The R Word

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CaptainKarma:

Helmholtz Watson:

CaptainKarma:

I'm not gonna force you, I'm just asking you to stop. You have the right to do a lot of things, doesn't mean they're morally acceptable, or even a good idea.

Ok, you can ask, but I refuse to stop. Now then, knowing that I refuse, are you going to leave it at that or are you going to try to force me to stop?

As for you comment about morals, morals differ from person to person.

I'm asking why you refuse to stop. You blathered that I couldn't stop you, which is not a reason.

Simple, people hate having their status quote disrupted for the sake of something they can't reasonably relate to. It's a pretty common problem where they feel the need to keep what is already there because changing is admitting you were wrong. It's pride and selfishness.

Imrix:
Of course not, that would be a dick move. But then, I wouldn't expect you to offer the same tenderness and sympathy to the friends and family of a rape victim as I would expect you to offer to the victim themselves.

Why not? Why would I treat their friends and family with less care than the victim? Both are suffering.

Imrix:
In the same vein, I'm not going to offer you the same sympathy I would to somebody who personally suffered such a massive loss. It still counts, it still deserves sympathy, but I think we can agree that the wound is not quite as raw, and requires a little less care.

No we can't agree. If you wouldn't tell my grandmother a holocaust joke, then don't tell me one.

him over there:

CaptainKarma:

Helmholtz Watson:
Ok, you can ask, but I refuse to stop. Now then, knowing that I refuse, are you going to leave it at that or are you going to try to force me to stop?

As for you comment about morals, morals differ from person to person.

I'm asking why you refuse to stop. You blathered that I couldn't stop you, which is not a reason.

Simple, people hate having their status quote disrupted for the sake of something they can't reasonably relate to. It's a pretty common problem where they feel the need to keep what is already there because changing is admitting you were wrong. It's pride and selfishness.

No, it has to do with the question of why its ok to say "murder", "torture", or "starving", but its not ok to say "rape".

As another man who was raped as a child, I completely understand where you're coming from.

Unfortunately, it's not as simple as what you're written.

There are numerous parts of public discussion today that are patently offensive. Ad hominem attacks about the president because of his ancestry. Cold discourse about legislating what women can do with their bodies. Attacks on atheists, as if they are somehow evil Satan-worshipping child killers. Overall, discourse in the U.S. has become rude, divisive, and obstinate. Insensitive use of the word "rape" is only one aspect of this--and, in the current climate, your article may actually spur *more* people to do it.

In addition, consider carefully what you're asking here. You're suggesting--if not demanding--that people remove the word from their vocabulary. That's not going to happen. It might be insensitive to talk about horrific fiery plane crashes in front of someone who lost a relative or friend in the World Trade Center--but that doesn't change the fact that people are going to talk about it, and even continue make action movies about it. Insulting someone by saying they're "retarded" may be insensitive to people who actually are mentally retarded, and their families, but that doesn't change the fact that people do it. Etc.

Contrary to what you say, you *do* have a choice in how you respond to the words of others. And your choices say just as much about you as they do about the people who said the words.

I'm not saying "just get over it". I know perfectly well it doesn't work that way--I've been haunted by that ghost myself for 30 years. But you need to adjust the way you interact with people on this issue too.

Sexual Harassment Panda:
The article made me think about my own conduct in games for a mo'. I do say "rape" in private conversations(post game) where I know it couldn't possibly be frowned upon, but in public chat I'm as polite as they come...to the point that I get made fun of for it. Good sportsmanship was drummed into me early on.

itsthesheppy:

darji:
Yeah English is not my native language and I am sorry if you dont get my point.

I am just saying that you can hurt alot more people by saying "I am gonna beat you" than by saying "I am gonna rape you" Tons of people where abused as a kid so that they are now traumtized. why is it ok to say that while the change to hurt someone with "I am gonna Rape you" is much much lower than the "I am gonna kill you" or the I am gonna beat you" talk?

Rape should not be handled as something special. You should openly talk about it, you should be able to show it in any form of media and you should also stirr controversy about this topic so people are getting more aware of this. Trying to keep it a special and very delicate will not help anyone. Not even the victim itself.

Well, I'm going to have to disagree with you on the grounds that the author of the article is telling you otherwise. So your assertion is challenged even before I can get to it. It's not a question of whether or not you should respect that request; there's no question of that at all. As a member of this community I demand that you do.

As I've covered before, words like 'kill' and 'beat' are more general than rape. Kill is a multi-purpose word and has been for years. The same thing with 'beat'. Now, if you said "I'm going to beat you like I came home drunk from a bad day at work", that's a reference to a very specific sort of trauma and yes, I would say that its insensitive and shouldn't be said in mixed company, if at all.

The word 'rape' refers to a very specific trauma, and one that tends to cripple people in extreme ways. I am not a victim of rape, nor domestic abuse of any kind, so I cannot comment on which is 'worse'... I don't think such a thing can be quantified. I will say that speaking generally about killing and beating is less likely to trigger than the word 'rape'.

If you're still shaky on the concept of trigger language, I suggest to take some time to read up on it. There are a plethora of blogs about the subject. I would suggest Shakesville, though you really should start a thread maybe asking for some references; I'm sure there are some better read than I who could help you.

I don't want to get into a snarky back-and-forth with you. But, if those are truly your aims, you could stand to look at your own conduct and approach.

When was the last time someone was condescending to you and won you over? Or made demands and won you over? We're ambassadors for what we say, and if our general disposition is shitty it really shoots a big hole in the feet of our points. It's simply easier to dismiss an argument coming from a source that's conducting itself poorly.

The desired response is "good point", which is hard to achieve if the first thing you're evoking is a "fuck you" in the readers head.

edit - I think I probably quoted the wrong post of yours. Oh well.

I was about to raise an over-the-internet eyebrow at you before I saw your edit because, yeah, you picked an odd thread to correct me over my delivery.

And yes, I jumped down the throat of that other guy, but that's honestly because I don't mind rising to a challenge. The amount of times people have been convinced by a well-written post on the internet in any forum debate can be counted on one hand since the beginning of time. So I'm not really fishing for that 'good point'. What I'm doing instead is putting my feedback into the general pool and people can make of it what they will.

I think I will take this opportunity to write up my last post on the matter because I feel I've said all I can on the subject.

If you are someone who read this article, then read through the forums, and you still don't understand why using the word 'rape' casually is a bad thing, then I do not have the power here to do anything about that, and I strongly doubt anyone does. You cannot ask for a more frank, honest, heart-wrenching treatise on the matter than was written in the article in question. No forum post by me is going to add to that to the significant degree someone would need if that didn't touch them.

I will say that if you cannot envision why other people might find that language hurtful; if you feel like offending people is someone else's problem and not yours; if you feel that people who respond to trigger language negatively are weak or cowardly; then you are in desperate need of a lesson in empathy from someone you trust. Talk to a parent, or a therapist.

If you find yourself rolling your eyes at the hard statistics of rape in the United States (as one poster did, amazingly, in response to me earlier); if you do not find the personal appeal from a victim to be moving in the slightest, you need to soul-search as to why that might be. Why you might find the trauma of other little more than a trivial inconvenience to you. It may be a question you must ask internally, and the problem may have to be solved from the inside out. I certainly don't possess the power to fill in for a person a lack of empathetic capacity they might possess.

Just watch what you say. You never know who's listening, and the only person who's entire life experience you're privy to is yourself.

Helmholtz Watson:

him over there:

CaptainKarma:

I'm asking why you refuse to stop. You blathered that I couldn't stop you, which is not a reason.

Simple, people hate having their status quote disrupted for the sake of something they can't reasonably relate to. It's a pretty common problem where they feel the need to keep what is already there because changing is admitting you were wrong. It's pride and selfishness.

No, it has to do with the question of why its ok to say "murder", "torture", or "starving", but its not ok to say "rape".

Maybe because we don't say rape because it can be a trigger that can send people into psychological meltdowns? murder torture and starvation are as bad or worse than rape regarding the act and it is no more insensitive to say rape then murder, but it can actually hurt people unlike the others.

Helmholtz Watson:

him over there:

CaptainKarma:

I'm asking why you refuse to stop. You blathered that I couldn't stop you, which is not a reason.

Simple, people hate having their status quote disrupted for the sake of something they can't reasonably relate to. It's a pretty common problem where they feel the need to keep what is already there because changing is admitting you were wrong. It's pride and selfishness.

No, it has to do with the question of why its ok to say "murder", "torture", or "starving", but its not ok to say "rape".

Well, when you put it in context, saying "rape" is hardly relevant to the subject of whatever it is used in (gaming, specifically when referring to another party as "getting raped" when they are getting owned), has trauma associated with it, and has hateful implications, as it is generally considered an act that can never be considered merciful. Murder tends to be a little more neutral as while trauma can be associated with it, murder can also mean one person killing another through any number of ways, a number of which are considered more kind-hearted and understandable (as strange as that sounds). It also has some vague associations with the acts that it is used to described, such as "I just murdered that guy!" in a FPS/fighting game (games about violent acts).

In either case, that's not REALLY what everything is about. It's not the "Why this word is harmful?" but the "Why do we use this replaceable word with negative associations to describe an action that has nothing to do with said word?" Not why the word is bad, but why do we continue to use a word that's considered to be bad. The former is worth wondering about, but isn't what things are approaching.

I could wonder why families hate the word "damn", but the fact of the matter is that if someone politely asks me to stop using the word "damn", as a sign of courtesy, I wouldn't mind doing it and to not do so is a sign of discourtesy, regardless of the statement you're trying to make. Now take that and compare it to the word "rape", where the party in question often considers it a taboo subject to even speak of, and for the fact that it's also a completely replaceable term that does not accurately describe whatever you're referring to in the context being mentioned, and there's no real reason TO use the word "rape" as it is used in gamer speak, since the parties that would stop you generally can't stop you from doing so for psychological reasons.

Imrix:

macfluffers:
Child abuse, assault, and torture victims do not "nearly" suffer. You just trivialized parental neglect, battery, and torture.

No, I just rank them as less traumatising than rape

The precise point at which I abandoned this ridiculous debate.

Seriously Stop making the word rape special.....

Just read what adamselene wrote. Becasue thats an opinion thats spot on. And he is a rape victim. He ackknowledge that there are many other people who were suffering from something terrible and that you cant demand to people not saying rape or try to make people who are using this word are psychopaths and that they need help while stuff like beating, and murder and other events like the trade center accident is ok.

I don't know how many times I've stated this exact issue to other gamers on various message boards over the years and been flamed all to hell for it. Good on you for putting your personal experience in perspective so some of these shitheads think about what they're saying for once in their pathetic lives.

him over there:

Maybe because we don't say rape because it can be a trigger that can send people into psychological meltdowns? murder torture and starvation are as bad or worse than rape regarding the act and it is no more insensitive to say rape then murder, but it can actually hurt people unlike the others.

I can think of some old Jewish people who would disagree with you about that, specifically about casually using words like torture or murder. They are very sensitive about those words, given what happened to them.

AncientSpark:

Well, when you put it in context, saying "rape" is hardly relevant to the subject of whatever it is used in (gaming, specifically when referring to another party as "getting raped" when they are getting owned), has trauma associated with it, and has hateful implications, as it is generally considered an act that can never be considered merciful.

And murder doesn't have any relevance when I'm playing and losing at a racing game like Gotham Project racing, and yet people still use that word to demonstrate how I have lost against them.

AncientSpark:
Murder tends to be a little more neutral as while trauma can be associated with it, murder can also mean one person killing another through any number of ways, a number of which are considered more kind-hearted and understandable (as strange as that sounds). It also has some vague associations with the acts that it is used to described, such as "I just murdered that guy!" in a FPS/fighting game (games about violent acts).

So what your saying is that murder has gone through a semantic shift? Well I think "rape" is going through a semantic shift as well.

AncientSpark:
In either case, that's not REALLY what everything is about. It's not the "Why this word is harmful?" but the "Why do we use this replaceable word with negative associations to describe an action that has nothing to do with said word?" Not why the word is bad, but why do we continue to use a word that's considered to be bad. The former is worth wondering about, but isn't what things are approaching.

I guess a semantic shift is the reason why.

Nicely done.

With regard to Feminism:
I have no problems with people that support the independence and equality of the individual, but on numerous occasions I've had self-proclaimed feminists tell me that men are "inferior", "animalistic", "evil", and the source of all violent crime. These weren't one-of incidents, and the feminists were pretty high profile, one of them having a doctorate in sociology. A recurring theme was that men are the cause of all sexual crimes, and without men there would be no sexual crimes. The data doesn't wholly support this, but there is something like an 80-20 split between male and female perpetrators of sex crimes in the United States. So it is quite natural (in my experience) for feminists to bring up the subject of sex-crime. It is also quite natural for those taking the opposite position to claim that sex-crime is only a big deal because of feminists. In both cases, the majority of people discussing the issue are using the issue as a lever more than actually trying to stop it.

I'm not saying all feminists are like this, but when an author can publish several books on the subject I imagine there is at least a small-but-non-trivial group that supports these ideas.

With regard to Freedom of Speech:
It is possible to use foul words and concepts in a light-hearted context. For example see almost every comedian ever, but it remains that this possibility does not give one the right to make others uncomfortable, hurt, and remember things they wish to forget. No one can censor themselves for every possible trauma a person might have, but once aware of those traumas, as the gaming community is being made aware presently, it is our responsibility to be courteous to our fellows.

I wish you good luck in your journalism, and happiness in your life Anonymous.

Helmholtz Watson:
Why not? Why would I treat their friends and family with less care than the victim? Both are suffering.

...

No we can't agree. If you wouldn't tell my grandmother a holocaust joke, then don't tell me one.

So, your sympathetic pain for your grandmother's suffering, decades after the fact and second-hand, is equal to hers, who lived through it?

You're right, we can't agree.

darji:

disappointed:
Thank you.

It's all a question of what sort of culture we want. Do we want it to be inclusive? If so then we should keep our behaviour civil and supportive. We are all strangers. It will be hard for us to get along with each other if we don't go out of our way to make it happen. Cheap, hateful, violent language is something we don't need.

Gaming should be better than this. When you're spending millions making a game, you shouldn't introduce an issue you know to be painful for many people without sanity checking your treatment of it with someone who better represents those people's experiences. The trouble is that gaming has made war and murder acceptable topics without ever doing these checks. It's set a poor precedent, a low bar that developers are reluctant to raise. Gaming should have better standards for itself, out of humanity, civility and self-respect.

Wrong, For example the call of duty guys do the whole game in respect of these people who had people die in a war. They actually do it and talk about it with people who survived a war or saw people getting killed infront of their own eyes. And these soldier are very grateful that other people can experience what they had to. They are grateful that its not a topic you dont talk about it.

Oh, that's good. We should do that for other subjects, like rape.

darji:
And here in the west such topics like rape when used in games will never be used without showing how cruel this is or without thinking.

Good, but that's slightly different from consulting with, for example, rape support charities on the presentation of the subject, which is what I was suggesting.

darji:
Take Japan for example. ITs almost normal to see pornovideos which feature rape. There are tons of games were you rape little girls in trains or school buildings. There are games and movies about rapeclubs and so on. Stuff you will never ever see in western games. Infact people arguing that these kind of openess prevents rape acts. Just look how Japan has not only one of the lowest criminal records but also less rape victims and attempts world wide.

I would say that "people [are] arguing..." is not a strong enough level of proof for a relaxing of our treatment of rape in popular media. There may be any number of other factors at play. Also, that doesn't address the issues talked about in the article, i.e. the effect of such media on victims. Assuming rape media were proven to cause a significant reduction in offending, that would have to be weighed against any undesirable consequences first. But it is something worth studying.

Helmholtz Watson:

riles481:

You have free speech, you have the right to your opinion, but you do not have the right for that opinion to be correct or for your speech to go unchallenged. You can bet on it that I challenge your opinions that words such as "rape" or "genocide" are trivial.

I never said that my opinion can't be challenged, just that I have the right to say what I want on Xbox live.

Not on Xbox Live. Microsoft gets to dictate terms because it's their service. You can talk about rape and genocide all you want on your own website/blog/whatever.

Imrix:

You're right, we can't agree.

Again, I'm not going to agree that its not ok to use the word "rape" because rape victims might get offended, but its somehow ok to use the term "murder" or "genocide" because "its just the victims families that will get offended".

Helmholtz Watson:

Imrix:
Of course not, that would be a dick move. But then, I wouldn't expect you to offer the same tenderness and sympathy to the friends and family of a rape victim as I would expect you to offer to the victim themselves.

Why not? Why would I treat their friends and family with less care than the victim? Both are suffering.

Imrix:
In the same vein, I'm not going to offer you the same sympathy I would to somebody who personally suffered such a massive loss. It still counts, it still deserves sympathy, but I think we can agree that the wound is not quite as raw, and requires a little less care.

No we can't agree. If you wouldn't tell my grandmother a holocaust joke, then don't tell me one.

If your grandmother is in the mood for those kinds of jokes I would.

Father Time:

Helmholtz Watson:

riles481:

You have free speech, you have the right to your opinion, but you do not have the right for that opinion to be correct or for your speech to go unchallenged. You can bet on it that I challenge your opinions that words such as "rape" or "genocide" are trivial.

I never said that my opinion can't be challenged, just that I have the right to say what I want on Xbox live.

Not on Xbox Live. Microsoft gets to dictate terms because it's their service. You can talk about rape and genocide all you want on your own website/blog/whatever.

People have and they do, whether or not it is allowed, it seems to be tolerated.

Father Time:

Helmholtz Watson:

Imrix:
Of course not, that would be a dick move. But then, I wouldn't expect you to offer the same tenderness and sympathy to the friends and family of a rape victim as I would expect you to offer to the victim themselves.

Why not? Why would I treat their friends and family with less care than the victim? Both are suffering.

Imrix:
In the same vein, I'm not going to offer you the same sympathy I would to somebody who personally suffered such a massive loss. It still counts, it still deserves sympathy, but I think we can agree that the wound is not quite as raw, and requires a little less care.

No we can't agree. If you wouldn't tell my grandmother a holocaust joke, then don't tell me one.

If your grandmother is in the mood for those kinds of jokes I would.

She isn't nor shall she ever be.

darji:
Take Japan for example. ITs almost normal to see pornovideos which feature rape. There are tons of games were you rape little girls in trains or school buildings. There are games and movies about rapeclubs and so on. Stuff you will never ever see in western games. Infact people arguing that these kind of openess prevents rape acts. Just look how Japan has not only one of the lowest criminal records but also less rape victims and attempts world wide.

...and an incredibly mysogynistic culture, in which women are rarely allowed to do any professional work. Note that I've personally worked with a few tech companies in Japan over the years, and not one of them had even a single female engineer. Is that really a shining example?

It's also just possible that rape is even more underreported there.

disappointed:

darji:

disappointed:
Thank you.

It's all a question of what sort of culture we want. Do we want it to be inclusive? If so then we should keep our behaviour civil and supportive. We are all strangers. It will be hard for us to get along with each other if we don't go out of our way to make it happen. Cheap, hateful, violent language is something we don't need.

Gaming should be better than this. When you're spending millions making a game, you shouldn't introduce an issue you know to be painful for many people without sanity checking your treatment of it with someone who better represents those people's experiences. The trouble is that gaming has made war and murder acceptable topics without ever doing these checks. It's set a poor precedent, a low bar that developers are reluctant to raise. Gaming should have better standards for itself, out of humanity, civility and self-respect.

Wrong, For example the call of duty guys do the whole game in respect of these people who had people die in a war. They actually do it and talk about it with people who survived a war or saw people getting killed infront of their own eyes. And these soldier are very grateful that other people can experience what they had to. They are grateful that its not a topic you dont talk about it.

Oh, that's good. We should do that for other subjects, like rape.

darji:
And here in the west such topics like rape when used in games will never be used without showing how cruel this is or without thinking.

Good, but that's slightly different from consulting with, for example, rape support charities on the presentation of the subject, which is what I was suggesting.

darji:
Take Japan for example. ITs almost normal to see pornovideos which feature rape. There are tons of games were you rape little girls in trains or school buildings. There are games and movies about rapeclubs and so on. Stuff you will never ever see in western games. Infact people arguing that these kind of openess prevents rape acts. Just look how Japan has not only one of the lowest criminal records but also less rape victims and attempts world wide.

I would say that "people [are] arguing..." is not a strong enough level of proof for a relaxing of our treatment of rape in popular media. There may be any number of other factors at play. Also, that doesn't address the issues talked about in the article, i.e. the effect of such media on victims. Assuming rape media were proven to cause a significant reduction in offending, that would have to be weighed against any undesirable consequences first. But it is something worth studying.

Actually you have crime statistics for it but people can still argue that most rape victims dont go to the police or report these crimes because shame plays a very big role in the japanese society.

As for in western games. I am just saying that you should not make it a tabootopic. people need to be aware of such things. And silence about this will not help anyone. Even the victims themself. Even if its hard for these people alking about such events will help these people to to overcome thee traumas at least a bit.

AncientSpark:

Well, when you put it in context, saying "rape" is hardly relevant to the subject of whatever it is used in (gaming, specifically when referring to another party as "getting raped" when they are getting owned), has trauma associated with it, and has hateful implications, as it is generally considered an act that can never be considered merciful.

And murder doesn't have any relevance when I'm playing and losing at a racing game like Gotham Project racing, and yet people still use that word to demonstrate how I have lost against them.

Fair enough, but that still doesn't necessarily necessitate the usage of "rape" as it is used in videogames. A person might go "O_o" at most for being called out as being murdered in a racing game, but would understand the context. While I think it would be nice for "rape" to be disengaged from its negative connotation (not in the sense of the act's vileness, but how we can refer to murder in more everyday speech), that's not the reality of how people perceive it.

AncientSpark:
Murder tends to be a little more neutral as while trauma can be associated with it, murder can also mean one person killing another through any number of ways, a number of which are considered more kind-hearted and understandable (as strange as that sounds). It also has some vague associations with the acts that it is used to described, such as "I just murdered that guy!" in a FPS/fighting game (games about violent acts).

So what your saying is that murder has gone through a semantic shift? Well I think "rape" is going through a semantic shift as well.

Except that "rape" clearly isn't. The usage of Murder as a term is perceived clearly, so much so that when it is mis-used, it's understood what they meant. "Rape" isn't really THAT clear, despite as much understanding you and I have of it when we hear it on XBox Live. It's not really as neutral as the term "murder" is. It's actually getting less and less neutral as people become more offended by it, even as other people attempt to use it more and more as slang. It's not me who decides that, unfortunately, but the perceptions of people.

As to why that perception exists, well, look at the Jimquisition of this week. It's a pretty pedestrian, but reasonable view as to why that kind of happens.

AncientSpark:
In either case, that's not REALLY what everything is about. It's not the "Why this word is harmful?" but the "Why do we use this replaceable word with negative associations to describe an action that has nothing to do with said word?" Not why the word is bad, but why do we continue to use a word that's considered to be bad. The former is worth wondering about, but isn't what things are approaching.

I guess a semantic shift is the reason why.

But it's a semantic shift that is not accepted by the courtesy of most people. It's not us who decides that, it's society in general. It doesn't make any kind of statement to not accept that and we aren't really giving up anything by correcting its usage, so that's how things are.

him over there:

It's also just possible that rape is even more underreported there.

It is. It's considered unladylike to call out a groper, for instance.

Thank you for writing this article, anonymous person. It's people like you that give me hope that we really can make a difference by simply talking about and sharing our problems in an honest way. I really can't thank you enough for taking the effort and willpower and writing such an deep and meaningful article.

Big hug! :)

Imrix:

Helmholtz Watson:
Why not? Why would I treat their friends and family with less care than the victim? Both are suffering.

...

No we can't agree. If you wouldn't tell my grandmother a holocaust joke, then don't tell me one.

So, your sympathetic pain for your grandmother's suffering, decades after the fact and second-hand, is equal to hers, who lived through it?

You're right, we can't agree.

Actually, the children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors have been shown to elicit symptoms similar to those of the individuals who went through the events, including PTSD. Obviously it's not identical to going through it, but the psychological trauma wrought on the child can be very severe.

axlryder:

him over there:

It's also just possible that rape is even more underreported there.

It is. It's considered unladylike to call out a groper, for instance.

The women I know in the U.S. who've been groped rarely do anything about it, either. Typically I advise them to kick the next one in the balls.

(Note: Not that groping is limited to men groping women.)

adamselene:

axlryder:

him over there:

It's also just possible that rape is even more underreported there.

It is. It's considered unladylike to call out a groper, for instance.

The women I know in the U.S. who've been groped rarely do anything about it, either. Typically I advise them to kick the next one in the balls.

(Note: Not that groping is limited to men groping women.)

Ah, the woman around where I am would probably go for an all out brawl (unless he had apparent gang affiliations). I guess the cultural climate across the U.S. is pretty varied. Also, yeah, I've seen some woman get pretty handsy.

AncientSpark:

Fair enough, but that still doesn't necessarily necessitate the usage of "rape" as it is used in videogames. A person might go "O_o" at most for being called out as being murdered in a racing game, but would understand the context. While I think it would be nice for "rape" to be disengaged from its negative connotation (not in the sense of the act's vileness, but how we can refer to murder in more everyday speech), that's not the reality of how people perceive it.

Why are you assuming that those who have survived attempted murder can get over hearing the word "murder" online, but a person who has survived attempted rape can't get over hearing the word "rape" online?

AncientSpark:

It's actually getting less and less neutral as people become more offended by it, even as other people attempt to use it more and more as slang.

I would argue that because it is becoming more and more used as a slang term, it is more neutral than before. Thats not to say that it isn't still considered crude, but perhaps more along the lines of words like shit or bitch rather than nigger.

AncientSpark:
As to why that perception exists, well, look at the Jimquisition of this week. It's a pretty pedestrian, but reasonable view as to why that kind of happens.

Again, I'm not downplaying that the word is still crude.

AncientSpark:

But it's a semantic shift that is not accepted by the courtesy of most people. It's not us who decides that, it's society in general.

Again I disagree, its usage at places like Xbox live shows that certain parts of society(see:teenagers and tweens) are accepting the word as a way to describe something that doesn't have to do with sexual violence.

Helmholtz Watson:
Why are you assuming that those who have survived attempted murder can get over hearing the word "murder" online, but a person who has survived attempted rape can't get over hearing the word "rape" online?

Let's be fair here. There are a LOT more people who have been raped than have come close to being murdered. In terms of offense/hurt/whatever per word usage, you're getting way more with the word "rape". Whether that inspires you to use the term more or less in a personal choice, but don't be surprised if people grade you on it.

Helmholtz Watson:

Imrix:
Of course not, that would be a dick move. But then, I wouldn't expect you to offer the same tenderness and sympathy to the friends and family of a rape victim as I would expect you to offer to the victim themselves.

Why not? Why would I treat their friends and family with less care than the victim? Both are suffering.

Imrix:
In the same vein, I'm not going to offer you the same sympathy I would to somebody who personally suffered such a massive loss. It still counts, it still deserves sympathy, but I think we can agree that the wound is not quite as raw, and requires a little less care.

No we can't agree. If you wouldn't tell my grandmother a holocaust joke, then don't tell me one.

But does he have the responsibility to make sure he doesn't offend somebody?

subtlefuge:

Helmholtz Watson:
Rape is a word just like killed, murdered, starving, beaten, and genocide are words. There is no reason why the word rape should be treated like something special while the words I mentioned get an ok.

The grand majority of the Western World has trivialized starving. Violent video games by their very nature have trivialized murder, kill, and beaten. Why does sexual violence need to be brought into the picture for completely unrelated reasons? It doesn't. You don't need to make the word 'rape' mean nothing, because it fucking means something to the people who have been raped, and have to live with that for the rest of their lives. If you make a joke out of it, who's going to come forward to be laughed at?

And what of the family members of people who were murdered or who starved to death?

adamselene:

Helmholtz Watson:
Why are you assuming that those who have survived attempted murder can get over hearing the word "murder" online, but a person who has survived attempted rape can't get over hearing the word "rape" online?

Let's be fair here. There are a LOT more people who have been raped than have come close to being murdered. In terms of offense/hurt/whatever per word usage, you're getting way more with the word "rape". Whether that inspires you to use the term more or less in a personal choice, but don't be surprised if people grade you on it.

If your trying not to hurt the feelings of others, why not be considerate to everybody? I assume there are not nearly as many Japanese-Americans as there are African-Americans on Xbox live, but that doesn't mean that if I'm trying to avoid hurting somebodies feelings I should just avoid saying "Nigger" but feel fine about saying "Jap".

OhJohnNo:

Helmholtz Watson:

Imrix:
Of course not, that would be a dick move. But then, I wouldn't expect you to offer the same tenderness and sympathy to the friends and family of a rape victim as I would expect you to offer to the victim themselves.

Why not? Why would I treat their friends and family with less care than the victim? Both are suffering.

Imrix:
In the same vein, I'm not going to offer you the same sympathy I would to somebody who personally suffered such a massive loss. It still counts, it still deserves sympathy, but I think we can agree that the wound is not quite as raw, and requires a little less care.

No we can't agree. If you wouldn't tell my grandmother a holocaust joke, then don't tell me one.

But does he have the responsibility to make sure he doesn't offend somebody?

No, why would he have that responsibility? I don't have to like his joke, my grandmother has the right to curse him out in hebrew, but he still has the right to say it.

Helmholtz Watson:
If your trying not to hurt the feelings of others, why not be considerate to everybody? I assume there are not nearly as many Japanese-Americans as there are African-Americans on Xbox live, but that doesn't mean that if I'm trying to avoid hurting somebodies feelings I should just avoid saying "Nigger" but feel fine about saying "Jap".

The problem with "trying not to hurt the feelings of others" in some absolute sense is that it's actually impossible. People keep coming up with new terminology they want changed. And, e.g., I was at a LGBT* conference where the keynote speaker spent a few minutes trying to specifically recognize every particular group he could, and people still took offense. And in any case, how do you differentiate between someone who is actually hurt, and someone who's just trying to make a point?

The solution for this is for both sides to rethink the way they interact. In the networking world, we might summarize this as: "Be conservative in what you say, and liberal in what you accept."

adamselene:

The problem with "trying not to hurt the feelings of others" in some absolute sense is that it's actually impossible. People keep coming up with new terminology they want changed. And, e.g., I was at a LGBT* conference where the keynote speaker spent a few minutes trying to specifically recognize every particular group he could, and people still took offense. And in any case, how do you differentiate between someone who is actually hurt, and someone who's just trying to make a point?

The solution for this is for both sides to rethink the way they interact. In the networking world, we might summarize this as: "Be conservative in what you say, and liberal in what you accept."

I understand that it is hard to make everybody happy, but again then how do you choose who you appease or not? Do you appease the majority and ignore the feeling of the minority? Or do you do something else?

I mean surely you can agree that the feeling of those who have lost family members do to gang related violence are people who's feelings should be considered if we are going to care about the feelings of others. Correct?

axlryder:
Actually, the children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors have been shown to elicit symptoms similar to those of the individuals who went through the events, including PTSD. Obviously it's not identical to going through it, but the psychological trauma wrought on the child can be very severe.

Similar, certainly, and I have nothing but sympathy and respect for what the people who grew up at the knee of such stories must have gone through. But of equal intensity? I'm unconvinced.

Entenzahn:
The precise point at which I abandoned this ridiculous debate.

Don't be a drama queen. Mars is smaller than Jupiter, that doesn't mean Mars is small. Something can be important without rendering less important things insignificant.

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