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View Diary: Some thoughts on PC (311 comments)

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  •  Now Let Me Be Clear (4.00)
    When you say "The point I'm trying to make, maybe, is that you can't just say 'this word is bad'." do you mean bad as in BAD, or perhaps as in fully sick?

    The problem is that language doesn't and wont ever, stay still while we pin it down.

    That, to me, was the original western point about PC, that it tried to lock in some linguistic convention when that was plainly impossible.

    Just as all euphemisms eventually become totally infected by the "nasty" thing they are trying to refer to without mentioning, so epithets like gay will be appropriated, subverted and then reclaimed or trivialised.

    Think "black pride", think of the verbal flipoff of a black person calling another black person "nigger".

    In my part of the world we don't use "pussy" as an insult, its a cat, its definitley about sex (and not nice to say in polite company, but it isn't an insult. "Wuss", on the other hand, is. I assume its derived from pussy, though don't quite me.

    I also find the use of slang terms for female genitalia used as insults to be offensive, and on the few occasions I have resorted to them myself (always in private, never in company) I feel unclean in doing so, as if I have defiled myself and women by using them in that way, so I agree with KO and SusanW, there has to be a better way.

    I don't want to, and I can't, tell you what to say or how to say it, but there is a history here of people making it clear, as SusanW has, that using as insults, terms that degrade people we care about, offends the rest of us and undemrines the message. I think that is about what we need to do.

    "Till the Last Dog Dies"

    by Deep Dark on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 04:30:36 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

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