Calling a Kid the "C" Word

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The 'c' word isn't to be said around girls/women in the UK, but lads and london gansters will say it a lot. Mostly thanks to Guy Richie.

They should have used another word but its comedy/satire so whatever I wouldn't want them censored for tis there freedom of speach. But its a fine line.

Zykon TheLich:

I, on the other hand have never noticed anyone have a problem with it outside of people who would just have a problem with straight up swearing. I think it's more of a class thing than regional, having lived in London, Manchester and the far South West of Cornwall I haven't really noticed any difference. "Casual" might be a bit of a stretch, but I'd definitely say it was was common.

Huh, interesting that we would have such different experiences. I'm not sure what that difference can be attributed to then.

EDIT: Actually, thinking about it, it could possibly with a gender thing? I've spent my life up north, with a mixture of people, from different social backgrounds, but most of the people I've spent enough time with to notice these things have been female.

TwistedEllipses:

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.

Wait, what?
Maybe I'm not representative of the U.K. but I'm pretty sure it's treated as the worst swear word over here too. I'm not sure where Bob got this impression...

...oh yeah, I forgot about Jim and Yahtzee. They undermine my point somewhat.

Weirdly this isn't the first time I've heard this 'fact'. I can only guess it comes from people whose only experience of real live brits is listening to them on skype/mumble/whatever during games of Call of Duty or League of Legends.

Neither of which are exactly representative, thankfully.

firmicute:

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.

Insult, shun, and call for hate: Yes.
Harass and call for violence against people: No.
Not sure what you mean by silence. You can tell them to shut up but you generally can't make them shut up (unless they're a kid and your their parent or teacher or something).

firmicute:

sorry, that isn't free speech, that is being an ass hole and trying to defend it because its okay for you.

Free speech does cover some speech that would make you an asshole for saying.

firmicute:

(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...)

I didn't say that. I said that there shouldn't be legal consequences for calling someone a cunt.

firmicute:

why is it so hard to be decent to other people?

You act like just because I think we should have the right to do something that means I want to do it. I know nothing of that black kid, I have no desire to talk crap about her.

Anyway since you seem to think free speech shouldn't cover insulting people, would that include groups like PETA? How about politicians or people with power?

firmicute:

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.

The Nazis were famous for burning books and killing political opponents. There wasn't free speech under Nazi Germany, especially for the opposite views.

There's a saying that the answer to bad speech is more speech. That is if you have some person saying the Holocaust wasn't real you don't ban them you just have more people saying it was real.

firmicute:

I don't compare calling a 9 year old girl a cunt for no apparent reasons (except being an asshole)

Did you not read Bob's article or do you not understand the Onion? It's a joke. The Onion does satire of the news and the media and like Bob said they were satirizing people insulting celebrities for minor nothings out of jealousy. It fell flat I guess but they definitely were not serious when they did it.

The Onion has produced like 20 years of infallible satire. They were wrong and they apologized, can't we just let them slide on this one?

mgirl:
Huh, interesting that we would have such different experiences. I'm not sure what that difference can be attributed to then.

EDIT: Actually, thinking about it, it could possibly with a gender thing? I've spent my life up north, with a mixture of people, from different social backgrounds, but most of the people I've spent enough time with to notice these things have been female.

Maybe, I'd say women use it less frequently, but I can't think of any woman I've known for any length of time that hasn't called someone a cunt (except for those who I've never heard swear full stop), though of course my memory is not perfect. Certainly none of them have ever batted an eyelid at the word. That said, I've never kept particularly salubrious company, which might skew my experience on this.

LadyRhian:

I'm surprised that so many commenters here don't get it. 1) Calling someone a cunt is worse than calling them a dick because women are less (in the eyes of many men) than men are.

I don't think it's most. Most people just don't like being called a different gender (men hate it when you call them women and vice versa).

Insulting someone for their gender is equally bad and stupid.

LadyRhian:

2) "freedom of speech" isn't the right to be an idiot and say whatever you want, no matter how insulting it is, and be free of the consequences. It just means the government can't stop you from saying it. It does not give you the right to scream or yell, "FIRE!" in a crowded theatre and escape prosecution, nor does it mean that someone cannot sue you, punch you in the face, or allow you to get off scot-free from saying anything that crosses your mind.

Why drag out the fire in a crowded theater example? It's completely unrelated to this. Fact is what the onion did is free speech. And since she is a public figure she can't sue them for damages

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hustler_vs_Fallwell

Just calling people names is free speech too.

LadyRhian:

3) saying "Nigger" is worse because it has a longer history of being bad is also wrong, as even in the Bible, it comes down on women.

If it doesn't call them a cunt it's kind of irrelevant (like I said earlier though cunt isn't used exclusively against women anyway).

Kinitawowi:

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.

I wouldn't say that, but yeah the only reason people get offended by profanity rather then the sentiments behind it, is because society deemed those words bad at some point.

The people who would be fine if the Onion used different words when they pretend to insult a 9 year old, those are just choosing their offense more or less.

MopBox:
The Onion has produced like 20 years of infallible satire. They were wrong and they apologized, can't we just let them slide on this one?

Sure but there's this very important matter of "how offended should we have been in the first place" that needs settling.

SirCreedence:
It's an ironic joke.
They shouldn't have to apologize for a joke that didn't have the intent of hurting the kid.

If they accidentally offended a bunch of people who took the joke the wrong way (and that's what it sounds like) maybe they should apologize.

If everyone understood the joke then they should only consider apologizing if the kid found it offensive IMO.

NortherWolf:

Considering I don't, but I understand how society works it doesn't.
That you on the other hand backpedal to try to make this about me speaks volumes about you.

I... I didn't backpedal...
My original comment was condemning MovieBob's use of the term "The C word" instead of just using "cunt"

And when I "Made it about" (I assume you're talking about when I called you a boob) it was because you called me an idiot, then a member of "the online manly brigade" and then an "inbred douchebag, drugged up 'bro'"
And I specifically chose "boob" because you seem to have such a low opinion of female body parts.

I use "Cunt" the same way I use "Fuck"
Fuck means to hit. if you take it back to it's roots, colloquially it means to have sex with, ('Cause "I'd hit that" and all) But when you call someone "A dumb fuck" you're not calling them "A dumb to have sex with" or when you say "that was fucking hard" you're not saying "That was having sex with difficult" You're just saying "fuck"
And to me cunt is the same. When I call some twat a cunt I'm not calling them a vagina. I'm just saying cunt.
If when you call someone a cunt you're calling them a vagina because vaginas are bad that's pretty damn sexist.

If I misunderstood your comment (Which I find hard to believe because it was sort of strait forward) I'm sorry.
But I still think you're an asshole because of all those things you called me, But hey, you're Anonymous it was a god damned compliment, right?

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!

Remember that? Sorry, somehow I don't think you give a shit about equality, you do give a shit about being allowed to be an ass though. So yeah, sorry if I don't give you the benefit of a doubt anymore, but you've removed my doubts about you being part of the Bro Brigade. But do lets see how you'll put the "Well, the horrible sexist here is you!" into the topic again. (Here's a hit, knowing about the problem does not make me a supporter of said problem.)[/quote]

And for a third time I reiterate.

mikeyfell:
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.

If you're unable or unwilling to catch satire veiled that thinly, you probably shouldn't follow Tho Onion on Twitter.
That's the problem with text communication, there's no tone, and when you disagree with a jumble of letters on a screen it's easy to think that THEY'RE SCREAMING AT THE TOP OF MY LUNGS AND THEIR CAPS LOCK KEY IS BROKEN!!!! When all too often that's not the case.
It's also not an instant form of communication, regardless of how fast you turn comments around you always have time to compose your thoughts before you type them, and believe it or not I put a lot of effort into trying to inlay meaning and character into these walls-o-text. Because the thing I dread is coming off like some opinion-less fact checking machine, or some hate filled wind-up-toy, or a dog who accidentally sat on the keyboard. And the best way I know how to do that is to be clever, but I'm on the internet, and my wit will go straight over the head of anyone who thinks they would have an easier time criticizing me if I was just the hate filled wind-up-toy they know how to deal with.

What does this tangent have to do with this chain of conversation?
Here's the Cliff-notes for my first comment.

I thought the Onion's comment was funny and to the point, and I'm fine with Bob or you or anybody not feeling that way, the thing I wasn't fine with was their retraction and apology they shouldn't have had to do that. It's a group who specialize in brutal satire delivering a piece of brutal satire. But you don't apologize for satire if people don't understand it, that's not your problem.

The rest of my comment was my disdain for the amount of times Bob used the term "The C word" instead of just saying cunt.
Because he or anyone else would never say "The D word" instead of dickhead, and it's the same shit.
The only reason you think it's not the same shit is because of the female association you put with it.
And all of a sudden here we are again giving women special treatment because their women. and treating someone positively because of their gender is just as detrimental to equality as treating someone negatively because of their gender.
(I would say in my opinion, but it's math.)

I'd stop there but I feel like if I leave it unsaid you'll assume the worst and call me a member of the "bro brigade" again.
I'm not sexist.
SO un-sexist in fact that I will not respect a woman, simply because she has lady parts.
Just like any other person if she wants my respect she has to earn it.
(Did you see the episode of South Park when they tried to change the flag and Stan and Kyle said: "It's just some guy dying I don't see the problem." It's like that.)
When ever it comes to light that my view of gender equality is "Yay individuals" and not "Yay women for no good reason" I get accused of being in the "Bro brigade" when it's not the case at all, hell the majority of my friends are women, and you'll probably ask for their names and addresses and a copy of their birth certificates and yatta yatta and... What were we talking about.

Oh! right The Onion.
So after like 6 pages of comments did anyone actually break down and explain what the intent of the joke was?
The way I read it is, people say terrible things about celebrities. You know a few, Mel Gibson is an antisemitism! So and so is a slut, so and so is an airhead, blah blah blah, and everybody laughs because they're celebrities! It's okay! They only exist for our amusement!
So the Oscars happened. The next day there'll be the mandatory who was pretty, who was ugly, who was this, who was that bullshit they always do.
But there was a 9 year old there, what are they going to say about her? Only positive things because...Because she's 9? That's their line? Fuck their line.
The Onion tore them a new line, or at least they tried to, not enough people got it.

I liked the sentiment and the delivery.
All the talk about "cunt" and sexism and the bro brigade was unrelated to the Onion.

Twitter is the issue here. It is contrary to the goals of communication and why people use it for anything other than describing what they had for lunch, baffles me. It is not the place to argue politics, debate religion, campaign against sexism OR CALL SOMEONE A C**T. Simple as that.

Sure it was a joke, but it was poor and it lacked the support which most of the Onion's other satire has, ie articles and videos etc. Regardless, while you may GET the joke, does that mean it couldn't be offensive or upsetting for a little girl who is the target. Think on that. She is now at the centre of a shitstorm about the use of a word and all that it may mean. Does she deserve that? Quite the rude awakening, I imagine, if only because now all the adults around her are in a tizzy and she doesn't know wtf is their problem.

I get the arguments about free speech. I get the arguments against thin skins. I don't subscribe to the assertion that all opinions against the joke can be written off as 'white knights' and 'feminazis' etc. In the end, Twitter is a very poor medium for communicating anything. Joke or not, clever or not, the joke was mishandled.

UberNoodle:
Twitter is the issue here. It is contrary to the goals of communication and why people use it for anything other than describing what they had for lunch, baffles me. It is not the place to argue politics, debate religion, campaign against sexism OR CALL SOMEONE A C**T. Simple as that.

One of the main reasons I use twitter (other than the ability to talk to minor celebrities), is the live tweeting bit.

Basically when you're watching the Oscars or some other big event that's broadcast on TV, there will be people who are tweeting while watching and cracking jokes or making comments. Some of them are funny. Incidentally this is what the Onion was doing when they made that comment.

Father Time:

UberNoodle:
Twitter is the issue here. It is contrary to the goals of communication and why people use it for anything other than describing what they had for lunch, baffles me. It is not the place to argue politics, debate religion, campaign against sexism OR CALL SOMEONE A C**T. Simple as that.

One of the main reasons I use twitter (other than the ability to talk to minor celebrities), is the live tweeting bit.

Basically when you're watching the Oscars or some other big event that's broadcast on TV, there will be people who are tweeting while watching and cracking jokes or making comments. Some of them are funny. Incidentally this is what the Onion was doing when they made that comment.

Unfortunately, it looks little different to regular tweets when that 'live' period is over.

I am not out to demonise the Onion. I am on their side, but not to the extent like so many 'zero-sum' defenders are being, ie "damn the offended; the Onion were right!". The joke fell on its face rather spectacularly, and for a comedy site, that's a great concern. We can't blame the audience, and while we can explain that no offense was intended, we can't blame people for being offended. Just as we can't demonise people for thinking it funny.

Anyway, these are just my musings. Not directed at you.

Capcha: "Good Riddance"

Joke about recently murdered people and you're ok, but call someone a mean word deals this kind of a shitstorm?

America, the best country in the world if you're 12 or younger.

The joke was fine, the wording was fine. The unfortunate fact is that the people who might've been enlightened by realizing what an idiotic content source they're viewing wouldn't see it, because they've got an entire damn television network that produces nothing but that shit. (E!, if you're wondering).

Anyone who can watch five minutes of E! without seriously considering the extermination of the human species as a fun and interesting side project has much more empathy for their fellow man than I do, and I've chosen to spend my entire life healing the sick... in a nation with a government that is actively trying to make medicine an completely unprofitable business.

I mean, seriously, people are getting on the Onion for a joke, when E! produces some of the things it does with stone-faced sincerity? Fuck this planet.

I can't possibly be the only US resident that finds the whole thing amusing to a fault. It's been mentioned that

ShadowKirby:
Do you make it an habit to go around insulting 9-year-olds?

while as a matter of fact, I do, but only if that 9 year old is playing the part. The one thing that people seem to be forgetting to do about the whole situation is to consider the source. It's the Onion for f*cks sake, why does it even matter?

rbstewart7263:

Yeah and that day no one dared try to call smilomaniac out, for his defense against selfrighteous prudes was indeed inpenetrable.

I'm actually surprised. Usually there'd be ten/twenty idiots focusing on everything else but the point.
All I got was a single, pointless sarcastic remark.

It's almost dissapointing.

Is there a difference in the US calling a woman a c**t or a man? I think the only obscenity used over here which targets a particular gender is "bi**h". Everything else can be used equally.

I wouldn't call it casually used here, it's still vulgar, but only one step further perhaps than f**k and the like. However people could use it in a passing comment in the same context as "Stop being such a d**k" or the like. So I guess maybe it has entered casual usage.

Given the original context and knowing the Onion for what the site is, I think it was amusing.

You want to know what's so bad about nerds on the Internet today? It's the fact they simply can't seem to tell appropriate from inappropriate behavior, good taste from poor taste. They think they can just do or say whatever and, as long as they can find some intellectual rationalization for it, then it's an okay thing to do. It's a total and complete disconnect from reality and an inability to comprehend how one's actions affect others. They only see their own ends and fuck-all about other people.

The joke was in VERY POOR TASTE, no matter what you try to rationalize about it and should not have been uttered. It's not a question of what you are or are not allowed to say; it's that it simply was an inappropriate thing to say in the context in which it was said.

I think the only possible way The Onion could save itself from this mess would be to publish the name of that writer in a short and simple article declaring his immediation resignation - the article itself should be how he finds out.

By posting such a thing on the INTERNET of all things - they may has well have walked up to her on the red carpet and openly said it to her face for all to see. There is absolutely no excuse for it. The fact that she is nine years old - she shouldn't have to worry about trying to please everyone right now. Its disgraceful.

look i'm a Scotsman and the spoken language here in Scotland...well lets just say two casual friends meeting each other in the street are likely to refer to each other and converse using an obscenity rate that many other people might find astounding...that said "the c word" is the one singular word that i would have received a slap from my Mum for using in earshot. it is the one singular word i was told "we don't use that word in this house" and i can't recall, in my entire life, that i've ever even written it down let alone used it to describe a child...after all as my Mum would say "you've got plenty of alternatives -.-" which is true because as a Scot i have a massive gambit of English, Scots and even Gaelic "non complementaries" to play with :P

it frankly astounds me that an American (who i tend to think of as less prone towards causal swearing) would.

image

Eddie: Hey, Richie...
Richie: What is it Eddie?
Eddie: Can we say ''cunt''?
...
Richie: Very much not.
Eddie: Right you are... *ahem* CUUUUUUUUUNT!

And that, my friends, is how we deal when someone says we cannot say the word ''cunt''. Cunting fuck.

TwistedEllipses:

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.

Wait, what?
Maybe I'm not representative of the U.K. but I'm pretty sure it's treated as the worst swear word over here too. I'm not sure where Bob got this impression...

...oh yeah, I forgot about Jim and Yahtzee. They undermine my point somewhat.

Yeah that's what I thought too. I stay in Scotland, we swear like pros up here but even then it's rare to hear the C word.

ObsidianJones:

And whose skin are we talking about? the 9 year old girl who hasn't developed enough sense of self that she can understand not just who she is, but what she is and be able to make light of it?

There are many things one may be outraged about; The Onion's Twitter posts are not among them.

In the words of upstanding emigrant of the British Isles, Benjamin 'Yahtzee' Croshaw when he addressed an anonymous forum poster in his Quantum Conundrum review:

"You're a cunt. You're a cunt, yes you are. You live in a cunty cottage and you drive a cunty car."

The joke by the Onion was an abysmal failure but the outrage over a simple word, regardless of how offensive some find it, comes across as just silly.

Modern problem: There is no longer a social mandate to evolve beyond high school in one's behavior or attitudes.

2xDouble:
Doing something "ironically" is still doing it.

The actions and words may be the same but the meaning is totally different, totally different and that's what really matters. Do you hold "The Producers" to the same standard, that even though they meant "Springtime for Hitler" ironically, they are still performing it and therefore it glorifies the Third Reich?

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

Actually, I think the best jokes are the ones that require two pages to explain to somebody who didn't get it. The more information the joke involves the more your mind has to compare and juxtapose those different sets of information and with that there are more incongruities that cause you to laugh.

(which I understand to be common to the point of casual use in the UK)

HAHA. Oh my no. It's become vaguely growing as an acceptable swear word, but it's still far more incendiary than the f-word and certainly not thrown around casually unless you're with people you're absolutely sure won't go ballistic.

Do4600:

2xDouble:
Doing something "ironically" is still doing it.

The actions and words may be the same but the meaning is totally different, totally different and that's what really matters. Do you hold "The Producers" to the same standard, that even though they meant "Springtime for Hitler" ironically, they are still performing it and therefore it glorifies the Third Reich?

Yes. Fortunately for The Producers there was significantly more to the plot than the play within the play. The "ironic" glorification of the Third Reich is muted by the absurdity (not irony) of the circumstances surrounding it; specifically the borderline insane people embracing and endorsing that. It shows other characters glorifying Hitler "ironically" and the involves us (the audience) making fun of them for it. There is no such context here, or in most cases claiming an "irony" defense for their poor taste and vulgar actions... the cunts.

http://badassdigest.com/2013/02/26/film-crit-hulk-smash-hulk-vs.-the-context-of-comedy/

As usual Film Crit Hulk has a lot of interesting and insightful stuff to say on the matter.

I do keep on hearing people say something to the effect of "no one should be made to apologize, freedom of speech blah blah". To be clear, no one forced anyone to apologize. The Onion decided that maybe their joke was either misunderstood, or went too far, and they chose to apologize.

If I tell a joke to a friend and my friend takes offense, he's not making me apologize. I'm apologizing because obviously my intent wasn't to offend (unless I'm a dick).

No one wants to destroy freedom of speech. But as others have said in the past, freedom of speech is not freedom from criticism and consequence.

I don't see the problem.
I see exactly why the joke DOES work,
and it's all the reasons Bob described!

1) it's shocking
2) it's offensive
3) its target is antithetical to the accusation

Here's where Bob and all the insufferable,
liberal knee-jerks keep getting wrong though:

The joke isn't on society--
there's no intellectual point intended;
The joke's on the guy making the joke!

It's been formulative comedy for decades!
He's the buffoon! The outcast! The manchild!

The audience IS SUPPOSED to hold the guy making the joke in contempt
and laugh that he would be stupid enough to say such a thing!
__________________________________________
As an observant member of society, I know all about modern taboos,
and what is troubling is that while most subjects are fair-game in
comedy, the same old sacred cows remain. If you question why taxpayers
should pay for people to have sex (contraceptives), you're a combatant
in the War-on-Women. Whoever denies you can't make fun of a black icon
(IN ANY WAY) without being called a racist is simply a liar who doesn't
read their own angry, online screeds.

...Who the f*** calls a 9-year-old a c**t? Like seriously, where's the joke in that? "Ha ha, you called a 9-year-old something you shouldn't call anyone, ha ha." Where's the humor in that?

Although, Bob helped explain it better, but really, who's going to be smart enough to "get" that kind of joke?

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