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Dkos is such an eloquent voice for liberalism and the Democratic Party that I hesitate, as a newcomer, to raise an issue which may seem trivial.  It is very disturbing to me to read passionate, logical, well reasoned criticisms of Karl Rove et al that are degraded by including misogynistic terms like pussy, twat and bitch.  The Neocons are a palpable threat to American Democracy.  They are cynical, manipulative demagogues.  If the WORST thing you can think to call them is "pussies", then your opinion of women scares me.

I expect this from the Right.  The subordinate role of women, the defining of Manliness as "not like a weak, illogical, cowardly woman", and disgust with gays for "betraying" their masculinity are hallmarks of the reactionary Republicans.

Men and woman who don't accept these degrading, stereotypes are the bedrock of the American Left.  When one of our own spoils a wonderful rant against BushCo by using rightwing framing to denigrate them, it alienates the readers who are applauding and cheering you on.  

I don't think that anyone who posts on Dkos really thinks that "bitch", "twat", or "pussy" is the worse insult he can hurl at our enemies.  That would be symptomatic of core values inimical to the Democratic Party.  Perhaps we just need to recognize how exclusionary those terms are to our strongest supporters.

Originally posted to susanw on Tue May 31, 2005 at 07:45 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  hmm (4.00)
    i can't argue with you main point.

    But isn't your subject line a bit provocative for someone who thinks we're over-using those terms?

    "Well the first thing I wanna say is, mandate my ass" Gil Scott-Heron

    by Brecht on Tue May 31, 2005 at 07:41:35 PM PDT

    •  It's not the terms to which I object, (3.92)
      ...it's their use as insults agaist dangerous opponents who deserve to be insulted on point.
      This is the most literate, educated blog on the web.  Our ability to verbally lacerate the enemy rivals Black Adder.  
      •  okay (4.00)
        So the problem is not language, for every word has its place. The problem is a macho culture which considers anything feminine inferior. Like how Republicans trivialized Kerry by calling him French-looking and Edwards by calling him the Breck girl, both taints of effeminacy.

        Yes, most people at DKos are better than that. But when people get worked up, they become more animal and express themselves more childishly. I think George Galloway (or Black Adder) could teach us a bit about insulting so it hits the right spot.

        "Well the first thing I wanna say is, mandate my ass" Gil Scott-Heron

        by Brecht on Tue May 31, 2005 at 08:01:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  There's a saying out there somewhere (4.00)
          atleast I think it exists... ;-)

          Anyway, I know most of us have heard of the notion that the overuse of expletives only lessens their effect when used in more appropriate context. Although this isn't what susanw is saying, I think it's relevant nonetheless. Too many expletives weaken our arguments and give conservatives ammunition to point out our childish behaviour. This isn't to say that we should avoid expletives altogether, but rather that we should choose more appropriate times and avoid use of them completely when they're deemed offensive by others we don't intend to offend, such as the case susanw cites.

          Democrats -- Progress for the Working Class

          by rogun on Tue May 31, 2005 at 10:27:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I agree, but... (3.91)
          While I sympathize with the point, I'm not convinced that misogyny is the only mechanism active behind the use of those words.

          In American culture and the English language, pretty much every slang term related to sexuality, or genitalia is negative, regardless of the gender it relates to.   Consider the male-targeted slang words cock, prick, dick, asshole, etc., and the (comparatively) genderless words fuck, screw, et al.

          And consider that those words get used on this site to describe the right wing at least as much ... if not more ... than pussy and bitch, and I think the problem may be as much one of simple vulgarity in general and less of sexism in specific.   It's all the same crap.

          Personally, it makes me a bit sad that words related to sex and genitalia are so negative in English.  It's a pity.

          I feel like Kossacks should be able to rise above that level of vulgarity in discourse.  But then again I share the same anger and sink to that level myself more often than I'd like to admit.  

          Especially when I think about what those [DELETED] [DELETED] [DELETED] in the White House are doing to the country I love.  So....

          I stole this sig from someone cleverer than me.

          by IdahoEv on Tue May 31, 2005 at 10:43:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Wouldn't asshole (4.00)
            be genderless too?  Just saying...

            -HK

            Home is where the cat is

            by HK on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 03:57:07 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I would say (4.00)
            That in most languages that I'm aware of, genital and scatological language is generally crude when not used in a clinical fashion. Same holds true for certain kinds of animals: pigs, vermin, and so forth (see Edmund Leach's classic article, "Anthropological Aspects of Language: Animal Categories and Verbal Abuse," where he asks the question: why should 'son of a bitch' or 'you swine' be a problem and 'son of a polar bear' not be a problem?).

            Prick, cock, and so forth denote someone who has the typically male qualities in excess: they're violent, mean, insensitive, cheaters, and so forth. These are active, overt qualities.

            Bitch, cunt, pussy, and so forth denote someone who has the typically feminine qualities, which are qualities to the misogynist mindset that are always in excess. Unlike the male qualities, these can never be positive. They denote cattiness -- i.e., the wrong kind of (verbal) violence, wimpiness, and so forth. These terms operate much the same as calling someone a fag.

            I suppose there are other readings of these terms. But those that claim that 'bitch' is just like 'dick' have to ignore the subordinate position of women -- or that that functions as the woman -- in this society, and those that say that everyone gets called a 'cunt' in the UK have to ignore, well, common sense.

            I'm disappointed, too, in the frontpage use of 'pussy' or whatever as an insult. I know it's intended to get the goats of the chickenhawk warbloggers and their ilk, but calling them all fags would have done the same thing, i.e., bothered the hell out of them and alienated a sizable group of us kossites.

            Personally, I was thrilled to see the word used; it seemed tough; and then I felt guilty for feeling that way. Go figure. Nature of the vicarious enjoyment of violence. I should have just gone to see a Vin Diesel movie . . .

            we gonna smash their brains in / cause they ain´t got nofink in ´em -- Linton Kwesi Johnson

            by Karl the Idiot on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 06:00:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Hang on... (none)
              "...and those that say that everyone gets called a 'cunt' in the UK have to ignore, well, common sense."

              I'm not sure what you mean by this. It's true. In fact, if anything 'cunt' is more often directed at men than at women, and usually denotes the worst male qualities - aggressiveness, boorishness, meanness. Alternatively it's softened with something like "silly" or "daft" - arguably here there is reinforcement of gender stereotypes - and is a term of endearment. In other words, you call your best friends and your worst enemies cunts, but not people in the middle.

              I'm not saying there aren't a lot of people in the UK who are offended by the term, but almost universally the divide is generational, not gender-based - most of my female friends use 'cunt' even more than I do, but I have a 40 year old male friend who hates it. Tellingly, the main exception is an American (female) workmate of mine.

        •  It's not about being animal... (none)
          ...But when people get worked up, they become more animal and express themselves more childishly.

          Calling somebody a pussy or a twat out of some childish need to throw insults is crude and disgusting.  

          However, there was a similar thread about something like this very recently.  There is a more subtle point involved here, and it does have o do with Rove's choice of macho framing for Bush in 2004.  It was a magnificent performance, when you are aware of it and look at it, the way everything tied together and came back to a singular message: Bush is a REAL man and that's what you need to protect you from those nasty Arabs.

          That message worked.  Now, if we wanted to be like Rove, we would try to frame our candidate in 2008 as "the manly" candidate.  We could have him pose in flight suits with socks in his shorts and have him walk like a gun fighter and talk with a twang  and all of that, too.

          But it seems to me that it's even easier to jyst punch a hole through such macho posturing.  Bush should have and would have been vulnerable to a frontal attack on his manhood.  

          And that is where seemingly childish epithets like "pussy" come in.  There are slyer ways of doing the same thing without using words like that, but the idea of emasculation has to remain central.  

          •  Al Franken did just that on his 2003 tour (none)

            But it seems to me that it's even easier to jyst punch a hole through such macho posturing.

                by making fun on Bush in his flight suit.

              (I even have a pic of Al grabbing his crotch
            during the above-mentioned satirization :))

                                              SR

                                           

        •  If I insult you... (none)
          ...can I call you Brecht Girl?

          -- Life is tough: Three out of three die. Now shut up and deal. ~Ring Lardner Jr.

          by Eleftheria on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 02:40:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  don't (none)
            don't misunderestimate the brecht girl
            •  And above all, don't disassemble... (none)
              Isn't it ironic that the President who has gone down in history as the most truthful (whether justifiably or not; the "I cannot tell a lie" is probably hagiography) and the (p)Resident who will go down in history as the biggest liar (in a crowded field of skilled opponents, no less) are both named GEORGE?

              -- Life is tough: Three out of three die. Now shut up and deal. ~Ring Lardner Jr.

              by Eleftheria on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 11:12:43 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  What would you suggest we do. (none)
        I could write an article entitled "Dicks, Assholes, and Bastards", but I fear that would just put me on the other side of this divide. (actually, instead of name-calling, I wrote one about what they've actually done...)
        •  I suggest the use of a whole new (4.00)
          line of expletives and invective.  Let's face it, this crew demands their own special words.  

          While I generally agree with the diarist's point, I'd be the first to admit that I've hurled my whole cuss word library at Bushworld - there is, shall we say, a certain... release in the act.  In my defense, I'd say I tend not to do this in print.  Rebutting my own defense, I tend to spew my vitriol at the TV, the newspaper, B/C bumper stickers... I probably don't present myself as a sane person sometimes--but these are strange days indeed.

          If no new line of names are not invented, I vote to promote the memes that may someday mean something.  Let's call these bastards (oops) what they are: liars, thieves, traitors, hypocrites, etc...  

          •  no doubt. (none)
            Just today, I turned off my TV and gave Bush a hearty 'fuck you' (right after he said "the best way to solve any difficult issue is through diplomacy" -- it hadn't been on for very long). And yes, you are exactly right--they are liars, thieves, traitors, and hypocrites, and we should waste no opportunity to hammer home that point in calm, painstaking, and brutal detail. Publicly, that is. Privately, I'm sure we'll both still be swearing as well.
            •  I've developed TSP -- (none)
              "televisionary sensory perception" when it comes to Bush appearances on TV.  I've learned to turn the set off, or at the very least, mute it, before Bush even comes on.  

              Alas, I haven't found a way to blot the asshole off of the front page.

          •  I've always been partial.. (none)
            to douche nozzle.

            I'm not sure if it is mysogynistic or not.  Only women use douche nozzle (I think), but the douche nozzles are, umm, subordinated to them (I think).

        •  asshole and bastard are gender neutral (none)
          any men are not held down in society by gender bias. So though using gender specific insults such as Dick is insulting and not very useful...it is not quite the same thing as first reducing woman to a body part and then using that body part as the most insulting thing you can call another man.  In other words, comparing someone to a woman becoming the highest insult.

          AKA: Sister Holy Straight Razor of Discussion

          by TeresaInPa on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 04:36:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  usage and application are not gender neutral (none)
            Which was my point--all three terms I cite are in my experience more often used to demean men than women, which is the opposite of at least two of the three terms in the title. Which would leave 'pussies'--hardly the most insulting thing you can call a man. However, this is all subjective, based on word usage and therefore individual opinions.

            I do agree that more of these insults seem to derive from some sort of insecurity or discomfort with female anatomy, sexuality, or sexual practices--something which often seems to go unnoticed, which in my opinion shows how far these terms have fallen towards becoming generic epithets, and no longer specifically slurs about women or against men.

            As I've mentioned elsewhere, we are often unaware of the history, origins, and meanings of our expletives, which in a way shows how far we have come from them. Many of them have become 'bad words' without real meaning apart from that, whereas only a few seem to still hold a real hatred towards their original targets.

            Of course, none of this pussyfooting around addresses the original targets of these insults--and I will spend my time writing diaries that properly target them--not with ad hominems and insults, spurious, offensive or otherwise--but with facts, true, brutal, heart-wrenching, suppressed, ignored facts.

        •  I'd suggest we see how often (none)
          a woman is demeaned here by calling her a euphemism for male genitalia.  

          (The a-word applies to both gender's anatomies, after all, and the b-word to both genders as well -- much as it also connotes a slur upon unmarried mothers and/or men who won't admit their progeny.)

          "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

          by Cream City on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 08:47:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  While you're at it, (none)
            How about you keep a tally of who is doing the insulting, how often it is done, and to whom it is done; that might reveal quite a bit of useful demographic information as well, and then you can put it all in context. (my hunch: just along gender lines, I'll bet that men get insulted more, and that men do more of the insulting)
      •  I don't get it...... (3.00)
        .... aren't there enough real wars out there? We're wasting time fighting the cosmetic ones? Is there an epdidemic of 'pussies', 'twats' and bitches' that I'm not aware of? Yes, using words like these are indicative of inferior arguments. Can't you just ignore these comments and move on? You don't see me going nuts over the use of the word 'dick' or 'shaft'. Lighten the fuck up!!!

        mojo come, mojo go.

      •  eh...I dunno (none)
        We wouldn't exactly hesitate to call him a dick or an asshole (gender neutral). But I suppose you have a point.

        What's the difference between the Vietnam War and the Iraq War? George W. Bush had a plan to get out of the Vietnam War.

        by hazydan on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 02:23:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  couldn't agree more (4.00)
        When I objected to the pejorative use of homosexual terms (a man "taking it up the ass" from someone or "licking his balls," etc.), I was slapped down for being oversensitive.

        When such terms are used, they are used to imply the degradation or dishonouring of the one fellating or being penetrated.

        It's not the use of the terms that bother me so much - it's the implicit attitudes that they betray.  I find it upsetting that so many who post here clearly harbour beliefs that homosexual activity is degrading, dishonourable, or an object of mockery.  

        It's utterances like these that kept me in the closet for thirty years.

        "The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation." - Pierre Trudeau

        by fishhead on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 07:16:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You obviously missed the point (4.00)
      and are parsing the issue.

      Great title and it's about time someone said this. Guys, you are never going to evolve if all you can do is call women's anatomy by names you have invented to cover yourself for being scared to death of a woman's power.

      Deal with it.

      sign the petition at http://www.impeachbush.org

      by DrKate on Tue May 31, 2005 at 08:36:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed (4.00)
        This has been covered was in yesterday's diary (which may have prompted this diarist's response).

        If you really want to attack his manhood, then don't do it by feminizing him -- do it by emasculating him.

        Someone made the point yesterday (too late to re-read that entire diary to find the member who posted it), basically referring to him as 'impotent' on every facet of his tenure and all of his policies.

        "He's impotent in efforts to..." Fill in the blank.

        Chaos. It's not just a theory.

        by PBnJ on Tue May 31, 2005 at 09:18:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  For example... (none)
          "His impotent efforts to privatize social security cost him valuable time and energy..."

          The Shapeshifter's Blog -- Politics, Philosophy, and Madness!

          by Shapeshifter on Tue May 31, 2005 at 09:34:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Now THIS is brilliant! (4.00)
          You keep using that word, every time you speak of Rethugs and their plans.

          Wounded Warrior Project Give till it hurts. They already did.

          by soonergrunt on Tue May 31, 2005 at 09:35:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  At the risk of offending the 'chicks' (4.00)
          Due to a serendipitous typo in an earlier thread I may have come up with the perfect nickname for Dubya.  Capon in Chief.

          Capon = A castrated rooster.  All the strutting and crowing but no balls.

          Can be applied as a class to the rest of the 'chickenhawks' as well.  Please feel free to disseminate as widely as you think worthy.

          Props to vcmvo2.

          link  

          "Good idea Chuck, but syrup won't stop 'em." Firesign Theater, Everything You Know is Wrong

          by 3card on Tue May 31, 2005 at 09:45:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  It's why they were tuxes, (4.00)
          they want to look impotent, too!

          In the first place God made idiots. This was for practice. Then he made School Boards. - Samuel Clemens

          by SteveK on Tue May 31, 2005 at 09:49:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  i'll be happy to post it again for you (4.00)
          since it is my choice of word for shrub...

          and it was my post, so forgive me if i seem to repeat myself.

          the diary was

          and the quote is

          then perhaps we should use the word (4.00 / 8)

          impotent.... that is accurate, descriptive and to the point!

          bush is impotent in his leadership.

          bush is impotent in his ability to control his daughters.

          bush is impotent in fighting terrorism.

          bush is impotent in fighting iraqis.

          bush is impotent in fighting afghanis.

          bush is impotent in fighting the oil cartel.

          bush is impotent.....  

          well, you get my drift.

          ya know another "leader" who was impotent?  try adolf hitler.

          War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength. Long Live Oceana!
          by edrie on Mon May 30th, 2005 at 20:20:57 PST
          [ Parent | Reply to This ]


          based on this definition:
          i didn't use the word "incompetent" - (none / 0)

          i used the word impotent - and it applies perfectly to bush.  here are the definitions of the word:

          im·po·tent   Audio pronunciation of "impotent" ( P )  Pronunciation Key  (mp-tnt)
          adj.

             1. Lacking physical strength or vigor; weak.
             2. Lacking in power, as to act effectively; helpless: "Technology without morality is barbarous; morality without technology is impotent" (Freeman J. Dyson).
             3.
                   1. Incapable of sexual intercourse, often because of an inability to achieve or sustain an erection.
                   2. Sterile. Used of males.
             4. Obsolete. Lacking self-restraint.

          bush is a weak president.  he lacks power to act effectively.  the other implications usually coincide with the ability to "act effectively".  and he definitely "lacks self-restraint".

          so, when i chose that word, i chose it deliberately with the full definitions in mind.

          it perfectly describes george bush and his administration.

          War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength. Long Live Oceana!
          by edrie on Tue May 31st, 2005 at 08:54:13 PST
          [ Parent | Reply to This ]

          hope that saves you some time and refreshes the memory...

          thanks for noticing my posts.... :)

          War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength. Long Live Oceana!

          by edrie on Tue May 31, 2005 at 11:58:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  impotence is a serious medical condition (none)
            and the word should be used in a niggardly fashion

            You can kill a flock of sheep with witchcraft, provided you also feed them arsenic.

            by Lud on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 03:58:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I knew a lawyer who lost a (none)
              case because he used the word "niggardly" in front of a mixed jury.  Language matters.

              Conservatives say "Silent Spring" is a dangerous book! Why do Conservatives Hate Birds?

              by xanthe on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 06:19:30 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  The N-word (sort of).... not offensive (none)
              Good example of the way that a term that would normally be very offensive comes across as a bit shocking (did you really say that as the initial reaction?), but is less so in the specific context.

              Well, after this, I should think nothing of falling down stairs.

              by Alice Burro on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 06:28:18 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  no, I have unfortunately never used that word (none)
                to impulsively express a thought.

                It is true that language is in the eye of the beholder. I once was in a heated, race-centric argument with some future-rush limbaugh at my high school and I asked him, of course ironically/rhetorically/whatever, "so I guess I'm just a 'nigger lover' to you huh, dick" or something like that. A good friend of mine who was half black heard me and wouldn't talk to me for a month, even though I was using the term derisively, appropriating it in an attempt to make this racist look absurd.

                I never did understand that, because when I hear people I don't focus on what they say, I try to focus on what they mean. Language is a vehicle to express abstract thought. I am contextually certain that Kos calling somebody a "gutless bitch" translates roughtly to calling him a weak, wanton, reprehensible coward, not equating him with a woman. It could be that the origin of calling a man a bitch was based on some kind of mysoginy, but that is long long ago, useful only from an entomological point of view.

                I apologize to those offended by it, but I think when people focus on language in the way this diary does they are just victimizing themselves, inventing reasons to be upset. I don't doubt the honesty of the opinion expressed, but I do doubt the importance of it.

                You can kill a flock of sheep with witchcraft, provided you also feed them arsenic.

                by Lud on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 07:58:55 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  btw, Lud - I never intended to (none)
                  insult you because of the use of the word "niggardly" -- I was making a point of how incendiary language/ words can be.  You know that, of course -- but this is a discussion about language --  and I am not offended - it's a valid word - and i am certainly not accusing you of being a racist - just pointing out words matter.

                  Speaking of being offended, in an international relations class, a professor talked about a "little old lady" in Texas who was working against certain textbooks.  I talked to him after class -- why is it always "little old ladies."  never "little old men."  -- I'm in my 60s, so I got a twinge.  difficult, thorny subject.

                  Conservatives say "Silent Spring" is a dangerous book! Why do Conservatives Hate Birds?

                  by xanthe on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 08:30:36 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  i'm only online for a few minutes but wanted (none)
              to respond.

              if we delete all words that have multiple ramifications and meaning, we will be a monosyllabic society.

              i believe strongly in using words as they were intended.  the word impotent has been hijacked by the pharmaceutical companies - it's original meaning was not specifically medical.

              throwing out half the dictionary is counterproductive - i'd rather see people become aware of the true power of words.

              impotent did not have the sexual connotation as the primary definition until the current fixation on sex in this country (brought on by ads heralding "BOB"!)

              look at the numbered definitions.  that shows the primary and main usage for the word.  notice that impotent and sex fall near the end of the definition.

              sorry about the rant, but i am a wordaholic and i find that now, many people in this country are functionally illiterate if a word has more than two syllables.  it's a real pity, because it shows the failure of our education system, imho.  a failure to challenge, a failure to inspire, a failure to give imagination that words inspire.

              end of rant.

              War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength. Long Live Oceana!

              by edrie on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 11:54:20 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  sorry you put so much effort into that (none)
                i was joking...my inclusion of the word "niggardly" (that has been absurdly ostracized due to a coincidental phonetic similarity) didn't tip you off?

                You can kill a flock of sheep with witchcraft, provided you also feed them arsenic.

                by Lud on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 12:46:26 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  well, i kinda got it but it a really uptight (none)
                  kind of time for me right now and i'm more insecure...

                  having to change what i sell yet once again because a republican took the election is very stressful.

                  first time it happened:  reagan, cut funding to arts - bye bye costume career.

                  bush one - son screws up S&L - bye bye computer consulting business

                  bush two - bye bye jewelry business

                  bush two redux - bye bye accessory business

                  so now, i'm trying to revive jewelry business and art business and may go into housecleaning - hell - i'm not sure WHAT i am going to do to survive this time.

                  so, if i apppear too literal in my "defense" - it is self preservation kicking in.

                  i DID like your post, btw.....  caught the use of niggardly and remembered a politician in san francisco area that used it recently, i think.... with major repercussions.

                  War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength. Long Live Oceana!

                  by edrie on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 04:55:00 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  yeah i hope my over the top comments (none)
          from yesterdays
          thread
          had something to do with this diary. I am not not too PC and while I would like to think i disrespect most people equally i do like to use the occasional bitch, pussy, cock, or prick in my posts as well as in everyday language

          i think that the womyn should lighten up a little bit but they do have a point - but otoh i can think of many more obnoxious and
          obscene - qt video
          things than the occasional twat, pussy, or poontang

          "all you need is some TLC and some vitamin P - i'm as moist as a snack snack cake down there..." - Jerri
          Blank

      •  You arent an urologist by chance? (none)
        Not to say I don't agree with everything you say. Me, I am deathly afraid of the power of a woman's pussy, er, ah, oh shit!

        I oughta know. I ve been married to three of the most powerful women on the face of the earth.

        just troll rate me now I feel like such a bitch.

        You must think Im a major pain in the twaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaadddlllllle

    •  It got your attention didn't it? n/t (none)

      Infidels in all ages have battled for the rights of man, and have at all times been the advocates of truth and justice... Robert Ingersol

      by BMarshall on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 05:39:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I agree (4.00)
    I've often felt the same about criticizing opponents as "whores."  Prostitutes are people we should feel sorry for, not angry at.  Calling Judith Miller a whore is an insult to Jeff Gannon.  
    •  Um...not to be TOO P.C. about all this... (4.00)
      ....because I agree that language has power and the use of denigrating terms for women and their body parts is revealing of the macho redneck wifebeater heart of the Red State ethos...

      ...but frankly, I completely disagree that "prostitutes are people we should feel sorry for."  Those who are in prostitution who don't CHOOSE it, sure.  Same as we should feel sorry for coal miners and sweatshop seamstresses who don't choose THAT.

      I know some prostitutes, and others who used to be prostitutes.  They LIKE(D) it.  They CHOSE it.  They deserve respect for what they choose to offer to the world as much as any others, and more than some (say, oil company execs).

      Denigrating prostitutes is just more of the same old sex-phobic Puritanical American crap.  This is a country where infertile rich people can rent a woman's reproductive organs for 9 months, and that's wonderful, but a lonely person can't rent them for twenty minutes:  that's sordid, sinful and ugly.

      If everybody in the world got laid regularly, my guess is things would improve on many levels.  Since we're completely incapable of sane sexuality as a culture, at the very least, could we on the left not subscribe to the sewing-on of scarlet letters to sex workers?

      If you support Bush, you don't support the troops. It's that simple.

      by Dracowyrm on Tue May 31, 2005 at 09:56:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  explaining (none)
        The reason I feel bad for prostitutes is the same reason I feel bad for anybody stuck in a shitty job.  Sure, they made their choices, but so did the person working 60 hours a week at 3 part-time jobs.  Given the general dangerousness of prostitution, I feel bad for anyone whose options are so bad that they have to do it.  

        I suppose my mentioning Jeff Gannon confused the issue -- I doubt he's typical of prostitutes, and I don't feel sorry for him.

    •  They are pimps (4.00)
      We are the ones who get screwed and they get the money.

      Things to do today: 1. retreat; 2. retrench; 3. lower expectations

      by Joan in Seattle on Tue May 31, 2005 at 10:00:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Why should we feel sorry for them? (4.00)
      I mean, the ones that aren't shanghaied into it.

      A good prostitute is a valued professional in his or her community, who provides a valuable service. Can you persuade a 55yo fat businessman you think he's sexy? I can't, either. I don't see any reason why prostitution should be illegal or even looked down upon. Don't think it proper? Don't patronize them!

      Now, a "whore" is different. A prostitute is a professional. A whore is someone who does something they know is wrong because they'd rather do it than work for a living. David Brooks is a whore; this is true no matter who he has sex with. Mickey Kaus might be a whore and he might be just delusional; I can't figure that fucker out for the life of me.

      "Pussy" and "bitch," while both originating in misogyny, have come to occupy somewhat separate semantic fields, which I think gives rise to the use of both terms by people who would never make derogatory remarks about women, and the diarist's plea for them to stop. I don't think people need to stop using these terms as long as they're restricted to the new meanings. A pussy is someone who has the physical strength to stand up to ill-treatment, but doesn't have the moral strength, as opposed to a wimp, who might have the latter but certainly doesn't have the former. The Democratic party has acted like a bunch of pussies throughout most of the Interregnum; this is a perfectly good use of the word. A bitch is someone who chooses to let someone treat them badly, and returns to it, even when they don't have to. Bill Frist is James Dobson's bitch; this is a gender-neutral use of the term. Calling, say, Janeane Garafolo a bitch would be unseemly because she's certainly not one in the Fristian sense (though I really wish she would stop interrupting the dude she's on the radio with) and to use the word as a derogatory synonym for "assertive woman" is indeed misogynistic and offensive.

      •  This subject is a real bitch... (none)
        in terms of being difficult.  Bitchcuntpussy are disturbing and misogynist terms which ultimately  cheapen political discourse   by confusing violence and machismo with steadfastness and competance, and by promoting stereotypes that should be ignored in hopes of their eventual demise. They do, however,( as in my subject line) tend to float free of that taint if used in a gender-neutral context.  

         ( When my grandmother got angry with someone, she would call him a "goddamsonofabitchbastard".)

  •  Good Diary (none)
    Maybe if we keep talking people will finally get it.

    AKA: Sister Holy Straight Razor of Discussion

    by TeresaInPa on Tue May 31, 2005 at 07:42:12 PM PDT

  •  I'm with you 100% (none)
    Name-calling is a cheap rhetorical trick.

    And if it reinforces negative stereotypes about women, it's even worse.

    I'm going to comment on that diary.

    That type of stuff gets people worked up, but it definitely does it at the expense of women and also of men who haven't embraced the "macho" stereotype.

    War is hell. Execute Order 66.

    by raymundo on Tue May 31, 2005 at 07:43:33 PM PDT

  •  wold you feel better if we called them dicks? (4.00)
    How about pricks?

    Wienies?

    Ding-a-lings?

    If "pussy" is woman-hating, are these terms man-hating?

    •  That was my same point earlier today (4.00)
      In a similar diary.  The the thread just devolved into me repeating the same thing to the diarist.
    •  How about gender neutral insults? (none)

      AKA: Sister Holy Straight Razor of Discussion

      by TeresaInPa on Tue May 31, 2005 at 07:47:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What about... (4.00)
      idiot, moron, cretin, weasel, lying liar, chickenhawk, coward, hypocrite, fraudster, fraud, prevaricator, Neanderthal, Nazi, fascist, extremist, huckster, snake-oil salesman (or person, if you will), shyster, con artist, worthless sack, etc., etc.?

      "When the intellectual history of this era is finally written, it will scarcely be believable." -- Noam Chomsky

      by scorponic on Tue May 31, 2005 at 07:51:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'd leave out nazi (none)
        unless we're talking about actual nazis. I'm going to start using "worthless sack", though.
      •  Let me get a pencil (none)
        These are wonderful: evocative, PROvocative, spot on and REALLY INSULTING.
      •  I object to "pig" (4.00)
        The brunt of many jokes, swine suffer from severe self-esteem issues.  

        http://delawarewatch.blogspot.com/

        by Dana Garrett on Tue May 31, 2005 at 09:24:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  offensiveness abounds (none)
        I argued earlier about the futility of trying to avoid all types of hypothetical offense because frankly, offense is unavoidable. To make that point let's go through your list:

        • 'Idiot', 'moron', and 'cretin' are medical terms for low-mental-ability or mentally handicapped persons. Their use definitely offends some people -- typically parents and medical professionals.
        • 'Weasel' and 'chickenhawk' is an insult to the animals, and bother some people who keep them as pets and find them to be quite nice.
        • 'Fraudster' is used in a positive sense by some members of the dKos community: those who believe that the 2004 election was stolen via fraud.
        • 'Neanderthal' is a sexist term used by women to belittle men.
        • 'Nazi' is quite offensive to many people for various reasons. Some people have family members who were officially Nazis but did not participate in atrocities, and some Holocaust survivors are bothered by the term being tossed around so casually.

        There goes half of your list already. You're left with coward, lying liar, hypocrite, fraud, prevaricator, fascist, extremist, huckster, snake-oil salesperson, shyster, con artist, worthless sack.

        And most of those lack any emotional charge. You can call someone 'Bush's little bitch' and evoke a reaction, but call them a 'huckster' and you're more likely to get someone saying 'Aw, how quaint.'

        Still, if you want to completely castrate -- scuse me, water down -- your own vocabulary then go right ahead.

    •  You're missing the point (4.00)
      It isn't just that the terms refer to women. It's that in their context it implies that a) slang terms for women are synonymous with cowardice, and b) that the worst thing you can say to a man is that he's like a woman, which suggests that being like a woman is pretty damn awful.

      You can't divorce the terms from their usage. Calling a someone a dick is synonymous with calling them a rude jerk, and it doesn't mean anything worse than that even if you use it in reference to a woman, though that's not especially common. And being that we're in a culture that idolizes plenty of rude jerks, and ruthlessly savages perceived weakness, there's a big difference in the value judgements made in using or reading these terms.

      You can't easily fight sexism if terms for women are routinely associated with cowardice by the same people who are supposed to be standing up for our rights.

    •  No (4.00)
      A lot of people use the term pussy against men as saying they're something less than a real man. I don't think people use dick/schmuck against women to demean them that they're less than a woman. Calling someone a schmuck is not saying they're somehow inferior, just that they're a jerk. Examples:

      Bush is a pussy (to me, that says the writer is trying to say that Bush is weak, unable to take strong action).

      Bush is a schmuck (Bush is a jerk. He isn't necessarily weak, and in fact, many times people that would be called schmucks are in fact aggressive. It's not a statment on their power, it's a statement of their personality).

      For those reasons, I would say that, no, those terms are not man-hating, at least not in the same way that pussy is woman-hating.

    •  This is the point I'd like to have answered here (none)
      Is it just a complaint about calling men pussies, etc, or is it using the vulgar terms to their matching sex, as well?

      Calling a woman a bitch? A cunt? (much worse, in my book). Calling a man a dick or prick ... is it felt to be as vile by the man as cunt is by the woman?

      I occasionally call a woman a bitch (in writing, I mean). First of all, that isnt zeroing in on the gender's sex organ as an insult, which may be interesting to address in itself -- why should negativity be associated with a particular organ, esp one which gives pleasure and procreates? Calling someone a liver, as in bile, or an asshole, as in shit hatch, might be more appropriate to the intended insult.

      Secondly, although I think it should be used sparingly, calling someone a bitch just seems to relate to the nastiness of a person who happens to be female. Perhaps there's some (inoffensive) nuance in that the nasty one is female, the nastiness has its own style. Not worse than a man's, just different.

      However, why, when one thinks of it, should a bitch even be associated with negativity? Maybe because its the crude, farm animal, breeder way of referring to a female. Its a way of showing disrespect, intended, of course, as the respectful word would be female, not bitch.

      What is the male counterpart to bitch? Bastard comes to mind, but then, that doesnt seem quite fair as a counterpart. A bastard is for any illegitimate child, although it seems to be assigned to males more often. And what fault is it of a person if they do not have legitimately united parents? Why is that used as an insult? Again, it is because the crude word has been chosen, the crude way of saying that the person doesnt have their parent attached to them, legitimately, and it is used for crude effect, as a sign of intended disrespect. It also deviates from the accepted societal norm, of course, with a longstanding implication of shame to the illegitimate child, which is really unfair, but probably hard to shake, even in these 'modern' times.

      So is it dick that is a more appropriate counterweight to bitch, since that is more gender specific? Again, the sex organ takes the brunt. And when a woman is called a cunt, it seems ugly to me, just as calling a man seems similarly so, although I find it particularly offensive to be called a cunt, as  a woman, and wonder if it is the same for a man, when called a dick or prick. (Why not a "cock"? Ha! That synonym miraculously escaped the cussed up usage of its less fortunate brethren.)

      Perhaps we just have to accept that we are sometimes vitriolic, distempered (!!!) humans, who look for and use words that match those qualities in us. You cant dress them up or dress us up for using them, and may, in fact, dress us down when we do.

      What about fucking this or you fucker. Again, why disparage fucking or those who fuck? I should look at the curses of other languages to see if this is basically a Victorian thing specific to us, or ... I know the French use ass, but then ass is full of shit ... Spanish say pubic hair, dont they, as in pendejo ... that is a little weird, as an insult.

      oh, ps - I hate bankruptcy bill (+ ANWR) traitor dems.

      by NYCee on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 10:16:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You'll enjoy this diary (4.00)
    From earlier today.  Me? I think this conversation is getting stale...I think we have more important things to talk about.  
    •  You're right (4.00)
      The Republican agenda is so disasterous for America, that our problems are many and sometimes seem insurmountable.
      But I think you'll agree that demographics ARE important.  We want all those young, single, disaffected women to come out and vote the Democratic ticket in '06. It doesn't help us court them to use the degrading language of our opponents.
      •  Can we agree (4.00)
        That it's not like there's anyone on TV shouting about how "Bush is bitch".  I mean, I certainly don't watch TV news, but I'm assuming that there aren't people on there saying stuff like that.  I've never been to a rally or speech where people are saying things like that.  Protests, sure.  But IRL, people don't just go around saying stuff like this.  

        I understand wanting more Dem. voters, but this is such a non-issue, that if this is what keeps them home, how are you going to motivate them in the first place?  And what about all the other disaffected voters?  

        •  It is a non-issue to you. (4.00)
          It is a deal breaker for many women.

          This isn't something you need spend time on, because there are lots of us to confront this part of the agenda.  

          There are many battles, and each needs warriors.  I'm sure that you have strong, heart-felt concerns that don't seem like a big deal to me, but it doesn't matter, because your issues have YOU to fight passionately for them.

          You bring the chips, I'll bring the dip, and we'll party in the White House.

          •  is it a deal breaker for you? (3.88)
            Or are you just being offended on someone else's behalf?

            Look, it simply isn't possible to go through life offending nobody. Somebody is always going to be offended by anything you do. And when you bend over backwards to try to please everyone the results are often quite silly and contradictory. Case in point: a large part of the country is now using 'African-American' instead of 'black', despite the fact that 'black' -- or some other equivalent racial, historical, or skin-color term -- is what we really intend. (Did you notice the flap during the 2004 campaign when 'African-American' was used to refer to Teresa Heinz-Kerry, a 'white' American from Africa?) All the while, most Americans continue to use 'black' in familiar conversation. It's just a silly semantic issue that occupies time spinning our wheels and does nobody any real good.

            I think the real issue is whether the community here actually considers it a problem or not. And call me crazy, but I suspect in this case that if you took a poll of women on this site they would have a collective opinion somewhere along the lines of "who the fuck cares?"

            Honestly, 'pussy' (in the sense of calling somebody a pussy) and 'bitch' are pretty gender-neutral these days. You can thank a generation of liberated cursing women for the one, and the gay community for the other. I'll grant you 'twat' -- it's a little more oriented at women, and it still has some shock value because it's used so little. But it's still just a word.

            So front-page writers, take it under advisement: It bothers some people. Point taken. Maybe when possible the stupid insults learned in 8th grade will be dropped and newer, fresher stupid insults substituted.

            But a deal-breaker? Come on. If anyone's deal is broken by something as minor as word choice from someone who is undeniably their ally, they're suffering from major hypochondriasis of the dealio.

            •  must agree here (4.00)
              you can't speak on behalf of all women!  if I've ever seen one thing drive women away from feminism, its an episode of being unwillfully "defended" by another woman who chose to get offended on their behalf...

              besides, half, or more, of the girls I know use those words all the time, and when I say that, I mean a lot.  they differentiate between someone who actually means harm to women, someone actually being threatening, and someone who's just joking around with their friends or whatever.  it kinda cheapens the subject matter to necessarilly equivocate the two.

            •  Don't pretend that common usage (none)
              has removed the misogyny.  I cringe every time Jon Stewart uses 'bitch' or its variants not in reference to a really nasty woman (even then I don't really care for the term).  I am really surprised how many here don't understand the obvious implications of using these sexist terms so broadly. And to top it off say that the conversation is unimportant.  Maybe it is to you.

              OK fine.  Do you get it if I call the Bush administration 'lying, cheating niggers'?  Do you get it yet?  Any racism in that?  You bet!  What if everone is calling everyone 'nigger'?  Does the racism go away?  Nope.  Think anyone who is offended by the term should just talk about something more important?  Do you get it yet?

              •  Except that... (none)
                nobody uses the word "nigger" like that to begin with! And if everybody did, then the connotations would gradually change over time. That's what's happened to these "sexist" terms. That's what the G&L community is gradually doing to "queer." That's how slang works. Do you need a diagram?

                Sometimes the jokes write themselves. Sometimes they run for President.

                by Sixfortyfive on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 07:42:48 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  I think you'd be surprised (none)
              This diary is right on. I am a woman, and I cringe every time I hear someone, usually a man, btw, use these words to insult someone. Susan most definitely CAN speak for me, because I feel exactly the same way.

              If someone is telling you that the language you're using is offensive, why on earth would you argue the point? Use different words. There are so many other choices out there that don't disparage 51% of the nation's population.

              •  the distinction (none)
                Arguing that you find it personally bothersome is one thing. That's your absolute right. I personally think it's a little silly to get all bothered by things which are fairly common usage and are not intended as a group slur, but it's your choice.

                But arguments about political correctness all too often fall into the trap of worrying that 'somebody' might be offended. Not a specific person: a hypothetical person.

                susanw did just that in her comment; saying that it's not just that she's bothered, but going beyond that. Inflating it and saying that such words are worse than bothersome -- a deal-breaker -- for 'some women'. Right there is the precise moment where you lost me. (And believe me, I'm a strong supporter of equal opportunity in gender and everything else. You can thank my mom for her influence there.)

                It's a reverse strawman: positing a problem that doesn't exist so that you may bend over backwards to solve it. If 'some women' are going to take that as a deal-breaker, well, frankly that's too damn bad for 'some women'; there's nothing you can do to appease such overly-fragile hypothetical phantoms. Hypothetically speaking, if they existed I'm pretty sure they would've certainly taken their things and left the Internet a long time ago. In case you haven't noticed there's a lot of offensive shit out there.

                I am not arguing against Susan's point that it bugs her, nor yours that it bugs you. It's bothersome to some people. Gotcha. Good reminder, and when possible people should make an effort to avoid stuff like that. But is it really a huge issue? A deal-breaker? Um, I doubt it.

                •  asdf (none)
                  You do not get to decide what is and is not a big issue for other people. It's not a big issue to you to use certain language, and that's fine. But you're doing exactly what you're accusing Susan of--making assumptions about the larger population--when you say you doubt it's a deal-breaker for people in general. There are plenty of people (real ones, not hypothetical ones) on this thread who are offended by such language and have said so. I have left other boards because of the sexism and constant use of words like (and including) the ones we're talking about here. I suppose that makes me a hyper-sensitive phantom, eh?

                  Because there is a lot of offensive shit out there, does that mean that it's okay? We should be better than that.

                  •  false equivalence (none)
                    That's a false equivalence. The two positions are not the same: the position that 'the community doesn't really care much' is essentially the default. You can safely assume that about most things. On the other hand, claiming that 'it is a deal-breaker for so many people that it's important to change it' is an extraordinary claim. Therefore the burden of proof is on the person who makes that claim.

                    You're right that I am suggesting that on the whole the community basically doesn't care... but rather than just claiming it out of thin air, I'm doing so with some evidence to back me up. By and large the community already enforces its own norms through comments and the rating system. If something is seriously offensive or someone is being deliberately nasty, that gets called out pretty quickly through responses and ratings. If something is only mildly bothersome or only bothers a few people it does not.

                    'Unconscious gender bias' or 'misogynistic vocabulary' or whatever you'd like to call it does not generate much of a response here. If you call Ann Coulter a stupid venomous bitch you'll get women and men both clamoring to agree with you, and not a single comment saying 'you asshole. don't use that word to refer to women, even Ann Coulter, because I find it offensive'. That's acceptance by the community.

                    If you want something to change, start speaking up when you are bothered. If it's not important enough for you to speak up about, then why should anyone feel it's important enough to change?

                    •  Because (4.00)
                      Speaking up gets exhausting. And we get tired of being viewed as humorless jerks. So after a while, we just learn to put up with the bullshit. If you aren't a topdog, it's a position you get used to feeling comfortable with.  

                      Next NYC Kossak Meetup is in June. Email me for details!

                      by JaneKnowles on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 02:03:10 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

  •  They are not my favorite names (4.00)
    to call people or read people being called by us, but I don't automatically think "gender specific" when I see them.  They are a bit lazy, these words thrown around, but the intent isn't much worse than hell or damn, probably.

    The stuff I hate is when analogies are drawn about genitals.  Like "grow a pair"  Oh Lord, how I hate that one.  It's intent is no worse than "grow a spine", which I hate too, for it's incessant repition, lazily thrown too, another reason I hate it.

    "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine

    by Cathy on Tue May 31, 2005 at 07:44:41 PM PDT

    •  Guts or balls (4.00)
      The stuff I hate is when analogies are drawn about genitals.  Like "grow a pair"

      I really hate that one too. "It takes balls." No it doesn't. What, only people with balls can be brave? "It takes guts" is a perfectly good expression and doesn't imply that guys have the monopoly on bravery and courage. Some people try to convert "balls" to "ovaries" which sounds awful to me, and also ultimately meaningless, but I guess at least they're trying. I'll take guts anyday! But not for supper (a bad experience with andouillettes as a child).

      As for the original diary, I totally agree. If the terms are so interchangeable, then why aren't people pricks and dicks? There's no implied weakness or "less than" in pricks and dicks, that's why.

      •  but people are (none)
        I don't think that last bit holds up -- you are perhaps unconsciously picking and choosing what you want to remember. You remember the part that bothers you, but don't remember the parts that don't.

        There are a lot of stupid pricks and huge dicks in the Bush administration. There are also assholes, cocksuckers, lunatics, retards, fucknuts, and more.

        And all the while the asshole is an important part of the body, cocksuckers are wonderful and giving people (I'm married to one), and lunatics and retards deserve sympathy and help. But okay, I'll admit I'm not entirely sure what a fucknut is. It may be like a dingleberry and not have any redeeming qualities whatsoever.

  •  Check out... (4.00)
    ...the juvenile gay jokes and innuendos everytime someone thinks of a silly Guckert/Gannon connection to an issue they're commenting on.  I agree with you 100%.  It demeans us and our cause to use such puerile, sexist language.

    "When the intellectual history of this era is finally written, it will scarcely be believable." -- Noam Chomsky

    by scorponic on Tue May 31, 2005 at 07:46:04 PM PDT

  •  My guess (4.00)
    is that the only reason these words are used is because people don't know how they're percived. Heck, before reading this diary I didn't know calling someone a twat would offend people. I think this diary is just the thing to do if you want to bring these concerns for the surface and educate people.

    One question though - are shirts that say "I'm not a bitch, I'm the bitch" offensive?

    •  If someone wants to call themselves that... (4.00)
      ...or the "N-word", or queer, or fag, or whatever, that's their business, isn't it?

      "When the intellectual history of this era is finally written, it will scarcely be believable." -- Noam Chomsky

      by scorponic on Tue May 31, 2005 at 07:47:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  please put out a tip jar -- it's about time for... (4.00)

    it's about time for a diary like this.

    really.  this is something that occurs to me daily.

    i'm listening to/reading liberal/democratic thoughts/posts...and for no relevant reason a derogatory term for "femaleness" is used to equate the offending person with the lowest of the low.  this seems to be especially favored when dealing with offending males.  as if the worst thing one could be is...female.

    i feel the same way about "bitch slap" and "beyotch."  they normalize the idea of violence against women.  they do.  and they do it in an insidious way, because they make many laugh.

    and i'm fine with the use of these terms in the title of this diary, as it made me read it, which was the point.  

    cheers --

  •  This cunt has a point. (3.00)
    But we also need to be accepting of other opinions and language, especially if we don't agree with it.

    GOP elicits strong emotions from people on this site.
    Like the vulgarity or hate it, once we start to censor the discussion, that is a direction that I find totally unacceptable.

    •  But I'm all for more civility. (none)
    •  calling someone a cunt (4.00)

      i'm not going to get into equivalencies, but calling someone a "cunt" is in the same arena as calling someone a "coon."  you're taking an intrinsic part of what they are and equating it with something loathesome, something that makes them inherently inferior.

      and we certainly censor ourselves with racial epithets.  why should we not do the same with gender-based epithets?

      cheers --

      •  I see your point, and I agree. (4.00)
        but if someone called me a spearchucking fried chicken nigger, or on the other hand, a nazi cracker, I really would just laugh at them.

        The day I quit worrying about what other people thought of me was the day I was set free.

        No one should live their life walking on eggshells worrying about what other people say, what words they use.
        Live your life for yourself, your friends, your family.

    •  Not always accepting (4.00)
      the problem with calling someone gender loaded names all the damned time is that it in fact does reflect an opinion.  It reflects an overall opinion of women as things most sexual---things.  objects to be used.  cunts.  twats.  whores.
      or if they are not complient, bitches.

      or its just plain laziness and lack of creativity and that's my best read of it.

    •  Censorship was never my intention. (4.00)
      It is a given that all of us are free to express ourselves as we like. I wouldn't have it any other way. This was not an attempt to silence, stifle, squelch or repress anybody.  I was pointing out that at least one of Dkos' ardent admirers had noticed something disturbing and off-putting which may harm our credibility with the very people most likely to march shoulder to shoulder with us.  We have all become more sensitive to framing of late; suggestions for smart presentation are not censorship.
    •  Ah ah Sam, c-word (none)
           is Sith behavior...
    •  Well... (4.00)
      I guess we should start "accepting" nigger, gook, and camel jocky, too, huh? Because to me, cunt is no less insulting. Would you consider asking people not to use those terms censoring? Or would it just be common-sense?
      •  more history (none)
        Actually in some ways I think nigger is more accepted at least in some contexts today than it has been in a while (not nearly as much as when Mark Twain wrote Huckleberry Finn, but still...). The word origin is quite plain too--niger is Latin for black, and is also the name of both a river and a country, as well as the root of a host of other words (offensive and inoffensive) such as Nigeria, negro, negroid, and Negroponte ('black bridge', actually). And much like 'cunt', it can be very offensive to some people--but similarly, its origins are no cause for shame.
    •  a bit of history... (4.00)
      Cunt: A Cultural History -- I stumbled across this a while back, and found it quite enlightening. Perhaps one day there will be a movement to take it back (as there is now with vagina); until then, just remember that you can't have cunnilingus without a cunnus ('vagina').
      •  Wow! That's some link. n/t (4.00)

        "Good idea Chuck, but syrup won't stop 'em." Firesign Theater, Everything You Know is Wrong

        by 3card on Tue May 31, 2005 at 10:28:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I do like... (none)
        Completely Unnecessary Neo-Trash, and I've barely scratched the surface of this essay.

        Also, the 'pygmy village' Spoonerism, dated by the author as "(199-)" goes back much farther.  I first remember it from an 'English' or 'Speech' textbook from the mid seventies but I can't place it accurately.:)

        "Good idea Chuck, but syrup won't stop 'em." Firesign Theater, Everything You Know is Wrong

        by 3card on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 12:33:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Embracing cunt. (none)
        There is a movement to take back the word cunt. It is at least partially due to the great book, "Cunt: A Declaration of Independence" by Inga Muscio. Highly recommended for everyone, including the cuntless half of the population.
      •  oh I know plenty (none)
        of women who consider themselves feminists who use the word 'cunt' - they just don't use it as an insult.  they use it directly as a noun to refer to their own body.  

        but can people kinda see that all insults are insulting?  they're supposed to be insulting if the point is to insult someone.  the more layers of insultingness you can squeeze into an insult, the better.  if that's what you're looking to do in the first place...

  •  Strongly agree (none)
    Progressive/liberal men really should know better than to put down women while challenging the right-wing. The left is a LIBERATION MOVEMENT. So there's no point to fighting one form of oppression while engaging in another.
  •  $0.02 (4.00)
    I will add in my $0.02 for no apparent reason other than I can.

    $0.01)  I agree with the people who think that name calling hinders our cause rather than helps it, and I'd rather see it confined to snarky diaries only.

    $0.01)  The use of the word 'pussy' as a derogatory term is insensitive, but when Dave Chappelle uses the words 'bitches' and 'niggers', I think it's hillarious, so I can't exactly take the high road here.

    "A simple lie will be believed by more people than a complex truth." - TrueBlueMajority

    by starkness on Tue May 31, 2005 at 07:59:59 PM PDT

  •  agreed (4.00)
    not only do such insults reinforce deeply reactionary and misogynist ways of thinking in both the speaker and the listener, they are also extremely unfocused and lazy ways of insulting one's enemies.

    far better to finely hone our insults until they hit precicely what offends.

    they are murderers, traitors, liars, cowards, hypocrites, hucksters, parasites, profiteers, chickenhawks. call them by their true name - MOLOCH! - and stop defaming perfectly good genitalia.

    crimson gates reek with meat and wine/while on the streets, bones of the frozen dead -du fu (712-770)

    by wu ming on Tue May 31, 2005 at 08:02:40 PM PDT

  •  Agree, with a but (none)
    I think bitches does belong in a separate category - it is used so widely that it is largely disconnected from its original meaning. The context still matters, of course.

    I also think that you need to keep in mind that most folks who use such terms aren't consciously using them to be derogatory towards women. And while I would agree that their use can have that derogatory impact, you'd also be making a mistake to assume that every use of it has a negative masculinity behind it.

    I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

    by eugene on Tue May 31, 2005 at 08:05:12 PM PDT

    •  As I said in my diary (4.00)
      I do not assume that use of sexist language, particularly on this site, reflects rampant woman hating.  I think it's a careless mistake which sends the wrong message to friends and enemies alike.
    •  My thought here... (4.00)
      I also think that you need to keep in mind that most folks who use such terms aren't consciously using them to be derogatory towards women.

      My thought...is that maybe they ought to think about it. Yes, sometimes it is tossed off as a quick and flippant comment. But if thought is put into the idea, then it would be more effective if the words were equally thought out.

      Language is a very powerful and useful tool. If used with thought, it can do amazing things.

      Yes, context does matter.

  •  Calling them... (none)
    ...Repugs is always satisfying and probably enough.  Point taken, let's attack their positions rather than engage in name-calling.  Having spent a few too many minutes lurking at FreeRepublic, I saw enough semi-literate idiots (there I go) engage in this sad practice.

    Be the creature. (But not a Republican.) blogomni

    by boran2 on Tue May 31, 2005 at 08:08:25 PM PDT

  •  Agreed! (none)
    Calling them "pussies" and "twats" is an insult to fine female genitalia. (Calling them "dicks" and "schmucks" is an insult to fine male genitalia, too.)

    Calling them "bitches" is an insult to female dogs everywhere, including the two sleeping at my feet.

    They should all be judged soaking wet.

    by Kitsap River on Tue May 31, 2005 at 08:17:26 PM PDT

  •  I think for most men... (4.00)
    ...having grown to maturity in groups of men in which the worst epithets that can be hurled at a guy are 'pussy' or 'cocksucker', those terms tend to pop out in the heat of anger even when someone is, by any measure, neither sexist nor a homophobe.

    There are plenty of other epithets to use--shithead, asshole, wimp, asskisser--that don't have those taints. But old habits die hard. I was raised female but had a lot of male friends, and I sometimes find myself calling a man I perceive as weak a 'pussy', when I obviously don't consider weakness and femaleness as equivalent, and when I call someone a 'cocksucker' it's generally simply a sign that I am REALLY mad and looking for a 'top level' bit of invective; it has no relationship to my actually being homophobic or even accusing the target of being gay...it's more like an amped up 'asskisser', as 'pussy' become an amped up 'wimp.'

    Now, as for terms I use about other women...I use 'bitch' pretty often, and I know what I mean by it--not a strong woman, or an assertive woman, but someone I find obnoxious. I can't honestly say I use 'twat' much, at least not epithetically. Now, CUNT I use about once a year, if that. I really have to loathe someone to use it (the only person I can think of I use it for currently is Ann Coulter.)

    Now, I suppose you could ask, why use terms that are synonymous with female genitalia? Well...I also use 'dick' a lot, and 'prick', for men I don't care for. I suppose one could stop using ANY genitalia-word as an insult, or mix it up by calling an obnoxious woman a 'dick' or a 'prick'. I wonder if men, or women, would find "Condi Rice is a prick" offensive, or just not effective.

    The way I see it, invective has two purposes (not mutually exclusive, necessarily, but separate.) One has to do with the speaker and is to VENT anger. Most people have a hierarchy of insults that correspond to how angry they are, and reserve certain words for extreme rage. The other purpose has to do with the target and the purpose is to VILIFY. In both cases, you're communicating something. If I'm ranting and calling someone a 'jerk', my friends barely notice. If I'm ranting and calling someone a 'motherfucking cocksucking fuckhead', they hide behind sandbags--wisely. Likewise if someone's irking me and I call them a 'dork', it's way different from calling them a MFCSFH.

    It may take an entire generation of people raised on gender neutral invective to eliminate the habits from discourse. In heated moments, it's easy to forget that we've decided not to use a certain term because it might offend the WRONG people (that is, not the object of the insult but others who hear it), or convey something about me (hatred of women or gays) that I don't want conveyed.

    It's not been my experience that giving lectures about PC behavior, particularly when someone is upset, is useful. I think it's fine to set boundaries--one of my friends, who is a lovely woman and very devout Catholic, told her boyfriend if he ever called her a CUNT again they were through. Period, no negotiation, THROUGH. That's pretty clear cut of course, and only two people are involved.

    I don't know what would happen if, say, Kos said that insults that are sexist or homophobic, like insults that are racist, will be deleted and, if they persist, the person may be asked to leave. I see several problems with that--one is simply technical: this board does not allow posts to be edited. So if you want to go back when you cool down and change what you said, it's in a different post which not everyone might see. The other is when people disagree on whether an insult is or isn't sexist/homophobic, or, for that matter, the meaning of the word 'and.'

    I tend toward First Amendment absolutism, which is that the remedy for speech you don't like is more speech, not censorship. I was once on a board run by a true First Amendment absolutist.  He figured if someone is obnoxious, other people will either argue them down, or ignore them. It wasn't his job to interfere. He just set up the board, he wasn't our nanny.

    Actually, realistically, if you are in agreement with someone's views, and they happen in one post or another to use terms you aren't happy with, wouldn't you just say "Hey, X, I really like your views, but I didn't really care for your calling Condi a 'twat'"? Would one word REALLY alienate you from the rest of what the person had said?

    I remember in my teens I would get upset about Nixon and about the Vietnam War and use a profanity, and my mother would jump all over me for the 'dirty word.' It drove me insane that people dying in an illegal war, our President being, yes, a crook, upset her less than the word 'shit.'

    I don't have any answers, and am relieved it's not my board to have to make those kind of calls. If I did have a board, I would probably go, at least initially, with the anything-goes approach my friend used.

    -- Life is tough: Three out of three die. Now shut up and deal. ~Ring Lardner Jr.

    by Eleftheria on Tue May 31, 2005 at 08:22:49 PM PDT

    •  So would I. (4.00)
      I'm all for everybody saying anything they please, folks I love, folks I loath, saying things I agree with, agree a bit, just don't get, find incredibly stupid, or just plain hate.  I want everybody to say what's on their mind.
      THEN, as a Good, Free-Speech-Loving American, I'm going to complain about it.

      I would never try to stop the Nazis from marching, but I'll be on the sidewalk exercising my sign and my big mouth in protest.

      •  That's the spirit! (4.00)
        I have two ways to deal with it, by the way, when a guy calls ME a bitch.

        One is to smile serenely and say "And your point is?" or "Why, thanks, I try!"

        The other is to say "Tsk, life is not easy for men with small penises in our society is it?"

        If a woman calls me bitch, I just say "Same to you" and start pulling her hair. Always gets a crowd.

        :D

        -- Life is tough: Three out of three die. Now shut up and deal. ~Ring Lardner Jr.

        by Eleftheria on Tue May 31, 2005 at 09:36:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You sound like my women friends (none)
          and thank for pointing out that bitch refers to obnoxious behavior rather than gender at this point. I think it is a little odd that I can refer to a guy acting like an asshole as a dick (and in some cases will refer to him as a bitch if it's not an extreme form of being an asshole or dick), but can't refer to a woman as such because that automatically means that I am hating the the gender. I just don't think that automatic is there anymore.
    •  Thanks for the considered analysis (4.00)
      I find the inflexible doctrinaire attitudes on either side to be unworthy of the usual standard of discourse on dKos.  I also see value in both points of view, and I think you bring those values out very well.

      Being a man, I understand that many men use these terms in what I perceive to be a non-sexist manner:  "pussy", for instance, can mean "female genitalia".  But it also has a separate, common colloquial meaning which, when applied to George Bush, actually means "unmanly," as you point out.  

      However, the meaning of a communication is at least as much in what's heard as in what's said.  With that in mind, political labeling of our opponents using these female-referent terms is counterproductive.  This argument trumps the free-speech one when it comes to public argument and framing.

      Journalism is yours! www.epluribusinvestigates.com. Please support ePluribusMedia

      by Dallasdoc on Tue May 31, 2005 at 09:57:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Nicely said. I tend toward First ... (4.00)
      ...Amendment absolutism, too. And I would certainly never suggest censoring or censuring someone (not even with a bad rating) for using whatever language s/he wishes to label whoever s/he wishes. Moreover, linguistically speaking, you're obviously right, words have complex, multiple meanings.

      However, I think it's rather telling that if someone had chosen to call, say, Kay Bailey Hutchison a "pussy" or Dick Cheney a "bitch," the reaction here might have been quite different, providing evidence that there is still a twisted genderization associated with the words. But I digress.

      To reiterate, I don't believe in censoring anybody. But people who choose to use epithets "with a history" to frame progressive/left/liberal propaganda shouldn't expect me and others here to shut up about their lousy choices. And that's where this discussion began yesterday. Not with somebody's understandable outburst at the latest Administration lie or crime, but rather with arguing ad nauseam in his Diary that "pussy" is the right frame for all that is wrong with George W. Bush.

      I could have made as good a case for using "nigger" to describe Dubyanocchio, and I'll wager that I'd have been shouted down as being grotesquely offensive if I had tried to claim that objectors were being "PC" or "overly sensitive."

      Would one word REALLY alienate you from the rest of what the person had said?

      Me? Yes. And I will wager that just about everybody draws the line somewhere. If, for instance, somebody were to call Ben Nighthorse Campbell a fucking redskin, I'd be alienated even if this was surrounded by 29 paragraphs of eloquent takedown of one of the worst Senators ever to come out of Colorado, which is saying a lot.

      I personally don't want to have to say "Hey, X, I really like your views, but I didn't really care for your calling ... every time somebody uses "pussy" or "bitch." But maybe that's what all of us who detest this sexist language should tediously do on every occasion it occurs. When those who think these words aren't offensive finally get sick of our saying they do offend, maybe we'll see more creativity on the epithet front.  

      **

      Writing dialog George Lucas so terrible at is. --Yoda

      Visit The Next Hurrah

      by Meteor Blades on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 01:02:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think we're pretty much in agreement.... (4.00)
        ...except that you misunderstood my comment about "one word" disqualifying the rest of someone's message.

        I think it's entirely possible for a person who is NOT sexist to call Dumbya a 'pussy'. In fact I've heard women call him that! But it would be difficult to believe that a person could call a Native American a 'fucking redskin' (which is two words ;) ) and mean ANYTHING other than a racial slur. And that slur would call into question whether or not you would want to ally with someone who, even if you shared some political views with them, is a racist.

        Example: Imagine I am talking to someone who says, re: Ahnold, that he pretends to be a big tough macho guy but when it comes to letting the corporate interests dominate California, he's really a...pussy. Now, the person's use of 'pussy' rather than 'wimp' is not going to make me doubt I really have common cause with them. I might well say that I feel that particular word is offensive, and undercuts the point that the Goobernator's what I would call a shill for monied interests. The person might well grant that my term is more precise and damning, which is the whole point. Absent some other indication that the person has a demeaning attitude toward women, I would still be open to communication.

        On the other hand, I have ex-friend known for opining that Arnie does not deserve another term in office and lamenting the media infatuation with him, both sentiments I share. However, she will then go on to say that all California's problems come down to one thing: "wetbacks." This to me is like your Nighthorse example; that ONE WORD reveals a mindset that thoroughly disgusts me. That, and other views, are why she is an EX-friend.

        And that reminds me of another point: I've also known people whose WORDS are quite inoffensive, even "PC", but their ATTITUDES are still offensive to me. They may be quite careful to use 'gay' and 'lesbian' and couch their argument in bland social science vocabulary--but that only makes them more dangerous. On the other hand, I've known older people who don't quite know how to refer to gays--they may say 'homaseckshul' just like a redneck. But then they may go on to add that while they don't know any 'homaseckshuls' they're just fine with letting them marry if that's what they want. What a shame if someone wrote them off because their terminology isn't PC!

        Sometimes you don't know what someone is really thinking until you've talked to them enough to know what's in their heart, not just in their mouths. When I was going through a sex change on the job, I went to each person to explain it to them. Everyone said the right PC things (this was in Palo Alto CA) to demonstrate their own sophistication and tolerance, invariably concluding by warning me I should NOT tell our co-worker who was an ex-Marine and a fundamentalist Christian transplanted from Oklahoma, because he might 'go off on' me. But I did, explaining as best I could why I was doing it. He just stared at me when I was finished, and I thought "Uh oh." Finally he said "I can't honestly say I understand any of what you just said, but I like you and if what you're doing makes you happier with yourself, I think that's just fine." I later found out some of the oh-so-PC folks later made snide remarks behind my back, but no one ever said that guy did.

        Words do have power. But in the end, as the old saying goes, actions speak louder. And sometimes you have to be around people awhile before you know whether their words really reflect their heart. If someone IS sexist, it won't take long for them to reveal that unequivocally. I would hate to jump to that conclusion too quickly, however, and miss out on someone who would make a good ally. There ARE well meaning people who have a sort of 'backlash' resentment about PC because they've been in situations where it went too far. One of my former bosses got 'written up' by HIS boss over a silly blonde joke (she was blonde, well, bottle-blonde.) The thing is, his WIFE is blonde, he's not sexist, it was simply a joke. A joke that led to a disciplinary action that marred 18 YEARS of a perfect work record. And what's funny is, the joke worked JUST as well AS a joke if the 'blonde' in question was a guy--it's not about women but about airheadedness, and that can be a trait of either gender. I'm sure his boss got HER orders from up above. But I would have respected her more if she'd simply talked to him, and pointed out that in today's litigious atmosphere managers must be very careful what they say (because the company couldn't have cared less about the wounded feelings of dumb blondes--they were scared one might be smart enough to sue if they claimed offense at my boss's joke.)

        Anyway, he was so upset, a week later he went out and shot every blonde he could hit till he ran out of ammo.

        No, it's late and I just made that up to see if anyone's still reading :D.

        -- Life is tough: Three out of three die. Now shut up and deal. ~Ring Lardner Jr.

        by Eleftheria on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 02:31:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks so much for posting this-- (4.00)
    I agree with what you're saying--we have enough imagination to come up with alternative terms--it's on the level of Ahnold and his ilk to resort to gender-based name calling.  Also, depending on your experience in the world, what's a funny, laughable and easily shrugged off term for one person, is deeply hurtful to another.  I suggest that we refer to Bush and company as "pissies"--they're always pissed off at something, even when they're in charge, big bullies.

    ...the White House will be adorned by a downright moron...H.L. Mencken

    by bibble on Tue May 31, 2005 at 08:31:28 PM PDT

  •  THANK YOU for this diary. (4.00)
         Using the "p-word" without a cat reference is a bad thing. And people complain a lot on DKos when I criticize them for it...
  •  What would Rick James think? n/t (4.00)
    •  I'm recusing self (4.00)
      since my very first DKos comment, about Laura Bush, was titled "Pickles' Snatch."

      I do feel your diary overlooks somewhat the role of "forbidden " language as a tool to provoke, similar to Carlin's bit about the 7 dirty words you can't say on TV or radio. I notice that when those terms are used on this board, there is usually an element of knowing sarcasm that elevates the pottymouth tactics somewhat. When freepers use those terms, they're pretty much just calling people names.

      •  Huh? (none)
        Are you talking to me?
      •  Tossing a hand grenade (4.00)
        into the conversation is a great pyschological devise to deflate pompousity; I've proudly done it myself on occasion.
        My concern is that we avoid colateral damage from the flying (wait while I look it up......) shrapnel, and lose our allies to friendly fire.

        Now I EXPECT and DESERVE abuse heaped upon my head for that hideous metaphore.

      •  Don't forget Lenny Bruce (4.00)
        Who pointed out that it was ridiculous that our worst insult was "Fuck you!"  Since fucking is such a wonderful, intimate part of life, that should be a blessing, he pointed out.  The insult should, if we were more rational, be "Unfuck you!"

        Journalism is yours! www.epluribusinvestigates.com. Please support ePluribusMedia

        by Dallasdoc on Tue May 31, 2005 at 10:02:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  These are a few... (4.00)
    ...of my favorite things.

    Sorry. Couldn't help it. Great title.

  •  Thank you. (N/T) (none)

    The Shapeshifter's Blog -- Politics, Philosophy, and Madness!

    by Shapeshifter on Tue May 31, 2005 at 09:32:11 PM PDT

  •  Hm, what curse words are politcally correct... (4.00)
    There aren't any, that's why they're curse words.  Is nothing sacred!  I want to keep my curse words.  You can't have them.  Even if they are meaningless.
  •  Dicks. Cocks, and Motherfuckers (4.00)
    I'd be happy to substitute those instead. Or how about Shit Eating Cock Masters?

    "Blogging doesn't make it so" - Rep. Hayworth (R) AZ 1/6/2005. Oh yeah?

    by bejammin075 on Tue May 31, 2005 at 09:43:41 PM PDT

  •  Bush is a Gonad (none)

    "..we've got to make it look like an accident."

    by cdelia on Tue May 31, 2005 at 09:50:18 PM PDT

  •  Look (2.90)
    While I truly understand the writer's objections and sympathize with her point, I truly do, its diaries like this which give liberals a bad name. It makes us look like, well, pussies.

    And I really mean nothing sexist when I say that. I don't. I am using the colloquial meaning of the word, the thought that we are too hyper-sensitive, too out of touch with the mainstream, too damn easily offended and always pointing the finger at someone who meant no harm to be trusted.

    Look, like I said, I do sympathize. In an ideal world, we wouldn't use female gender parts to try to convey wimpiness. In fact, in a really ideal world, we would call female gender parts pussies at all, but instead only use their clinical name so as to avoid any confusion. But that ain't too realistic, now is it?

    Me? I have probably called Bush a pussy before. What I was trying to convey was a general lack of toughness from the jackass (no offense, donkeys) and perhaps somewhat of a symbolic reference to the fact he has had everything handed to him in life and wilter or failed or ran from the really tough challenges.

    I don't recall calling him a bitch or a twat, though I wouldn't hesitate if the moment struck me. I have called him a dickhead, asshole, cretin, scumbag and just about every other word when a little passion or angst hits me. Really I meant no harm to anyone except that fucking prick in the White House and the, oh, 50 million or so assholes who voted for him.

    But I digress. I think my point is, we need to be a bit more understanding of language like this and its multi-functions. I understand certain racial epithets are out of line and you are saying this is no different. But it is different. Cunt to an Irish person, for example, is used so widely its basically to express the same feelings we Americans usually use asshole to express. And asshole is gender neutral. Afterall, we both have one. If animals could talk, would you be objecting they shouldn't be saying asshole because its anti-human? What if they were talking about Rush Limbaugh? Surely a beaver (no pun intended) should be free to call Rush Limbaugh an asshole? No?

    Again, I digress. I'll sum up by saying lighten up a bit. We all need to blow off steam sometimes. There is nothing wrong with showing invective, passion and angst, as liberals, by injecting a little gutter language into your rant. It makes me think I'm dealing with a real live person with true emotion, rather than some pointy head ivy tower liberal we're portrayed as. You know, a real person.

    We Democrats and liberals have trouble at times connecting to regular folk, so to speak, because of issues and objections like this. Let people talk. So they are a bit insensitive in their language. Big deal. We can't change the world if we start here. People will think we're not enough like them if we do. And to tell you the truth, I'm not quite ready to stop calling Anne Coulter a fucking bitch just yet.

    GDoyle

    "Deserves got nothing to do with it"-William Munny, "Unforgiven"

    by GDoyle on Tue May 31, 2005 at 09:54:40 PM PDT

    •  What it comes down to (4.00)
      is that our nation's political discussion has come to be measured in terms of heterosexual machismo.  We hardly even have terms we can use for someone who is lame and ineffectual that don't imply "feminine" or "homosexual".

      The problem is that the words that insult women or gay men are POWERFUL.  They're juicy, vital words with power.

      The alternative language sounds too carefully sensitive, too...pussy-footing.

      I understand the desire to believe that there's a way to have our cake and eat it,too:  to effectively express our contempt and our characterization of the chickenhawks and liars and brave-talking cowards while not using language that's offensive.  But I don't know that that's really possible, and right now, successfully winning over the swing voters who are really going with the macho rhetoric is more important, I would argue, than being spotlessly sensitive in every word we say.

      It's an important issue, but it's not in the top ten right now.  Not in my book.

      If you support Bush, you don't support the troops. It's that simple.

      by Dracowyrm on Tue May 31, 2005 at 10:08:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I had a neighbour (4.00)
      who insisted on calling blacks "the coloureds".  He didn't hate black people, hell, he didn't know any.  He INSISTED that the term wasn't offensive because his motives weren't hostile.  He continued to talk that way until he died.  I'm sure nobody ever mistook him for some pointy headed ivy tower liberal.  

      BUT

      He wasn't stumping for the Democratic Party. He wasn't inadvertantly alienating the very people we represent as the party of civil rights.

      And CUNT is not, never will be, gender neutral.

      Women have an uphill battle to resue our genitals from dirtiness and disgust.  Men's, too; sex in general.  We say, "You fucking whatever", as if fucking was a bad thing.

      I understand you're valid point about sounding like one of the guys, but don't sell out the women to do it, OK?  White liberals don't talk like racist bigots to connect with regular folk, because if we did, how would we tell the Ds from the Rs ?

      •  Gender neutrality (none)
        seems to me to be in the eye of the beholder - it requires at least some amount of literalism to assume the words you're criticizing actually have a gender-related meaning in context.

        When I use "fuck", I'm, rarely referring to sexual intercourse; when I use "motherfucker", I'm never referring to incest; I might use "shit" to refer to defecation or the products therefrom, but just as often I mean something different (there's an excellent George Carlin routine on that word) - it's most often a pronoun; when I use "asshole", I'm rarely referring to anatomy; similarly, "full of shit" rarely refers to constipation; when I use "damn" or "goddamn", I'm not petitoning God to take some particular action in reference to the person or object so modified - in fact it's an adjective, not a verb.

        If I used the words you listed (which I don't), they would be in the same category as the mostly content-free expletives listed above. On the other hand, epithets that refer to race or nationality almost always carry a lot of content, but I personally don't find that true for epithets specific to either gender or the epithets I listed above. Not even on a subconscious level.

        I don't avoid those words because I'm gender-sensitive - they just don't carry the necessary semantic weight to express what the more common four-letter words express for me.

        We all go a little mad sometimes - Norman Bates

        by badger on Tue May 31, 2005 at 11:00:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah (3.75)
      And I hope all the niggers and gooks and nips and kikes and camel jockies and wetbacks can just deal with it.

      Words have power. Racist words have power. Sexist words have power, too.

      •  Funny (2.42)
        I have never heard someone other than a Jewish person referred to as a kike. The meaning of the term when you use that is clear. And anyone who uses it intends what they intend. I don't there is any debate.

        So, in your strawman argument, you've equated the word "pussy" to a host of words which are directed at a specific race or religion. While pussy is often used to describe, if not usually, men. You don't often see a woman called a "pussy" as a means to hurt them.

        So its apples and oranges here. And its pretty pathetic you couldn't see that. Nice twist though and use of the strawman, typical technique when you really have no point.

        "Deserves got nothing to do with it"-William Munny, "Unforgiven"

        by GDoyle on Tue May 31, 2005 at 10:27:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You still don't get it (3.66)
          Just because sexist language doesn't elicit a response of disgust from you like those terms do/should, to many people, they do. Pussy reinforces historical negative stereotypes against women, that they are weak. The fact that you and many others don't recognize that this sexist language is really no different from racists language does not make it any less true. No strawman at all - you just apparently still don't see the analogy. Those words I used were acceptable at one time by the majority. Then slowly racist attitudes changed, and it became socially unnaceptable to use such language. We just haven't reached that point yet when it comes to women. John Lennon had it right - Woman is the Nigger of the World.
          •  No you don't get it (1.80)
            Anyone who would equate pussy to kike, when kike is used to refer exclusively to Jewish people DIRECTLY as an insult is too out of touch to EVER get it. The words you used may have been used at one time, but they have always always been used at their target for an intended negative effect.

            Pussy, in so much as one claims it to be a "female word" (despite its varied definitions) isn't directed at women. Not in how it is used anyways. As I said, rarely if ever will you see a woman called a "pussy" as a means to insult her.

            Horrible analogy. Talk about specious reasoning.

            GDoyle

            "Deserves got nothing to do with it"-William Munny, "Unforgiven"

            by GDoyle on Tue May 31, 2005 at 10:40:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Pussy is used as a derogatory term (3.57)
              It is a pejorative, meaning weak, that has at its core something fundamentally female. So when you call someone a pussy, you are slurring the group known as females, by insinuating the person you called pussy is weak. When you call someone a kike, you are not just slurring the person you call the kike, but much more importantly, you are slurring the larger group known as Jews. You are targeting a group with your derogatory speech much more than the specific target. And we have decided, as a society, by and large, that terms that are demeaning to certain groups, like kike for Jews, are not acceptable. There is nothing different, and nothing specious, AT ALL, about applying the same values when it comes to speech that slurs the larger group of women, even when that particular speech isn't directed AT a woman. It is still slurring women.
              •  Where you are wrong (2.00)
                Is the assumption it refers to female at all. Kike is clearly a reference to Jewish people. Pussy, on the other hand, has varied meanings and, despite your attempts to hijack it, isn't exclusively a female word. Pussy, as used as an insult, is not used againt women. Nor is it necessarily used to argue a man is "woman-like" when used against men. That is your own interpretation.

                Its used to convey wimpiness which has nothing to do with females. It is separate and apart from both the cat definition and the female body part definition. There are 3 definitions and uses, at least, for the word. So, unless you have an objection to calling men wimps and think that should never be done, you have no point here.

                Perhaps you could propose legislation next to change the name of the pussy willow as well. Is that a reference to female body parts too?

                "Deserves got nothing to do with it"-William Munny, "Unforgiven"

                by GDoyle on Tue May 31, 2005 at 11:07:01 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I am not wrong, and (3.50)
                  No need to be a jerk. Apparently I insulted you personally, though I'm not sure where or when, but please, you're taking things too personally, or you're just an ass. Either way, logic and cool heads are a lot more fun to deal with.

                  Second, I fundamentally disagree that it is not used against women. It is intrinsically anti-women. Pussy implies women and weak embodied in one word. This is not "my interpretation." You may not see it, in the same way that the word nigger was used in the south for years and years by people that didn't think they were racists, but that doesn't change its meaning.

                  Second, you want to talk about specious, "So, unless you have an objection to calling men wimps and think that should never be done, you have no point here" Give me a break. Wimp does not equal pussy. Pussy is demeaning to women. I'm truly sorry you still don't see that. It seems clear as day to me.

                  "Perhaps you could propose legislation next to change the name of the pussy willow as well. Is that a reference to female body parts too?"

                  Completely unhelpful and intentionally argumentative.

                  •  Look (2.09)
                    What is insulting is you comparing nigger and kike with pussy. That is just sad. I know in your world, you see it that way. Good luck selling it to anyone else. And the fact is, people DO NOT use it the same way. That is just a fact whether you are blind to it or not. Its ludicrous to say otherwise, though I don't expect you'll see that.

                    One more time. Pussy does not refer, when used as an adjective to woman. In fact, its almost always directed at men. While its true one of the noun slang terms for Pussy (ONE OF...) is a female body part, another noun definition is for a cat. Do you deny this?

                    That has nothing to do with how its used as an adjective. Pussy does equal wimp. Your failure to even recognize that is both stunning and humorous.

                    But what is truly scary and vomit-inducing is your equation of such a vile term as nigger and kike to a word merely used commonly to express wimpiness. Nigger has no other definitions. Unlike pussy, its no used to refer to cats. Its not used to call someone a wimp. It never has been, even in the "old south" you refer to. You can have no doubt when someone used nigger back then, it was meant against African-Americans.

                    Your sad attempts to equate that and kike to a word used to slander MEN is pathetic and outrageous. Its also insulting to Jews and African-Americans. How can you be so blind to the impact of those words? And compare it to pussy? Would you do the same for dick? That also refers, in a slang way, to a male body part, no?

                    Or is dick different? I'll be waiting with baited breath for your oh so enlightened answer.

                    And what is your answer on pussy willow? Is it no different than if the tree had been named nigger willow or kike willow? Do you advocate changing the name?

                    I know you won't give direct answers to any of this and insist its the same despite how transparent you really are becoming.

                    GDoyle

                    "Deserves got nothing to do with it"-William Munny, "Unforgiven"

                    by GDoyle on Tue May 31, 2005 at 11:24:47 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I gave you the 1 rating (3.40)
                      Specifically for the argumentative comment:

                      "Perhaps you could propose legislation next to change the name of the pussy willow as well. Is that a reference to female body parts too?"

                      NOT for the content of your posts. Now it's apparently a revenge thing for you. Whatever.


                      "One more time. Pussy does not refer, when used as an adjective to woman. In fact, its almost always directed at men."

                      You still don't get it! I'm not arguing that it's used at women, I'm saying it affects women. It's a slur to females to call someone pussy. Unfortunately, I see very little in your response that indicates you understand my arguments (whether you disagree with them or not), and it's become obvious from your deliberately argumentative responses that you are more interested in flame-baiting comments

                      "I'll be waiting with baited breath for your oh so enlightened answer."


                      "despite how transparent you really are becoming."


                      "Its ludicrous to say otherwise, though I don't expect you'll see that."

                      than constructive dialogue.

                      •  Pussy Willow (1.60)
                        Whether you see it or not, the pussy willow comment was a legitimate point given that you were equating pussy to nigger, an absurd premise in my mind.

                        GDoyle

                        "Deserves got nothing to do with it"-William Munny, "Unforgiven"

                        by GDoyle on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 12:24:02 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  Really? (1.75)
                        "You still don't get it! I'm not arguing that it's used at women, I'm saying it affects women. It's a slur to females to call someone pussy. Unfortunately, I see very little in your response that indicates you understand my arguments (whether you disagree with them or not), and it's become obvious from your deliberately argumentative responses that you are more interested in flame-baiting comments"

                        Really, what kind of research have you done on this? You speak for all women? Most? Because I have never seen the complaint before until this diary and I am close to plenty of women.

                        I understand your arguments. Sad you can't see how wrong they are. And far-fetched. And outright ridiculous.

                        I know exactly what you are saying. That calling a man a pussy is a slur against women. Ridiculous. Completely. Whether you perceive it that way or not. And comparing it to nigger or kike is outrageous and wrong.

                        GDoyle

                        "Deserves got nothing to do with it"-William Munny, "Unforgiven"

                        by GDoyle on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 12:27:00 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Well (3.62)
                          Sad you can't see how wrong they are. And far-fetched. And outright ridiculous.

                          I know exactly what you are saying. That calling a man a pussy is a slur against women. Ridiculous. Completely.

                          So it's "sad" that I can't see "how wrong," "far-fetched" and "outright ridiculous," "completely" my arguments are. Uh huh. Did you get your degree from the John Bolton school of diplomacy?

                          "And comparing it to nigger or kike is outrageous and wrong.

                          No. Women are deserving of as much respect as African-Americans and Jews. And the word pussy is a slight against women from an even less enlightened time than now, in a vein similar to nigger and kike. You are apparently blind to sleights against women yet sensitive to sleights against other groups. It's no more appropriate to use harmful slurs that demean women than it is to use harmful slurs that demean African-Americans or Jews. End of story.

                          •  Unreal (1.50)
                            I am not blind to sleights against women, what a leap that was. Its just that, this isn't one!!!! Nothing comparable to calling someone a Jew a kike or an African-American a nigger occurs when a man CALLS ANOTHER MAN a pussy, no matter how much you try to twist that it is so. Its just a horrible comparison considering the conotation of all the words involved.

                            GDoyle

                            "Deserves got nothing to do with it"-William Munny, "Unforgiven"

                            by GDoyle on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 12:57:09 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Yes, you are blind (3.57)
                            First off, you've gone off into troll category now, since everything you say is rude, insulting, and unproductive. You don't see a problem with pussy, you see a problem with nigger and kike. That means you're blind to slurs against women, no matter how you spin it.

                            Nothing comparable to calling someone a Jew a kike or an African-American a nigger occurs when a man CALLS ANOTHER MAN a pussy, no matter how much you try to twist that it is so.

                            You still, after all these posts, haven't the faintest grasp of my argument. You call another man a pussy, it's continuing a stereotype against women being weak. It's insidious and disgusting, and just as bad as nigger and kike in dredging up and keeping alive old negative connotations. That was my point from the very start, the point you haven't internalized. You still won't get it, so I officially give up. I guess you'll say one more insulting and trolling comment, since it seems to be in your nature, and then we can let this be.

                          •  Ha (1.50)
                            You should take a look at your own responses. You really need to look in the mirror with your responses and arguments.

                            I understand your argument. Its not that complicated. Its simple really. Its just wrong. And you've offered no proof of what you claim. You haven't answered virtually any of the questions I posited. Your avoided how "dick" is different, though I saw a GOP-like spin attempt later in a different thread. There is no difference. You see it how you WANT to see it. You WANT to see insults where there are none. There is no other explanation in your inconsistency regarding "dick."

                            I find 90% of your comments, particularly your very first one, juvenile, sarcastic and insulting. Not to mention trollish used number 34,000 or whatever.

                            GDoyle

                            "Deserves got nothing to do with it"-William Munny, "Unforgiven"

                            by GDoyle on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 01:12:36 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  Just remember... (1.60)
                    Its gonna be one for one.

                    GDoyle

                    "Deserves got nothing to do with it"-William Munny, "Unforgiven"

                    by GDoyle on Tue May 31, 2005 at 11:34:27 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  And just remember (3.00)
                      not to take things so personally. Constructive dialogue I disagree with I will not give a low rating to. Deliberately argumentative, flame-baiting comments that are both insulting and hinder, rather than encourage, dialogue, will get ones.
                      •  Wow (1.75)
                        How ironic coming from the person who got this ball rolling by responding to what I tried to make as a thoughtful first post on this topic with a sarcastic, dismissive response equating pussy ridiculously and disgustingly to vile words such as kike and nigger. That was really adding to the dialogue (eyeroll) and constructive.

                        GDoyle

                        "Deserves got nothing to do with it"-William Munny, "Unforgiven"

                        by GDoyle on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 12:38:13 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  THAT WAS EXACTLY THE POINT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (3.40)
                          THOSE WORDS ARE VILE. I KNOW THAT. THAT WAS THE WHOLE FREAKIN' POINT. PUSSY IS ALSO VILE. GET IT NOW??????????????????? NO, IT IS NOT RIDICULOUS OR DISGUSTING, NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES YOU REPEAT IT, TO COMPARE ONE VILE WORD TO ANOTHER.

                          LISTEN FOR ONE FUCKING SECOND, OK? PUSSY IS UTTERLY REPUGNANT, AND UTTERLY INSULTING TO WOMEN. DO YOU GET IT? IN THE SAME WAY NIGGER OR KIKE IS TO AFRICAN-AMERICANS OR JEWS.

                          PUSSY IS A VILE, DISGUSTING WORD USED TO PERPETUATE THE STEREOTYPE THAT WOMEN ARE WEAK. DID YOU HEAR THAT?

                          PUSSY IS A VILE, DISGUSTING WORD USED TO PERPETUATE THE STEREOTYPE THAT WOMEN ARE WEAK.

                          JEEESH!

                          •  and your proof is.... (1.60)
                            "LISTEN FOR ONE FUCKING SECOND, OK? PUSSY IS UTTERLY REPUGNANT, AND UTTERLY INSULTING TO WOMEN. DO YOU GET IT? IN THE SAME WAY NIGGER OR KIKE IS TO AFRICAN-AMERICANS OR JEWS."

                            Because YOU say so. Nothing else. That is your level, your opinion and nothing else. No matter how many times you say it, no matter how much you scream, the words aren't the same.

                            In the words of Potter Stewart on a different topic "I know it when I see it...." and pussy is not the same as nigger or kike and its an offensive comparison.

                            You may think otherwise, but I'd suggest you are a cult of very few. Were a political commentator or politician to make a similar comment, its so laughable and, on another level, disgusting, I would think they would soon thereafter be out of a job.

                            GDoyle

                            "Deserves got nothing to do with it"-William Munny, "Unforgiven"

                            by GDoyle on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 01:02:26 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  And I would suggest (3.40)
                            The current six "4"'s on my original post suggest you're the cult of a very few. Language has the power to hurt and demean in subtle ways, and sometimes not so subtle ways.

                            Were a political commentator or politician to make a similar comment, its so laughable and, on another level, disgusting, I would think they would soon thereafter be out of a job.

                            Were they to use the word itself, I think it's much more likely they'd be out of a job.

                          •  Right (2.33)
                            That proves it, 6 4's. Gotcha.

                            Goodnight.

                            GDoyle

                            "Deserves got nothing to do with it"-William Munny, "Unforgiven"

                            by GDoyle on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 01:25:46 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Wrong. (3.40)
                            There's a ton of people here who think that is a bad way to refer to women. Please read Trained Ape's diary; there were several people who objected to the use of the word "pussy."

                            When you join a community, you give up certain rights, and one of those rights is to use words which other people think are degrading. So if a bunch of people think using the word "pussy" is degrading here, then that would be a bad idea to use it here. And this is not unique to this place; any community you join has its own standards.

                          •  Oh yeah? (2.50)
                            I gave up rights when I joined? And how many exactly is "a bunch of people?" Two? Ten? Twenty?
                            Let me know so I can follow your rules.

                            And you better let Kos know too, since he used the word on the main page yesterday.

                            GDoyle

                            "Deserves got nothing to do with it"-William Munny, "Unforgiven"

                            by GDoyle on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 05:51:35 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Look: (4.00)
                            The only people here who complain about "censorship" are the ones who do something wrong. It's not like I'm writing to Kos and asking him to ban or censor people who use that language. But you have every right to use that word; I have every right to complain about it when you do.
                          •  I agree (none)
                            I have the right to use it, you can complain. With that, I agree.

                            GDoyle

                            "Deserves got nothing to do with it"-William Munny, "Unforgiven"

                            by GDoyle on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 06:48:34 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Would you mind... (none)
                            I'm wondering why you handed out some 2s in a discussion about derivations of words. Frankly, it doesn't make sense...
                          •  I am a Democrat and and a woman (none)
                            and I say it's just as insulting.

                            The difference is awareness of racism vs. sexism.
                             Years ago hateful racist slurs were a common part of everyday American speech because a majority of people BELIEVED in the inferiority of Blacks and Jews.  Those same words are recognised as hateful today by almost everybody, but their TARGETS ALWAYS KNEW THEY WERE CRUEL WORDS USED TO DENOTE INFERIORITY AND POWERLESSNESS.
                            Sexist language is still  a common part of everyday American speech because a majority of people believe in the inferiority of women.
                            It is so pervasive that it's invisible if you just drift through life without thinking about it.
                            If you think men and women are afforded the same status, I have a challenge for you.  All next week I'll wear men's clothing to work. I'll be teased, but aspiring to the superior group is allowed, especially if there's no chance that I could actually "pass".  You wear a dress, hose and heels.  See how YOU'RE treated. In over thirty years, not one man was willing to try this simple experiment in sexism. Men know how much they have to lose.

                •  Definitions (4.00)
                  As long as we are breaking out the dictionaries, the Dictionary of American Slang (Crowell, 1965 edition) defines "pussy" as follows:

                  1. (taboo) The vagina
                  2. (derogatory) An effeminate man or boy

                  So, Jimmie Higgins (sorry, I'm insulting you - that is an archaic slang term for "an unimportant, naive, or new member of the Socialist Party or of a labor union") you are mistaken about your definition of pussy as "wimpy" with no relationship to femininity

                  I really need a new edition of this dictionary!

                  •  Well... (1.80)
                    Perhaps you need an updated dictionary. I was born in 1968 and the one I just looked at referred to wimpiness when used as an adjective, not effeminate.

                    Either way, that is the way its used today. Convenient you skipped the cat definition.

                    GDoyle

                    "Deserves got nothing to do with it"-William Munny, "Unforgiven"

                    by GDoyle on Tue May 31, 2005 at 11:28:02 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Don't be such an asshole (3.33)
                      It is a SLANG dictionary. Nothing in it but slang, not like that "pussy" dictionary you are using.

                      You should get one, then you might learn something about the origin of these words you like to throw around so much, in your non-sexist way.

                      But here are some similar references from online reference sources, more up-to-date:

                      Wikipedia:

                      "The word pussy can also be used derogatorily to refer to a male who is not considered sufficiently masculine. When used in this sense, it carries the implication of being easily fatigued, weak or cowardly."

                      Dictionary.com

                      "Slang. A man regarded as weak, timid, or unmanly."

                      •  OR (2.00)
                        Did you see the OR in your definition? It wasn't an AND. It said weak, timid OR unmanly. That was 1965. OR.

                        When I use it, I mean weak and timid. Anything else you get from it isn't from me.

                        And its a slang dictionary. Which reinforces my point. The word has many meanings, real and slang. The female body part is one of many. Yet the word apparently is being hijacked by some as a female slur when that is only one possible meaning, not even a true one, but a slang one. That's pretty weak. Its commonly used as a slur against weak men, which you do agree can exist and thus we should have a word for it, no?

                        GDoyle

                        "Deserves got nothing to do with it"-William Munny, "Unforgiven"

                        by GDoyle on Tue May 31, 2005 at 11:50:17 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I can't resist (3.40)
                          The dictionary.com reference above is from 2005, not 1965. The weakness, timidity, and unmanliness, and wimpiness, and all the other negative connotations of the word "pussy" as applied to males have everything to do with negative stereotypes of women.

                          I give up, it's late and this is a waste of my time. Either you really don't understand this, or you are just being disingenuous. It doesn't matter, you don't have a point and you are wrong.

                  •  Not to mention... (2.50)
                    I just noticed its a slang dictionary. How humorous. You just enforced my point.

                    GDoyle

                    "Deserves got nothing to do with it"-William Munny, "Unforgiven"

                    by GDoyle on Tue May 31, 2005 at 11:36:54 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Sorry - don't be such an idiot (3.00)
                      Humorous? Yes, it is a slang dictionary. The new edition is
                      here

                      More than 600 pages of valuable reference specifically about the topic we were discussing, which was the origin and meaning of the word "pussy", used as slang. It's really a wonderful book, you should look at it sometime.

                •  It also depends on how people take the word. (3.00)
                  I don't use the phrase "coon hunting" around Blacks because the ones I know see it as a racist slur. I don't refer to Blacks as a "breed" either. So just because the word does not technically refer to a race doesn't mean it can't be used as a common racist slur.
    •  Soccer Moms and Family Values (3.66)
      I think this is a great diary, and I've really enjoyed the discussion taking place here.

      GDoyle, I don't think you really understand the impact of these epithets on women at all. And I say that as a man, who has (often!) been guilty of using these same words in anger without forethought.

      I don't see anyone arguing for censorship, just to think before you speak, don't be so lazy, try to use a bit of imagination and come up with some more accurate and descriptive language to insult those who deserve to be insulted.

      Some great examples higher up in the thread, and I'm sure you can come up with a few of your own. You don't need to be sensitive about the targets of your anger, just watch out for the innocent bystanders who you may be alienating by your poor choice of words.

      If you think you can win over the cussin', spittin' "regular folks" by calling the chickenhawks "pussies" and "bitches", go right ahead. Kos does exactly that in his post which is on top of the page right now.

      But please don't tell everyone else that's the only way, because some of your fellow Kossacks would like to find some alternate rhetoric that can win over, or at least not totally alienate, women and maybe even some of those "values voters" - some of them seem to be waking up to the fact that Bush and his crowd don't share their values after all

      •  I understand (none)
        But I never said it was the only way. If someone chooses not to use the word "pussy"...that is their choice. More power to them. But I am sorry, "pussy" isn't as specifically directed at woman as you and others claim. It can also mean cat.

        And as I use it, it means wimp as well. Woman have no devine right to the word. Its not theirs. I use it to convey wimp. It has taken on that meaning on its own just as much if not more so than it means vagina or cat.

        Look it up in the dictionary. I just did. Meriam-Webster gives three separate main definitions....1.) a feline or cat 2.) the female body part connotation 3.) as an adjective.

        Its somewhat of a slang-term now isn't it? And while the term may have originally started out as a reference to female body parts, it clearly has taken on a life of its own. It has its own meaning. And lets face it, pussy is just slang for the female body part anyways, its not the true word for it. Why is one definition more important than the others?

        I don't think it is and I think some see offense where there is none.

        GDoyle

        "Deserves got nothing to do with it"-William Munny, "Unforgiven"

        by GDoyle on Tue May 31, 2005 at 10:36:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I doubt it (3.25)
          "its diaries like this which give liberals a bad name"

          So, I guess susanw shouldn't have written this diary?

          ""pussy" isn't as specifically directed at woman ... It can also mean cat."

          So when you call Bush a pussy, you mean he is like a cat? No, I believe you mean he is weak, like a woman

          "certain racial epithets are out of line... But it is different. Cunt ... is used ... to express the same feelings (as) asshole"

          ???

          And as far as homer's "kike" vs. "pussy" analogy, I think kike is almost obsolete, I rarely see it and almost never hear it. But isn't it true that democrats/liberals/intellectuals are sometimes insulted or implied to be "jews" by anti-semitic right-wingers? I'm sure I could google a few examples.

          I certainly hear the word "nigger" used to insult people who are not black, is that only insulting to the immediate target of the insult, or is it more generally derogatory?

          •  No (none)
            You wrote:

            "So when you call Bush a pussy, you mean he is like a cat? No, I believe you mean he is weak, like a woman"

            Those are your words, not mine. I mean he is weak. But not like a woman. Guess your the one who has that in his head. Can there not be weak, wimpy men in your mind? There can in mine.

            GDoyle

            "Deserves got nothing to do with it"-William Munny, "Unforgiven"

            by GDoyle on Tue May 31, 2005 at 11:29:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Have a good night (2.50)
              So, when you use words, you are talking to yourself? It doesn't matter how other people perceive those words? No, I didn't think so...

              Go ahead, keep talking to that "weak, wimpy man" in your own mind. I'll just try and ignore you

              •  I think I know... (2.33)
                How the word is perceived. I think you do too. Its not, in most people's mind, a slur at women nor anything that comes to mind logically when its used, despite theoretical discussions on here.

                And those were your words, not mine. Which I find interesting.

                GDoyle

                "Deserves got nothing to do with it"-William Munny, "Unforgiven"

                by GDoyle on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 12:04:41 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly (4.00)
      And the root of pussy is pusillanimous, not a nickname for vagina.

      Didn't mean to burst anyone's bubble, but being a big pussy is being filled with pusilanimity.

      And if I couldn't swear on this site and call people names, how the hell would I debate Armando?

      •  interesting (none)
        pusilanimous -> pussy

        Are you sure of that etymology?  That would be quite interesting if true.

        But even if not, I always thought of "pussy" (in the cowardly sense) as coming from "pussy" (in the sense of cat or scardy-cat)... the association to female genitalia was never there for me.

        And anyway, "pussy" in the genital sense tends to have rather positive connotations, doesn't it?  That's the word tht most of the women I've dated have insisted upon --and most of them have been self-described feminists, I should add.

        As for "bitch" and "twat" as terms of derision on DKos, I admit that a prima facie case could be made for their misogynist character.  But people also use "prick," "dick," "bastard," and "asshole" [the latter, admittedly isn't gender-exclusive, but my sense is that it tends to have a more male connotation].  

        Does the use of masculine insults indicate that DKos is also man-hating?

        All that having been said, I don't use any of these terms myself --not for any gender-politics reason, but just because I don't think it sounds that good.

        "Every man is guilty of all the good he didn't do." -Voltaire

        by Nate Roberts on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 01:03:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Let's get back to the basics. (3.40)
      When he first started this website, Kos stated that the intent was to fight for equality for all groups of people, whether it be gays, women, or immigrants. So how we treat groups of people is important.

      That said, it's OK to blow off steam with the occasional epithet. I don't object to that. But what Trained Ape was suggesting was that we call Bush a "pussy" on a regular basis. That is bad because it targets women and holds them up as an example of derision.

      If we use a word that offends a substantial number of people of the group like, "nigger" or "pussy," then people won't listen to us because they think, with Nate Livingston, that we are no better than the right-wingers when it comes to race.

      My rule is that anything goes unless someone is offended and asks me to stop, or I know for a fact that the word is offensive to a substantial number of people. If I use a word like "pussy" to describe the President and the feminists here ask me to stop because she is offended, I will edit the diary even if I have to rewrite it.

      •  I'm thinking (none)
        That many of those "married women" that have been leaving the Democratic party may be offended at the use of these words too. Also the words referring to male genitalia.

        Don't we want them to feel comfortable and welcome here? I do, and it would help if people would think about just who might be reading things here that could be checking it out because they are fed up with the neocons.

        Just a thought...

    •  In an ideal world, we wouldn't use female gender.. (4.00)
      In an ideal world, we wouldn't use female gender parts to try to convey wimpiness.

      But that's the point.  By calling a man a "female gender part" we're saying that that man is acting or being like a woman, which is to say inferior.  The worst thing you can say to a man is that he is more like a woman.  So what does that say about how one feels or thinks about women?  That women are inferior.

  •  Personally (4.00)
    I have always preferred "pussy" to "dick", but have no objections to anyone who prefers "dick" over "pussy"--

    --as long as they don't rub it in my face.

    "Dick", that is.

  •  and cusswords generally (none)
    I agree with your point here, and also:  I find the over-use of "the usual cusswords" is self-defeating as well.  

    Cusswords are useful when you really mean them, for emphasis.  But when they're used thoughtlessly they lose their meaning, they lose their emphasis, and they turn people off.  

    Sometimes it's even more effective to use a G-rated synonym where a sentence or phrase seems to be leading up to a cuss: the anticlimax of the milder word actually has as much "wake-up!" value as the cussword it replaced, or it can be used to convey humor or sarcasm.  

    It's also worth keeping in mind that a lot of "undecideds" read this board, and they may be a lot more sensitive to strong language than the average regular subscriber who posts often.  We want those undecideds to agree with us and vote accordingly, so we need to use language that brings them in, not language that turns them away.    

  •  You'll find some members here (3.33)
    dislike women. period. Depsite their protestations that they are "dems"

    I'm not going anywhere. I'm standing up, which is how one speaks in opposition in a civilized world. - Ainsley Hayes

    by jillian on Tue May 31, 2005 at 10:57:08 PM PDT

  •  Reflection of Society (4.00)
    It seems to me that this is a reflection of the society we live in. In Japan, which is one of the "politest" societies I have visited, people are very polite and deferential to status. All cab drivers I encountered in a recent trip to Japan were all dressed in uniforms, wore caps, and white gloves, and were unfailingly polite. Same with people at the Marriott where I stayed. These are people I did not know and had only one or two transactional meetings with.

    America is a more open society where other's status does not matter and there is rarely the need to be deferential. Hence we are less polite and more "earthy" in our daily conversations.

    Having said that, I think on this forum we tend to use cusswords for both genders with equal opportunity, no? I would venture that "pussy" and "dick" are used with similar frequency.

  •  Fuckin' A (4.00)
    Goddamn, but I do fucking LOVE these discussions. They get me... wet.

    Rage, rage, against the lying of the Right.

    by Maryscott OConnor on Tue May 31, 2005 at 11:10:01 PM PDT

  •  Let's be civilized (none)
    It puts us above the Neanderthals.

    I will personally take the pledge. Let's keep our own house clean.

    I much prefer using British tersm. Twit just says it all.

    "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." -- Margaret Mead

    by makemefree on Tue May 31, 2005 at 11:12:40 PM PDT

    •  are you sure... (2.50)
      you want to be a tea drinking pussy?

      absolute freedom for one individual undoubtedly limit's the freedom of another.

      by jbou on Tue May 31, 2005 at 11:37:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Dammit, there you go... (none)
      ...insulting the Neanderthals!

      This is the second diary in which I've had to stand up for them. Look, the poor Neanderthals are extinct, and thus unable to stand up for themselves. They may well not have ever produced as big a horse's pucker as George W. Bush, or if they did, they may well have pointed at him when he went by and sniggered "What a mammoth pucker!"

      If we're going to do some bashing, why not Homo erectus? THEY went around all the time with a hard on! How tacky!

      -- Life is tough: Three out of three die. Now shut up and deal. ~Ring Lardner Jr.

      by Eleftheria on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 02:58:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I LOVE twit (none)
      You are so right.  Twit is clueless, ineffectual and out to lunch.
  •  This is wrong (none)
    "George is a penis." That's not an insult. It's just an odd thing to say. Likewise for "George is a mons pubis." If I use vulgar slang for your genitalia to refer to George, that insults you. If I use it to refer to you, that insults you. If I use vulgar slang for your genitalia to refer to your genitalia, that insults you. If all these are true, then it is the use of vulgar slang for your genitalia that insults you regardless of context and the reasons you give for your objection are not genuine. If I call you a delicate flower or a mountain of beefcake, whether you are offended probably depends on your gender. This is inescapable.
    A bitch is a dog which of biological necessity is sexually submissive. Though it is now applied to both genders, the meaning of "bitch" is still specific to the subject, and the specific definitions are near opposites.
    An insult is supposed to be insulting. I use vulgarity to express anger. Whether saying angry things is useful is a different subject.
    I would like for people to speak freely. I would like for racists to be blatantly racist among adults so that I may dismiss their arguments quickly. If a thoughtless person says something thoughtless, then I can call him a dickhead and move on.

    This aggregation of senses does not amount to a self.

    by paraphrase on Tue May 31, 2005 at 11:32:42 PM PDT

  •  how about..... (none)
    Shitbags, Assheads, and Liars for insults.....I think the fit....lol.
  •  Are you really that thin skinned... (2.75)
    that you think men using the word pussy is somehow degrading to you?  

    PC bullshit arguments like this cost us some of the working class folks that used to agree with us on other issues.  

    We can defend women and gays by supporting laws that give them equal treatment.  Policing the way we speak is a big waste of time.  

    absolute freedom for one individual undoubtedly limit's the freedom of another.

    by jbou on Tue May 31, 2005 at 11:41:58 PM PDT

    •  A sense of humor (4.00)
      is what the language policing erodes. I think the diarist made some points and is being a good sport about all of this.

      But yes, libruls are very loving and inclusive people. And sometimes they go too far, are too serious, and forget to have a good time. Liberals would be wise to keep a sense of humor.

      •  I'll leave you with this quote from Mark Twain... (4.00)
        Will a day come when the race will detect the funniness of these juvenilities and laugh at them--and by laughing at them destroy them? For your race, in its poverty, has unquestionably one really effective weapon--laughter. Power, Money, Persuasion, Supplication, Persecution--these can lift at a colossal humbug,--push it a little-- crowd it a little--weaken it a little, century by century: but only Laughter can blow it to rags and atoms at a blast. Against the assault of Laughter nothing can stand.
        - The Chronicle of Young Satan, Mysterious Stranger Manuscripts

        absolute freedom for one individual undoubtedly limit's the freedom of another.

        by jbou on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 01:19:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Really? So this is what the culture ... (4.00)
      ...wars that we've been discussing since November 4 are really about. It's not abortion or gay marriage or perceived lack of patriotism or anti-religiousness or being weak on defense that cost us the election? It's because we aren't willing to call the president a "pussy"? Wow. We really are heading for a new paradigm.

      **

      Writing dialog George Lucas so terrible at is. --Yoda

      Visit The Next Hurrah

      by Meteor Blades on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 12:38:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It goes back further then Nov 4th (4.00)
        The democrats and liberals started getting all PC back in the 80's and the liberals, especially on college campuses, made huge points about cultural sensitivity, and the policing of language.  This turned off some working class folks who used to support Democrats.  

        Think about this, Norman Lear gave us Archie Bunker, Lear is an unabashed liberal Democrat, but he was able to give us a show that pointed out the flaws in our culture without it being preachy, just imagine somebody trying to pitch All In The Family in today's PC infected world.  Hell, one of my favorite comics Bill Hicks was a mean loathesome SOB, but he was funny.  Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Lenny Bruce, all are or were crude comedians with wide appeal.  We gotta remember how to laugh at the bullshit and save our energy for the real fights.  

        Will a day come when the race will detect the funniness of these juvenilities and laugh at them--and by laughing at them destroy them? For your race, in its poverty, has unquestionably one really effective weapon--laughter. Power, Money, Persuasion, Supplication, Persecution--these can lift at a colossal humbug,--push it a little-- crowd it a little--weaken it a little, century by century: but only Laughter can blow it to rags and atoms at a blast. Against the assault of Laughter nothing can stand.
        - The Chronicle of Young Satan, Mysterious Stranger Manuscripts
        Mark Twain

        absolute freedom for one individual undoubtedly limit's the freedom of another.

        by jbou on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 01:18:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  the only thing worse than the PC police (4.00)
          are the anti pc police.  When did it become PC to be crude, sexist and beligerant about your right to hold on to neanderthal language and ideas used to demean and shut up women and minorities?

          AKA: Sister Holy Straight Razor of Discussion

          by TeresaInPa on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 04:54:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  so true. (none)
            Whys is intolerance considered the opposite of being pc?

            I'll choose being pc anyday over the alternative.

          •  Nope (none)
            Learn how to laugh.  As long as we are all striving to make sure everyone has the same rights under the law does it really matter that people sometimes use language that might offend some people?

            You missed the point of my comment, we need to laugh at this shit, because laughter diffuses, it shows the person that you could care less what they think and it leaves them wondering why they couldn't get to you.

            absolute freedom for one individual undoubtedly limit's the freedom of another.

            by jbou on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 12:52:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  You don't get it. (3.50)
      Maybe an example from my experience will help. I student taught in two schools which were as working-class and Conservative as they come. About 60%+ of the parents voted for Bush last election. Both my cooperating teacher and I had to break up fights because kids were calling each other names. She made a point that name-calling was wrong because you can't take back words you say.

      So, don't tell me that how we use words is not important to working-class people. We need to avoid the use of words here that offend large groups of people. Period.

  •  I love my pussy (4.00)
    I have a problem with people using the words "pussy" and "cunt" as insults and it's not because I think they demean me - it's because those are SEXY words and I don't want my sexy words tainted with the likes of our dumbass government. I mean the last thing I want to be thinking of when I'm screaming "oh yeah, fuck my pussy!" to my boyfriend is bush... er, I mean...
  •  Doodyhead (4.00)
    I vote that we all switch to "doodyhead" from here on out.  It says it all:  Ignorance, childishness, petulance, arrogance, bullying.  It also subtly invokes Howdy Doody, which was a whitewashed version of 50's america and the american west -- images central to today's conservative movement of passive-aggressive racism, fear of nonconformity, and manichean manifest destiny.

    The other image it invokes is that of a chimp flinging his doodies at the bald apes who dare to bare their teeth while gaping, chattering, staring, pointing, and otherwise mocking the material misery and socio-psychological squalor of their lives -- said doody flingers, of course, being a great metaphor for the neo-cons who, having nothing but squalor and misery filling their own vacuous lives (like a massive black-hole sucking all happiness into it until no light can ever escape), have no other option but to resort to flinging their doodies all over the globe in a pathetic and utterly hopeless bid to become the global alpha male in a great game which they can never win.

    How truly sad it is that they don't see the bars of the cage that they have wrought which, when the doodies they fling hit them, cause the doodies to break apart and shatter in every direction, covering these poor chimpanzees in their own doodies thus leaving them in misery, squalor AND doodies.

    Wouldn't they have been happier with just misery and squalor alone?  Quit while you're ahead.  That's what I always say, but some chimps just never learn...

    But do not reject these teaching as false because I am crazy. The reason that I am crazy is because they are true.

    by kenjib on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 12:06:52 AM PDT

  •  Waste of time and effort... (4.00)
    Even though I can understand why something like this would bother you, do you really think many people are purposely invoking sexist connotations when they use these words? When I call GWB a "pussy," the mental jump is straight to "coward/weakling." Anamomy and gender never cross my mind. When something "pisses me off" or "fucking bugs the shit out of me to no end," I'm not conjuring up images of bodily functions.

    Your main point is valid. We should strive to choose and apply our insults wisely, but our outrage would be much better spent on things besides slang.

    Sometimes the jokes write themselves. Sometimes they run for President.

    by Sixfortyfive on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 12:16:50 AM PDT

    •  if it doesn't offend you (4.00)
      it's not offensive?  

      AKA: Sister Holy Straight Razor of Discussion

      by TeresaInPa on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 04:48:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's not the point... (4.00)
        When somebody uses a racial slur, it's pretty damn obvious what the intent is 99% of the time. "Pussy" is not as loaded of an insult to most people as you're making it out to be.

        But go ahead and make an issue out of this and see if it really helps the feminist movement. If you make one word taboo, offenders will just end up finding another way to slam you, and you'll just come off as pushy and annoying to the rest of us who meant no harm to begin with.

        Sometimes the jokes write themselves. Sometimes they run for President.

        by Sixfortyfive on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 05:07:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  What about (none)
    Dick Cheney is a DICK
    Dick Lugar is a DICK

    Robert "Pussy" (resembling his sagging face and lack of balls) Novak

  •  Finding A New Way (none)

    I agree 100% that name-calling is usually low, cheap, and ultimately undermines a poster's point. But, please, in the name of all we hold dear, can we please find a way deal with this that doesn't lead to the quagmire of intellectual inertia that comes from having roving bands of self-appointed language/thought police?

    It seems to me that the left in this country lost great momentum in the 90's due in no small part to certain highly visible groups taking their eyes off the core issues and focussing on language-- to the point that many writers and others that could've substantially contributed either self-censored their work into meaninless drivel or simply turned their talents elsewhere.

    I grew up a fat kid, so I know exactly how much cruel words can hurt and can be used to marginalize people to the point of social invisibility. But I won, in the end. And I didn't win by making everyone around clam up-- I did it by taking the power out of their words by trivalizing them. I resolved to turn the table on my attackers by taking away their easy weapon and then going after them (verbally) on matters of real substance. We do well to take a lesson from our LBGT friends on this one; 15 years ago the word 'queer' was strictly an insult, now its a part of a growing franchise of successful TV shows. Think about it.

    Please, people, let's be sensible. By making words taboo you only increase their power to hurt. Let's not make this mistake again.

    As long as the prerequisite for that shining Paradise is ignorance, bigotry, and hate... I say the Hell with it. --Inherit the Wind

    by kingubu on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 12:36:05 AM PDT

    •  Unfortunately (4.00)
      reclaiming bigoted language is virtually impossible. You mention "queer" and it happens to be the only word I know of that is now used in a positive way.

      And then too, it no longer just means "gay." Queer now corresponds more with a state of mind and a viewpoint than it does homosexuality (in fact I'd argue that there are gay men and women who are not queer--Ken Mehlman, for example, is NOT queer).

      Outside of that one word, I can't think of any other hateful language that has been reclaimed by the people it was designed to denigrate.

      Next NYC Kossak Meetup is in June. Email me for details!

      by JaneKnowles on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 06:27:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Fair Point (none)

        But has the same strategy for taking the power out of hateful words been tried in the same long-term systematic way? I think not, but I'm open to correction.

        In any case, I can point to my own life as another example of the principle. When some jerk tried to humiliate me by calling me 'a fat fuck' or similar I'd simply turn it back on them: 'wow, so you noticed that i'm fat. well aren't you the observant one. now let's talk about your personality...(out come the long knives)'

        I did this. It was very hard at first. But it worked. The other kids stopped picking on me for being fat. I took their power to hurt me with those words away by making those words pedestrian.

        Its not so much about reclaiming the words (in the sense that they can be used positively) its about minimizing the hurt that they can do. If the former happens, that's great, but if only the latter happens then its still a 'win'.

        'Queer' is an example of the best-possible case where the word was both taken away from the bigots and used by its former victims as a positive term-- there are many shades of victory that lead up to that best case.

        As long as the prerequisite for that shining Paradise is ignorance, bigotry, and hate... I say the Hell with it. --Inherit the Wind

        by kingubu on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 07:20:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  My two cents... (3.93)
    is that anyone who actually had done any activism...ie:

    • worked on a campaign
    • done union organizing
    • worked in community
    • helped organize a protest

    well, they would know better than spout this kind of stuff.

    If you ask me, a lot of the blog world is made up of folks whose only frame of reference is the little boxes we write in.  Their world is what appears on the screen.  And, despite rumors of our ominpotence, that world is very, very small.

    Truth be told, as much as I'd like to think that dKos is made up of hard core veteran activists...it isn't.

    Someone spouting sexist derogatory stuff like that in a progressive activist context in the real world would sound...um...ludicrous.  But folks do it all the time here.  And by sexist I mean exactly what this diarist is talking about....phrases that imply that an opponent is feminine or weak or gay.  Just because a bunch of juvenile males think it's somehow persuasive to degrade someone as a "cum-junkie" here and get fours for it, does not make it any less pathetic or, uh, wrong.

    And yeah, it's macho, straight and male.  It's also idiotic that we're debating "toning it down a bit".  This is STUPID, sexist, crap. Okay?  I mean, if you think being a sexist ass is somehow helping the cause, then you need to grow up.  It isn't.

    I used to live like Robinson Crusoe--shipwrecked among eight million people. Then one day I saw a footprint in the sand, and there you were. -B. Wilder

    by kid oakland on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 12:45:39 AM PDT

    •  Well put. n/t (none)

      **

      Writing dialog George Lucas so terrible at is. --Yoda

      Visit The Next Hurrah

      by Meteor Blades on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 12:57:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  get over yourself (3.20)
      I've been in plenty of union halls and have done plenty of activist work, and the only people worried about language are the PC police.  The folks on the picket lines I've been on talked loud about the "cocksuckers" in management.  They talked loudly about the "pussies" crossing the picket lines.  

      I know out in Berkeley you all are proud of being so PC, but out here in the rest of America we swear, and we have a sense of humor.  

      absolute freedom for one individual undoubtedly limit's the freedom of another.

      by jbou on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 01:29:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have been in those lines (4.00)
        and involved in union activism and any man using the word pussy would probably get an elbow to the ribs from the woman standing next to him.
        I have know plenty of sexist jerks in all walks of life.  That doesn't excuse it.

        AKA: Sister Holy Straight Razor of Discussion

        by TeresaInPa on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 04:45:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Cool... (4.00)
        I'm all for being real and forthright but, that being said, I'll bet you money that the same folks you valorize and romanticize....

        these mythic striking workers yelling "cocksucker" and "pussy" from the picket line (I've never seen that)...

        represent...um...a negligible percentage of the folks engaging in this kind of trash talk on dKos.  I mean, let's get real.  We're not talking about striking workers on a picket line at risk of losing their jobs here...we're talking about, for the large part, a group of well-to-do, college-educated buffoons swilling soda, eating Doritos and trying to be the Rush Limbaugh of the Left.  We're talking about men who think it's cool to call someone a "cum-wipe" on dKos.  It isn't.

        Further, having seen labor in action myself in New York, in New Mexico, in Minnesota and here in CA...and, uh, having actually been in a union and worked as a janitor...I can also say that your representation of labor is:

        • unrepresentative
        • narrow-minded
        • stereotypical

        I've never heard that kind of  language endorsed as acceptable for being used in public.  And I say that even though when I worked as a janitor I was called "cocksucker" to my face in private and homophobically harassed....repeatedly.

        You want to call me the "PC Police" for saying that folks shouldn't get called a "pussy" or a "cum-wipe" or a  "cocksucker"?  Wow.  I guess I have to tow the line somewhere, huhn?  

        You think your average Union worker would agree with me or you?  And, given my experience, you think I should just stand by and let you get away with accusing me of being the PC Police?  You want to bait me, attack me for living near Berkeley...(...???...????...?????)  You want to make me seem like I'm some "out-of-touch elitist attacking the working class" for calling folks out on posting this kind of sexist crap?  That's pathetic.

        My bottom line.  The immature folks who've used dKos to spout anti-woman, anti-gay epithets as a way of attacking the right are idiots.  Of course we shouldn't be "PC Police"...

        but the juveniles here of all ages who think that politics involves who can "smack talk" the loudest are imbeciles....and, quite frankly, this discussion has nothing to do with the labor movement or the working class in the least.  

        That was my point.

        I used to live like Robinson Crusoe--shipwrecked among eight million people. Then one day I saw a footprint in the sand, and there you were. -B. Wilder

        by kid oakland on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 10:14:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Words cannot express (none)
    - twat
    - cunt
    - pussy
    - bitch
    - dick
    - asshole
    - fuckwit
    - shithead

    Sad, but those are the words used out of frustration when the world seems immune to words like liar, warmonger and torturer.

    BUSH: Like a rock...but dumber.
    Stewart/Olberman 2008!

    by mugsimo on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 01:14:55 AM PDT

  •  Is it just me, or does anyone else... (4.00)
    ...after reading and re-reading the title of this diary, hear Cher singing it in their head to the tune of "Gypsies Tramps and Thieves"?

    -- Life is tough: Three out of three die. Now shut up and deal. ~Ring Lardner Jr.

    by Eleftheria on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 02:49:51 AM PDT

  •  I agree with you 100% (4.00)
    This has always driven me crazy -- unfortunately you can't argue with people on here about this --as you see by all comments they don't get it 100%.

    They'll defend the use or tell you to move on, or whatever--but the bottom line is -- they just don't "get" what you mean.

    I find it embarrassing when I read a great post only to find the first layer of comments to be really degrading. I think--well we've just sunk as low as the nasty repuklians--sexist and one dimensional humor.  Sometimes it makes want to quit reading kos altogether. They just don't get it and just can't see it and waist time trying to defend themselves rather than trying to understand your point. You just can't get these types of men to understand sexism. pathetic.

    thanks for your post.

    "I will never accept an analysis that says a leader who stands for equality and fairness and who has the courage of his convictions is doing the wrong thing."

    by CrazyDem on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 04:00:20 AM PDT

  •  Sorry... (4.00)
    good intentions of this diary, but woefully misguided and a waste of effort.

    Do you consider calling someone a dick being sexist?

    cheers,

    Mitch Gore

    Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

    by Lestatdelc on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 04:16:36 AM PDT

  •  niggers, fags, spicks, who really gives a fuck (none)
    they are just words.  let's speak American.  American is a rich language.  Foul language is a good way to express yourself in my view.  And since we have freedom of speech let's not limit it to polite reasoned arguments.  We need to inflame some passions as well as inform.  Not to mention entertain, or else who is going to read.  certainly not me.

    So I say fuck them motherfucking fuckers.  Fuck em all.  And they are pussies, twats and bitches.  There can be no better nor accurate description of those closet queens in the Gay Old Perverts.

  •  I'm with you 100 percent. (4.00)
    There is a lot of sexism on  the left that we just don't deal with enough. Thanks for laying it out there again. I think we have to just keep calling people on it.

    "The more they spoke of honor, the more I checked my wallet."

    by bankbane on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 04:22:41 AM PDT

  •  Anyone who uses the term: "Pussy" (4.00)
    in a derogatory way is a dick.

    J'aime la tarte. Me gusta la tarta. Ich mag Obstkuchen. Eu gosto da torta. Óõìðáèþ ôçí ðßôá. Ik houd van pastei. I like pie.

    by PBJ Diddy on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 04:38:39 AM PDT

  •  Great Diary (4.00)
    Language is really important-- it is not PC bullshit, but an attempt to really express our message in a powerful way.

    Sure twat or dickhead has a place-- but we should also be able to be more creative and effective-- it doesn't mean no one says that, or there are thought police, just the best of us at expressing things pick better words.

    I agree with those who love the phrase of bostonjoe "batshit loopy prez".  

    Also-- the more we can destroy them with laughter the stronger we will be.

    What is our batshit dumbass prez doing to social security- just as in Iraq, he breaks it, then tries to figure out what it is, and sticks us with the bill.

    "Ah, what an age it is when to speak of trees is almost a crime for it is a kind of silence about injustice" (Brecht)

    by tsackton on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 04:56:06 AM PDT

  •  Serial mom (none)
    I will most certainly respect the request of the diarist to watch my language.  However, everybody should lighten up about the issue by watching the "pussy willow" scene from John Waters' 1994 movie "Serial Mom."

    Scientific and medical truth is not determined by majority vote.

    by YankInUK on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 05:21:28 AM PDT

  •  Proof why we should not use the P word. (none)
    This is the stupidest thread I have ever read on Dkos.  

    The P word just begs for degeneration.

    I cannot say the word anyway, and if that kind of talk was common here, it would be au revoir for me.  I can't imagine it would attract people to the Democratic Party, and this whole episode has been kind of creepy.

  •  Grow up (none)
    People use bad words, which have been leveled at women on occasion in the past, but are not referring to women now.

    A bitch is a female dog, not a woman.  A pussy is a more vulgar word for wimp.  A twat is an idiot.  A cunt is an asshole, but worse.  None of these have anything more to do with women than anything.  If I call someone a dick, that doesn't mean that I am degrading manhood or ridiculing penises, I am making an insult about the person.

    So, please get over yourself and don't be offended by words that are not directed as an insult towards you or women.

    •  What is the derivation? (none)
      Is there any proof at all that using pussy against a man derived from the slang use of it for a female body part? I mean, we also know pussy can refer to cat. As in pussycat. And I have seen many times men thought to be wimpy and/or pushovers referred to as pussycats. As in, "he's a real pushover, a real pussycat..." And its usually used in contrast to dog. Such as a man thought aggressive is a "bulldog" or has "dogged determination".

      Is everyone just assuming calling a man a pussy evolved from one definition of the word and not the other? Is there any proof it didn't evolve from calling pushover men pusscats? Is everyone just seeing insults where none is intended and where they want to? Why isn't dick the same thing? No one has given a sensible answer on that one.

      GDoyle

      "Deserves got nothing to do with it"-William Munny, "Unforgiven"

      by GDoyle on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 06:05:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  'Prick' and 'pussy' are both sexist (4.00)
        What is important is not the etymology of "pussy," but how this term and related words are used and understood today.

        Calling a person by a word meaning vagina normally evokes a particular understanding of sex, in which intercourse is something done to women by men (and to vaginas by penises), in which the woman (and vagina) is passive, or even a victim.  Consider the following dialog from Team America: World Police:

        "We're dicks! We're reckless, arrogant, stupid dicks. And the Film Actors Guild are pussies. And Kim Jong Il is an asshole. Pussies don't like dicks, because pussies get fucked by dicks. But dicks also fuck assholes: assholes that just want to shit on everything. Pussies may think they can deal with assholes their way. But the only thing that can fuck an asshole is a dick, with some balls. The problem with dicks is: they fuck too much or fuck when it isn't appropriate - and it takes a pussy to show them that. But sometimes, pussies can be so full of shit that they become assholes themselves... because pussies are an inch and half away from ass holes. I don't know much about this crazy crazy world, but I do know this: If you don't let us fuck this asshole, we're going to have our dicks and pussies all covered in shit!"

        How does a speaker of American English immediately make sense of this speech?  Not by thinking of cats or pussy willows.  Rather, this speech assumes and evokes the pervasive understanding of sex as an act of aggression or domination.  

        Even if we consciously reject the understanding of sex as domination, we have this idea in our minds, and this is part of what gives the words "fuck," "prick," "pussy," etc. their power.  When we use these words (not only "pussy," etc., but also "dick," "fucker," etc.) as insults, we use the power of the sex-as-domination idea, but we also reinforce it.  

        •  I don't get it (none)
          Calling a person by a word meaning vagina normally evokes a particular understanding of sex, in which intercourse is something done to women by men (and to vaginas by penises), in which the woman (and vagina) is passive, or even a victim.

          Wow.  If sex to you is little more than rape, you have BIG problems.  Sex really requires effort from both people, whether it's the man on top thrusting his penis into a woman and she has to be wet for it to go in, or if the woman is on top of the man and he has to be willing to let her do what she wants, or any of the other ways.  Sex really can be a great equalizer, where men and women both have to perform, and both are putting themselves in a delicate position with the other person.  Your definition is way off base, at least from my own experiences.

          Also, you have to ignore Team America World Police because, in fact, it was meant to be a PARODY.  It was not to be taken seriously.

          I also have to ask you a question.  Is calling someone an "asshole" a form of sexual harassment as well?  Does that mean that since the anus is often used in homosexual sex, that it is discriminating against gays every time someone calls another person an asshole?

          •  sex frames (none)
            Thanks for letting me clarify my point.  The sex as domination and violence frame is one way we think about sex, but we have many others: sex is an expression of love, sex is a pleasurable activity, sex is (properly) a means of procreation, etc.  If I say something like, "I'm going to fuck you up!" or "We are totally screwed," I am not invoking the idea of sex as love, or pleasure, or anything else good; rather, I'm invoking the idea of sex as violence.  Similarly, when we use "prick" or "dick" to mean "aggressor," and "pussy" to mean "victim," we are invoking the sex as domination/violence frame.  

            I understand that the "Team America" quotation is a humorous and creative use of language; however, if you immediately understood this speech when you first heard it, you probably already shared the sex as domination/violence frame.  The speech did make some claims that were new to me--e.g., I had never thought of assholes as people who need to be fucked--but I understood this statement right away in terms of the sex as domination/violence frame.

            I do agree with what you say about sex itself; I don't think that all sex is rape, but I would also not claim that the idea of sex as domination is completely wrong--ideas of power are an important part of most people's (everyone's?) sexuality.  Problems arise when people think that the man must always be dominant, and when they extend this male dominance from sex play to other spheres of life.  

            As for your question, I don't think that asshole is understood as an anti-gay slur, because we use this word to mean "jerk," not "passive victim."

    •  What is the derivation? (none)
      Is there any proof at all that using pussy against a man derived from the slang use of it for a female body part? I mean, we also know pussy can refer to cat. As in pussycat. And I have seen many times men thought to be wimpy and/or pushovers referred to as pussycats. As in, "he's a real pushover, a real pussycat..." And its usually used in contrast to dog. Such as a man thought aggressive is a "bulldog" or has "dogged determination".

      Is everyone just assuming calling a man a pussy evolved from one definition of the word and not the other? Is there any proof it didn't evolve from calling pushover men pussycats? Is everyone just seeing insults where none is intended and where they want to? Why isn't dick the same thing? No one has given a sensible answer on that one.

      GDoyle

      "Deserves got nothing to do with it"-William Munny, "Unforgiven"

      by GDoyle on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 06:05:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Submitted for your semantic approval (none)
    I am currently looking for some new derogatory words to use for Karl Rove, George Bush, and his merry band of neocon warmongers, since we are now wasting our time arguing the semantics of adjectives used to describe mutual enemies. Are any of the following acceptable?

    Asswipe
    Shitface
    Bunghole
    Dickhead
    Cocksucker
    Fuckhead
    Chickenhawk
    Draft Dodger
    Kinnebunkport Kowboy

    My deepest apologies to any asswipes, chickenhawks, or residents of Maine who may have been offended by the above terms. Any complaints or concerns can be formally submitted using our toll free customer service number, 1-800-Eat Me.

    Thank you for your time;)

    Lighten up, everybody...

    •  Cocksucker is no good (none)
      cause of anti-gay connotations. Though the most annoying of all in your post is "Lighten up everyone..." It's the inevitable comment in these discussions and it really irritates me. This is a site where people discuss things. A good thing to do if the conversation strikes you as minutia is to switch to another diary.

      Next NYC Kossak Meetup is in June. Email me for details!

      by JaneKnowles on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 06:15:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What irritates me: (none)
        You telling me to "switch to another diary". You said yourself that this is a site where people discuss things, so I submit my opinion and your response is to suggest that my opinion isn't welcome? Is that following Democratic ideals of open-mindedness and inclusion? Whether YOU consider my comment "inevitable" or "annoying", there may be some who share my opinion, and care to expand on it. In my opinion your attempt to marginalize my comments is offensive to me. You see, while I don't share the opinion of the diary's author, you will find my name on the list of those who recommended the discussion, so I have no problem sharing discussion space with people who disagree with me. Can you say the same?

        Maybe you should take some of your own advice...

        •  We're all adults here (none)
          I just wonder what you were attempting to add to a diary (you recommended no less) by telling us all to lighten up? Then again, maybe you actually thought that such a comment was fresh and different as opposed to repeated ad nauseum (along with derogatory comments about p.c. police)in any diary which attempts to discuss language that reflects women's second class status. If that is the case, then I apologize. And now you know.

          Next NYC Kossak Meetup is in June. Email me for details!

          by JaneKnowles on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 07:02:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Paranoia (4.00)
            Did you consider for a second that the reason that comments similar to mine have been repeated "ad nauseum", is because there are plenty of others out there that share my opinion? And whether you consider my comment "fresh" or not, I feel like your attempts to marginalize the opinions of others reflects more on your perception of levity and free speech, than it does on my views of women or gays or language. My original comment was a joke poking fun at the weight people like yourself are giving those words and the people who use them by allowing yourself to be victimized by a group of letters. Words don't make people second class citizens - only other people and their actions wield that kind of power. You trying to suppress a few words that you feel victimized by will do nothing to actually help your cause of improving the societal position of women. In fact, I would contend that it actually detracts from it because it is a discussion about the semantics of language, rather than something tangible like the rights of women. You are fighting for freedom and equality for women by trying to supress people's right to use a word or words that you may or may not agree with? I didn't agree with some of the language you used in your post, or your suggestion that I should "switch diaries" if I didn't agree, but I would never attempt to tell you what words you should use or what diary you should use them in...

            I appreciate your opinion and your right to express it, I simply don't agree with you. And since I believe that we are all adults, I only ask that you afford me the same courtesy...

            Take care.

             

            •  To start out with-- (none)
              You didn't even  express an opinon. You're original post was a demand--that people stop taking the topic so seriously. Now you want to say that I'm marginalizing you? Cause I think adults should be able to discuss a topic without being repeatedly told to keep it moving and change the topic to something you find more appealing? Rich.

              Words have power, buddy, and while they alone don't make people second-class citizens, they're nice reminders for anyone trying to climb up that ladder to stay in their lane. And nowadays, schools recognize the power of words and students who bully and demean other children with words are dealt with as the disruptive aggressors that they are.  

              And btw, unlike you, I'm not trying to suppress anything. I don't go into ANY diaries here and tell people to lighten up. Who am I to dictate anyone's passion or interest? As for suppressing your language, I personally have no problem expressing my opinion sans words that make some people feel like shit about themselves, but If it makes your day to describe the president as a pussy and Condi Rice as a cunt, be my guest. I'll probably only think a little less of you for doing so.

              Next NYC Kossak Meetup is in June. Email me for details!

              by JaneKnowles on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 09:34:37 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Words have power, buddy...? (none)
                "Buddy"...?

                You aren't his buddy... nor he yours. However, anyone posting her is expressing an opinion. If you think that everyone must make such a disclaimer, you are really into the weeds of semantic bullshit.

                BTW, I do believe that words are powerful, because we think in language. But the extraordinary amount of effort being wasted on misguided rants like this entire thread, Burton Halli rightly took to task for metaphorically missing the forest for the trees is spot on.

                That you launch into a personal "unlike you" bullshit line of "argument" is far more revealing about your preconceptions and biases than anyone else's.

                cheers,

                Mitch Gore

                Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

                by Lestatdelc on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 09:47:43 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  So you don't like the diary (none)
                  either so instead of addressing that you jump all over me for using the word "buddy." How cutely ironic.

                  Again, my issue was with his statement that people here "lighten up." That is not an opinon, it's a command. You see this diary as a "misguided rant," which took an "extraordinary amount effort" and was a "waste." That strikes me as hyperbole, but okay, it's an opinion.

                  As for what my handful of posts--totaling all of maybe 500 words--reveals about my all my "preconceptins and biases," please, you have got to be kidding me. I mean really dude, lighten the fuck up.

                  Next NYC Kossak Meetup is in June. Email me for details!

                  by JaneKnowles on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 10:23:09 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Try not speaking for me thank you (none)
                    so please stop setting up your own straw-man arguments.

                    Nothing 'ironic' in my pointing out your hyperventilation and snarky response tot he PIQ.

                    ANd no, I am not kidding you, but then, like you seem to have a bad habit of, you make astounding leaps and exaggerations, that I said "all your preconceptions and bias"... when I was only talking about how your hyperbolic tone reveals more about you than the person you are trying to take a metaphorical swing at.

                    But, whatever.. just keep telling this "dude" I need to "lighten up" because that is a compelling counterpoint.

                    cheers,

                    Mitch Gore

                    Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

                    by Lestatdelc on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 03:21:32 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I have no quarter with you (none)
                      so stop posting like we have some ages-old beef, talking about my bad habit of "astounding leaps and exaggerations." Yeah right--as if you know me well enough to make such a statement. You decided to insert yourself into this exchange and from the start were incredibly pissy and critical. Enjoy your last word. Maybe later it'll save the dog from being kicked for existing.

                      Next NYC Kossak Meetup is in June. Email me for details!

                      by JaneKnowles on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 03:37:50 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You seem to exhibit it in this thread (none)
                        Since you lept for the PIQ to me in making hyperbolic personal assumptions and rants.

                        Your closing remark about the last word is a perfect example.

                        cheers,

                        Mitch Gore

                        Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

                        by Lestatdelc on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 03:56:18 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

              •  Ok (none)
                So words strung together in satire (as in my original post) cannot convey an opinion (although you seemed to understand my message), yet those few  words which you have decided are so powerful, add to the problem of women being treated as second class citizens? You can't have it boths ways, either all words are powerful, or none of them are, but you can't cherry-pick which ones you will allow other people use, especially when they are a regular part of the English lexicon.  Words which ironically also have multiple meanings and uses... Perhaps you would like to send me a list of the words that are ok for me to use, and which ones are on the official Democratic list of offensive words and under what circumstances it is ok to use them.

                You can exaggerate my suggestion that everybody "lighten up", if it serves your purpose, but in almost every usage, that term could hardly be considered a "demand". It is quite the opposite, in fact...

                And your attempt to marginalize came when you suggested that I take my opinion to another diary, because you obviously don't agree with it. See, I view the discussion as a valid one, which is why I recommended it, and have no problem accepting that not everyone will agree with me, but  I never once suggested that you should take your comments elsewhere. I simply refuse to join you as you tread down the slippery slope of telling people what words they should use to express themselves with your own brand of progressive censorship.

                Have a pleasant evening.

                •  Okay--so now it's satire... (none)
                  Fine. Let's just leave it at that then. You were just joking--hahaha, so funny.

                  But for the record (for like the third time), I have never once attempted to dictate what words you should and shouldn't use (though given that you keep claiming that--I'm beginning to think that you just might have a secret oppression fantasy). Again, I see this diary as an excercise in conscious-raising. Take from it what you will and write what you want.

                   

                  Next NYC Kossak Meetup is in June. Email me for details!

                  by JaneKnowles on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 01:58:05 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Umm (none)
                    It was satire from the beginning. Hence the thick layers of sarcasm and the little winking man that is widely recognized in the blogosphere as a symbol of a joke. Just because you don't get it, doesn't mean it's not satire...

                    And in your original response you wrote that cocksucker was unacceptable because it was offensive to gays. And your general defense of the diary's effort to redact the words pussy, twat and bitch from the progressive vocabulary could lead one to believe that you feel the same... Correct me if I'm wrong.

                    I'm not sure what an oppression fantasy is, but I'm fairly certain that I've never had one. Most of my fantasies involve the three words that started this discussion in the first place;) <----PLEASE NOTE THE LITTLE WINKING GUY, AGAIN.

                    best wishes to you, JaneKnowles

                    •  I have done a very bad job of stating my position (4.00)
                      if you think I said that I want to redact the words pussy, twat and bitch from the progressive vocabulary.

                      I didn't say that.  I'd NEVER say something so foolish.

                      I suggested that using those words as INSULTS against our opponents may unintentionally upset our friends.

                      How can I make this clear ?

                      I would never say: "Bush is a damned Burton Halli!"  That assumes that being called Burton Halli is an insult. (Having heard him talk and having read your posts, it's actually a compliment;he should BE so smart.)

                      My intent was to point out that many women find the use of female-thing words, used as INSULTS, demeaning to us.

                      I don't want to ban words or hamper free expression.

                      •  Not by any means (none)
                        I don't think you've done a bad job at all. I understand and appreciate yours and JaneKnowles position on this, I simply disagree with it. I mostly took issue with being told that I should have taken my opinions to another thread, which to me is 100x more insulting than being called any of the words in question.

                        Basically I believe that words like those are being empowered by people allowing themselves to be insulted by them. And even more so in the case of words like bitch or pussy, which also have alternative meanings that are totally foreign to the topic.

                        And to be clear about my own position, I don't go around calling my mother, my fiance, or any woman for that matter, any of those words. But that's not because they are words that refer to women in a derogatory way, but because they are words that have taken on their own unique meanings as slang in our language, and would offend anyone, male or female, for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with women's genitalia...

                        I recommended your diary upon first reading it because I feel the discussion is a valid one and good things can come out of it, even if we agree to disagree in the end.

                        Thank you for the diary and your thoughts. I'm sure we will find each ourselves in complete agreement on many other subjects here on dKos, I look forward to it...

  •  not that i'm a big potty mouth or anything (4.00)
    but i think it's this sort of like paranoid liberal attitude that makes liberalism a joke to bubba and jim bob.  i'm not saying we should be the party of slurs, but certainly we don't need to be so uptight that we don't even exercise our freedom of profanity.

    "War should be relegated to the shelves of history"
    -Kevin Benderman

    by mediaprisoner on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 06:13:22 AM PDT

  •  PIXPLZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11 (none)
    KTHXBYE!!!!!!1
  •  .......too much protesting? (none)
    I understood all of the stuff about words, their power, framing, yadda, yadda, yadda, yadda, goddamn (no offense intended, of course), yadda, yadda, yadda!  BUT don't the words have only as much power as you give them?  Hasn't Dick "Dick" Cheney been frequently described by one poster on this site?  Are the terms pussy, twat, or bitch likely to incite a riot or some other threat of violence?  (If not) aren't they covered by that old thing we call the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution?

    Aren't you being contradictory by protesting TOO much about terms that you (intentionally, I presume) use to draw attention to what would otherwise be a too short and meaningless diary?  In short, aren't you doing the very same thing that you accuse others of doing?  Were you meaning to be offensive or derogatory towards women and girls?  Is this PC gone awry?

    ...just a thought

    Well, after this, I should think nothing of falling down stairs.

    by Alice Burro on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 06:31:01 AM PDT

    •  Would we (4.00)
      want our kids using those words and suppose they ask us the meanings of those words.  After telling our young children what they meant, they would say, "But mommy has one of those, why does that make her a bad person?"  The military uses these words during training to dehumanize feminine characteristics.
      It's not about controlling language, it's about common decency. Few with any respect use the word, cunt with any frequency.  Garbage coming out of the mouth means there must be garbage in the brain.
  •  if you want to tick people off (none)
    try controlling their language.

    That is how the left became so beloved in the early 90's - by being associated with the PC police. People cuss, words go in and out of style because of acceptability.  I don't see people throwing the fag word around here at Kos because it's not real cool with this crowd. I certainly see a great deal more dicks, pricks and tallywhackers than I do pussies, twats, and bitches. And I can't remember the last time I saw a cunt.

    I don't use those words because I don't like them, more for suburban middle-class reasons than anything else.  But I would never dare to wag my finger at those who do and say - hey, that word makes me feel like a victim, don't do it any more, you bad person.

    This is an open forum. Raise awareness if you want. Language is powerful and can be an agent for change, but make positive changes (firefighter not fireman) rather than negative changes (you saying pussy makes me a victim).

    thankee - love you guys

    •  Amen (none)
      Only the weak try to control language, as it gives them more power. Don't fear words.

      And no one ever promised anyone a life of not being offended. Grow up, don't read things that offend you, use your TV's off-button and leave everyone else alone.

    •  P.C. has a long history (4.00)
      It was created by lefties way back in the seventies (and some say it goes back way before then) as a way to gently make fun of debates much like this one. Being "politically correct" didn't have negative connotations until the 90s, when the right stole it away from us and used it to deride attempts by the left to use inclusive language.

      Sadly, many of us on the left have happily adopted the right's framing on the term so that any discussion about language is viewed as excessive and pointless (thus the exortations to "lighten up!!")

      As for ticking people off, the diarist is by no means trying to control language usage. It looks to me that she is trying to raise consciousness, which is a great thing. It's heartening to see when people don't let the right's frames scare them out of talking about things that matter to them.  

      Next NYC Kossak Meetup is in June. Email me for details!

      by JaneKnowles on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 07:33:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The power of words (none)
    I respect your general premise and see that the under-conscious misogyny of words like pussy, twat, and bitch is tasteless, if even harmful. However, not to be contrary, I would say that Bush is a prattling twat and his papa Daddy-Bitch-Cheney will devolve into history as the worst leaders we've ever had and the most instrumental in the downward spiral that is American prestige and power.
  •  How about.... (none)
    schmegma, cumstain, gentital scab, anal leakage, gential tear, penial challenged.....or we can stop being so overly sensative and PC. An insult only works when the person knows you are insulting them. And the best way to insult a man is to challenge his masculanity. If you haven't figured it out yet, we are kinda sensative about it, so it works.

    It is this kind of tripe that allows conservatives to label us in the eyes of a vast segment of Americans as being a bunch of snobby pussies (or penial challenged if you prefer)..

  •  Regurgitated pieces of diseased goat shit? (none)
    No gender issues there and fairly accurate description. I mean, I get sick everyday from these RDGs. So it fits.

    Oversize Rants Available Overnight at
    The Image Factory

    by Dburn on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 07:21:35 AM PDT

  •  The lady doth protest too much, methinks (none)
    •  you can't say .... (2.00)
      lady, because lady takes away her sexuallity and therefore her power. She is a woman....all woman....and all sex is rape.....at least with men....er.....and if you call a man a Dick, he likes it, but if you call a woman a dick, it takes away her sexuality...er....if you call a man a twat it is insulting to him because it takes away his sexuality, but if you call a woman a twat you are insulting her...er....what were we talikng about...I can't get twats out of my head....
  •  Ugh. (4.00)
    It's kind of depressing to watch this diary climb higher and higher up the recommended list. Bring Bush's war crimes to light? Help make verified voting a reality? Nah, let's just whine about semantics.

    Can't really fault the diarist for putting forth a reasonable request, but man... "Sticks and stones," people. This is preschool material we're dealing with.

    Sometimes the jokes write themselves. Sometimes they run for President.

    by Sixfortyfive on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 07:34:39 AM PDT

    •  its a niice break..... (none)
      sometimes an philisophical exchange is what we need to cleanse the pallat if you will.....
    •  Please.... (4.00)
      This is not "whining" about semantics.  It is practical politics.
      I am not suggesting that anyone censor anybody else.
      I humbly point out that what we say can be used to win hearts and minds to the Democratic Party.

      I am suggesting that when we insult and ridicule the Republicans we avoid doing it in a way that alienates our base and puts off potential recruits.  

      "Bush is jewing down the UN again", "Healthy Forrests is niggering out the soil",etc., etc
      are strong, shocking statements, but their cost may out weigh their benefit.

      I understand the impulse to sound like one of the guys, one of the good old boys.  It might even work, but I suspect that wooing the votes of straight, white men who are happy with racism, sexism and homophobia will yield a very low return at a substantially high cost.

      The bigots who love GWB love him for the same reasons we hate him. They love it that he's a smirking, arrogant bully who doesn't have to answer to anybody.  I don't think we can win over those folks by pandering to their prejudices, and I don't want to marginalize the party's broad constituency in the attempt.

      I have been accused repeatedly here of trying to censor people.  I never said it, never implied it and have never wanted to do so.

      I just want my country back.

       

  •  Racial, (4.00)
    cultural, and sexual epiteths only serve to further hatred and abuse. When someone is being abused, what does that person say to them before they hit them usually? It usually wouldn't be prick or dick.
  •  I am a woman and an English teacher (4.00)
    and sometimes you just need to use a very visceral word to get a reaction.  I am bothered when I think someone is just using it to use it, or they use it because they don't respect women.

    But sometimes one just needs to call our leaders a bunch of pussies.

    "If you are not outraged, you are not paying attention."

    by adigal on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 07:39:53 AM PDT

  •  But prick, dick and asshole are just fine? (none)
    Let me get this straight: you object to the words "pussies", "twats" and "bitches" because they explicitly or implicitly denigrate women.

    Okay, they probably wouldn't have much meaning if they didn't imply something negative about the association with something quintessentially female.

    But, at the same time, the indiscriminate use of all sorts of language that associates negative behaviour with specifically male traits is okay? And, please, don't try and tell me you haven't used the words "dick" or "prick" (at a minimum) to describe someone who behaves like... Dick Cheney. Pun intended, of course. (Actually, is it a pun if it's not a play on words, but the word itself?)

    I'm not defending the use of the words you abhor, by the way, because I also find their use offensive most of the time. But what is most offensive is that they pass for typical discourse, when in most cases there is a more effective and articulate formulation available. Killing language is a great way to kill the culture.

    So, I'd appreciate it if you'd update this diary to reflect that all sexism is bad, as well as all sloppy, lazy, inefficient and articulate language.

    "...there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." Hamlet, Act II, Scene ii.

    by thingamabob on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 07:45:59 AM PDT

  •  I don't like them (none)
    but outside of truly trollish behavior don't like the tendency around here to try to control what other people write.

    HOWEVER, I hate, hate, hate, the use of sexual terms and other trigger words in diary titles. It's a cheap way to get attention and recommends.

    I got nuthin'. But check out unbossed.

    by Joan McCarter on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 07:53:58 AM PDT

  •  Important diary. (none)
    I do believe that words only have the power we give them. One point that I do believe that is being missed by most here is how we are percieved. Some say they could give a rats ass what others think of them. Some say it is imperative that we clean up our language used here because it makes us look weak or lazy. I can see both sides to this. I think at this stage of the game it may behoove us to find more eloquent ways to express ourselves. In otherwords take the high road, be the better person. Think how you feel when the other side uses derogatory language when describing liberals. Use the power of words to be more positive instead of being so negative. Let's face it, we need to bolster our image in order to attract the voters we need to take back this country. IMHO

    The more understanding one posesses, the less there is to say and the more there is to do.

    by Alohaleezy on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 07:54:35 AM PDT

  •  as a woman, I respect your point (none)
    but it doesn't bother me as much, because it seems all swearing is related to sex or sex organs, and I've only recently embraced swearing as a pressure valve release in the age of Bush.

    I guess I'm not easily insulted anymore.  I like the freedom of language.  Context and intent mean more to me than the lazy knee-jerk usage that seems to be bothering you.  

    I'm a writer and while I understand the psychological argument I prefer to allow broad expression.  that's just me.  no disrespect to you.

    It probably bothers me more when somebody calls a man "you're such a girl" because that's not even swearing, it's just an insult and I wonder what that communicates to young girls.  I think that's more damaging than the word cunt, for example, that is used less generally.

    I kinda like the words pussy and cunt in general because they (to me) connote affection (pussy) and feminine power (cunt), though yoni is much nicer.  As for bitch... well, I still prefer to use that on women rather than men.  It is pretty overused.  But I'm not going to lose sleep over any of this.  Guess I'm too old and seasoned.  Worrying about our democracy demands more of my energy these days.  

    :o)

    "This is how liberty dies -- to thunderous applause." - Padme Amidala

    by marjo on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 07:57:16 AM PDT

  •  I'm a woman and I have no problem (none)
    with the diarist calling Bush a pussy. Here's why:

    a) Used in the diarist's context, it was well chosen because probably nothing terrifies our faux-macho president and male minions more than being called a "pussy",for in Dubya's sexist world being called a woman is the pits. The sexism is not with the diarist, it lies within "Dubya world".
    b)Pussy isn't necessarily a bad word.  I remember Robin Williams on Bravo's Inside The Studio program, and he was asked what were his least favorite and most favorite swear words. He said his least favorite was cunt, because in his mind, it was an ugly putdown of a woman. His favorite was "pussy". Why? Because he said pussy is linked (in his male mind)to all things warm and soft and wonderful and he quoted another guy who said "pussy" is "where we all came from, and once we are born, we should try to get back there as much as possible". So, from a guy point of view, pussy can be a very good thing. When I think about it, kinda makes me happy I have one....

    As I said earlier, I'm a woman who has led a very liberated life and I have no problem throwing the same semantic shit back into the face of rethugs that they throw at liberals.  If they don't want to be called a pussy, let them object and change the semantic  rules - wouldn't that be something?

  •  Along with... (4.00)
    The homosexual and racial insults.

    I've always been particularly apalled at the prison rape jokes.  It just doesn't seem to me that you want to send people to prison and then encourage criminal behavior behind bars.  And it has homosexual connotations.

    Anyway...  I gotta say when I first saw the title I thought this was going to be something else.  I'm glad it was what it is, because I agree.

    I'll try to not use pussy, and just call people cowards.

    Although I hope it's ok if I still call the neighbors dog a bitch. :-)

    •  If your neighbor's dog is female, sure (none)
      although as for our poor pets that have been neutered or spayed, I just call 'em an "it."

      So is your neighbor's dog female?  I suspect it is.

      If not, then this diary may be for you.  I suspect it's not.:-)

      "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

      by Cream City on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 09:06:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Republicans love when Dems get down and dirty (none)
    Since Republicans think of themselves as more moral, more middle class, more whitebread than the average Democrat, nothing makes them happier than to see Democrats get down in the dirt, and off the elitist perch Republican CW has contrived.
  •  How about if we call them (none)
    Flaccid Penises?  
  •  people who use these terms show their ignorance (none)
    you have to be infantile and ignorant and afraid of women to use these terms habitually.  you expect it in high school, where boys and girls run in cliques and attempt to establish a feeling of self worth by deriding others who are perceived as weak.

    like most cursing, this is the language of people lazy about thinking and self-expression. failing to be able to construct statements with power, they clumsily wield sexual words, because sexual language has power of its own.

    people who talk that way are like Nelson in The Simpsons.  they show disrespect for language and understanding to communicate so sloppily and thoughtlessly.

  •  If persuasion is your point, then this diarist (none)
    is making the very important point that there are those of us -- yes, I certainly have noticed here what she has -- who may not be persuaded by terms that demean us, no matter your intent.

    If persuasion is not your point in posting or diarying on this site -- or further explicating a point to develop its persuasive power, etc. -- and if your point is simply to show that you have mastered a grade-school vocabulary, then . . . you have done so.  

    But, then perhaps you're not really contributing here; you're just typing.

    I have noticed those diarists and posters here who are powerfully persuasive, and they don't use these terms.

    Even when Kos infuriates me on issues of gender, it's not because he used terms demeaning to my gender.

    Even when Armando infuriates me because, well, he's Armando, it's not because he used terms demeaning to my gender.  (I think he may have used demeaning terms, sure, but they're gender-neutral terms demeaning to any and all.:-)

    So I engage them in debate, and sometimes they persuade me -- in part because they have not used terms that demean me rather than debate and challenge me.

    "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

    by Cream City on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 09:04:10 AM PDT

  •  If I habitually referred to BushCo (4.00)
    as "redneck crackers", and someone POLITELY pointed out that this particular insult offended a group of people whom I hope to win over to the Democratic Party, I wouldn't beat my chest, howl "censorship", and argue that "redneck cracker" isn't really offensive and that anybody who is offended has something wrong with him.
     I'd THINK about it.
    I don't have that big an emotional investment in my inalienable right to call people "redneck crackers".  
    There are innumerable hateful, insulting and accurate things that I can call this administration.  I've got a million of 'em. Giving "redneck cracker" a miss won't deplete my arsenal.
  •  Maybe on dkos you're right (none)
    But I think it's important that the political blogosphere hosts a writer like The Rude Pundit, who uses such words (and more) regularly.  The Rude One is effective precisely because of his (I assume the RP is male -- that's the voice he adopts, anyway) language.   In his case, it's obviously a literary device -- a persona developed to establish a voice.  

    I have noticed that, though lots of people read the Rude Pundit, relatively few provide direct links to his blog on their blogroll.  Could linking to his blog be embarrassing?  

  •  Better analogy.... (4.00)
    My California Governator, Ahnold recently broke a promise he had made to the state's teachers.

    I could write a diary calling Ahnold an indian giver.

    The following day an Native American advises me that for over 100 years the word "indian", as in indian giver, indian summer, and indian poker was used as a synonym for lying, false, and duplicitious behavior: indian = liar.

    He tells me that he knows I meant no insult to Native American peoples, and that I must be unaware of the racist usage.  However, he says, perpetuating such degrading language
    is less than helpful for people already struggling with racism, and isn't worthy of the Democratic Party.

    What shall I do ?

    Should I tell him that "indian giver" isn't insulting because, as a white woman, it doesn't bother me, and bsides, people say it all the time ?  Shall I suggest he not be so touchy, and just get over it ?  Shall I accuse him of being too PC and trying to censor me?  Shall I tell that it's people like him who give liberals a bad name? Shall I accuse him of wasting my time by bringing up useless crap like his wounded feeling, boo hoo?

    Or might I THINK about the information he politely offered me.  Might I give practical consideration to the advantage over ignorant Republicans that he just handed me ?  

  •  Are you fucking kidding? (2.50)
    You don't like those words, don't fucking use them. That is your right.

    But please spare adults lectures on what you like and don't like. You don't like the word pussy, use quim instead, it's your body.

    But your post is pretty idiotic, actually. It's the same tired PC bullshit people laugh at.

    Worry about your language, and others will worry about theirs.

    •  Why are you so angry ? (3.50)
      And why don't you hear what I'm actually saying ?

      I have no objection to any particular word as such.  I gently suggested that using terms which assume the inferiority of women as weapons against our enemies may be counter productive.
      It gives the impression that the user of such terms has no understanding of or respect for women.

      I don't think it's unreasonable to question the wisdom of saying:

      "Bush is a lazy nigger!"
      "Bush is a filthy faggot!"
      "Bush is a sneaky Jew!"
      "Bush is a fucking pussy!"

       We can lambast Bush without insulting our allies.
      That is ALL I have been saying.

       Of course, you may say anything you like.  It's not my business to dictate to you what you say, nor would I try.  I expressed my opinion, as you have expressed yours.  

    •  It's amazing (2.50)
      what a jerk you can be sometimes. You should really do your best to avoid analyzing any issues related to women--because whenever you do attempt to delve into that territory, you come across as an angry and frustrated adolescent as opposed to the astute and interesting person you appear to be otherwise. Then again, there certainly was a lot of entertainment value in your take on women taking b.c. pills and that all-time-classic take on Maureen Dowd was a total hoot.

      Next NYC Kossak Meetup is in June. Email me for details!

      by JaneKnowles on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 09:13:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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