Feminists, please learn what sexism is and how it applies.

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He didn't say that bitch wasn't insulting. Read what he said. Then comprehend. It's good for you.

Savagezion:
Bitch isn't sexist because it is singular first off. This ties back in to having to remind people 1 woman =/= all woman kind. If I get mad at a woman and call her a bitch, I mean her. I ain't calling all women everywhere in all of history bitches.

It doesn't really work that way. Quantity isn't the issue. Intent is. You were using synecdoche earlier, so let me elaborate with another example. When you want to accuse a man of being weak, what do you call him? A pussy. A euphemism for vagina. Something feminine. Your mind is equating weakness with the feminine and vice versa. So to insult a man, you call him feminine and therefor weak.

DrVornoff:
When you want to accuse a man of being weak, what do you call him? A pussy.

So calling someone a dick is misandry then?

PercyBoleyn:
So calling someone a dick is misandry then?

If the intent is to say that being masculine is a bad thing, yes. More often, you're calling someone a dick for the same reason you would call them an asshole: both body parts are traditionally considered unclean. Again, it's intent that matters.

DrVornoff:
If the intent is to say that being masculine is a bad thing, yes.

Only you can twist an insult that clearly implies men are bruttish, unpleasant and mean into something else.

I've been trying to stay out of this, but here we go.

The term "bitch" can apply to both men and women, so no. It doesn't mean "unpleasant person who happens to be female".

What it actually means, when you consider its use, is "person who possesses female attributes in a way which is humiliating or negative within this context". Hence, when applied to heterosexual men it generally implies the possession of "feminine" traits such as weakness or submissiveness.

When applied to women and non-heterosexual men, the range of meaning is a bit broader, but still revolves largely around the display of female social traits in a way which is either unpleasant or humiliating. Bear in mind, however, that it can still invoke weakness, it can still invoke submissiveness.

The fact is, you can talk all you want about misandry and how "dick" is a gendered insult, but there's a very simple problem. "Woman" can be used as a pejorative insult, regardless of whether it is actually said to a woman or a man. "Man" can only be used as a insult against women, and then generally to imply a lack of physical attractiveness rather than the possession of undesirable or shameful behaviours.

The majority of attributes which our society considers to be shameful have historically been (and still are, for the most part) assigned to women and/or "feminine" men. When you use a feminizing insult like "bitch", you are automatically referencing this built up social meaning which pre-dates your personal, individual use of the term, and whether you think you are or not it would certainly be legitimate, depending on context, to interpolate that meaning from the word.

Overhead:

Batou667:
Like, say you had a friend who was tall, French and red-headed. If one day he made you uncontrollably angry, you might call him a lanky, froggy, ginger bastard. [...]

You're insulting characteristics which, presumably although you have not specified it in the scenario, have nothing to do with the reasons for being angry with him.

You're arguing my point for me here. That's exactly right - and what's more, if I were to call a woman a bitch, her being female would probably be unrelated to why I felt negatively toward her too.

Overhead:
No, it's an insult. It's generally found in research to be one of the most insulting terms you can use to refer to a woman.

Citation needed. Also, I can think of at least five swearwords right off the top of my head that are more insulting. "Bitch" is the female equivalent of "bastard" - really not a very shocking or vehement expletive at all. Hell, women use the word themselves as shorthand for "a woman who is aggresive or badassed" - often not even in a particularly pejorative sense.

Overhead:
Where do you come from that calling someone a bitch isn't insulting, it's only if you attach some other insult to it (Like stupid bitch) that it's negative?

That's not even slightly what I was claiming.

evilthecat:
I've been trying to stay out of this, but here we go.

The term "bitch" can apply to both men and women, so no. It doesn't mean "unpleasant person who happens to be female".

What it actually means, when you consider its use, is "person who possesses female attributes in a way which is humiliating or negative within this context". Hence, when applied to heterosexual men it generally implies the possession of "feminine" traits such as weakness or submissiveness.

*groan* Here we go again. Look, Evil, I appreciate your academic background in these matters, but the way you feel qualified to talk in the broadest possible terms about every conceivable nuance of gender politics makes me raise an eyebrow with justified incredulity. Do you mean to say you had a module on gendered expletives during your studies?

"The bitch is back." "My new boss is a slave-driving bitch from hell." Do either of these examples evoke thoughts of weakness or submissiveness? No? Well then, Myth Busted. As I mentioned earlier, being "a bitch" isn't even seen as a necessarily negative thing in some circumstances - girl power, and all that.

evilthecat:
The fact is, you can talk all you want about misandry and how "dick" is a gendered insult, but there's a very simple problem. "Woman" can be used as a pejorative insult, regardless of whether it is actually said to a woman or a man. "Man" can only be used as a insult against women, and then generally to imply a lack of physical attractiveness rather than the possession of undesirable or shameful behaviours.

Where's that "Jackie Chan holding his head" reaction image when you need it? What you're talking about may have the the smallest glimmer of truth to it, but, in common with a depressingly large proportion of "X-equality" doctrine, it's blown out of all reasonable proportion.

Besides which, your idea that "man" is never an insult when applied to men is straight-up wrong. Imagine a situation where my hypothetical wife comes home to find the dishes, ironing and hoovering still not done, and me sprawled across the sofa surrounded by beer cans, watching the Women's Rythmic Gymnastics with my hand down my trousers. She sighs, rolls her eyes, and says "for goodness sake, you're such a man". It doesn't take a genius to work out that that's patently not a compliment.

I'm with Morgan Freeman on this one; the various "X-equality" lobbies would do well to stop picking at the slowly-healing scabs of historical inequality. By enshrining these perceived injustices as central tenets of the movement, well-intentioned as it may be, it actively perpetuates the very problem that they're trying to eradicate. You say "bitch" is inherently sexist? Too bad, I reject that. If I call a woman a bitch, I'm doing so without a shred of mysogeny. I'm fully post-feminist in this regard; in fact, I'm being positively pro-feminist and egalitarian in suggesting that women deserve the same treatment as men, namely the right to be sworn at if they deserve it. Would calling a woman a "dick" or a "bastard" be any nobler? Of course not, because intent is everything.

Batou667:

Overhead:

Batou667:
Like, say you had a friend who was tall, French and red-headed. If one day he made you uncontrollably angry, you might call him a lanky, froggy, ginger bastard. [...]

You're insulting characteristics which, presumably although you have not specified it in the scenario, have nothing to do with the reasons for being angry with him.

You're arguing my point for me here. That's exactly right - and what's more, if I were to call a woman a bitch, her being female would probably be unrelated to why I felt negatively toward her too.

So why are you using bitch as an insult if has nothing to do with the reason for wanting to insult her?

You've said that it's not their gender that has caused you to insult them, but it's their gender you're insulting. If they've spilt coffee on you, why call them a bitch instead of a clumsy idiot if the implication you're trying to make is they're a clumsy idiot? If someone makes racist comments, why call them a bitch instead of a racist?

Bitch SPECIFICALLY attacks people based on gender and is meant to harm, intimidate or disparage someone because of their gender and these negative connotations associated with it. You have stated you will do this even if the reason you are insulting someone has nothing to do with their gender. Textbook sexist behaviour. Honestly, do you even believe sexist language can possibly exist or do you believe it's an invention?

Citation needed.

Do you have access to scientific journals form a local library or the like? If so there are some studies published online I can link to.

Also, I can think of at least five swearwords right off the top of my head that are more insulting. "Bitch" is the female equivalent of "bastard" - really not a very shocking or vehement expletive at all. Hell, women use the word themselves as shorthand for "a woman who is aggresive or badassed" - often not even in a particularly pejorative sense.

This seems to be just based on your personal opinion and not much else. For instance you equate bitch and bastard which have totally different meanings, bitch being related to negative qualities females are considered to have while bastard being related to illegitimate heritage and having transformed over time into a more generic insult devoid of those connotations in most instances.

As for women using the word themselves, that is the case. Some women also use cunt to describe women. Some black people call each other nigger. Context is key.

Overhead:
Where do you come from that calling someone a bitch isn't insulting, it's only if you attach some other insult to it (Like stupid bitch) that it's negative?

That's not even slightly what I was claiming.

Sorry, I glanced across your comment and gave it too much credit. Please consider my response changed to "What the hell are you basing that on?"

Also while you're doling out your indusputable opinion about what is okay and what is not, is it okay to call a black people a nigger is I am calling him it because he made me angry for some reason unrelated to his skin colour. Afterall in that case, to paraphrase yourself, "the race component of the insult 'nigger' is just an identifier, not an insult in itself."

*groan* Here we go again. Look, Evil, I appreciate your academic background in these matters, but the way you feel qualified to talk in the broadest possible terms about every conceivable nuance of gender politics makes me raise an eyebrow with justified incredulity. Do you mean to say you had a module on gendered expletives during your studies?

"The bitch is back." "My new boss is a slave-driving bitch from hell." Do either of these examples evoke thoughts of weakness or submissiveness? No? Well then, Myth Busted. As I mentioned earlier, being "a bitch" isn't even seen as a necessarily negative thing in some circumstances - girl power, and all that.

See, this is just indicative of your problem. You make vast assumptions based on your limited understanding of the subject and assume that your gut assumption is fact.

For instance if you have access to the study "What's the worst thing... ?" Gender-directed insults (Preston, Kathleen; Stanley, Kimberley) then you'll see that insults which denote homosexuality/femininity are considered the most insulting by men.

Then how you completely misinterpret the possibility of gender directed insults being insulting and negative by attaching negative qualities to women that are dominant, even when the act of using that insult is a direct challenge to her dominance by insinuating that these are negative qualities in a woman.

evilthecat:
The majority of attributes which our society considers to be shameful have historically been (and still are, for the most part) assigned to women and/or "feminine" men. When you use a feminizing insult like "bitch", you are automatically referencing this built up social meaning which pre-dates your personal, individual use of the term, and whether you think you are or not it would certainly be legitimate, depending on context, to interpolate that meaning from the word.

Without having read into the thread, I'm actually largely with Batou on this one. Not to say that the power structures posited by some feminists don't exist, but some of that seems really far too far fetched for my tastes. Take your example for instance - while there are certainly a lot of connotations in there, I'd really like to see some verifiable data that such language constructions do indeed negatively influence the society in terms of gender roles to a significant degree. Much like Batou argumented, the insult "Bitch", while clearly transporting some value-judgements about gender, is from where I'm standing still largely descriptively used and I doubt that getting rid of it would really lead to a significant change towards equality.

I can't help but feel that much better than waging a war against windmills (or small-fry would be more accurate) such as this would be to tackle the political dimension at large i.e. introduce quotas, make an effort to empower women by deconstructing discriminatory laws, maybe do programs for both men and women to actually get them into jobs that are usually associated with a different gender and things like that. Bashing down onto such small issues is, as symptomatic as they might be, the wrong way to go at it - the only thing I can see it doing is polarizing and lending more credibility to the misogynist counter-movement because "Wahhh! We men aren't even allowed to use the insults we like!". And I can't see that as being desirable.

Batou667:
Do you mean to say you had a module on gendered expletives during your studies?

I'm not referencing a study, I'm talking about the use of language. I know I paraphrase a lot, but I do have some brain meat in here with which to form personal opinions. Whether you think I'm authoritative in this regard is up to you, but I think that should stem from whether my argument holds up, not whether or not I learned it in class.

Batou667:
Do either of these examples evoke thoughts of weakness or submissiveness? No? Well then, Myth Busted.

To quote myself.

When applied to women and non-heterosexual men, the range of meaning is a bit broader, but still revolves largely around the display of female social traits in a way which is either unpleasant or humiliating

Batou667:
As I mentioned earlier, being "a bitch" isn't even seen as a necessarily negative thing in some circumstances - girl power, and all that.

However, just because some people use the term "nigger" to show endearment or pride doesn't erase its highly developed meaning as a racial insult. It's not suddenly okay to refer to a black person as a nigger because someone used it as a term of endearment once.

Words can alter their meaning in context. Yeah, that's pretty uncontroversial, right? But it doesn't change the word. It does change the semantic meaning. It's changing the semiotics which make that meaning intelligible.

Batou667:
She sighs, rolls her eyes, and says "for goodness sake, you're such a man". It doesn't take a genius to work out that that's patently not a compliment.

But what does it mean?

Well, semantically it means that you suck at menial tasks. It means you have a fully-developed sex drive. It means you derive satisfaction and self-worth from doing things which are fun and pleasurable as opposed to engaging in unpaid labour.

And besides, it's not like you couldn't stop wanking and do the washing up, isn't it? It's not like the statement is actually reflecting an essential trait about who you are or a genuine perceived inferiority or inability on your part. It's not like it's suggesting you're weak, irrational, passively spiteful, congenitally deficient, neurotic, infantile or any of the other things which feminization insults routinely imply.

Can you imagine this statement being spoken in genuine antipathy or hatred? Can you imagine its use coinciding with serious violence? Can you imagine someone trying to break your spirit by using the term?

If so, you've got a better imagination than me.

Batou667:
You say "bitch" is inherently sexist?

No. That's kind of the opposite of what I'm saying.

I'm saying that language is a social phenomena, and that thus you can't just decide on an individual basis what the words you use reference or mean. It doesn't matter, noone cares or is obliged to care.

When the unequal social and political structures which still give feminization any kind of pejorative meaning are removed, you'll be able to use the word as much as you want. However, why would you want to? The meaning of the term is derived from referencing those things, without them the term would be as meaningless as me calling you a "varlot" or a "stinkard".

"Intent" is meaningless. Sure you can attempt communicate your intent semiotically, but you can't just suddenly pretend that when you use a word it only means what you want it to mean and nothing else.

Dajosch:
Much like Batou, the insult "Bitch", while clearly transporting some value-judgements about gender, is from where I'm standing still largely descriptively used and I doubt that getting rid of it would really lead to a significant change towards equality.

I'm not saying that the use of the word "bitch" is a keystone of all inequality. I'm saying it's a symptom of wider inequalities in our society.

I'm not saying it needs to be banned. I'm saying that it's not just suddenly okay because you've decided its okay. There are real social forces behind the word, which is precisely why it is effective as an insult in the first place. It's not some random reference to an embarrassing body part, it references real inequalities, real social phenomena, and derives its meaning from them.

This is not the same thing as saying it can never be used. Heck, I use the word quite a lot myself. The best way to change the meaning of a word is to keep using it, to counter-repeat its original meaning, to remove its hurtful connotations and make it funny, silly, affectionate or otherwise more benign.

But it does mean that you can't just suddenly pretend the word itself is automatically okay just because you're okay with it. That's not how communication works.

PercyBoleyn:
Only you can twist an insult that clearly implies men are bruttish, unpleasant and mean into something else.

If that's what you want to believe, far be it from me to stop you.

This article seems somewhat relevant.

Guess What? You're a Feminist!:

Feminism is not a radical movement or a fringe movement or an embarrassment or a fraud. Feminism is simple. The "patriarchy" does "exist." To identify as a feminist is to acknowledge that women are people, and, as such, women deserve the same social, economic, and political rights and opportunities as other styles of people (i.e., men-people). To be a feminist is also to acknowledge that the world is not, currently, a fair and just and safe place for women to exist. Because it is not. Obviously (see: everything ever). To deny these things makes you, at worst, a bad person who hates women, including but not limited to: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jennifer Garner, Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Lopez, your mother, Jennifer Lopez's mother, Jennifer Garner's Aunt Marcy, Michelle Obama, Ellen DeGeneres, Cher, Julie Andrews, Kim Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian, Kraken Kardashian, Karphone Kardashian, Kickball Kardashian, Kornkob Kardashian, and THE VIRGIN FUCKING MARY. At best, it makes you a complacent idiot.

Overhead:
So why are you using bitch as an insult if has nothing to do with the reason for wanting to insult her?

You've said that it's not their gender that has caused you to insult them, but it's their gender you're insulting. If they've spilt coffee on you, why call them a bitch instead of a clumsy idiot if the implication you're trying to make is they're a clumsy idiot?

Like I said, if I called a woman a bitch, I'm no more attacking her woman-ness than if I said "oh, you clumsy woman". In both cases, the reference to femininity would just be an way of identifying and highlighting who the insult was directed at.

Bitch SPECIFICALLY attacks people based on gender and is meant to harm, intimidate or disparage someone because of their gender and these negative connotations associated with it.

Perhaps in some particularly mysogenist corner of the world this might be true, but I've never in my life known this to be true anywhere in the Alglophone world. As far as I'm concerned, "bitch" is equivalent, in harshness, to "bastard"; it's PG-12 language, the kind of thing you say as a euphamism in lieu of something really profane. The implication that the word has centuries of female denigration behind it and ought to be regarded as a verbal slap across the face is ridiculous hyperbole and miles removed from my first-hand experience of how the word is used in the real world.

You have stated you will do this even if the reason you are insulting someone has nothing to do with their gender. Textbook sexist behaviour.

That depends on whether you think sexism is defined as apathy or antipathy toward these rather minor aspects of women's rights. I don't have any kind of anti-female sentiments, but nor do I think they're some kind of "fairer sex" who deserve deferential treatment to the point of being shielded from certain mild expletives. To my mind, that makes me a realist and egalitarian.

This seems to be just based on your personal opinion and not much else. For instance you equate bitch and bastard which have totally different meanings, bitch being related to negative qualities females are considered to have while bastard being related to illegitimate heritage and having transformed over time into a more generic insult devoid of those connotations in most instances.

What I'm saying isn't based so much on opinion as personal experience. You say that "bastard" has evolved, as all words do, in this case from a grave insult to a mild expletive that is more an expression of annoyance than a personal slur in today's parlance. Abolutely. I'm saying that the same "de-toothing" process has happened to the word "bitch".

As for women using the word themselves, that is the case. Some women also use cunt to describe women. Some black people call each other nigger [...] is it okay to call a black people a nigger because he made me angry for some reason unrelated to his skin colour. Afterall in that case, to paraphrase yourself, "the race component of the insult 'nigger' is just an identifier, not an insult in itself."

You're talking about the reclaiming of language here, which is different to linguistic "de-toothing" because it's a deliberate inversion of the intended effect, rather than a gradual wearing-off of meaning. Black people's use of "nigger" is an in-group identifier, because to use the word implies exemption from the usual taboo of using it. In the same way, you might call your friend a "sonvabitch" or even "motherfucker", almost as a term of endearment. Hell, in Australia you call a stranger "mate" and a friend "cunt".

But to answer your question; if an obnoxious black guy made me angry, could I call him a stupid nigger? Realistically, no, because I think "nigger" genuinely does have the weight of centuries of inequality behind it so it's still very much an abusive and racist word in all but a few very specific contexts. One day, when race ceases to be such an issue, we probably will be able to use race-specific identifiers in both positive and negative contexts without any stigma being attached to it. In an ideal and enlightened world, "you silly black fool" would be no more offensive than "you great lanky oaf".

For instance if you have access to the study "What's the worst thing... ?" Gender-directed insults (Preston, Kathleen; Stanley, Kimberley) then you'll see that insults which denote homosexuality/femininity are considered the most insulting by men.

Then how you completely misinterpret the possibility of gender directed insults being insulting and negative by attaching negative qualities to women that are dominant, even when the act of using that insult is a direct challenge to her dominance by insinuating that these are negative qualities in a woman.

No, I haven't read the study, but in all honesty I'd be suspicious of the intentions and preconceptions of the authors. Feminism isn't just an equal-rights movement, it's a political movement, complete with its own underpinning assumptions and core beliefs. As such, it's in feminists writers' own interests to perpetuate the conditions that allow their movement to exist; namely, to continue to emphasise gender inequality and to assert that misogyny is real, frequent and ubiquitous.

(Tinfoil hat time!)

Trying to re-arm innocuous and barely-offensive words as proof-positive of the patriarchy at work is, in my opinion, one way feminists are desperately trying to make their movement seem still relevant in a world where equality is increasingly being achieved. It's a calculated and divisive move, designed to re-open the healing wounds of gender inequality.

In summary: context is everything, not everybody operates on the assumption that females and femininity are inferior, words change in meaning and impact, and there are worse things happening in the world right now. Let's get over it and stop bitching about it.

arbane:
This article seems somewhat relevant.

Guess What? You're a Feminist!:

Feminism is not a radical movement or a fringe movement or an embarrassment or a fraud. Feminism is simple. The "patriarchy" does "exist." To identify as a feminist is to acknowledge that women are people, and, as such, women deserve the same social, economic, and political rights and opportunities as other styles of people (i.e., men-people). To be a feminist is also to acknowledge that the world is not, currently, a fair and just and safe place for women to exist. Because it is not. Obviously (see: everything ever). To deny these things makes you, at worst, a bad person who hates women, including but not limited to: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jennifer Garner, Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Lopez, your mother, Jennifer Lopez's mother, Jennifer Garner's Aunt Marcy, Michelle Obama, Ellen DeGeneres, Cher, Julie Andrews, Kim Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian, Kraken Kardashian, Karphone Kardashian, Kickball Kardashian, Kornkob Kardashian, and THE VIRGIN FUCKING MARY. At best, it makes you a complacent idiot.

While i see your point like i said in an other topic already those folks are called "sane people" over here. The old fashioned 50's misogyny is seen as absurd and retarded by almost everyone over here. The only ones who still seem to be extremely sexist are extremists such as "Shariah4belgium". Branding almost everyone with an activist name is rather pointless hence why feminist usually refers to the more hardcore activists over here. Like those who want quota's, those who overthink everything and see sexism everywhere (such as those who think "insults" are "sexist insults" even though 99% of the users of said insults don't use it in a sexist manner), etc.

EDIT: just to be sure. Don't get me wrong sexism still exist to certain degrees, but it has improved drastically over the last decades and the thought patterns that were common and acceptable 50 years ago are now deemed unacceptable and rather rare.

Batou667:

Perhaps in some particularly mysogenist corner of the world this might be true, but I've never in my life known this to be true anywhere in the Alglophone world. As far as I'm concerned, "bitch" is equivalent, in harshness, to "bastard"; it's PG-12 language, the kind of thing you say as a euphamism in lieu of something really profane. The implication that the word has centuries of female denigration behind it and ought to be regarded as a verbal slap across the face is ridiculous hyperbole and miles removed from my first-hand experience of how the word is used in the real world.

Basically this is the problem right here. You refuse to accept anything which contradicts your first-hand experience. A minor problem with this is that it contradicts the first hand experience of a lot of other people. The more major problem is that anecdotes are useless for analysing a situation and anyone who relies on them is an idiot.

You've asked for citations and then not only do you not have access to the scientific journals which contain the sources you want me to cite (not really your fault, the commercialisation of scientific journals is a great tragedy in my eyes and I only have intermittent access) but you state that you wouldn't rely on scientific research not because of any inherent flaw with methodologically, but just our of general principle and an inherent suspicion of bias of these views that contradict your own.

I hate to think how hard it would be to try and make you understand the sexism in language that isn't related to insults and other derogatory terms (The massive pre-disposition towards male pro-nouns, the differing qualities of adjectives that are applied to males and females, etc).

You've stated bitch is okay to use because in your opinion the weight of centuries of discrimination are no longer behind it. Nigger is bad because centuries of discrimination are still behind it. You're laid out no evidence or logical framework for why this is the case, this difference is simply based on your gut feeling.

You're simply too close minded to bother with and further, not in that you refuse to agree with bitch being sexist, but rather that your reasons for deciding bitch aren't sexist are drawn from your own blinkered world rather that a greater understanding of the situation which can be drawn from thousands of reports, studies and philosophers.

evilthecat:

Batou667:
She sighs, rolls her eyes, and says "for goodness sake, you're such a man". It doesn't take a genius to work out that that's patently not a compliment.

But what does it mean?

Well, semantically it means that you suck at menial tasks. It means you have a fully-developed sex drive. It means you derive satisfaction and self-worth from doing things which are fun and pleasurable as opposed to engaging in unpaid labour.

That's one very rose-tinted way of looking at it. Another way would be to describe stereotypical "maleness" (or being a "lad" or a "bloke") as encompassing laziness, mental and emotional immaturity, irresponsibility, hedonism, scruffiness, and sexual infidelity. The "dopey dad" trope in advertising isn't exactly a celebration of male superiority, is it?

It's not like it's suggesting you're weak, irrational, passively spiteful, congenitally deficient, neurotic, infantile or any of the other things which feminization insults routinely imply. Can you imagine this statement being spoken in genuine antipathy or hatred? Can you imagine its use coinciding with serious violence? Can you imagine someone trying to break your spirit by using the term?

Damn, "bitch" means all of that, does it? I had no idea.

I'm saying that it's not just suddenly okay because you've decided its okay.

And I'm saying it's not suddenly horribly offensive, in contradiction of common sense and personal experience, just because a lobbying group with a persecution complex and too much time on their hands decides that it ought to be.

Overhead:
Basically this is the problem right here. You refuse to accept anything which contradicts your first-hand experience. A minor problem with this is that it contradicts the first hand experience of a lot of other people. The more major problem is that anecdotes are useless for analysing a situation and anyone who relies on them is an idiot.

You've asked for citations and then not only do you not have access to the scientific journals which contain the sources you want me to cite (not really your fault, the commercialisation of scientific journals is a great tragedy in my eyes and I only have intermittent access) but you state that you wouldn't rely on scientific research not because of any inherent flaw with methodologically, but just our of general principle and an inherent suspicion of bias of these views that contradict your own.

I hate to think how hard it would be to try and make you understand the sexism in language that isn't related to insults and other derogatory terms (The massive pre-disposition towards male pro-nouns, the differing qualities of adjectives that are applied to males and females, etc).

You've stated bitch is okay to use because in your opinion the weight of centuries of discrimination are no longer behind it. Nigger is bad because centuries of discrimination are still behind it. You're laid out no evidence or logical framework for why this is the case, this difference is simply based on your gut feeling.

You're simply too close minded to bother with and further, not in that you refuse to agree with bitch being sexist, but rather that your reasons for deciding bitch aren't sexist are drawn from your own blinkered world rather that a greater understanding of the situation which can be drawn from thousands of reports, studies and philosophers.

It's true that I didn't give your cited study much credance, but that's in part because I think that there's almost guaranteed to be a bias; either in the preconceptions of the researchers, their methodology, their interpretations of the findings, or all three. It's a bit like how I'd hesitate to accept at face value a study claiming to show new evidence for a young-Earth theory, if it was posted on a Creationist website. Or a study that claims to conclusively show that eating steak causes cancer, posted on a Vegan site. Feminism is a very political domain and therefore I need to screen-out inherent bias - not quite what I'd call "being blinkered".

In the absence of conclusive evidence either way (a bit like Creationism) it's only natural that my chosen form of reality-checking is to square up the issue with my own life experiences, common consensus, and a degree of logic. I'm fairly conservatively-minded so, yeah, I do tend to ask for quite conclusive evidence that the status quo is rotten and needs to be dismantled before I pick up an axe and join the baying mob. I'm glad you brought up pronouns because this is another area where I think feminism gravely overstates the importance, impact, and intent of ingrained language conventions, and is yet another bit of evidence on the "bullshit" side of my scales when I try to weigh up whether Feminism (as opposed to just being a decent person and supporting gender equality) has any real relevance. These arguments about the supposedly misogynyst roots of language seem contrived, wholly convenient in that they add more support to the nebulous catch-all bogeyman of a Patriarchy, and are at best a smoke-screen that obscure genuine and immediate gender equality issues.

On the issue of racism, I think this recent news story is an analogue of the gendered language (non)issue - in both cases, a lobby group of self-appointed worriers are claiming to represent the entirety of their demographic, and in both cases seem to be actively going out of their way to find offense on their demographic's behalf. It's hypersensitive pedantry and reveals less about the tryannical, pro-male, white nature of society and more about the victim complexes of those who thrive on being persecuted.

DrVornoff:

If that's what you want to believe, far be it from me to stop you.

The feeling is mutual.

Savagezion:

I find it funny that you claim "How [a woman] dresses, or why, should not in any way be a major factor in how she's recieved in the community." However, this comes after "slut shaming" booth babes on how they dress. It is conceivable a booth babe dressed as Lara Croft may have played and enjoyed the Tomb Raider games. I know some are just there for the gig and don't care about games but how a woman dresses, or why, shouldn't be a major factor in how they are received by the community, correct? If you are going to claim that their knowledge of gaming is why you are shaming them then is our community so self-righteous that we shame anyone for not knowing or caring about gaming? Shall we then look down on any celebrity at conventions that don't really play games or even moms and dads that take their kids that don't play games?
The point is, these women are models. I don't think that what they do is in any way shameful. They have a career path they follow and this is a gig that is available. I don't look down on booth babes but I do look down on the industry's practices (which hire these women) of trying to make me evaluate their product in a more positive light using my hormones instead of appealing to the integrity of the product itself.

If a man dressed like DMC's Dante constantly wearing an unbuttoned collar shirt with no shirt on underneath, you can bet his ass would be judged. Make no mistake. However, males don't do this mainly because there is not much reason to. We dominate the industry currently and are supposedly the bulk of the community so doing this wouldn't really serve any purpose other than scaring homophobes. Now on the other hand, if you are a woman, lick a PSP and you will be given a job and put in video games.

Finally, those 4 voice acting roles were given to her a year AFTER "Do you want to date my Avatar" made a big sensation in the community. As well, the reason I listed those numbers was to show that her webshow following is marginal at best and do NOT warrant the amount of fame she has. Plus, I never said that her doing the video robbed her of her merits. The merits are still there, but if you want to know why she is as well known as she is, let's not kid ourselves. Let's notice the sudden rise in "OMG Felecia Day!" reaction after that one video was made.

I've never said anything about the merits of being a model and getting a booth babe gig. However the implication of calling a woman a booth babe is that you are only "accepted" within the gaming community because you look hot while cosplaying, not because you know anything about games. Since Felicia Day has proven she's quite knowledgable about games it is obviously an insult. Just like I'd be insulted if someone called me a booth babe if I ever went to a gaming con. Nice try in shifting the goal posts though.

As for Day's voice acting your argument is utterly irrelevant. The original twitter was the question if (paraphrased) "she had done anything for the gaming industry and if she wasn't just a glorified booth babe". Whatever or not she landed her voice acting jobs before or after her satirical video on avatar dating is beside the point. Besides, you just said that you respect models and Felicia Day started her career as a television actress. Part of her job is to be photogenic and dress as appropriate for the parts she play. Once again you are trying to shift the goal posts to acquiese your own argument.

Savagezion:

I am not judging her talents by her fanbase, I am judging her fanbase. Click the red button under my avatar. That little dude has serious talent and he won't be going away. He is more talented than Timberlake who was once ridiculed for the same thing and has the most influencial people in R&B mentoring him. He is seriously a little white Michael Jackson who has potent raw talent at a young age under the influence of some of the best R&B/hip hop musicians of this generation. When he gets a little older, he will pull out of the bubble gum stuff and go mainstream and have more mature content and then people will recognize his talent for what it is, just like Timberlake.

That's relevant because as famous as Day is, she hasn't proven herself yet. She is still in the little leagues. You want a female that can be weighed by her merits? Amy Hennig. Most people will have to google who the hell she is but she has made huge contributions to gaming including a couple of video game series' that have and will go down as legendary titles. SHe is a bad ass that gets no love. She is the reason Crystal Dynamics is having to remold Lara Croft if they don't want the series to die. But she is an older woman in her 60s I think, so she doesn't get much facetime. Now if she was in her 20's - 30's and would get dolled up, she would probably be paraded across the industry. Look at Jade Raymond and she was just a producer.

If you are a female and have the aptitude for video game design, there are intern scholarships being offered. Males don't have that so they must have competative aptitude. This is a case of affirmitive action trying to balance out the dominance of males in the industry. This is a good thing. However, Day's case is not one of aptitude it is one of presence. As her presence continues, she does gain credentials. But she got big before she had credentials. Even now her credentials are small time. So why is she so famous?

Apart from your odd tangent about fanbases, you are basically saying that since Day isn't "proven" yet, it is perfectly fine to insult her by using a gendered insult and insinuating that she's only a part of the gaming community/industry because she's ready to show some skin and dress up in revealing cosplay? Felicia Day is an actress and that's her main "presence" in the gaming industry. Whatever or not she has proven herself or not is not a reason to throw around insults that are clearly aimed at her gender or double guessing her motives or reasons for wanting to call herself a gamer and be active in the game industry.

Savagezion:

His best point out of that entire 2 part article is that it was marketed on kids channels and its freaking Batman. It slipped right into a grey marketing area where they were marketing to teens that have a tendancy to watch these channels and hit the kids with the marketing as bystanders. I will agree that this was mismarketed but this isn't "You're mom will hate it" 18+ year olds scumbag worthy.

Now for this whole thing, one thing you have to pay attention to is the word bitch "took an arrow in the knee" in this game. Most of the lines he references are audio files that are frequented because of the frequency of those mobs being in the game. This could be argued that this is what they mean by laziness, but that isn't how he addresses the laziness claim. He claims that they just didn't feel like putting in the effort to not be sexist and clung to a stereotype. (Although, "All women are bitches" is more a stereotype against rappers than anything else so this is a kind of crazy claim; or at least odd.) But the biggest complaint is that the word bitch is "heard to much" and the complaints just don't hold up if you take out the thugs' dialogue loop. It's the same boo-boo that started the arrow in the knee joke. If he is going to claim that "Sexism by any other name is still just as detrimental", what about if it goes by the name 'affirmative action'? You can't have it both ways.

Also, one point he never touched on that he should know is that Gotham is a compound character that use the citizens in it to express itself. This is common sense to anyone who has extensively read Batman. Gotham City = Corruption. Gotham City = Criminals dominant/Citizens scared + helpless. Hell, cops are portrayed as either corrupt or worthless. As such, criminals are rarely individualized, especially thugs/brutes. So it is understandable that all thugs would be murdering rapists in this context. They aren't individualized. 1 thug = all thugs in the name of using Gotham as a compound character. City officials are usually the only persdonas that are individualized. I don't think this is what the game was trying for, no. But it is acceptable.

Finally, asshole is more of a sexist slur against men then bitch is towards women. WIth it, you are either talking about a man or anatomy. Women aren't called assholes. They are called bitches and cunts. However, you can use bitch to say "Stop your bitching", "That's bitchin'", Life's a bitch." Bitch is the 2nd most versatile cuss word next to fuck. I call men I don't like assholes, women I don't like bitches, and both sexes can be called douches by me. That doesn't make asshole or bitch a sexist slur. Bitch is often used as a sexist slur in rap. Hell, Hulk's phrase he used as the title to his 2nd article could be argued to be considered a sexist slur. He used it as double entendre though so like I said, it could be argued. Clearly the people in question in the game don't like the person they are calling a bitch. SO it is less about their gender and more about their outlook on them.

You can't have read far into his text since a large chunk of the second part deals with the "compund world"/"hyper realistic world" argument. His entire argument can be summed up as "unintentional sexism created by laziness/lack of forethought/whatever is still sexism" and I think that's pretty apt for Gotham City. I played Catwoman a lot in the combat/stealth challenges and more then half of the taunts aimed at her are sexual innuendos ("I a going to make you purr, catwoman", "I want to see what's under that suit" etc.) compared to the more generalized anger aimed at Batman ("Come here, freak!", "We are going to break you, batman" etc.). I like the game a lot but it really does seem to contain a disproportionate number of dialogues and taunts where women are casually written off as bitches or as objects that you want to fuck.

As for your idea that bitch is such a versatile swear word: read some of what Evilthecat has to say about it. Also consider why an insult gendered at women (asshole isn't gendered, since it refers to an anatomical part both men and women share) is so "versatile" as to be used whenever something is bad or sucks. I'm sorry, but you are using mansplaining again to tell women that an insult clearly invoking their gender isn't really doing it and the way you do it is by admitting that it is a gendered insult (but not really) and trying to create a false equivalency to another swear word.

DrVornoff:

PercyBoleyn:
So calling someone a dick is misandry then?

If the intent is to say that being masculine is a bad thing, yes. More often, you're calling someone a dick for the same reason you would call them an asshole: both body parts are traditionally considered unclean. Again, it's intent that matters.

But not when the word bitch is involved? Why the double standard?

I'm not one to be insulting most of the time, but I'll use whatever fucking words I want, all I goddamn ask is that people not be a bitch about it and get their heads out their asses. See what I mean?

Holy shit. This thread like blew up from the time I got off work this morning to now. Again, I assure you guys I will respond but I ain't going to slave over a forum talking AT people that are more interested in trying to find a hole in my argument than listening to it. I have been reading replies as they have been posted all week and for 10 hours at work, consider your arguments. I try to figure out what your intention behind them is and then, based on that, I try to challenge them, weigh their merit, and re-examine my own arguments. Then I try to evaluate the best way to present my counter argument if one applies.

So here, I will reply to the things I feel are most important to reply to. Then I am going to play some more vidja games on my weekend off.

Overhead:
Which isn't what you said.

Well, whoopty-poop. Are you so hard up for a victory you are clinging to technicalities? My point still stands.

Except you've just said you would apply it to all women kind.

What? When and where? You want to cling to technicalities, you better quote me on that shit.

A women makes you mad? What a bitch she is. It doesn't match up with any specific characteristic, she doesn't have to have done anything in particular to be a bitch, just that women you don't like are bitches.

Now you're getting it.

It is explicitly a sexist insult because it implies a condition of being a bitch which is inherent to all women when they do things displeasing. Even if you only use it against one women, it is an implicit judgement on the whole gender because only women have the qualities of being a bitch, not men.

Oh, men have the capabilities. Trust me, but at the expense of having you go into some pseudo-sexism speech about gender roles and pattern behavior and how "their is exceptions to the rule" I'll spare you the explanation and me the reply.

Is nigger not racist either if you only use it for black people when they make you mad? After all, you're not referring to their skin colour just like bitch apparently doesn't refer to sex, you're just using it as an insult for one particular black person because they happen to be making you mad and their skin happens to be black, but it isn't an insult related to skin colour, right?

You know, I hate when women do this about the word. You're seriously trying to hide behind the largest slur in hopes it will save your argument. Let me explain something about this tactic, it's wrong. See, as above where I noted asshole generally is used to be speaking of a man or anatomy, nigger means but 1 thing and 1 thing only. If you are trying to say that Scarlett O'hara faced the same kind of oppression as Kunta Kente, I am going to call you a liar and lose a bit of respect for your argument. It honestly appears like you are trying to use the racial oppression used on blacks to validate your own seperate cause.
Now, I have seen and been in many of these types of debates before so lets head something off at the pass. Yes, if you are going to claim that statement in THIS argument, you do NEED to know the degree of how bad a slur is because you are demanding others must be more sensitive to the feelings of others about the word bitch yet you then turn around and trivialize nigger. If you are going to demand slur sensitivity, how about you practice what yuou preach. Nigger is in NO WAY the same thing as bitch.

I want you to imagine something for a minute. Imagine you go down to mexico and when you arrive, a guy runs out in front of your cab and the mexican cab driver calls him a spic. "Weird" you think but you continue on to the hotel. AT the hotel you encounter two mexican dudes having an argument and they keep calling each other spic. Seems odd... Then you go inside and two mexicans are at the counter and one opens the other's can of soda and drinks it and the other one playfully calls him a spic. ALl through your trip mexicans are calling each other spic or even proclaiming they are a spic as a title of honor.
Tah-dah, that is American women. American women say bitch on average just as much (IMO probably more) than American men.



Don't even try to compare the Nigger Niggah thing. It is different. I won't go into how unlss provoked as I think it is common sense.

Cheesepower5:
I'm not one to be insulting most of the time, but I'll use whatever fucking words I want, all I goddamn ask is that people not be a bitch about it and get their heads out their asses. See what I mean?

I'm not telling you what words you can and cannot say. I'm just asking to think a little more critically about what comes out of your mouth. I think it says a lot about how low this debate has sunk that such a position could be called unreasonable.

DrVornoff:

Savagezion:
Bitch isn't sexist because it is singular first off. This ties back in to having to remind people 1 woman =/= all woman kind. If I get mad at a woman and call her a bitch, I mean her. I ain't calling all women everywhere in all of history bitches.

It doesn't really work that way. Quantity isn't the issue. Intent is. You were using synecdoche earlier, so let me elaborate with another example. When you want to accuse a man of being weak, what do you call him? A pussy. A euphemism for vagina. Something feminine. Your mind is equating weakness with the feminine and vice versa. So to insult a man, you call him feminine and therefor weak.

He is also often called a weinie. However, females are biologically handicapped at lifting large amounts of weight. So, it makes sense on a level. My dick can't lift much either.

Plus, it is being argued to me that if I use the term bitch against a woman, I am sexist regardless of intent. I agree intent is the issue. However, most men don't see calling someone a pussy the same thing as calling them a vagina. It means a weak individual. Like the word "run" It could mean don't run in the hall or he is going to run for president. SHe is playing Juliet in the new play OR do you want to go outside and play? I got some pussy this weekend or Bill is a pussy. I don't think he is saying he got some Bill this weekend. If a guy calls men pussy and talks about getting pussy I garauntee you his mind isn't linking the two. NO, I can't prove it but that is the best I got considering I am one of those guys and I know how I think. Every once in a while I do make the connection but I just go "huh, that's strange" then I go right back to the way it was. Because it makes no sense I would call someone who is probably mildly irritating the same name I call something I like so much.

Hehe, captcha: Quid pro quo

Savagezion:
He is also often called a weinie. However, females are biologically handicapped at lifting large amounts of weight. So, it makes sense on a level. My dick can't lift much either.

That's a common fallacy. There's more than one type of strength. Gigantic body builders have trained for muscular endurance, yet you may notice that the performing strong men at carnivals generally look more "built" than "ripped." A company giving demos of kettlebells at a fitness convention once challenged people to do a military press with a 75 kg kettlebell. The bodybuilders couldn't do it, but the professional strongmen could. Different training, different results.

Women actually can develop just as much raw physical might as men, they just don't develop the muscle mass that allows for the same level of muscular endurance. Add in the fact that women have naturally higher thresholds for pain and the differences between the two become negligible. It's all a matter of what sort of strength is necessary for the specific task.

However, most men don't see calling someone a pussy the same thing as calling them a vagina. It means a weak individual.

Yes, metaphors are seldom literal. I learned that in grade school, thank you. But why did we pick that particular synechdoche? What does it represent? It's always done in the same spirit as, "You fight like a girl."

But one doesn't always make conscious note of the meaning of what they say. Very often out metaphors are colored by unconscious ideas, things we've internalized.

Like the word "run" It could mean don't run in the hall or he is going to run for president. SHe is playing Juliet in the new play OR do you want to go outside and play? I got some pussy this weekend or Bill is a pussy. I don't think he is saying he got some Bill this weekend.

I know how words work, thank you. In fact, I probably understand them better than you do, so please stop wasting our time.

NO, I can't prove it but that is the best I got considering I am one of those guys and I know how I think.

Proving it or not is irrelevant because it's nothing more than a distraction from my point.

Because it makes no sense I would call someone who is probably mildly irritating the same name I call something I like so much.

Because a thing doesn't always mean just one very specific thing. In semiotics, there are multiple meanings to words, signs, and symbols and context does influence which meaning we assign to a particular sign. When you call a man a pussy, you're calling him weak because you've internalized that the feminine is weak. You're emasculating him.

Savagezion:
Well, whoopty-poop. Are you so hard up for a victory you are clinging to technicalities? My point still stands.

If you'd said "women are called assholes with less frequency then men" I wouldn't have bothered to call you out on it because I'd agree. But you didn't, you said women aren't called assholes. Not only is this wrong, it is pretty obviously wrong and easily proven to be wrong so I called you out on it.

What's the problem with that?

Except you've just said you would apply it to all women kind.

What? When and where? You want to cling to technicalities, you better quote me on that shit.

I think you misunderstand. Not that you would apply it to call woman kind right away because you hate all women, but under the right circumstances every single woman on earth could be called a bitch by you, which has pretty much been the crux of your arguement.

A women makes you mad? What a bitch she is. It doesn't match up with any specific characteristic, she doesn't have to have done anything in particular to be a bitch, just that women you don't like are bitches.

Now you're getting it.

So you;re not insulting them based on any characteristic except the one thing they all share, that they're female. So you're being a sexist piece of shit. Hell, it's not like you're even really arguing against the sexism seeing as all along it's been admitted that the usage is based solely on gender, but more that your form of discrimination is okay.

It is explicitly a sexist insult because it implies a condition of being a bitch which is inherent to all women when they do things displeasing. Even if you only use it against one women, it is an implicit judgement on the whole gender because only women have the qualities of being a bitch, not men.

Oh, men have the capabilities. Trust me, but at the expense of having you go into some pseudo-sexism speech about gender roles and pattern behavior and how "their is exceptions to the rule" I'll spare you the explanation and me the reply.

Yes, being called a bitch is actually quite insulting to men as research typically shows that insults which emphasis homosexuality and femininity are the most insulting to men - another reason why bitch is sexist, because against men it's typically going to be an insult based on assumed female characteristics.

You know, I hate when women do this about the word. You're seriously trying to hide behind the largest slur in hopes it will save your argument. Let me explain something about this tactic, it's wrong. See, as above where I noted asshole generally is used to be speaking of a man or anatomy, nigger means but 1 thing and 1 thing only

Unlike bitch where you could of course be using it as a generic slur or calling someone a dog and one off those is apparently alright?

Also nigger can mean different things contextually. It's commonly used in an affectionate manner (perhaps more commonly than not as there is such stigma associarted with using it negatively), in exactly the same way you or some of the other blinkered brigade have been pointing out bitch is used in an affectionate manner.

Also this is a piss poor argument. What does having more than one meaning have to do with anything? Why does multiple meanings mean that the offensive derogaroty usage is no longer racist/sexist/whatever? Can I go around calling homosexuals faggots when they annoy me because it has a secondary meanings of kindling and food?

If you are trying to say that Scarlett O'hara faced the same kind of oppression as Kunta Kente, I am going to call you a liar and lose a bit of respect for your argument.

No, this is stupid and you should honestly feel bringing this idea up. Should I suggest you think that Mohammed Al Amoudi has suffered the same kind of oppression as Kitty Genovese?

It honestly appears like you are trying to use the racial oppression used on blacks to validate your own seperate cause.

No, I'm simply drawing out an example any sane person would find offensive so that you can compare it to the word bitch and examine the framework you have in place for deciding why one is acceptable and one isn't.

As the only real reason (I'm ignoring the Scarlett O'hara thing) you're brought up is that words with multiple meanings apparently can't have one of those meanings be sexist/racist/homophobic/whatever, I'd say this might bear some fruit. You haven't explained why multiple meanings=not sexist is true, you're just exploded that fact out there like a fart in an elevator; so I'm hoping that with a bit of analysis on your part you'll realise the problem.

Yes, if you are going to claim that statement in THIS argument, you do NEED to know the degree of how bad a slur is because you are demanding others must be more sensitive to the feelings of others about the word bitch yet you then turn around and trivialize nigger.

See problem right here. You're going by gut feeling of what is wrong and right. You've assumed that nigger is so far worse than bitch that comparing the two trivialises the former before you've even shown why this is the case, it's simply an unstated assumption.

Well I'm not assuming, so lay out your framework for why these words should be treated differently. Show your working.

I want you to imagine something for a minute. Imagine you go down to mexico and when you arrive, a guy runs out in front of your cab and the mexican cab driver calls him a spic. "Weird" you think but you continue on to the hotel. AT the hotel you encounter two mexican dudes having an argument and they keep calling each other spic. Seems odd... Then you go inside and two mexicans are at the counter and one opens the other's can of soda and drinks it and the other one playfully calls him a spic. ALl through your trip mexicans are calling each other spic or even proclaiming they are a spic as a title of honor.
Tah-dah, that is American women. American women say bitch on average just as much (IMO probably more) than American men.

Give me a source for the one claim you're making with all that, not a short story of your own devising. The former is useful for proving a point, the latter isn't.

Until you do, I'm just going to say "American Black people say nigger just as much (IMO Probably more ) than American Non-black people".



Don't even try to compare the Nigger Niggah thing. It is different. I won't go into how unlss provoked as I think it is common sense.

Sorry, but telling someone not to bother debating something and just to accept your word because you say so is pretty bad form in a debate based forum.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wf3jzDb4H7o
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXxMkIvbeUw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHMX-AEHTfg

DrVornoff:

Savagezion:
He is also often called a weinie. However, females are biologically handicapped at lifting large amounts of weight. So, it makes sense on a level. My dick can't lift much either.

That's a common fallacy. There's more than one type of strength. Gigantic body builders have trained for muscular endurance, yet you may notice that the performing strong men at carnivals generally look more "built" than "ripped." A company giving demos of kettlebells at a fitness convention once challenged people to do a military press with a 75 kg kettlebell. The bodybuilders couldn't do it, but the professional strongmen could. Different training, different results.

Women actually can develop just as much raw physical might as men, they just don't develop the muscle mass that allows for the same level of muscular endurance. Add in the fact that women have naturally higher thresholds for pain and the differences between the two become negligible. It's all a matter of what sort of strength is necessary for the specific task.

Threshold for pain is bullshit. There are studies on both sides that debunk it as well as support it and some that show men have a higher tolerance. Most that support it use a small pool like 2 dozen people or less.

Again on average if I go to my local target and grab the first 100 guys and 100 girls all in their 20s, and add up how much they can lift, guys will come out ahead. Many women can't lift the BAR for weight lifting. This is because society expects less from them. In gym they do "girl push-ups" where their knees can touch the ground. They don't do pull ups, they are assited to a pulled up position and they hang for X time. What they can do and what they tend to do is different. Many women like their role in society as much as that may be hard to believe. They like feminine things. They like their role as much as many guys like theirs. Yeah there are girly guys out there just like there are manly women out there but the roles of the genders are often self imposed. Most women don't want or seek muscular capabilities. Actually, that is one thing they expect of a man they would be interested in.

However, most men don't see calling someone a pussy the same thing as calling them a vagina. It means a weak individual.

Yes, metaphors are seldom literal. I learned that in grade school, thank you. But why did we pick that particular synechdoche? What does it represent? It's always done in the same spirit as, "You fight like a girl."

But one doesn't always make conscious note of the meaning of what they say. Very often out metaphors are colored by unconscious ideas, things we've internalized.

Your welcome. It doesn't represent anything. It's easy to deduce. However, language is as alive as the culture around it and the term pussy has taken on a second meaning. Yeah it is done in that fashion, just as some women are called "butch or manly" even by other women as an insult. Tomboys constantly face this type of thing. They are referred to as masculine as if it is a bad thing. Just like both men and women will use female attributes to mock a male.

Like the word "run" It could mean don't run in the hall or he is going to run for president. SHe is playing Juliet in the new play OR do you want to go outside and play? I got some pussy this weekend or Bill is a pussy. I don't think he is saying he got some Bill this weekend.

I know how words work, thank you. In fact, I probably understand them better than you do, so please stop wasting our time.

I'm so jealous.

NO, I can't prove it but that is the best I got considering I am one of those guys and I know how I think.

Proving it or not is irrelevant because it's nothing more than a distraction from my point.

Sorry, I just try to assume where people are going to call out where the unvalidated parts of my arguments are considering they want to nitpick instead of discuss.

Because it makes no sense I would call someone who is probably mildly irritating the same name I call something I like so much.

Because a thing doesn't always mean just one very specific thing. In semiotics, there are multiple meanings to words, signs, and symbols and context does influence which meaning we assign to a particular sign. When you call a man a pussy, you're calling him weak because you've internalized that the feminine is weak. You're emasculating him.

Hehe, then why do we also call them wienies? I bet you think that one is ok.

evilthecat:

Dajosch:
Much like Batou, the insult "Bitch", while clearly transporting some value-judgements about gender, is from where I'm standing still largely descriptively used and I doubt that getting rid of it would really lead to a significant change towards equality.

I'm not saying that the use of the word "bitch" is a keystone of all inequality. I'm saying it's a symptom of wider inequalities in our society.

I'm not saying it needs to be banned. I'm saying that it's not just suddenly okay because you've decided its okay. There are real social forces behind the word, which is precisely why it is effective as an insult in the first place. It's not some random reference to an embarrassing body part, it references real inequalities, real social phenomena, and derives its meaning from them.

This is not the same thing as saying it can never be used. Heck, I use the word quite a lot myself. The best way to change the meaning of a word is to keep using it, to counter-repeat its original meaning, to remove its hurtful connotations and make it funny, silly, affectionate or otherwise more benign.

But it does mean that you can't just suddenly pretend the word itself is automatically okay just because you're okay with it. That's not how communication works.

Language is a powerful tool, indeed. However, I'am not entirely convinced that this particular case is even worth making an issue out of, lest banning the word (as I incorrectly jumped onto - it's a bit more intricate). I mean, does it always reference this power structures and inequalities? Does it really perpetuate it? And does it do so, to a degree that even mandates making an issue out of it? From where I'am standing, while it's a reasonable theory, it sounds too far fetched in this particular case to mandate any kind of attention. It's definitely important when considering other more directly referencing words, though, and I'am certainly with you when you urge for caution and word-reclamation when necessary.

Then again, an important thing to consider is that I'm not a native speaker and have grown up in a different language environment - so that will certainly paint my views towards connotations in English terms.

Overhead:

Savagezion:
Well, whoopty-poop. Are you so hard up for a victory you are clinging to technicalities? My point still stands.

If you'd said "women are called assholes with less frequency then men" I wouldn't have bothered to call you out on it because I'd agree. But you didn't, you said women aren't called assholes. Not only is this wrong, it is pretty obviously wrong and easily proven to be wrong so I called you out on it.

What's the problem with that?

You know what, forget it then, you are chasing down a red herring. Replace it with bastard. Point still stands. (Although the point that you completely avoided still stood with asshole too)

Except you've just said you would apply it to all women kind.

What? When and where? You want to cling to technicalities, you better quote me on that shit.

I think you misunderstand. Not that you would apply it to call woman kind right away because you hate all women, but under the right circumstances every single woman on earth could be called a bitch by you, which has pretty much been the crux of your arguement.

The only way that is possible for it to happen before I die is for a single file line to form and I go down the line calling them bitches, which I wouldn't do and the scenario is implausible anyways. I understand the point you are making but it is invalid. I know more women I don't think are bitches then ones I do by A LOT. Ditto for bastards, formerly known as assholes.

A women makes you mad? What a bitch she is. It doesn't match up with any specific characteristic, she doesn't have to have done anything in particular to be a bitch, just that women you don't like are bitches.

Now you're getting it.

So you;re not insulting them based on any characteristic except the one thing they all share, that they're female.

...that pissed me off. <-Key Just like a male that pissed me off is a bastard - or formerly asshole.

So you're being a sexist piece of shit. Hell, it's not like you're even really arguing against the sexism seeing as all along it's been admitted that the usage is based solely on gender, but more that your form of discrimination is okay.

Nope, I use gendered slurs for both sexes. Hell, on some occassions I use bitch towards males so by these rules, men qualify to be called a bitch so under the right circumstances, every one on the planet is a bitch according to me. SO actually I a more sexist towards men according to your rules. As they have "slurs" I use against them and only them. The only thing that makes them qualified is that they are a male who pissed me off.

It is explicitly a sexist insult because it implies a condition of being a bitch which is inherent to all women when they do things displeasing. Even if you only use it against one women, it is an implicit judgement on the whole gender because only women have the qualities of being a bitch, not men.

Oh, men have the capabilities. Trust me, but at the expense of having you go into some pseudo-sexism speech about gender roles and pattern behavior and how "their is exceptions to the rule" I'll spare you the explanation and me the reply.

Yes, being called a bitch is actually quite insulting to men as research typically shows that insults which emphasis homosexuality and femininity are the most insulting to men - another reason why bitch is sexist, because against men it's typically going to be an insult based on assumed female characteristics.

And women use the term manly and butch as I already said to degrade other women.

You know, I hate when women do this about the word. You're seriously trying to hide behind the largest slur in hopes it will save your argument. Let me explain something about this tactic, it's wrong. See, as above where I noted asshole generally is used to be speaking of a man or anatomy, nigger means but 1 thing and 1 thing only

Unlike bitch where you could of course be using it as a generic slur or calling someone a dog and one off those is apparently alright?

It can also meaning whine/complain and used as an adjective. We covered this already.

Also nigger can mean different things contextually. It's commonly used in an affectionate manner (perhaps more commonly than not as there is such stigma associarted with using it negatively), in exactly the same way you or some of the other blinkered brigade have been pointing out bitch is used in an affectionate manner.

Oh yeah add that one to the list to then. What are we on 5 ways to use bitch now? All different? We have 2 nouns, a verb, adjective, and term of endearment.

Also this is a piss poor argument. What does having more than one meaning have to do with anything? Why does multiple meanings mean that the offensive derogaroty usage is no longer racist/sexist/whatever? Can I go around calling homosexuals faggots when they annoy me because it has a secondary meanings of kindling and food?

It shows the the acceptance of the word into society. When looking at the context of the word's usages seeing them pulling way from sexism, your argument loses some ground to us non-feminists. See, people like me don't seek out things to vilify we just look at common sense and social protocol and we can actually make an assessment from that. We don't have sexism, racism, or some other ism always on the brain. We are more focused on other things. So if you plan to present that the word bitch is a slur I will hear it out, but you better have a good case because social protocol says otherwise.
Women use the term bitch a lot. Hell, an ex of mine had a keychain that said "Bitch and proud of it." This is why the term became socially acceptable. Women embraced it. We may as well go into the Nigger thing now at the bottom of your post. Black people have never really accepted the term Nigger. Even when the term Nigga got popular, white people were not allowed to say it. Blacks acted as if they embraced it but they didn't; because they kept the racism with the word by only allowing certain races to say it and not others. By doing this, the word has never lost its original meaning. Bitch has been embraced by women. This is acually the strategy behind one of the largest feminist magazines.
image

If you are trying to say that Scarlett O'hara faced the same kind of oppression as Kunta Kente, I am going to call you a liar and lose a bit of respect for your argument.

No, this is stupid and you should honestly feel bringing this idea up. Should I suggest you think that Mohammed Al Amoudi has suffered the same kind of oppression as Kitty Genovese?

Wow, the whole point of why nigger is incomparable to bitch completely went right over your head didn't it? At one point in history you could kill a black man/woman/child in front of witnesses and all you had to do was make a allegation that they stole a chicken or something and an entire town would then resume helping you lynch them. Women don't know that kind of oppression except black women. A woman's worst case scenario to represent their oppression is akin to being in prison for something you didn't do. Compared to slavery that's a best case scenario. A slave would take prison any day of the week over their conditions.

It honestly appears like you are trying to use the racial oppression used on blacks to validate your own seperate cause.

No, I'm simply drawing out an example any sane person would find offensive so that you can compare it to the word bitch and examine the framework you have in place for deciding why one is acceptable and one isn't.

As the only real reason (I'm ignoring the Scarlett O'hara thing) you're brought up is that words with multiple meanings apparently can't have one of those meanings be sexist/racist/homophobic/whatever, I'd say this might bear some fruit. You haven't explained why multiple meanings=not sexist is true, you're just exploded that fact out there like a fart in an elevator; so I'm hoping that with a bit of analysis on your part you'll realise the problem.

SO now perhaps you understand why that analogy is actually inaccurate and trivalzes the level of oppression that blacks faced when that word was used for oppression. Women were given slaves. You could own property. You got to keep your birth name. You weren't seen as an in between of man-animal. There have always been penalties for your death as murder (depending on your race). You just couldn't vote, and guys put pressure on you to be a home maker. So rough. You know, royalty is often forced to keep inside, act a certain way, and can't vote. It is an ironic comparison and I get the intention behind them is different. However, I am pointing out that your comparison is way off the mark.

Of course feel free to completely not understand where I am coming from and continue ignoring the whole point. People have been doing it for the entire thread.

Yes, if you are going to claim that statement in THIS argument, you do NEED to know the degree of how bad a slur is because you are demanding others must be more sensitive to the feelings of others about the word bitch yet you then turn around and trivialize nigger.

See problem right here. You're going by gut feeling of what is wrong and right. You've assumed that nigger is so far worse than bitch that comparing the two trivialises the former before you've even shown why this is the case, it's simply an unstated assumption.

Well I'm not assuming, so lay out your framework for why these words should be treated differently. Show your working.

The fact that you need that pointed out to you shows me how selfish you are in discussions like this and how little sensitivty you have towards the oppression of others. This I find ironic. The term nigger isn't something to be respected for what it represents to you, its a tool to show how people they won't say that word but will say this word, thus their hypocrits. Despite the fact it is a flawed argument out of lack of empathy which is the same thing you are asking of others. Delicious, delicious irony.

I want you to imagine something for a minute. Imagine you go down to mexico and when you arrive, a guy runs out in front of your cab and the mexican cab driver calls him a spic. "Weird" you think but you continue on to the hotel. AT the hotel you encounter two mexican dudes having an argument and they keep calling each other spic. Seems odd... Then you go inside and two mexicans are at the counter and one opens the other's can of soda and drinks it and the other one playfully calls him a spic. ALl through your trip mexicans are calling each other spic or even proclaiming they are a spic as a title of honor.
Tah-dah, that is American women. American women say bitch on average just as much (IMO probably more) than American men.

Give me a source for the one claim you're making with all that, not a short story of your own devising. The former is useful for proving a point, the latter isn't.

Actually, the latter is often used and goes by the term "analogy".

Just linking this video because its awesome and she is calling a chick a bitch just for being your girlfriend.

Savagezion:

Overhead:

Savagezion:
Well, whoopty-poop. Are you so hard up for a victory you are clinging to technicalities? My point still stands.

If you'd said "women are called assholes with less frequency then men" I wouldn't have bothered to call you out on it because I'd agree. But you didn't, you said women aren't called assholes. Not only is this wrong, it is pretty obviously wrong and easily proven to be wrong so I called you out on it.

What's the problem with that?

You know what, forget it then, you are chasing down a red herring. Replace it with bastard. Point still stands. (Although the point that you completely avoided still stood with asshole too)

What was the point you were trying to make?

In case you missed mine it was the fact that you were making random claims "Women aren't called assholes" that are based on your own blinkered world view which easily disprovable with 20 seconds checking. Please note that the first two thirds of that sentence apply to pretty much your entire argument to date.

What? When and where? You want to cling to technicalities, you better quote me on that shit.

I think you misunderstand. Not that you would apply it to call woman kind right away because you hate all women, but under the right circumstances every single woman on earth could be called a bitch by you, which has pretty much been the crux of your arguement.

The only way that is possible for it to happen before I die is for a single file line to form and I go down the line calling them bitches, which I wouldn't do and the scenario is implausible anyways. I understand the point you are making but it is invalid. I know more women I don't think are bitches then ones I do by A LOT. Ditto for bastards, formerly known as assholes.

Again, I am not saying that you were literally going to call all 3.5 billion or so women on the planet bitches. Merely that there is the potential for each woman to be called a bitch by you on an individual basis if they 'piss you off'.

Now you're getting it.

So you;re not insulting them based on any characteristic except the one thing they all share, that they're female.

...that pissed me off. <-Key Just like a male that pissed me off is a bastard - or formerly asshole.

Well yes, but I would hope that "because they pissed you off" would apply to all insults you make and you don't just randomly insult people in the street. It is once you have decided to insult someone that you decide to call them a bitch if they're female or a bastard if they're male.

You're specifically choosing swears with different connotations regardless of whether they fit the person in any way other than gender. It's instantly prejudiced behaviour based on gender. It's sexism, plain and simple.

Nope, I use gendered slurs for both sexes. Hell, on some occassions I use bitch towards males so by these rules, men qualify to be called a bitch so under the right circumstances, every one on the planet is a bitch according to me. SO actually I a more sexist towards men according to your rules. As they have "slurs" I use against them and only them. The only thing that makes them qualified is that they are a male who pissed me off.

And? Being an equal opportunity sexist isn't any better. Misogyny and male on female sexism is generally a bigger issue than the reverse because it occurs more readily and has a greater negative impact, but you should use sexist comments aimed at males either.

And women use the term manly and butch as I already said to degrade other women.

Which is a shitty thing to do as well. This isn't Men vs Women, this is insult someone on the basis of what they've actually done Vs insult someone based on their gender.

It can also meaning whine/complain and used as an adjective. We covered this already.

So any slur which can also be used as an adjective automatically loses racist/sexist implications? Why is this and shall we start work on introducing adjectives based on nigger and cunt into the english language?

Also nigger can mean different things contextually. It's commonly used in an affectionate manner (perhaps more commonly than not as there is such stigma associarted with using it negatively), in exactly the same way you or some of the other blinkered brigade have been pointing out bitch is used in an affectionate manner.

Oh yeah add that one to the list to then. What are we on 5 ways to use bitch now? All different? We have 2 nouns, a verb, adjective, and term of endearment.

So how do we work out what is racist/sexist/homophobic by your wonderful amount off usages system?

How about:

(n*10)+(aj*4)+(v*5) = oq

where n = noun, a = adjective, v = verb and oq = offensiveness quotient?

If the oq is 0-20 it is extremely racist, 21-30 it is borderline and 31+ is safe to use? That makes perfect sense and isn't at all completely ridiculous! But then again I'm sure you're going to come out and explain exactly how this works any time now.

It shows the the acceptance of the word into society.

Why does the usage of the word bitching in the sense of totally god damn rad mean that a woman being called a bitch is less offended or that the word bitch is being based any less on sexual discrimination?

Also how does it show that the word is accepted into society? It doesn't seem obvious to me that a variation of a word as acceptable shows it's other uses are acceptable. Can I call a women a gash now? How about a stupid slit if I want to insult her? Both really common words that are readily accepted in most contexts, so according to you they are a-okay to use, right?

See, people like me don't seek out things to vilify we just look at common sense and social protocol and we can actually make an assessment from that.

Because evidence and a logical framework wouldn't make any sense?

We don't have sexism, racism, or some other ism always on the brain. We are more focused on other things.

You a white male by any chance?

So if you plan to present that the word bitch is a slur I will hear it out, but you better have a good case because social protocol says otherwise.

Wait, you don't even think that bitch can be used as a slur now, let alone a sexist slur? I just want to confirm this is correct before I go off on one.

Women use the term bitch a lot. Hell, an ex of mine had a keychain that said "Bitch and proud of it." This is why the term became socially acceptable. Women embraced it. We may as well go into the Nigger thing now at the bottom of your post. Black people have never really accepted the term Nigger. Even when the term Nigga got popular, white people were not allowed to say it. Blacks acted as if they embraced it but they didn't; because they kept the racism with the word by only allowing certain races to say it and not others. By doing this, the word has never lost its original meaning. Bitch has been embraced by women. This is acually the strategy behind one of the largest feminist magazines.
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Bitch has been embraced by some feminists as a word that should try to be reclaimed, but certainly not by all third-wave feminists, let alone all feminists or all women. I personally doubt that even a majority of the third-wave feminists believe in reclaiming bitch and cunt and similar words, but as that's way too specific for there to be research on (at least any that I can find) that'll just be left floating up in the air.

The thing is, it all depends on contexts. Verbally sparring with a friend is different from having something shouted in your face by an irate drunken fool who's just had their advances turned down. Fairly obvious, yes?

Well the reappropriation tries to put a positive spin on things. The powerful businesswoman who doesn't bow to men and proudly proclaims herself a bitch. The women with in intelligence streak who's jealously called a sneaky bitch. The friends who give it as a backhanded compliment, jokingly calling someone a bitch when actually they mean "well done for standing up for yourself".

The thing is, for example, say you called that powerful businesswoman a bitch because she pissed you off. She might laugh it off and say "Ha, I'm a bitch and proud of it" and walk off. Another blow for the reclamation of the word because she's reappropriated it that little bit more by using it as a way of showing her power.

The thing is, you didn't mean it in that context. For you, she had pissed you off and had tits and a vagina so she was a bitch. Her efforts to reclaim the word do not absolve you of the original sexist intent of your words.

quote]Wow, the whole point of why nigger is incomparable to bitch completely went right over your head didn't it? At one point in history you could kill a black man/woman/child in front of witnesses and all you had to do was make a allegation that they stole a chicken or something and an entire town would then resume helping you lynch them. Women don't know that kind of oppression except black women. A woman's worst case scenario to represent their oppression is akin to being in prison for something you didn't do. Compared to slavery that's a best case scenario. A slave would take prison any day of the week over their conditions.[/quote]

Yes it is not like women have been property through massive amounts of history or anything:

http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/blackstone_bk1ch15.asp

Start reading from P430 and maybe google coverture. Or modern slavery rates which show women make up about 80% of the millions of modern slaves (Antislavery.org's Discrimination and slavery in the 21st century report). Or even the biblical commandments about killing women if they weren't virgins on their wedding night.

This isn't a pissing contest, where I'm trying to say one is worse than the other. All that's needed is recognition that women and black people have massive histories of oppression and both are suffering a lot in the modern day and god help you if you're a black woman.

SO now perhaps you understand why that analogy is actually inaccurate and trivalzes the level of oppression that blacks faced when that word was used for oppression. Women were given slaves. You could own property. You got to keep your birth name. You weren't seen as an in between of man-animal. There have always been penalties for your death as murder (depending on your race). You just couldn't vote, and guys put pressure on you to be a home maker. So rough. You know, royalty is often forced to keep inside, act a certain way, and can't vote. It is an ironic comparison and I get the intention behind them is different. However, I am pointing out that your comparison is way off the mark.

What? There are plenty of cultures even today where women are treated as slaves and can be murdered in honour killings while their murderers are celebrated. Hell, even in the more women friendly countries things have been shit for women very recently, far more than " You just couldn't vote, and guys put pressure on you to be a home maker". I believe raping your wife, for example, only became illegal in all 50 USA states in 1993.

The fact that you need that pointed out to you shows me how selfish you are in discussions like this and how little sensitivty you have towards the oppression of others. This I find ironic. The term nigger isn't something to be respected for what it represents to you, its a tool to show how people they won't say that word but will say this word, thus their hypocrits. Despite the fact it is a flawed argument out of lack of empathy which is the same thing you are asking of others. Delicious, delicious irony.

What are you talking about? I wouldn't call anyone by a racist slur like nigger. I wouldn't call a female a sexist slur like cunt or bitch. I wouldn't call a man a sexist slur like dickhead. I wouldn't call a male homosexual person a cocksucker. And so on.

Sometimes I slip up because I'm not perfect and I hear so much of this shit in day to day conversation that it insinuates itself by accident, but if that happens it's by mistake and I correct myself.

I'm not denigrating the suffering of black people. I'm trying to get you to think: "It is unacceptable to use the word nigger because X and oh shit, those same reasons all apply to sexist words!" but you seem to be too busy jumping to conclusions about my thought process to start down the right lines.

Actually, the latter is often used and goes by the term "analogy".

Yes, I was denigrating the use of your analogy by referring to it as a little story because it was just you presenting your opinion again without any evidence to back up that your opinion of how the world works is factual.

Please provide evidence for your little story rather than picking out exactly how I was expressing my poor evaluation of your response.

DrVornoff:

Savagezion:
Bitch isn't sexist because it is singular first off. This ties back in to having to remind people 1 woman =/= all woman kind. If I get mad at a woman and call her a bitch, I mean her. I ain't calling all women everywhere in all of history bitches.

It doesn't really work that way. Quantity isn't the issue. Intent is. You were using synecdoche earlier, so let me elaborate with another example. When you want to accuse a man of being weak, what do you call him? A pussy. A euphemism for vagina. Something feminine. Your mind is equating weakness with the feminine and vice versa. So to insult a man, you call him feminine and therefor weak.

By the same token, this line of thought can be taken so far it becomes truly ludicrous. A friend of mine seriously attempts to argue that Stargate, as an IP, is sexist. Why? Well, because of the aliens, of course; Goa'uld "penetrate" humans and become more powerful, and the Replicators "penetrate" your head with their hand and gain your knowledge, and they're both represented by attractive human actors, while the Wraith use pink orifices on their hand to drain the life out of you and are presented as being repugnant sub-humans, and of course, this MUST mean that the creators of the show mean the Goa'uld and Replicators to be metaphors for male dominance and power, and the Wraith are metaphors for he stereotype of women as nagging, life-draining parasites dependent on men for sustenance and survival.

No, I am not kidding. When you start assigning intent to other people's statements which is not implicit, when you start equating the use of a word in one context with the use of it in all possible contexts(especially in a language as imprecise as English), and when you begin to pick apart anything and everything in search of potential allegories and metaphors, then the simple fact is you WILL find what you're looking for; not because it exists, but because you will see what you want to see.

That applies no less to feminists than it does to those who benefit from male privilege.

Savagezion:
Threshold for pain is bullshit. There are studies on both sides that debunk it as well as support it and some that show men have a higher tolerance. Most that support it use a small pool like 2 dozen people or less.

If you have the studies, present them please.

This is because society expects less from them.

I'm just going to let this one speak for itself.

It doesn't represent anything.

So it's just a random collection of phonemes we threw together and decided it's an insult just because the sounds aren't pleasing enough to the ear?

Yeah it is done in that fashion,

So if it's used in the way I describe, then how does it have no meaning?

just as some women are called "butch or manly" even by other women as an insult. Tomboys constantly face this type of thing. They are referred to as masculine as if it is a bad thing. Just like both men and women will use female attributes to mock a male.

When you mock someone not conforming to gender expectations, are you saying that the thing they're doing is socially uncouth or are you saying that the quality is negative in and of itself? In other words, is it wrong to not be masculine enough, or is the feminine just weak?

Sorry, I just try to assume where people are going to call out where the unvalidated parts of my arguments are considering they want to nitpick instead of discuss.

Or you could not assume as much and be a little more of an adult about this.

Hehe, then why do we also call them wienies? I bet you think that one is ok.

That's a good question. I would be happy to do the work for you and try to track down the etymology.

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