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Author Topic: using gender/orientation/other group specific insults  (Read 31505 times)
VoodooTissue
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« Reply #80 on: November 22, 2010, 03:39 pm »

Look, more than anything else, I'm trying to say that words don't have to be shoehorned into certain meanings or imply certain things all the time. In all honesty, I don't care too much about defending the alternate usages of specific words, but of words in general. I realise now doing so in a thread about words that are currently very socially charged in meaning probably doesn't help the case because it muddies the waters and that my arguements about the nature of language in general are probably best left to another thread or left inside my head.

I sincerely do apologise if I've offended/angered anyone, I really was just trying to have a go at explaining my views.
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Karlski
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« Reply #81 on: November 22, 2010, 04:21 pm »

Also among their examples:
Quote
A lesbian client in therapy reluctantly discloses her sexual orientation to a straight therapist by stating she is "into women." The therapist indicates he is not shocked by the disclosure because he once had a client who was "into dogs." (Hidden message: Same-sex attraction is abnormal and deviant.)
Oh my GOD get a new therapist!!!!

Based off that tiny snippet, I thought the hidden message the therapist was giving was that her being a lesbian is normal as hell compared to some of his clients, so don't worry about it.

Also from that article,
Quote
The outfit worn by a TV reality-show mom is described as "classless and trashy." (Hidden message: Lower-class people are tasteless and unsophisticated.)

How else would you describe, say, Jersey Shore?
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« Reply #82 on: November 22, 2010, 04:26 pm »

How else would you describe, say, Jersey Shore?

pretty damned racist/classist
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« Reply #83 on: November 22, 2010, 04:46 pm »

Look, more than anything else, I'm trying to say that words don't have to be shoehorned into certain meanings or imply certain things all the time. In all honesty, I don't care too much about defending the alternate usages of specific words, but of words in general. I realise now doing so in a thread about words that are currently very socially charged in meaning probably doesn't help the case because it muddies the waters and that my arguements about the nature of language in general are probably best left to another thread or left inside my head.

I sincerely do apologise if I've offended/angered anyone, I really was just trying to have a go at explaining my views.

I think I understand your point.  The main issue is that since we're not the people who are targeted by words like "fag", it's not really up to us to get to decide when or how they're offensive.  The best we can do is to try to be respectful of other people's feelings about words' power, and to try to express ourselves without needlessly bringing pain to others.

I'm not sure your argument holds up if you're just talking about words in general, either.  Words are signifiers for concepts that are determined by the understanding of the majority.  That understanding does vary between generations and cultures and it does evolve, but that evolution is caused by bigger cultural shifts than your friends teasing each other.
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« Reply #84 on: February 24, 2012, 05:45 am »

Recently I've identified another offensive language pattern that I had used before without thought towards offending others. That pattern was to use references to rape to denote a brutal victory, or a seemingly unfair turn of events. For example, "Karlski played a mean game of Blood Bowl, but ultimately got raped by the dice." It's not entirely the same as targeted insults, but it certainly helps normalise the concept and can propagate a rape culture. I only just remembered this now because I had to tell a dude at the pub why it wasn't cool to say he got raped at pool last night, and he looked at me like I was speaking a different language.
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« Reply #85 on: February 24, 2012, 07:22 am »

That's one that's always bugged me, it implies that the person saying it has no comprehension of the violence behind the word.
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« Reply #86 on: February 24, 2012, 09:34 am »

Recently I've identified another offensive language pattern that I had used before without thought towards offending others. That pattern was to use references to rape to denote a brutal victory, or a seemingly unfair turn of events. For example, "Karlski played a mean game of Blood Bowl, but ultimately got raped by the dice." It's not entirely the same as targeted insults, but it certainly helps normalise the concept and can propagate a rape culture. I only just remembered this now because I had to tell a dude at the pub why it wasn't cool to say he got raped at pool last night, and he looked at me like I was speaking a different language.

yeah that's a good one to get rid of too. another bonus of not using it is to remember that it's pretty heavily used by dumb fucking nerds
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« Reply #87 on: February 24, 2012, 03:41 pm »

This sooort of fits here, if we're talking about rape culture. The rapper Too $hort said some pretty terrible stuff where he basically advised young men to sexually assault women and then made a half-hearted apology about it. Now he's done an interview in Ebony where he talks so frankly about learning more about sexism as a result of being called out on his comments and it's great.

Celebrities in general and a lot of hip-hop culture never acknowledges this kind of stuff so directly, so it's refreshing to read.
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« Reply #88 on: February 24, 2012, 04:07 pm »

Rape culture? No such thing.
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« Reply #89 on: March 31, 2013, 08:05 pm »

I hope I'm not in trouble for bumping this thread, but I wanted to ask if anyone else has noticed the increase in people using "autistic" and "aspeger" as an insult. The presidential election had a handful of really shitty editorials that described either candidate with the condition.

A while ago I brought this up on facebook, and one of my friends had a theory that some of it is a horrible response to the people on reddit or whatever saying they have autism as an excuse for their poor social lives or because they think it gives them a personality or something whatever.

Am I the only one who's noticed this?
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« Reply #90 on: March 31, 2013, 10:17 pm »

I've watched quite a few videos of bronies doing lame brony stuff and the comment sections are typically filled with jokes about aspergers and autism. There's also a somewhat famous brony named Jordan who actually is autistic (or at least claims to be, but it would make sense). I think it's just a more tangible way of saying 'retard' or 'retarded', that's meant to be more targeted toward an individual's social shortcomings.
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« Reply #91 on: April 01, 2013, 02:51 am »

Isn't there a running gag in Big Bang Theory about a character with Aspergers? I'd have to watch it to be sure, but I've seen it mentioned.
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« Reply #92 on: April 01, 2013, 03:07 am »

BASPINGO! The "joke" is that Sheldon has Aspergers, I don't know if they actually talk about it or just imply it, but I don't really want to watch the show more to find out.
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« Reply #93 on: April 01, 2013, 09:58 am »

Sheldon may or may not have asperger's. I don't watch the show either so I'm not sure if it's an offensive portrayal or not; but my Mom, a special ed teacher, loves the show and says it does a great job, so it could be pretty harmless.
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« Reply #94 on: April 01, 2013, 12:04 pm »

They've never disclosed that Sheldon is diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, but the traits are certainly there. But I can only cite my own experience working with teens diagnosed with ASD and the two or three episodes I watched. So, pretty anecdotal.

The whole "asperger syndrome as an insult" is something that seems to be on the rise, as it seems a bit more socially accessible than calling someone obtuse. I can't tell if it's a cultural thing or an artifact of my own personal and professional experiences over the last few years, but even I've caught myself thinking that someone who is not always socially "appropriate" (egads, I hate that word) might have a touch of the Aspergers.

Anyways, it's ambiguous and difficult to nail down and yadda yadda. The DSM-V is doing its part by doing away entirely with the term aspergers (as well as Pervasive Developmental Disorder, another quasi-autistic diagnosis) as it is a pretty difficult diagnosis to nail down. Once the DSM-V comes out, anything resembling Autism will be placed within the blanket diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder.  So that's something.
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