Nov 042012
 

It is unlikely that anyone coming here does not know what the Slymepit.com is, or what FreeThoughtBlogs.com (FtBs) is. However in the event of some poor lost internet soul coming to this post and wondering what the hell this is all about then the dispute between the Slymepit and all it stands for and FtBs is covered in a couple of posts. For the sake of objectivity there are a couple of descriptions from opponents of FtBs and opponents of the Slymepit here ->

This post covers the dispute as an intro to a ‘letter to the slymepit’ or a defence of it.
http://rationalugandan.wordpress.com/2012/07/24/letter-to-the-slime-pit/

As for those anti-Pit, well pretty much anything PZ Myers has to say on the matter would do, so his latest missive  - http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/10/12/well-i-wont-do-that-again/

Also definition of misogyny, having one that only includes people that hate all women is not useful given that is likely to consist of pretty much no one.
http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2012/10/defining-misogyny/
{edit: Rather than having to read the whole post above I am basically taking misogyny to mean… “Misogyny is contempt, dismissal, hostility, disregard. It’s not just shouting “I hate all women!””}

So onto my fun in the pit, I was reading a few posts from FtBs about gendered slurs and how people often refuse to use racist or homophobic language but quite happily spew out what is misogynistic language. The Slymepit is pretty much synonymous with this aspect of misogyny, members of the pit have on a number of occasions tried to justify using the word ‘cunt’ to describe women they disagree with. I figured that when ‘acting out’ over at their bete noir, FtBs, they would probably not have their best arguments as really all they want is an excuse to shout ‘FUCK YOU FTBS!!1!’… Hence I tentatively posed this question ->

Something struck me about the Slymepit that I have not seen an explanation for. I didn’t bring it up as it is obviously a contentious subject and it has probably been discussed to death on here (I couldn’t see it tho – maybe the old thread). But reading a few posts from Crommunist and Josh the Spokesgay’s comments on gay slurs made me wonder all the more. A lot of people have major issues with the Slymepit due to the use of language here – you are all characterised as saying “Free speech! Its only werds bro!”. For example someone above says

“… that fucking Crommunist…”

in much the same way as I see on here

“… that cunt Rebecca/Ophelia/Zvan…”

same with Twatson, bint, bitch. Even…

“… that faggot Josh…”**

so why do I never see anything like

“…that nigger Crommunist…”

I ask because Josh and others have made some pretty good arguments that slurs like faggot are pretty analogous especially given the level of hate and violence associated with the term. Cunt you may argue is different due to different usages but plenty of women will see it in the same way. But here in the land of words are just words, intent is king… Racial slurs seem to be absent. (Or at least a Google shows lot of “niggers” but they are all in scare quotes – I realise I’ve not been reading much here so this could be my error) Are you all self censoring for ethnic slurs when you justify misogynistic and homophobic slurs as only being words? (You/All = the subset that use/defend the use of slurs)

To be clear I don’t use any such slurs if I can help it as they can offend, annoy and upset by merely being in the sentence. I’m happy to offend, annoy and upset but achieving that through just using a contentious word to degrade a person seems like a self defeating exercise. It is attacking the irrelevant attributes of person when the ideas should be the target IMO.

** NB I got shot down and lost any shred of arguing in good faith from the Slymepit because what was actually said was… “that faggy Josh”, which I have on very good authority (Aratina Cage) is not that different from what I ‘quoted’ above. However the Slymepit is not forgiving of even the slightest mistake, especially if you are disagreeing with them… In fact that is a defining characteristic of how they go about their business; hyper-sceptical analysis of everything FtBs/Skepchick say while not applying the same rigour to their own work.

So what were the arguments presented to counter my point? Well there were not many and to be fair my ‘mistake’ in terms of faggot/faggy probably put them on a back foot…

The UK doesn’t see it as misogynistic

Usually this line goes, in the UK no one sees the word cunt as misogynistic, therefore it is fine to use it! Some examples as it is hard to believe anyone would seriously posit that as an argument for the non-offence caused by using a word. You might as well say no one in the apartheid era South Africa thought using nigger was racist therefore… Also what is it with us Brits that we get to say what is misogyny and who is allowed to be offended by it? I obviously missed a citizenship memo or something as it is news to me… Quote from the pit ->

“I don’t tend to use the word “cunt” but, having lived in the UK for a while I understand that it’s meaning in working class speech is pretty much the same as “dick”.”

The irony that many on the Slymepit criticised A+ for saying “Don’t be a dick”, as using a gendered slur, is burning bright. But really does it matter that in one place in the world this use of the word cunt is fine? I’d personally strongly disagree with the basic premise as a Brit I know plenty of people who would say cunt is a misogynistic slur. However this is to miss the point by a country mile, especially as the internet is not confined to the UK and the audience the Slymepit plays to is worldwide.

“…my taboos are based on my knowledge and experience of the history and cultural environment in which I live. Cunt, bitch, and twat do not have the vile histories of oppression that n*gger and f*ggot do.”

In this persons opinion these words used to put down, ridicule and shame women do not have the vile history of oppression that nigger and faggot do. Well the ‘privilege’ word is bandied about rather a lot but in this case his experience of oppression, or rather understanding of it as I doubt he is a gay or black, does not tally with many many women’s experience. But that’s all right ‘cos his knowledge and experience are all that is needed to make a moral judgement on the use of oppressive language! The lack of empathy and understanding of women’s history of oppression is depressing…

“Where I live cunt and twat means a bastard . No gender specifics”.

“Most of us are from the Commonwealth where cunt, twat, dick etc aren’t misogynistic, just good old fashioned and excellent abuse.”

Again with the, “Where I live…”, rubbish. But here the context is specifically missed out, I clearly say that my objection is to these words being applied to women and specifically women they are criticising. They are using gendered slurs to refer to women they seem to have major problems with. This is a mile away from saying “hiya yer old cunt” to a mate in the UK… A mile away from “wassup nigga” for whoever likes to address their friends this way.

“Nigger and faggot are words I doubt I’d use as I believe they have universal connotations of racism and homophobia.”

So they don’t want to be seen as racist or homophobic, but misogynistic? What we are referring to are statements like these from the Slymepit, and its probably necessary to put some here to make it clear what the objection is – few selected at random ->

 Clueless bint. And by bint, I mean cunt.

…here’s proof that two of the FfTB regulars are utter cunts 

…wastes-of-space like Twatson

…stupid bitch knows all.. she has overcome her own biases and blindspots.

Rebecunt Twatson**

** As coined by a Slymepitter, although interestingly only ever ‘Twatson’ is used on the new pit forum, Slymepit+… Are they ashamed of something?

{edit: Correction from the pit, this was apparently a joint effort on the original pit. Phil Giordiana came up with Rebecunt and Justicar came up with Twatson. So that told me! Maybe ‘Twatson’ is kept as some monument to the fallen given Justicar burnt his Slyme bridges?}

There are also lots of references to the feminists they don’t like being too fat, too ugly, too old or whatever you can think of other than a reasoned argument on why they disagree with them. I won’t even bother mentioning the constant photoshopped images that are sooo hilarious!

Anyway back to the arguments as to why cunt, bitch, twat etc are fine for everyday use in the pursuit of profit and critical analysis of feminist views.

I just ‘choose’ not to use certain words

This was a bit of a bizarre one but given so many asserted this I suppose it needs to be addressed. They seriously suggested the use of words is just a ‘choice’ like putting on a pair of black or brown shoes in the morning. It is not in their vocabulary to use homophobic, racist or gendered slurs and that is the only reason they do not utter them… Honestly, they said this…

“I never ever use the words nigger, or faggot, except in expository or explicatory discourse. That’s not self-censorship, it is because those are words I just do not use; they are not part of my everyday vocabulary.”

“I am in the subset that defends (i.e. doesn’t give a shit about) the use of slurs, though I don’t use them myself. That’s about as amazing as noting that I defend the right of men to cross-dress yet remain in jeans and a T-shirt. They are just clothes, but they’re not MY clothes.

“I never call black people niggers, because I choose not to; I never call gay people faggots, because I choose not to; I almost never call any woman a cunt, because I choose not to; I never call kangaroos roos or kangas, because I choose not to (neither do I ask them to tie me down Bruce, but that’s another kettle of aboriginals, that is); I never call oolons intelligent, because I choose not to.”

So word selection is just a choice, no motivation behind it whatsoever. Bullshit, clearly bullshit. Mental gymnastics are required to dismiss the reality that they don’t use the words faggot and nigger to describe gay and black people respectively is because… Well one of their own says it nicely…

“I’m fairly new here, but I believe I’m gonna state the obvious about this: Because it’s terrible to imply that our disgust for someone has anything to do with their sexuality or race.

Let me fix that for hir, Because it’s terrible to imply that our disgust for someone has anything to do with their GENDER, sexuality or race…

But for some reason no one made that leap… It IS terrible to imply that your disgust for someone has anything to do with their gender! Be that gender male, female or anything in-between. Your intent is not the issue, unless that is after it being repeatedly pointed out that using those terms in that context implies you do have disgust problems with their gender or think their gender is fair game as an avenue for attack. It is not fair game to attack a woman because she is a woman or any specifically female attributes any more than it is fair game to attack a PoC for their colour or any supposed racial characteristics they may have.

Woman X said twat once therefore it is ok for me to use that term

The most egregious offender here is Dick Strawkins who, if PZ had not banned Poes, I would be tempted denounce him as one. Some of Dicks finer moments…

“The term “twat”, however, is used by Rebecca Watson live on the SGU, so it cannot be placed in the same category as “cunt”.
I therefore don’t have a problem with using that term when it is appropriate.”

Given Dick and his mates opinion of Rebecca Watson I almost choked on my cuppa reading that, he uses Rebecca as his arbiter of words he can and cannot use! Anyway the stupidity carries on here…

“OK, you cunts.
Let’s see what you can do now.”

“The lines were spoken by Chloe Grace Moretz as ‘hitgirl’ in ‘Kick-Ass’, a movie written by a British woman, Jane Goldman.
It would seem curious that a word like this was used if it is universally recognized as a misogynistic slur against women. “

Hmm spoken by a female character and written by… A woman! The context is important, does Dick think Chris Rock is racist for his niggers routine? Or even more worryingly he heard Ice T use the term in one of his songs so feels fine using it down in South Central LA? I’d like to see that…

Fuck you, I can say what I want

For all their prevaricating and rationalising this is what they mean. A few of them came out and said as much, the offence exists in the mind of the person hearing the word so fuck them. Again I doubt they would apply that logic to racist or homophobic slurs, no in fact I know they wouldn’t as that was the whole point of my question. So full circle and there is no explanation from the pitters of why nigger, faggot etc are mostly absent from the pit but cunt, bitch, twat etc are prevalent.

“As for the cunt argument, I will say once again, it is those that take offense and create drama over a word, that are in control of how it affects them. My speaking the word cunt has no power at all, unless someone gives it power. I am not victimising them by uttering the word. They are victimising themselves by allowing it to affect them.

I am not responsible for how others choose to feel. Dictating what is acceptable language, and demanding that everyone comply is an attempt to control others. It is a power trip. It will work with some people, they will allow you to control them. It will not work with everyone, in fact it will have the opposite effect on people like me. “

Words have no power to oppress people, the victimisation is in the mind of the hearer , just a complete empathy loss? The ‘power trip’ bit is ironic given this is exactly what makes the words have real effect, someone in a position of power over you using demeaning language hurts you. They’d accept this in the case of nigger and faggot, but in the power balance where women are oppressed somehow the same does not apply.

My explanation? Well it would be pure speculation but it seems pretty clear that misogyny and misogynistic language is no where near as taboo as racist or homophobic language in our society as a whole. So basically the Pitters think they can get away with it without being branded bigots, sad thing is in a lot of quarters this is true, they can. They also hate the feminist ideas espoused by Ophelia Benson, Stephanie Zvan, Jen McCreight, Rebecca Watson, etc. etc. and part of their mission is to undermine their efforts so trolling for effect works well for them here. They have little in the way of actual well though out argument so what is left for them?

Conclusion

So given the title, is the Slymepit full of misogynists? In my opinion, no… Shocking conclusion! But I’d say it is full of misogyny and misogynistic language, it is my privilege to not dehumanise and reduce the people themselves to an ‘ist. It is true that they are perpetuating the view that misogynistic language is ok, this is their right, the internet is a ‘free speech!’ free for all… Just don’t expect to be free of criticism for it.

Also one other thing, I usually say some Slymepitter believe… or say… etc. But in this instance it was clear that pretty much no one felt I had even the merest bit of a good point. They are of one mind here… Cunt, twat, bitch when applied in vitriol to your female opponents is not to be criticised. The usual word-police, PC mind control tropes are trotted out and no one there not adhering to this view would survive. I only saw one express the opinion that ‘Twatson’ is not for him and he doesn’t like it…  So hyper-sceptically I have to say that all the Pitters did not join in, but my argument spanned a long period and only one tangentially chimed in with that point, on ‘Twatson’ only.

{This post has been long in the writing as I got waylaid by a bump in the road, but to be clear I started this well before that incident and my attitude to the Slymepit has not changed as a result. This is not meant as an admission of dogmatic pride but I believe I am on the fence/neutral only about two things laid out in that post which no one has been able to refute to my satisfaction.}

 Posted by at 12:34 am

  14 Responses to “The Slymepit is Full of Misogynists?”

  1. [...] to build there, salted the ground and pissed in the pits cornflakes. After my last post “The Slymepit is Full of Misogynists?” I was a little annoyed with the pit, I had actually tried to argue in good faith there, but [...]

  2. Just a few randoms here : Cunt is a misogynistic term even though it is not regarded as such over here and that is because it is primarily used by men against other men : But that does not invalidate it from being the most offensive gendered slur there is : I am not sure why you are so against the refusal to use that word along with others such as nigger and faggot as being wrong : There is some serious nuance being referenced here I can see but am surprised at your stance : But making me surprised is good because it takes me beyond my comfort zone : You should be careful about saying you are a nobody as the slymepit may start quoting you on that ha ha ha : I know this has been said a million times but yes free speech means excatly what it says on the tin though a safe space like Atheism Plus should be allowed to restrict it if they wish : Though I would question the notion of the Internet being a safe place : After all was it not that which gave cause for such a site to exist in the first place though you do appear to be keeping a tight hold on discipline over there

    • Not clear what you mean by “I am not sure why you are so against the refusal to use that word along with others such as nigger and faggot as being wrong” …. My stance is that there is an analogy there in how “wrong” the words are. Although for all three I’d say the words themselves are irrelevant, it’s the sentiment or stereotypes perpetuated by using those words as insults that are wrong inasmuch as they cause real harm to the marginalised groups they are aimed at.

      I’d disagree with your assertion that A+ “restrict free speech”, they restrict freedom of expression in their private space not freedom of speech. Your freedom of speech is not restricted by me stopping you calling me an asshole in my own house and kicking you out. You can call me an asshole wherever you want, but not my private space! (General “you”, not suggesting *you* call me an asshole anywhere ;-) )

  3. You claim that it is never a choice that one does not use certain words = I am not sure what your definition of choice would be here = Now if you are suggesting that there are other factors such as psychological or social then I would agree but ultimately adults decide what they can and cannot say irrespective of those other factors = In other words they self police = Now it could be argued that one does not use words such as nigger or faggot because it is completely unacceptable and that pressure that society imposes is what is the real factor and not the personal choice of the individual = But that is clearly not true otherwise racists and homophobes would not use those terms = No one who chooses not to use those words is either so why you are so angry with them I still do not know

    On the subject of Atheism Plus = You are absolutely right of course = The place is a safe place for the marginalised and so there must be restrictions on freedom of speech to avoid negative language which can be triggering for members there = I accept this now though not when it first was established and anyway it is in the rules which have to be obeyed regardless = Though it is a shame that it has come to this = As it should be possible for all members of the online atheist community to engage in debate without the level of abuse that accompanies it = One can respect the individual without respecting their argument = Sadly this appears to be forgotten by both sides = And this tribalism is doing no one any good either = How much more constructive and positive it would be if everyone just engaged without all the drama too = The capacity of some to indulge appears quite Herculean = Is this what is meant by being rational = I think not = Maybe at some point in the future it will cease though I think that unlikely : Still one can but hope

    • Yes I mostly agree, but in terms of word choice my objection was not that you never “just” choose the words used. The objection is that to say you “just” happen to choose not to use certain words, especially bigoted and inflammatory ones it is disingenuous at best. As you point out there are many social pressures applied and to assert there is no tacit acceptance of those social rules in your “word choice” is to pretend you are above them or don’t accept their utility. This is, imo, bullshit from the Slymepit. Its also rather handy as they don’t have to examine why they don’t use those other bigoted words which reinforce negative stereotypes and harm marginalised groups. They also then don’t have to worry if the misogynistic words and stereotypes they perpetuate are doing damage in much the same way. Self examined life and all….

      Not sure if you get the A+ moderation totally, its not curtailing “freedom of speech”. Sorry to repeat that but there is no way A+ can stop anyone expressing an idea somewhere else – so the only thing curtailed is freedom of expression on that private space. In principle this is no different to the Slymepit which has also edited and deleted posts that do not meet their standards, low as they are.

      There is no concomitant effect on the quality of debate at the A+ forum, or at least in principle not. Someone commenting there is not allowed to use victim blaming, rape apologia, privilege or oppressive sentiment. None of this *has* to degrade the quality of the debate and in fact if applied properly should enhance the quality of the debate as all of that is irrational as well as damaging. Much the same way that any sceptic debate forum would try to remove logical fallacies from their debate as they add nothing. I suppose the suppression of freedom of expression of bigoted and oppressive language/sentiment/etc can degrade the ability of new people to join in when they have been inculcated in the language of oppression their whole lives. But it does at least try, there is a 101 section and a place to ask questions. Have a look at another safe space – shakesville – that is not a 101 level safe space. You are expected to know how to communicate without reinforcing negative stereotypes, it is a more advanced space than the A+ forum and you “get away” with more at the A+ forum. For example I can say “privilege blind” on the A+ forum, this is considered ableist at Shakesville, as I found out! I have to agree with them that you are conferring negative attributes on blindness, a person’s intrinsic property. Anyway read about their safe space here ->
      http://www.shakesville.com/2009/06/on-safe-spaces-and-high-hoping-fools.html

  4. I totally get the safe space meme but think it a shame that it has come to this in the online atheist community and both sides are responsible for this though to be fair one is probably more than the other but even so = There is an awful lot of heavy moderation at Atheism Plus which has nothing to do with maintaining a safe space but that is just an opinion so will let it go = But the Slymepit does not edit posts in the same way that Atheism Plus does if at all and the moderation there is non existent by comparison = It seems to be that the natural default position for all is to engage in cyber tribalism and what this has to do with being rational or skeptic I have no idea = This is actually very damaging but it appears that everyone has been at it for so long that they do not know any better = This appeared to start with Skepchick though why rational skeptical atheists should be so hateful of feminism one does not know = I so wish everyone could just reference issues without any drama but that component seems a necessary part of everyday debate = This is only going to end when all the major protagonists wish it to but until then there is no chance of that happening = I once suggested it would take twenty years and to be quite honest I do not think I was joking = You yourself have been singled out as one of the big names in this drama but I have a rule that I do not do personalities = I only attack ideas which is what we should all be doing = The online atheist community would be a lot stronger without all this nonsense but whenever I mention this it appears that whoever is being referenced blames the other side = This gets very tiring after a while = Luckily where we come from we have no problem with taking ideas to pieces while on the whole remaining reasonably civil to our fellow debaters = We have the strictest moderation outside of Atheism Plus but we are far more liberal in what gets discussed = I do watch both sides but for me I am more of an observer than a participant as I do not really identify with either = For me it is not so much the absolutes of black and white but the shades of grey = Anyway being firmly entrenched in one of those camps means you will disagree but no big deal = Who wants to be surrounded only by those one agrees with = Not me that is for sure and there are quite a few more of us too but if only everyone was like that = Still one can but live in hope = By the way is it possible you could remove those cartoon icons that accompany all response posts to your own = They have nothing to do with the blog and just make the site look untidy = You probably will not after what I said about you ha ha but no harm in asking

    • Really if you don’t like what you call drama then don’t participate and don’t read those posts… Its quite easy really IMO. For some reason the Slymepit and its inhabitants think this “drama” is damaging to the movement, the response to photoshop and throw slurs around is really not particularly convincing when not joining in would be the right response. I’d say the pit response is far more damaging from an outside perspective looking in. Internally also as there are a number of women, trans people etc who just don’t feel welcome and avoid joining in due to their nastiness. Less people is really not a good thing for any movement or community so I doubt they are looking for anything less than revenge on some bloggers/commenters who were mean to them not to improve matters.

      The cartoon icons are part of the verification so if someone else posts as Thomas Guihen they will have a different icon unless they know what email address you used. Makes it hard for people to post fake comments — you can see some Slymepitters post as “oolon” on the trolling the Slymepit post but they didn’t use the right email address so its easy to spot.

    • Luckily where we come from we have no problem with taking ideas to pieces while on the whole remaining reasonably civil to our fellow debaters = We have the strictest moderation outside of Atheism Plus but we are far more liberal in what gets discussed

      Hogwash! The very first thread about Atheism+ that I could find on rationalskepticism.org has this beaut on its first page:
      http://www.rationalskepticism.org/nontheism/ratskep-on-atheism-t33705.html#p1439653

      It devolves from there on page 2. That is slimepit-level assholery and not in any way civil. I believe that is the kind of disparaging stuff that the Atheism+ forum intends to do away with. So, not reasonably civil, at least not on that thread about it.

  5. The majority who participated in that thread are rather biased towards Atheism Plus now
    it must be said though this is not a universal opinion = The obsession has died down so
    less negativity though the the thread is still on going where it has now tangented off in to
    a discussion about privilege in the scientific community and I am trying to get Mr Samsa
    to explain it rather more clearly = As for the length that is not really unusual = We do not
    have restrictions on that and threads cease when posting does = Some fora do how ever
    and I think that is rather limiiting = You have to shop a round for the one or ones that suit
    you = Since not all of them the same either from a practical or psychological perspective

  6. I’d like to have a go at answering the question if I may, although I’m not strongly tied to either “side”

    Nigger and faggot have a history almost universally of being used almost exclusively in rheotric designed to oppress, intended to oppress and used to oppress the concerned parties (POC and LGB) and used initially exclusively to refer to people who were within those groups (later being used to denigrate non members by implying membership as all negative terms slowly do). Cunt has no such history. Cunt is used as an all purpose swear word.

    Looking at the history of usage It is clear that Cunt moved straight from anatomical to ungendered insult. in Morton, Mark (2004). The Lover’s Tongue: A Merry Romp Through the Language of Love and Sex. Morton describes the first use of Cunt as an insult in the words “..the word [cunt] was first used to denote a vile person, whether female or male, around 1860..” So when it was first used as an epithet it was to denigrate either males of females by association them with genitalia. High offense in Victorian values, similar to the use of Cock, Dick and Twat as epithets. [Gusworld has an interesting thesis on swearing and I would recommend reading it (chapter 5 is about cunt) which mirrors my own feeling, that the meaning of a swearword is largely irrelevant, it is simply a word from a list of words you say when you feel bad].

    So that’s why I’d use them to differing degrees (actually I most often use cunt as a term of endearment among friends and very occasionally at bad drivers). There are National differences, in the UK it’s completely gender neutral as an insult, in the US it’s directed majoritatively at women and in AUS it’s directed mostly at Men. That said, all three Englishes have insults which are gender split. In the UK you’d usually refer to a man by Bastard and a woman by Bitch for instance. This is a much harder problem for egalitarianism to solve as transferring usage will almost inevitably incur a period of women called bastard being insulted by the insinuation they are men rather than the insult (and vice versa for men/bitch)

    • Faggot was what my Nana used to eat for tea, disgusting food and probably contributed towards my vegetarianism. I also used to collect them for her open fire in the holidays as her house always seemed cold even when sunny out. I never heard anyone at my school use faggot as an insult, it was always “You’re gay” … Which my Dad swears blind means happy and is no insult either. There was a LOT of homophobia from what I remember. If someone had called me or anyone else a faggot the confusion from being called a foodstuff would be palpable. Although given its disgusting nature I may well have assumed I was being called disgusting in some way.

      Does any of this history have the slightest bearing on me using the word? Given I’m an adult and fully cognisant of the usage to demean and denigrate gay people? Obviously not, so I really don’t get the argument from etymology and history – therefore you are not *allowed* to say its demeaning.

      …mirrors my own feeling, that the meaning of a swearword is largely irrelevant, it is simply a word from a list of words you say when you feel bad

      So why the reticence of our Slyme-collective to use the words nigger and faggot as insults to the gay people and PoC in FtBs? Same to you I guess… Why the need to trot out a load of history and etymology to prove some words are fine?

      I could be being unfair as I dunno if you are railing against me saying those words are *always* bad? I’m saying that insulting a woman by using a historically misogynistic word perpetuates the damaging stereotype that women are by their nature something lesser. Something to be used as an insult even given that saying to me as a child “you girl” would be far more insulting than the unheard of faggot insult would have been at that time.

      We don’t live our lives context free. If you perpetuate damaging bigoted stereotypes through your words and actions then at the very least you give cover for the violent and really nasty bigots. To say that cunt is fine because some people in the UK use it in a non-misogynistic sense is ridiculous IMO. Just look at the Spearhead and AVfM, actually don’t check out manboobz.com instead. There are real hateful misogynists by anyone’s measure who specifically denigrate and demean women as women and use “cunt”, “twat”, “bitch” etc etc to hammer home how disgusting they think women are by their very nature.

      I don’t want to be associated with them or be seen to support them. The more of society that thinks and acts like this the more they are pushed to the extremes and violent degrading attitudes towards women are lessened. It works for racism and homophobia why not for misogyny? In fact its just the first step as many racist organisations like the Spearhead now actively avoid using racist terms as it discredits them instantly. They are little more subtle these days. Its amazing to me that misogynistic language is given this free ride by people who would never accept racist or homophobic language and they cannot articulate why.

      • “So why the reticence of our Slyme-collective to use the words nigger and faggot as insults to the gay people and PoC in FtBs? ”
        As I said, because those words come with strong associations of racism and homophobia. These associations come from their etymological history.

        ” Why the need to trot out a load of history and etymology to prove some words are fine?”
        There’s no need to “prove some words are fine” but the history of a word and the meaning it therefore carries is the answer to the question “why do I choose not to use some words and choose to use others”

        “I’m saying that insulting a woman by using a historically misogynistic word perpetuates the damaging stereotype that women are by their nature something lesser. ”
        And I disagree with several parts of that statement with respect to use of the word cunt.
        Cunt is not a historically misogynistic word in most of the world although there is an argument to be made in the USA, and it certainly doesn’t carry that connotation particularly strongly in most listeners.

        “If you perpetuate damaging bigoted stereotypes through your words and actions then at the very least you give cover for the violent and really nasty bigots.”
        I agree, however the entire point is that calling someone ‘a cunt’ doesn’t perpetuate a bigoted stereotype. The word implies a negative but that negative is not based on a stereotype of a gender or sex.

        ” To say that cunt is fine because some people in the UK use it in a non-misogynistic sense is ridiculous IMO.”
        Well since it’s an English word, originating in the UK and I live in the UK and it has no misogynistic connotation in the UK I’d say those factors were key. Calling someone a cunt is no insult to women, no reflection on the stereotype of women it is merely an insult which in context has no meaning other than “very bad person”.

        “There are real hateful misogynists by anyone’s measure who specifically denigrate and demean women as women and use “cunt”, “twat”, “bitch” etc etc to hammer home how disgusting they think women are by their very nature. ”
        That argument is fallacious. If instead of using “cunt” “twat” and “bitch” the true misogynists were using “ignoramus”, “scallywag” and “dunderhead” would that make those words misogynistic? Or would they still be insults being used by bigots to describe the thing they hate?

        ” It works for racism and homophobia why not for misogyny? ”
        Because the word use you are fighting does not relate to misogyny in the way the use of nigger and faggot related to bigotry towards POCs and LGBs

        “Its amazing to me that misogynistic language is given this free ride by people who would never accept racist or homophobic language and they cannot articulate why.”
        I have perfectly articulated why. You have yet to justify your conclusion that “cunt” “twat” or “bitch” are misogynistic terms.

        Cunt – Gender non-specific grievous insult
        Twat – Usually directed at males, low-moderate insult
        Bitch – Usually directed at women moderate-medium insult.

        The only one of those three that could be seen as misogynistic is Bitch because it is used to insult people by implying they have the traits of women seen as negative (as in “stop being such a whiny little bitch” directed at a man). And I’d need to look at the received meaning of that word in detail to see if the case for the misogyny of the use of bitch held true.

        • You can use blockquote u know…

          As I said, because those words come with strong associations of racism and homophobia. These associations come from their etymological history.

          As I said that is irrelevant given that is not the reason you don’t use them, is it? No seriously if that was true but no one would think you racist or homophobic for using them you’d not have a second thought. The damage done to the people who *do* see them as demeaning is what stops you… No?

          You need to explain why just a word having an etymology of racism and/or homophobia makes it inherently wrong. Or is it something else that makes using it wrong?

          That argument is fallacious. If instead of using “cunt” “twat” and “bitch” the true misogynists were using “ignoramus”, “scallywag” and “dunderhead” would that make those words misogynistic?

          Yes. Do you not understand what “stereotype” means? The label attached is unimportant… While the Slymepit are obsessed with FtBs being against the “words” they are not at all against them. Its a combination of context and stereotype perpetuated in that context. I’ve said before saying “stupid woman” is analogous to “stupid cunt” … Both are wrong as they perpetuate the stereotype that “woman” is “stupid” inherently. I’m not telling you to stop using the word “cunt” any more than I am telling you to stop using the word “woman”… Not hard really?

 Leave a Reply

(required)

(required)

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>