Calling a Kid the "C" Word

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Can anyone link a video of whatever it was that led to the Onions comment? I dont know whether they said it because she was smug, or dumb, or what, and I really would like to know...

I hadn't had a chance to actually find out what The Onion had said. In finally getting the details, I agree; Reasonable intention, terrible execution.

Oh goodness. Some people just need to learn to take a joke, no matter how bad it is. If I were The Onion, I'd keep it up there just to let people keep raging. Seriously, OH NO people on the internet are mad! Sky is blue and grass is green, etc.

Aaron Sylvester:

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.

*sigh* I know but a man can wish can't he :(

WoahDan:

The severity of 'c***' is a regional thing, most parts of the UK consider it to be one of the strongest swearwords around ( though none consider it to be quite as bad as in the US, to my knowledge), but there are a couple of areas in the southeast where it is used as casually as you have heard.

Which adds another argument as to why it was a poor choice of words: the audience certainly was not exclusively American, and they ended up constructing wordplay around a word with vastly different interpretations. Bad idea.

As to the article itself, whilst the article is correct in that the Onion should have made it clearer that it was a joke, people really need to take the context into account before they get mad, especially on the internet.

Do remember The Onion is not exactly universally known (to the point where foreign newspapers semi-regularly get burned sourcing them for news), and extremely few people can be bothered wiki'ing every random dipship on twitter.
Poe's law also is fully in effect here - I can throw a random bet that this wasn't even the worst thing said about her on the internet.

I have to say, i hate "the C-word", and i don't mean cunt, i have no problem with it, but the fact that people use words like "the F-word", or "the C-word". I know i'm quoting CK Louis here, but saying the word like that does not make it better, because you're putting the word in the listeners head, which is the same as just saying it.

OT: Most kids are cunts, if this one isn't, then maybe they were wrong by saying that she was, even if it was for satire. I don't think it required an apology though, because The Onion is, well The Onion, by presuming they were serious, shows that you may have never encountered a news article by The Onion before.

Susan Arendt:

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.

If they had called a 9-year-old boy a "dickhead," the reaction would've been the same, I promise you.

I seriously doubt they would have been this up in arms.

Then again we did get an example in how thin skinned and over sensitive some folk are a couple of weeks ago in the reel physics comments

This is when I really wish George Carlin was alive.... I'm sure he'd have some awesome things to say about this. Probably using the work cunt like a period... or maybe a comma...

ShadowKirby:

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.

A) No she didn't.
B) SHE'S FUCKING 9! Do you make it an habit to go around insulting 9-year-olds?

Meh, I know some 9 year olds who are right cunts. Likely wouldn't tell them though as thats just mean.

th3dark3rsh33p:
I don't think the c word is that big a deal, it's not like the n word where there is a long standing history that the word brings up.

Cunt and nigger. Just say it, we can be pretty mature about these things and discuss them in this kind of setting. :)

This video is pretty relevant:

No malice, terrible judgement - need to be responsible and very carefully consider when your stuff is a lot closer to "the line" than normal.

Wait wait wait wait wait.

The 'C word' commmon to the point of casual in the UK??? From my experience you couldn't be more wrong there! At least not where I live. People might say it, but it's considered one of the worst words you can use. And the only people that use the word casually are the kind of idiots that think using bad swear words makes them cool.

If you cannot figure out why the word "cunt" has such a vitriolic meaning in the states, you need to do a little more research.

Though the reaction is kind of hypocritical, given how sexist personal insults tend to be.

Fasckira:

Cunt and nigger. Just say it, we can be pretty mature about these things and discuss them in this kind of setting. :)

Inclined to agree. It riles me a little when I hear people say "the N word" because it means that people are admitting we cannot discuss something as adults in a neutral setting.

Maybe if people realised it was The goddamn motherfucking Onion, rather than reacting to a Poe, we'd have some sense from it.

I mean, really. It's the Onion. Anyone who's following them SHOULD KNOW WHAT THEY ARE. Anyone who isn't can find out easily enough. Behind Stewart and Colbert (And The Chaser for Australians), they're the best known for this stuff. Any journalist who reports on this without this clarification should no longer be a journalist. This should only be a thing amongst bored inbred housewives in the dark recesses of Facebook, and should never reach the light of day. Because it's just stupid.

The fault of this is not the Onion. If they prefaced it with *Satire inbound*, it loses the point. If they go with something weaker, it's no longer absurd. It's the same shit all the other outlets are putting out there, and you can't parody that by doing the same thing. The fault of this is stupid people. Stupid people everywhere. Stupid people who don't think about the media in the slightest. Which, if you think about it, is exactly what The Onion tries to change.

I agree with Bob on one point, the joke was poorly told. If you have to explain a joke, it failed. And if you are going to go for a joke like that, you have to commit. They were a bit too tentative and, oddly, that is part of why it came off as even more insulting.

That said...

I don't care if she is 9 years old, she is not exempt from humor, insults, or anything else that the world might throw at her. If you are afraid your child cannot handle the real world, its called "sheltering" for a reason. You keep her locked away from it. If you are going to let your child act, and thus expose her to more public scrutiny than virtually any other profession, she better damn well know how to handle insults, no matter how crass, on the internet. I guarantee you in a few years, especially as a female actress, its going to get a lot worse.

Further, I don't care if it was a poorly told joke, it was still a joke. All the indignation from everyone, especially the "we must protect the children" bullshit, just makes me want to side with the Onion more. If anything, I think it just gives evidence that the joke is worthy of being told; it just needed to be told right. And perhaps the spectrum needed to be broadened to satirize all the knee-jerkers as well.

If you ask me, the only thing The Onion is guilty of is not understanding how twitter and the Internet works. I sincerely doubt Wallis would have ever even heard the joke much less be hurt by it, seeing as the onion isn't exactly including 9 year old girls in their demographic and if any of the media brought it to her attention in a way insinuating it was an insult then they're the ones who owe her an apology.

The Onion can easily craft a joke like this, this article was linked on their site, AT THE BOTTOM OF THEIR APOLOGY http://www.theonion.com/articles/i-slapped-a-crying-child-and-called-him-a-nigger-a,31361/ They just can't do so in 140 characters. Not in today's society.

Loonyyy:
Maybe if people realised it was The goddamn motherfucking Onion, rather than reacting to a Poe, we'd have some sense from it.

Im assuming that all those flinging their poo at The Onion over this probably don't actually follow The Onion on twitter but instead have seen the retweeted message from someone who has.

I think the only real "bad" part about this whole thing is the fact that The Onion deleted their tweet. Sure, they can tweet later on saying they're sorry if they feel they overstepped the mark but I hate it when people cover up like that.

mgirl:
Wait wait wait wait wait.

The 'C word' commmon to the point of casual in the UK??? From my experience you couldn't be more wrong there! At least not where I live. People might say it, but it's considered one of the worst words you can use. And the only people that use the word casually are the kind of idiots that think using bad swear words makes them cool.

It's casual in the sense that it isn't a specific slur. It's a normal swear word. Take "nigger". That is a racial slur and if you use it (in the right context) people will think you are a cunt (hurr hurr) in the UK or US. In the US the word cunt has a similar status, it's a specific gendered slur that used in the right context marks the user as being a misogynist arsehole. The UK usage doesn't have the additional stigma attached to it, so while not something to use in polite company it is still "acceptable" in casual use. Hell, I've heard it said on radio 4 in the evening, although admittedly in a slightly roundabout way.

blalien:
We decided that the c word was going to be really bad, and so it is.

Bam. Nail on head.

The most valuable lesson my father ever taught me is that being offended - by anything - is a choice. Cunt is, at the most fundamental level, just another four letter word. Like "milk". Or "only". The fact that certain subsets of society have decided to declare it the most mind-blowingly offensive word in human existence is little more than an attempt to socially enforce censorship; it's a safe bet that somebody is devoting their life to petitioning governments to enforce a total legally enforced ban on the word's use (the watershed is just the start, then video games, then any mass media, then the internet, then See You Next Tuesday variants, then Thoughtcrime), a slippery slope that I'm sure most of us want to avoid.

But yeah. I don't give a flying fuck about the rest of the world's reaction to this tweet; society gains very little from somebody being offended on somebody else's behalf. I'd be interested in Wallis's response (if I had any idea who she was before this story broke), but frankly it's not the rest of the world's business.

As for The Onion's actions afterwards... unfunny jokes are unfunny jokes, but apologising because somebody was offended is pure cowardice - and you will never be funny if you're not going to be brave. Yes, Twitter is not the best forum for this joke - most people wouldn't be aware it was even intended as a joke if it wasn't for "The Onion" at the top of it, and even that wouldn't be a guarantee, especially after that header's lost in the worldwide crapflood of retweets. But this is the world now. 140 characters can have phenomenal power. They can destroy relationships, bring down governments and start revolutions. But as has been noted, you've got to pick the right 140 characters, and the sort of stream-of-consciousness stuff that pervades on Twitter doesn't necessarily cut it.

Zykon TheLich:

It's casual in the sense that it isn't a specific slur. It's a normal swear word. Take "nigger". That is a racial slur and if you use it (in the right context) people will think you are a cunt (hurr hurr) in the UK or US. In the US the word cunt has a similar status, it's a specific gendered slur that used in the right context marks the user as being a misogynist arsehole. The UK usage doesn't have the additional stigma attached to it, so while not something to use in polite company it is still "acceptable" in casual use. Hell, I've heard it said on radio 4 in the evening, although admittedly in a slightly roundabout way.

Whilst I understand the whole stigma thing, The idea that it's a word thats casual and common in use in the UK, or at least throughout the UK, is completely wrong. With pretty much everyone I've ever met, people are happy to use pretty much every other swearword when they're with friends, excluding racist slurs, but I hardly ever hear the word 'cunt' said out loud, and when someone does use it, there's usually a pause as most people dont feel comfortable using it. Hell, I don't even like writing the word. Then again, that could be a regional thing in itself.

The Hungry Samurai:

The Onion can easily craft a joke like this, this article was linked on their site, AT THE BOTTOM OF THEIR APOLOGY http://www.theonion.com/articles/i-slapped-a-crying-child-and-called-him-a-nigger-a,31361/ They just can't do so in 140 characters. Not in today's society.

Yep, that's exactly the type of joke they were making. Like Colbert pretends to be a brainless right wing commentator, the Onion frequently pretends to have articles written by idiots who hang themselves with their own words. Clearly, from the number of people posting here who are asking "What did the girl do that made the Onion call her the c word?", a large percentage of people don't get that-- even in comments on an article that explains the joke.

Clearly, it was a bad joke because it spectacularly failed. But it was aimed at the media commentary about award ceremonies, not the girl.

I think the joke itself is funny. I even chuckled initially. Unfortunately, I iterated the same point as Bob when I first heard it. If the object of your joke isn't likely old enough to even understand why your joke isn't really making fun of them, then it's probably crossing a line. It's not the most offensive thing The Onion has ever said, but it's also using a very specific little girl as the base of its joke, and that requires a bit of finesse.

Desert Punk:

Susan Arendt:

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.

If they had called a 9-year-old boy a "dickhead," the reaction would've been the same, I promise you.

I seriously doubt they would have been this up in arms.

Then again we did get an example in how thin skinned and over sensitive some folk are a couple of weeks ago in the reel physics comments

You think people wouldn't have flipped out about someone calling Haley Joel Osment a "dickhead" the year he was nominated? Sorry, but I simply disagree with that.

I think that it would have benefited from being a full article. Being familiar with the Onion, I can get what they're going for, but I don't really know why they have a twitter account; 140 characters isn't really enough for good satire.

Every time I see "C word" I die a little inside.
because dick and dickhead are perfectly acceptable and they are exactly the same thing.

The extent of the hateful things you're allowed to say about women is held down by a Glass Ceiling. A Glass Ceiling that we'll have to break through if we ever want to see any true gender equality!

Why doesn't the burden of proof ever lie with the audience (Not necessarily to "get the joke" but) to at least differentiate between a joke and a statement made with real malice.

Apologizing for a joke also caries the unfortunate implication of suggesting there was something there worth apologizing for.

Fasckira:

Loonyyy:
Maybe if people realised it was The goddamn motherfucking Onion, rather than reacting to a Poe, we'd have some sense from it.

Im assuming that all those flinging their poo at The Onion over this probably don't actually follow The Onion on twitter but instead have seen the retweeted message from someone who has.

Indeed. Any journalist who has done that has failed in their journalistic integrity. They're responsible for what they publish. When they get hoodwinked by a Poe, they should make it clear. Apart from that, general idiots misunderstanding it getting to that point is a bit beyond my comprehension. They'd have to see it from someone, and that someone should have made it clear. I'd expect people like The View, bored, stupid people who spend their time on daytime television, both watching and making it, to fall for this. And those people generally don't follow The Onion, because self-awareness is a trait that would make them suicidal.

Really, I think the biggest problem here is people like Bob here taking it seriously at all. To take the tweet, or any criticism of it seriously is just silly.

I think the only real "bad" part about this whole thing is the fact that The Onion deleted their tweet. Sure, they can tweet later on saying they're sorry if they feel they overstepped the mark but I hate it when people cover up like that.

Definitely. It makes them look weak, and like they're unwilling to stand behind their words. Being satirical comedy, those words aren't exactly a battle-standard to hide behind, but when they delete it, it's as though they tacitly acknowledge and validate all of the criticism. And that criticism is flat out wrong.

rollerfox88:
Can anyone link a video of whatever it was that led to the Onions comment? I dont know whether they said it because she was smug, or dumb, or what, and I really would like to know...

Absolutely nothing at all. She seems to be completely innocent. That was the joke. If she had done something to make the insult seem in any way real, there would probably be less controversy because the offended parties would be obviously in the right.

Zachary Amaranth:
If you cannot figure out why the word "cunt" has such a vitriolic meaning in the states, you need to do a little more research.

Though the reaction is kind of hypocritical, given how sexist personal insults tend to be.

Agreed, from what I've read so far I don't think the Euros in the community understand just how bad an insult "cunt" is in the US. It's damn near blood-feud level and has no positive context. You can't use it when joking among close friends and you will lose friends if you do, even if they aren't the target of it. That's how serious it is considered in the US.

I know that in the UK it can be used in a similar context that "shit" is used in the US. Little shit, Little cunt and such. But, it simply doesn't have that context in America. It is all bad, all the time. It is simple the very worst possible thing you can call someone, male or female. You can go on a long rant about every single thing you hate about a person and it still wouldn't be as nearly insulting as just calling them a "cunt." It's just a cultural thing.

A perfect example of how, while nothing is immune to humor, if you're anything less than a master of your craft, expect to get pilloried.

If you want to tell a rape joke, go for it. But if you fuck it up, you're going down, burning. And you'd deserve it.

It's like cliff diving. If you're good at it, you look like a boss. If you suck, you're hamburger spattered on the rocks. Well deserved, either way.

Very, very, objective and well said.

Calling a little kid a Cunt? Really?
Good job. It's blunt, kind of effective in its simplicity but I'd much prefer some creativity. No "wretched scum-weasel" or "mewling quim"? Come on! Loki up this bitch!

I think this was about as diplomatic as anyone could be, when describing a situation as touchy to both sides as this. Good work Bob!

There was a comedian who used to call her 4 year old daughter a "little shit", but you immediately knew through the telling of the joke, the context, and the fact that he was obviously a loving father, that he didn't really mean it. Twitter lacks the opportunity to easily develop that understanding, so it's no wonder that the joke completely blew up in their face.

Related (viewer discretion advised)

Not that I didn't read the whole article, because I did, but as soon as he said that The Onion retracted it and apologized it was enough for me to say it was bad. The Onion is very self-aware and this is the first retraction of theirs I've ever heard of. If they concluded the joke wasn't worth making and did harm, and removed it, that should be the final word.

I love the Onion, and I certainly don't think less of them for such a small thing. It's over, let's forget about it.

NortherWolf:

Mikeyfell:
Every time I see "C word" I die a little inside.
because dick and dickhead are perfectly acceptable and they are exactly the same thing.

The extent of the hateful things you're allowed to say about women is held down by a Glass Ceiling. A Glass Ceiling that we'll have to break through if we ever want to see any true gender equality!

Why doesn't the burden of proof ever lie with the audience (Not necessarily to "get the joke" but) to at least differentiate between a joke and a statement made with real malice.

Apologizing for a joke also caries the unfortunate implication of suggesting there was something there worth apologizing for.

That's because you're an idiot :)
Dickhead and dick are first of all not very powerful curse words. Hell, judging from a lot of the Manly Online Brigade of Ha Ha I'm Anonymous it's a god damned compliment.
Cunt however, isn't. It's just making the connection that the person is a sexual organ that's to be filled by manly cock, so it calms down.(Origin of the word hysteria could be useful for you here.)
Also: It's a 9-year old?! How much of an inbred douchebag, drugged up "bro" do you need to be to not see the flaw in bullying someone that hasn't matured mentally yet?

This is exactly the thing I'm talking about.
Sometimes the burden of proof should be left up to the audience to understand the difference between a statment intended as a joke and one intended to carry malice.

But what if you actually believe what you said is true, what are those implications? That suggesting a whole person is reduced to female genitalia is worse than saying a whole person is reduced to male genitalia.
You're saying that the vagina is just worse than the penis? Period. No further explanation required.
That's sexism.

And calling me an inbred drugged up douche bag idiot is also perfectly acceptable but a comparison to a female body part isn't? You're a boob if you think that.

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