Calling a Kid the "C" Word

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The problem is that it took 2 pages to explain the satire of the joke. That's a problem right there.

Besides even in jest, it's just bad taste to call a pre-teen child that in the first place.

I didn't realize the word was used so much in other countries. It's used in the U.S., but isn't exactly common.
First time I saw the onion, my dad just showed it to me and laughed at my confusion. "How is this news? Are the writers stupid?" Nah younger me, it was just me.

Well to sound off for myself, I have lost respect for "The Onion" for backing down and issueing an apology. I'm firmly in the court of those who have been complaining about out of control political correctness here, and feel that anything PC needs to be abolished as it's an affront to free speech as a matter of general principle, especially when it comes to humor.

At the end of the day the point of "The Onion" and other sources like it is that nothing and noone is sacred, your supposed to talk at look at a lot of what they say/post and go "wow, I can't believe they said that" and chuckle because of how wrong it is

Whether or not this girl is 9 years old is irrelvent, she's a public person, and fair game for this kind of thing. What's more I think people complaining about this made it more of a big deal that it ever would have been if they decided to keep their mouthes shut and go after their 5 minutes of fame from liberal trolling. Sure, calling a 9 year old a cunt to her face is wrong, but remember this is on a humor website/twitter feed which a 9 year old has no business accessing. Had nobody gone "wow, I can get five minutes of fame by complaining and donning a suit of liberal white knight armor" the odds of her ever even having expected this was said would be pretty much obselete. Anyone looking at "The Onion" enough to follow it's twitter also likewise understands the context.

I'll also be blunt, we've been here before, and truthfully this would never have happened if there wasn't a huge trend towards liberal trolling and it being "hip" to jump on stupid crap to make a platform and generate attention. If you start looking at the garbage thrown at some child celebrities over the years, including by sources that weren't joking and taking a "telling it as it is" attitude, you can see how stupid this really is. Briney Spears and Lindsey Lohan got a ton of this crap, and this includes at one point Britney having a recorded tantrum she threw back stage as a little girl broadcast. Perhaps even more relevently society has turned "Honey Boo Boo" into pretty much the punchline of a nationwide joke.

In short it's a non-issue, people are only talking about this because we have been too stupid not to give the people raising these kinds of complaints a platform.

Mr_Terrific:

th3dark3rsh33p:

Mr_Terrific:
Someone calls my child a cunt....there will be blood. I find it amazing how many cowards hide behind anonymity, typing there little blurbs and quips. None of these people will say it in person just like none of you in the thread will call any decent parent's child a cunt or a dickhead while in their presence.

It's like basic human decency died at the advent of the internet...

At some point you gotta just not care what other people say that hardly effects you. You can't resort to threats of violence when people saying something you don't like/incredibly stupid. You should dislike it sure, but it's also a really nice indicator of a person you shouldn't associate or interact with anymore.

Just step back and ask yourself. Does what this person say really affect me or those I care about? 95% of the time the answer will be no, and you should just ignore the person. Easy enough.

No. YOU should sit back and allow someone to disrespect you or your family. Criticism is something you can step back and ask those questions, but calling a young girl a cunt is something else entirely.

Does it honestly have any effect on you what so ever? Why do you care what some random shithead thinks about you or your family?

I'm glad the Onion retracted the tweet and apologized. They were not censored in any way; they realized the joke wasn't funny and had too little context to ever be funny. The outrage over the Onion apologizing is just mind-boggling. The tweet was offensive, people complained, and the Onion agreed and took the offending tweet down, because in hindsight it just sucked. Then there are people acting like we're behind the Great Firewall of China, but this was just a distasteful gaffe that should have been left to the sands of time. The c-word applied to a talented 9-year-old girl for no real reason is not comedy, not even in the name of satire. There was no set-up, no context, it was just... bad. And it was okay to take a step back and admit it. Kudos, Bob, for explaining why we find jokes funny and why the Onion tweet was not.

Moviebob:
"Here's the thing: Yes, obviously, it is not okay to call a 9 year-old girl a c**t. 'Why' shouldn't have to be explained (it's a sexualized/gendered insult, reducing a person to their genitals and then shaming them for what said genitals are, this kid is nine freaking years old, etc.,). BUT - and I boldface because this is a big, big, BUT - while what The Onion did was in fact call her that word, they also didn't 'really' do so. It's a weird distinction, I'll grant, but this is what satire is made of."

If I poop in the middle of a public park and call it "art," would pooping on the grass be the only thing I'm doing; or, did I also not poop, because I am putting my artwork on display for the public to see, smell and, if they so wish, taste?

No one can make language a pattern of discrete symbols, tidied into their own distinctive roles for a predetermined context, and neither will certain words or actions always hold the same unique meanings for people, because people change. There will always be an element of uncertainty in human interactions, meaning that one could say or do the same thing over and over again and, on occasion, get a different response. In the case of The Onion, I believe it's safe to say they bombed, big time, and it would be extremely rare, though not impossible, for any other comedian to pull off that kind of joke and get a positive response. That someone certainly won't be me!

Ickabod:
The problem is that it took 2 pages to explain the satire of the joke. That's a problem right there.

Besides even in jest, it's just bad taste to call a pre-teen child that in the first place.

This right here. Joke fails on that fact alone. Also, someone mentioned that kids call each other cunts all the time. Yeah, KIDS call each other that. Grown adults don't usually call a kid that.

Putting aside right vs. wrong, these stories are the reason I got rid of my Twitter. Hardly any good comes from it, and it just seems to get people into trouble needlessly.

I always wondered why it was such a big deal over in America? Don't get me wrong, if a comedian called a 9 year old a cunt here in England some people might get pissed but chances are it would be forgotten about by the next day.

Ickabod:
The problem is that it took 2 pages to explain the satire of the joke. That's a problem right there.

Basically this, i'll just post the vid, makes it easier on everyone.

...I follow Frankie Boyle on Twitter I have so gone beyond help in determining good and bad humour tbh.

Though being only a mild Onion fan, I easily fall into the Onion Defense camp. Here's why:

Has anybody ever read "Our Dumb World"? It's basically an atlas, but written by The Onion.

I'd submit that almost anything from the chapter on Africa is twenty times more offensive than this; it makes fun of the tyranny, starvation, economic disparity, rape, and bloody genocide that plagues many of those countries by delivering true information and statistics in the most blunt or derisive way possible. It doesn't need the obligatory "most offensive word we can get away with that isn't the N-word!!!" to make fun of those unfortunate children; it's terribly tragic, offensive, and hilarious all at once. It works because of The Onion's signature style, in which it isn't the subject itself that is the butt of the joke, but the apathy and ignorance of our own culture. These are the guys who have headlines like "New Study Suggests Depression Hits Losers Hardest" or "Government To Increase Surveillance Of Paranoid Schizophrenics"

Anybody I've seen upset by this either seems to have zero familiarity with The Onion, or just doesn't comprehend that style of humor. Now I'm not blaming 'em, but there are a lot of those people... even on this thread... even after you (Bob) explained it very well in the article... I think they're Capricorns.

This style of humor is specifically designed to make you laugh, be shocked and mad at yourself (maybe embarrassed, maybe even offended) for laughing, then think about why you reacted that way. That's the exact reaction I had when I saw this cunt joke, and it all happened in a matter of seconds. I didn't think much of it beyond that. These Capricorns often don't make it past the second step though; they get to the offended part (not realizing that it was intended and also there's more) and just stay there, then rant on the internet about how they never laughed in the first place and somebody else should be blamed for their own taking offense at something or their not getting it.

I've heard the "if you have to explain it, it was a bad joke" rebuttal many times.... and I think it's retarded. I got the joke immediately and I'm pretty dumb.

Bob, I agree with what you said in the 5th paragraph - The Onion have a right to make that joke, and the people who are very angry have a right to be angry. Freedom of speech also implies freedom of criticism. By all means, they can make as tasteless and horrible a joke as they want. Go for it. But others ALSO have a right to criticism them and hate them and shout at them for making that joke.

I see a lot of free speech advocates cry that their free speech is under assault when someone criticizes them. Don't they understand the hypocrisy? "I have the freedom to say whatever horrendous thing I want, but you don't have the freedom to ever dare express objections to it". That's just ludicrous. Free Speech means Free Speech - it means I'm free to criticize jokes I don't like!

It's really, really simple. You have a right to say what you want. You don't have a right to be liked for saying it.

I wish i'd live in an (internet) world where people could just look at something like that and say "Dude, not cool" and move on.

All the stupid outrages about everything makes people look like the idiots they are and most of the time hinder actual discussion about serious topics (up to and including everyone's favorite topic nowadays...the one that begins with an "S" and ends with "ism")

This is kind of...um.... plain old off-topic forum fodder & not something that should be headlining a video game-based website. Just sayin'......

ShadowKirby:
B) SHE'S FUCKING 9! Do you make it an habit to go around insulting 9-year-olds?

Have you been on Youtube? 9-year-olds insult each other constantly! And they punch and kick each other, too. And they pee their pants. Children are disgusting, snot-nosed little bastards to each other and to adults. I don't know why exactly it's so bad that adults are berating children - especially on what is ostensibly a satirical, fake news outlet - but it actually does happen all the fucking time.

At least where I live. This could well be a case of prudish American standards. No sex, no swears, think of the children, etc.

I hadn't heard of this, but I stand firmly with the Onion on this. The joke would have been obvious to me, and even if it had not, calling someone a cunt, regardless of what society has chosen that means, to me sounds no different from calling someone a pineapple. You can tell she's not a pineapple and even if she literally was a pineapple, what would that really say about her?

They can't all be winners; it's not so easy to tell if a joke is good or not before you put it out there.

The regrettable thing to me is that people aren't so much offended by the fact the girl was insulted but rather solely the word used. The sooner people get over their irrational outrage at a word on a page, the better off we'll all be.

Ugh. Tweet-comedy. I don't think it's wrong of The Onion to say it; I just wish it was funny. How is "ADORABLE CHILD = CUNT" funny? Does the whiplash of opposing themes colliding so violently cause one's diaphragm to spasm in a way that can be mistaken for laughter? Maybe. But not in tweet-format.

The Onion in particular should be familiar with the highly explosive properties of badly presented satire; few things tend to blow up in one's face quite so spectacularly. You'd think they'd minimize their risks and stick to the controlled environment of their own site (where I can honestly see the joke as part of a faux-headline and it wouldn't stand out at all) and avoid the limited, easily misconstrued format that is Twitter.

Also, MovieBob, you've put so many words in boldface that the article resembles comicbook dialogue.

MovieBob:
snip

Just FYI, on the C word in the UK, it's still very bad, still very much the worst swearword. There's no level above that. I think you're just mostly exposed to very swear-happy people from the UK what with the internets and all. But yeah, a lot of us say absolute filth and don't really care.

edit: oh shit, erm, on topic, I guess it was kind of funny. Bit surprised there's people in america that will go that far on a joke, especially relatively mainstream people. But yeah, you wouldn't do it to a 9 year old, but you're literally fine with it happening with other people. Needs pointing out what a stupid thing that sort of comment is.

MovieBob:
NOTE: For my international readers, in the U.S. "the C word" (which I understand to be common to the point of casual use in the UK) is for whatever reason considered to be just about the worst anti-female insult one can utter.

No, you are wrong in regards to it being so frequent it is casual. By the kind of people who swear in every sentence, yes, but not amongst "normal" people. It is more or less considered the most offensive word you can use against somebody, and while the word is referring to a female body part, the insult is used against guys just as much as it is against girls.

You will hear the word cunt censored on UK television even when fuck isn't sometimes.

Ah, Twitter... If only I liked /popcorn, I'd have guaranteed entertainment for hours on end. As Bob said, most things that look effortless (just watch Steve Vai play guitar) take eons of work to perfect to a level where their performers make it look effortless.

Anyway, poor choice of words, considering the kid's age.

Andy of Comix Inc:

Have you been on Youtube? 9-year-olds insult each other constantly! And they punch and kick each other, too. And they pee their pants. Children are disgusting, snot-nosed little bastards to each other and to adults. I don't know why exactly it's so bad that adults are berating children - especially on what is ostensibly a satirical, fake news outlet - but it actually does happen all the fucking time.

Yes, they do, This myth that "children are holy innocence, the best of the world, yadda yadda yadda" is totally BS. Children can be all this one moment, and then be the worst cruel bastards the next minute.

However, whoever wrote this joke is not a 9yo. As such, I hold him/her to a higher standard than I'd hold a 9yo. Which is why I think this was in poor taste.

rancher of monsters:

Ilikemilkshake:

rancher of monsters:

You call nine-year-olds boys dickheads?

When I was 9 we were calling each other dickheads. Let's not pretend that all the kids are innocent little flowers, they know what swears are and are probably using them.

All kids are not innocent flowers, but that doesn't mean they've all been subjected to everything or thinks it's appropriate even if they say it. I probably didn't start using language like that until I was thirteen, and I went to school with kids who wouldn't say things like that for many more years if at all. I can tell you that if you had called me a dickhead or a cunt at the age of nine you probably would have seriously hurt my feelings, I was a sensitive kid in a family that didn't tolerate swearing. Does that mean there was something wrong with me? I don't think so, because as a person, especially an adult, communicating with or talking about another person you should have the empathy to understand or at least consider their experiences and, if you're an adult talking to/about a child, you should be able to scale your language to their level.

I think the major difference here is that describing someone as a cunt, "___ is a bit of a cunt" is very different from actually calling someone a cunt, "Hey ___ , You are a cunt".

The latter is in almost all circumstances unacceptable for an adult to say to a child, as regardless of intention the child is probably going to be extremely upset by this. While the former (which is what the onion did) is an expression of their feelings, that is not actually being directed at the child. Which might still be seen as crude and offensive, is nowhere near the level of walking up to a child and just saying "You are a cunt"

It was a badly made joke, if it needs explaining you need a re-write.However it was not one that was any more offensive than thousands of jokes the Onion has made in the past. What annoys me is the the outrage over this whole thing,Its out of proportion and over the top. Yelling and screaming at the latest outrage to our sensibilities until the next outrage comes along next week. Its just sad, there's not much thinking going on

DVS BSTrD:
They shoulda used a different word.

They used the one that is so obviously over the top, no one in their right mind should have taken it seriously. The fact that they used THAT word is what makes it so obvious. I don't see a problem with this. But it's business as usual. People are jumping in front of the nonexistent offensive bullet. If people weren't so goddamn sensitive about EVERYTHING this would not be an issue. This should not be an issue. How obvious does a joke have to be in order for people to get it and not be offended by it? Jesus!

People don't seem to understand that the only reason swear words have any power is because they take them seriously. Ignore the swear word and you've taken away all of it's power. It's meaningless shit. Get that in your heads already.

Sounds like a gamble that didn't quite pay off. I still think its in bad taste to call a 9 year old a cunt, especially on a broadcast twitter feed. Had this been in a stand up act in a private club, then it would be the storm in the teacup some folks wanna make it out to be. However, if as some of you point out, she's a public figure and fair game, so too are their comments about her.

The C word is the worst huh... I'm from the UK, and I hear people say it all the time, it's akin to calling someone a little shit over here really, but I still hate it. Thing is, Americans pronounce it completely differently - when I hear an American say it, it sounds much harsher - like they pronounce it with real venom, giving it the weight it probably should have. Also, we don't just call someone a c*** - it's usually like:

You little ****
You horrible ****
You unimaginable ****

Put this way, if I heard a mother call her child a little ****, it wouldn't even raise any eyebrows with most people. We are so desensitised to swearing anyway... we tend to refer to that 'region' as a fanny, when we call someone a fanny in Scotland, it's practically a term of endearment - if someone makes fun of us, we'd call them a 'cheeky little c***' - and nobody is offended.

When an American uses it straight - well to me it sounds harsh as hell I think.

One other thing I hate, is when girls do that V tongue thing - I mean do they even know what they are doing?
Are they calling people a p-licker or something?, because they're doing visual insults completely wrong.
If a girl did that to me, I'd just have to ask if it's an insult, a request, do they have barbeque sauce on their fingers, or are they just plain retarded. Visually, we can call someone a dick (middle finger), call them a wanker (wank hand gesture), call them whatever... and women can call someone a p-licker, but I have no idea why they think that's an insult, isn't that counter-productive... men don't call women cocksuckers do they! - we don't insult someone by suggesting they do exactly what we want them to :D
I'm thinking that people should at least understand the implications of the insults they blindly throw around.

bob youve gotten pretty good at discussing an issue thoughtfully without jumping on the ole. "this is bad and your bad if you dont agree" bandwagon that so many do.

I suppose this will lead to more discussion of whats right whats wrong should rape jokes be told yadayadayada.

Father Time:
" Say whatever you like, but if what you say is hurtful or leads to actual harm be prepared for repercussions, be they legal or (preferably) in the form of shame and societal shunning by your peers. "

*Facepalm*

If saying something gets you punished by the justice system because it was mean (but not slander or something like that), then you don't have free speech. Free speech protects you from legal consequences from your speech, this includes civil courts. That's why slander is considered not to be free speech and someone trying to sue someone else for calling them a cunt would be laughed out of court.

Okay so free speech allows you to insult, harass, silence and shun people, to call out for violence and hate against other people.
sorry, that isn't free speech, that is being an ass hole and trying to defend it because its okay for you.(and all the other people need to man up or whatever rude comment people get which dare to feed offended by a word which was intended to hurt them...)

why is it so hard to be decent to other people? cant understand it, sorry. so I am happy for the law in my country which says that you can say nearly everything you want except if you insult and harass people or of you try to be hateful and use language in a way which brings people to be violent against other people-I live in Germany and the history shows that words can lead to deeds. bad deeds. (except this law that say you aren't allows to show swastikas because some dumb judge wasn't able to see whether its displayed because someone wants to advertise national socialism or as a statement against nazis. (but this gets better. and think that holocaust denying is forbidden wont help because dumb people will believe in this bullshit whether its legal or not)

the German people were against boycotting Jewish shops and doctors and lawyers because they thought:f** it, that are friends and good people.
5 years of propaganda and anti-jewish laws and exact the same people destroyed shops, raided households and have beaten people to death on the streets or set them on fire (in my home town they killed a young boy and stuffed people in the synagogue and set the building on fire and watch them burn to death while the fire brigade only cared about that the houses of "Aryan" people dindīt ignite.

after only five years of propaganda. I don't compare calling a 9 year old girl a cunt for no apparent reasons (except being an asshole) to this-I want to say that words aren't just words you can shrug off. Its more. Its the meaning, its the intention to hurt and destroy which is inherited in these kind of words and can only overseen in very special situations (between friends)

so, yeah, words can do harm because they can implant the thought of hate and of superiority and all this bs into peoples minds. it worked. every big outburst of violence had people which initialized hate with words and sentences. and i bet my ass that it works today too...

so- its good that they did apoplogize. i think there are enough people in this word which like to insult and hurt people-we dont need more of that kind, we need generous, compassionate people. not meanies.

The joke would have worked much better if they'd just called her a bitch. It would have been more of a joke and less of a reaction inciting shocker.

knight steel:
But don't we call young boys "dickheads" all the time yet cunt is unacceptable?
Don't get me wrong I hate it when any person demeans someone else and think the twitter is in the wrong.
Also the fact of her age shouldn't factor into it,insulting anyone should be looked down upon.
However I do find the double standard between swears interesting.

The double standards of sexism have existed for as long as I can remember lol, I don't see things changing anytime soon.

Only in America, can one word cause so much anger out of NOTHING.
I'm sorry to just sweep your entire country with that, but the bottom line is that your country is so dedicated to be politically correct that you brush off all intent and all common sense in pursuit of seeming just and righteous.

Here in Europe, that tweet would literally raise an eyebrow on most people, they'd exclaim "Well that was a shit joke" and move on. I'm not saying Europe is better, but on this point, on social interaction and competence, Online America has evolved and de-evolved to a prude society.

Just to stoke the flames, let's take feminism as an example.
I absolutely love what feminism stands for; It is a group of people who are fighting to straighten out some preconceptions that are not alright and improve society for all mankind.
I can debate with a feminist for hours and gain insight in things I've never thought about.
But if you take a place like Sinfest(webcomic), their forum is so hyped up about the idealism of feminism, that there is no space for reason, reality or responsible behaviour. They thrive on mob mentality and are turned completely inwards.
This, is happening here on the Escapist forums as well, you simply can't have a reasonable mature debate without someone judging people one or the other way, from either perspective. Ironically, it is the absolute minority that is actually misogynist, almost no one dismisses women completely.

I'm willing to bet that someone will quote me out of context and accuse me of hating America or pretending that Europe is a far superior place or that it's not true of every place in the US or something else that's completely irrelevant to the discussion. Even when I write this, they'll likely skip reading my entire post and just focus their inferiority complex or need to point out the obvious, on/to me.

This piece of news is just the latest global example of the complete lack of social competence and common sense that people have. And no, you're not socially incompetent because you dislike the tweet, but you are if you think it's important to fight against this "injustice".

Like Bob says, just shun them. It's that simple. Unsubscribe from them, ignore them. But don't react to it and don't tell them how offended you are, because the second you followed The Onion, you chose to get satirical and stupid commentary from a low-brow comedy institution and you should've known better.

If some asshole quotes me out of context on this, they are a cunt and a half ;)

firmicute:

I live in Germany and the history shows that words can lead to deeds. bad deeds.
(...)
the German people were against boycotting Jewish shops and doctors and lawyers because they thought:f** it, that are friends and good people.
5 years of propaganda and anti-jewish laws and exact the same people destroyed shops, raided households and have beaten people to death on the streets or set them on fire (in my home town they killed a young boy and stuffed people in the synagogue and set the building on fire and watch them burn to death while the fire brigade only cared about that the houses of "Aryan" people dindīt ignite.
(...)
so, yeah, words can do harm because they can implant the thought of hate and of superiority and all this bs into peoples minds. it worked. every big outburst of violence had people which initialized hate with words and sentences. and i bet my ass that it works today too...

I understand what you're saying, and I agree about how cynical and jaded we've all become.

But I don't believe words, powerful though they may be, were the main driver in that particular situation. Poverty and hardship, imposed by the totally braindead conditions of the Treaty of Versailles, were the main cause, as it made people much more open to the ideas of whatever opportunistic "Messiah" came along.

Actually, we (Europe) are well on our way of seeing this for ourselves.

From what ive seen in australia it is a pretty common word here, its still classed as the worst swear word but its never really gendered apart from its definition.. Go to the country or arroundthe city in canberra your bound to hear it once a day, i have friends that spout it like water from a tap and on the chance that you see a couples argument from a pair of bogans the word flies around like its a vowel.. And you get the occasional 9 year olds yelling it too over here

Therumancer:
Well to sound off for myself, I have lost respect for "The Onion" for backing down and issueing an apology. I'm firmly in the court of those who have been complaining about out of control political correctness here, and feel that anything PC needs to be abolished as it's an affront to free speech as a matter of general principle, especially when it comes to humor.

At the end of the day the point of "The Onion" and other sources like it is that nothing and noone is sacred, your supposed to talk at look at a lot of what they say/post and go "wow, I can't believe they said that" and chuckle because of how wrong it is

Whether or not this girl is 9 years old is irrelvent, she's a public person, and fair game for this kind of thing. What's more I think people complaining about this made it more of a big deal that it ever would have been if they decided to keep their mouthes shut and go after their 5 minutes of fame from liberal trolling. Sure, calling a 9 year old a cunt to her face is wrong, but remember this is on a humor website/twitter feed which a 9 year old has no business accessing. Had nobody gone "wow, I can get five minutes of fame by complaining and donning a suit of liberal white knight armor" the odds of her ever even having expected this was said would be pretty much obselete. Anyone looking at "The Onion" enough to follow it's twitter also likewise understands the context.

So you prioritise free speech over not abusing 9 year-olds. Got it.

She's NINE. A damn CHILD. How is she "fair game"?

JaredXE:
Here's my question: Was she a cunt?

I ask this because honestly, if she behaved in a way that would classify her as a cunt, then in my opinion there is no problem saying it.

I think the fact that you have to ask that is only another sign that this was a terribly executed "joke" to begin with.

I don't know if you read the article, but the reason the Onion said it wasn't because they had witnessed her behavior and decided she was a cunt. As Bob said, the Onion was making fun of how critical and negative celebrity media has become. But (as Bob also said) the joke failed in its execution by not separating itself from what it was trying to be a satire of, and by going someplace that dark (using a sexual insult intended to reduce someone to the quality of their genitals on a nine-year-old) without enough context to give it substance. Whether or not she was actually a cunt never had anything to do with the Onion's reason for making the comment.

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