Obviously, it hit a very sensitive nerve among a certain segment of the DU population who have difficulty with being confronted with criticism of misogynists and the language of misogyny

Classic example of the whole cliche about how "the truth hurts".

Never mind the "Word Police".

The real threat is from the "Truth Police".

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Response to Zorra (Reply #97)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 05:13 PM

98. I'm surprised it took so long. I would LOVE to know who alerted. nt

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Response to redqueen (Reply #98)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 05:23 PM

101. I'd love to see the jury results too n/t

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Response to gollygee (Reply #101)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 06:04 PM

110. See post #109 for jury results

 

I was one of the jurors.

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Response to Panasonic (Reply #110)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 06:05 PM

111. I saw. Thanks for posting! n/t

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:40 PM

56. When several of us in our conservative community produced The Vagina Monlogues

We had to discuss the 'Cunt' dialogue among those who so hate the word, they were (some, still are) opposed to our production.
We explained that it was like Blacks taking back, owning the 'n' word. I still believe no whites, no matter how close buds they are, should ever use that word. I feel the same about cunt and slut.

Women taking back the words slut & cunt in power, in pride, in acknowledgement that they won't ever be hurt by these words ever again feels healthy to me. Hearing a man use these words will never feel healthy to me.

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Response to duhneece (Reply #56)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:11 PM

68. Agree

Nicely put

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Response to duhneece (Reply #56)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:22 PM

70. yes.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:32 PM

75. Somewhat related, was on a jury yesterday, and was surprised at the result...

At Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:24 PM an alert was sent on the following post:

Teacher Writes ‘You Can’t Be A Democrat And Go To Heaven’ On White Board
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021883997

REASON FOR ALERT:

This post is disruptive, hurtful, rude, insensitive, over-the-top, or otherwise inappropriate. (See <a href="http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=aboutus#communitystandards" target="_blank">Community Standards</a>.)

ALERTER'S COMMENTS:

Is using the word "bitch" in this way now acceptable to DU?

You served on a randomly-selected Jury of DU members which reviewed this post. The review was completed at Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:31 PM, and the Jury voted 1-5 to LEAVE IT.

Juror #1 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: Even though I voted to leave this post alone, the OP should be aware that the B word offends many at DU and should refrain from using it in the future. You use of that word on DU displays you to be a callous jerk. To the alerter, I wish you would address the OP directly instead of sniping at them with an alert. You could have done just as much good, if not more, by confronting the OP directly about their use of the B word.
Juror #2 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: No explanation given
Juror #3 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: No explanation given
Juror #4 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: I would recommend changing the commentary a bit. "Snapper Head" is a far better and more original insult.
Juror #5 voted to HIDE IT and said: It's not acceptable to me.
Juror #6 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: No explanation given

Thank you very much for participating in our Jury system, and we hope you will be able to participate again in the future.


I was juror #5, the lone hide vote. I'm not entirely surprised that the post was left, more that the vote went 5-1 to leave it.



Sid

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Response to SidDithers (Reply #75)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:50 PM

79. I am not the least bit surprised. nt

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 03:03 PM

83. Are "dick" and "prick" necessarily sexist insults as well? (n/t)

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Response to thesquanderer (Reply #83)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 03:11 PM

89. There are two ways of looking at this.

1. Yes, they're just the same.

2. Yes, but because women are given a lesser position in society, those words don't have as much of a societal "sting" to them when they're used.

Regardless, the answer is yes.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 03:44 PM

90. I don't think "context is everthing"

I don't think it should be about "the way you're saying it".

I don't support using "retard" as anything but a verb, regardless of who is saying it, why they are saying it, or whether they claim to be reclaiming it as an empowering bla bla bla.

Thus, the c word has no useful purpose on DU. Not from me and not from you.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 04:21 PM

93. linguistic realities

There are people that continue to claim that language has no real power over us- that words are just sounds or pictographic representations on a chalk board or peice of paper. I have listened to these sorts of trivializations of the impact and importance of language for years and find I am still amazed at the ability to self-deceive that this point of view represents. The point of the OP was not the notion that these words should be out lawed; the point is that certain words are linked to, and pervasive in, the cultural and emotional de-humanization of women. The OP goes on to suggest that individuals who choose to use these words cannot honestly make the claim that they are not a participant in the self-same dehumanizing act.
Language is the one tool that we recognize as a humanizing agent. In fact, there is strong evidence that the acquisition of language is what makes us human beings. Language enables us to exchange ideas, express emotive states, articulate visions of the future and past and influence the actions of others. Linguistics is the study of the way human languages work, where they may come from, and the function they serve. Other than fire, language acquisition and manipulation is probably the most powerful of the tools that enabled early man to overcome threats posed to mankind as a species.
There is no tool available to mankind that is more powerful than language- not even the atom bomb, yet many people continue to claim that language is a largely benign, passive part of the human condition as a whole.
Words like c#nt and bitch aren't just ugly pejoratives; they are powerful social tools used to legitimize and perpetuate a moral standard that places women in a box of preconceived notions and social strictures that seeks to dehumanize and trivialize them as important, productive leaders and human beings. Language has always served the social and political needs of the elite. The relationships between culture and language are not unidirectional; culture does not construct language and language does not construct culture- the relationship is a whole lot messier than that. As societies grow and change to reflect the various goals mankind shares, so does the language. The reasons behind those changes are not sufficiently explained by these sort of simplistic notions of representational reality being uttered by different and new agents- those changes are related to power structures within the culture and the linguistic defense mechanisms at work in sweeping intellectual and moral paradigm shifts.
Power does not give up it's advantages easily, and language will always be the last hiding place for those mechanisms that seek to defend power.
Feminist criticism is very adept at the discovery and articulation of these defense mechanisms. A time is coming when we ought to be rid of these out-moded linguistic entities that defend and promulgate a dead-end power structure that entails the exploitation and dehumanization of the "other"- in this case, women.
Why are there so many men that don't seem to understand this?
Answer: because men have been inculcated since birth to be the impetus behind the power structures within our culture. Not in a directed conspiracy, but in an organic personal way. It is difficult to see the forest when one is hiding in a hollow trunk.
.
.
.
just my .02

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Response to sigmasix (Reply #93)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 06:11 PM

114. Wow

That's a lot more than .02 my friend. Very nice post.

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Response to sigmasix (Reply #93)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 08:48 PM

125. Not every man has been inculcated since birth. Your last line.

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Response to sigmasix (Reply #93)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 04:47 AM

132. Great post.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 05:25 PM

102. Looks like this thread escaped from the Meta zoo.

Time to build a taller fence.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 05:52 PM

107. .

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 07:18 PM

121. Well, I go by the old sticks and stones rule

Sure, sometimes people don't think much before they speak and yeah, sometimes they say things that could easily be taken as an insult or sexist, etc., but it seems to me that their actions are more important and I judge what they say in that context. Of course, if you don't really know the person that is difficult to do, but then I try to give them the benefit of the doubt until they prove otherwise. I can't see getting all worked up about what might simply have been a slip of the tongue or a gaffe rather than an intentional expression of prejudice.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 04:42 AM

131. a loss for words...

 

Everybody uses profanity - some sparingly and others excessively. But, people who can only
articulate their opinions by using terms like "douche bag" and "dickhead" will never be taken
seriously by anyone. These are the kind of pointless invectives you see scrawled above urinals
in a bus station men's room.
George Carlin was right. The "F" word should be reserved for life-crisis situations, like being
pulled over by a highway patrolman when you have an empty vodka bottle propped between
your legs.
To me, liberal websites serve a dual purpose. One is disseminating news, facts and information
other media sources ignore or misrepresent. The other is providing a free-speech forum where
struggling students and ordinary working people can vent their frustrations. I don't mind reading
a short-winded tirade, cursing all the obnoxious gasbags, corporate toadies and psuedo-Christians
who peddle propaganda on Fox "News". Enduring eight miserable years of "Georgie Bush", followed
by four more years of GOP Obama-bashing, is enough to make the most reasonable person start
muttering X-rated insults at their television set.

I guess I like thinking we Democrats are smarter and "classier" than the hairy, almost toothless
Bozo who held up this sign at a Tea Party rally: "Fuk you, baby killer Commys!"














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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 04:24 PM

134. along the same lines is this intersting blog in ms

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Response to niyad (Reply #134)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 05:15 PM

135. This is why I agree with the OP re: context.

I reserve the right to use it in a non pejorative way.

In-group, non-pejorativeuse simply cannot be construed as hate speech.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Fri May 16, 2014, 01:53 PM

137. Just thought this could use a kick.

It also, btw, has nothing to do with whether it's intrinsically sexist. There are also bars in America where not three seconds pass without one guy calling another guy a fag. The frequency of its use in specific regional areas doesn't make it not homophobic—in those areas, or anywhere else.

Relatedly, the attempt to rip misogynist slurs from their roots to try to redefine them doesn't fly. "I'm using it in the European way" is just a cynical ploy to justify the continued use of misogynistic language that feels good to use. "Asshole" just doesn't have the zing! of "cunt," which is why we get these tortured explanations about how "cunt" isn't being used in the misogynistic way, but in the British or European way, where the word's ubiquity is fallaciously used as evidence that the word has lost all its meaning.

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