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Social Pressure And The Words We Use

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posted on Dec, 29 2010 @ 09:29 PM
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A conversation I had:

Me: If I were to tell my 12 year old son, “Stop being a sissy” or “No, not like that…you’re throwing like a girl.”, is that “hate speak”?

Them: No.

Me: What if I were to say, “Don’t act so queer”?

Them: Yes.

Me: Why?

Them: Because one sounds worse than the other.

OK, so we don’t judge the words a man says, we judge the way they sound? I happen to think “donkey” sound rather lewd, in that case. And flabbergasted is pretty insulting.

But it seems that we have a double standard here. In spite of the logic that both statements would be just about the same, the perception is that one is ok, while the other is different.

Honestly, I believe it has more to do with people over identifying with a group think…but that is another story.

It just seems that our language is being taken away from us bit by bit. The conversational speak that men have used for years is being taken away through the use of social pressure that is meant to emasculate masculine banter.

Do I hate gays? Absolutely not. I have a few pieces on this blog discussing how I feel that they are overall mistreated. But calling someone a “gaywad” doesn’t necessarily mean that you are inferring something about their sexuality. “Gay” doesn’t always mean “homosexual”. Come to think of it…the word “gay” was kind of taken over to begin with. It originally meant “happy”. In modern lingo, it means “lame”.

But the point is, why should anyone feel the pressure to stop using language that someone feels is hate speak, when your intent is not hate? My best friends sister is a lesbian. When I see her, she will say, “Hey, what’s up fag?” When I say she is lesbian, I mean she is committed to the lifestyle since the age of 12. Would I be right to presume that she has hate as her intent?

Similarly, what if I disagree with our president. Why must this always end up spiraling downward into someone accusing me of racism?

About the only solution I can see is for people to look for intent, not content. But since that won’t happen, this is a notice to the world: I will no longer bend to your will. Social pressure will not change my vernacular any more.




posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 04:45 AM
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People of different cultures and places can use same words in different contexts and such things can easily lead to misunderstanding without the speaker's ill intention. There are always cultural and regional differences in the usage of language. For eg, a non-native English speaker would consider it right to go by the dictionary meaning of a particular word and use it accordingly but can be easily misunderstood by any native speaker due to the fact that maybe that word is used in a different context in the listener's region. In such cases, it is upon the listener's good judgment too how they take it and I think there are more chances of being correctly understood when speaking in person than talking on internet as I believe facial expressions and body language play an important role in communicating more clearly when words are not enough. Although, I think the listener should not normally make a big issue about it...



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 05:44 AM
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reply to post by bigfatfurrytexan
 
I guess it comes down to audience and purpose; who's your intended audience and what are you trying to communicate?

If it's a few beers with the boys, it hardly matters what you say because they already know where you're coming from. If they think you're out-of-line they'll tell you.

I appreciate why some people hate the use of the word 'gay' to describe something that's crap. At the same time it isn't really intended to a be a big insult; it's as hostile as 'weak' or 'lame.' If I'm at work or with people who'd feel offended by the word or make some stupid judgement based on it's usage, it's easier not to say it.

The other night, I was in a bar and two guys (who I know) in their 40s were passing comments to and about one of the barstaff. She's only 18 and a lesbian and at that point was working alone behind the bar. Their behaviour was poor and pretty damn childish so I asked them to act their age and stop acting like a pair of idiots (in different words).

I use this example because it shows the discussion that society must always engage in when we consent to what words shouldn't be used. On the one hand, describing a flat beer as 'gay' shouldn't offend anyone. On the other hand, guys like the ones I just mentioned are part of the reason why 'gay' is a word that many feel is associated with abuse or insult. It'd be a shame if people describing stuff as 'gay' enabled guys like the above to feel it acceptable to act that way.



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 05:59 AM
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NLP, media driven pseudo-psychobabble victim mentality and the unnatural hijacking of the natural etymological processes.

Nowadays, words mean what government, their lobbyists and media tell us and not what we understand them to mean.



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 07:51 AM
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IMHO, calling people "gay" is very immature. It's part of the vocabulary of a teenager. In the adult world (if you know a decent amount of people) you're more than likely to know at least a few people who are gay.

Some of the best dudes I know have some feminine tendencies (IMO). They may haven't noticed it themselves, but they're there. It's completely subjective. People are different. Many times, it seems, that being a man is being a brainless violent ape... if I'd want to go into depth with this, it might be about resonance (high and low), but enough about that


I guess Kandinsky said what I had in mind:

reply to post by Kandinsky
 


Also, drinking beer doesn't make you more manly, it just makes you an idiot.
edit on 30/12/2010 by Tryptych because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 08:10 AM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 


And I think you nail the point: it is intent, not content.

I mentioned in another thread, this seems an awful lot like Divide and Conquer strategy.



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 08:11 AM
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Whoops! Retracted.



edit on 30-12-2010 by Kandinsky because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 08:13 AM
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Originally posted by Tryptych
IMHO, calling people "gay" is very immature. It's part of the vocabulary of a teenager. In the adult world (if you know a decent amount of people) you're more than likely to know at least a few people who are gay.

Some of the best dudes I know have some feminine tendencies (IMO). They may haven't noticed it themselves, but they're there. It's completely subjective. People are different. Many times, it seems, that being a man is being a brainless violent ape... if I'd want to go into depth with this, it might be about resonance (high and low), but enough about that


I guess Kandinsky said what I had in mind:

reply to post by Kandinsky
 


Also, drinking beer doesn't make you more manly, it just makes you an idiot.
edit on 30/12/2010 by Tryptych because: (no reason given)


Beer drinking is not manly by nature...but it is a stereotypical male behavior. Nothing idiotic about it. Beer has provided needed nutrition to humanity for thousands of years.

For everyone else, this is what i mean by "intent vs content". Here we have someone calling men "idiots" and "brainless".
edit on 30-12-2010 by bigfatfurrytexan because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 08:16 AM
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Just out of curiosity, how do you all feel about the word "redneck"? Is it good conduct to use it or should it be avoided like any other word that brings negative, stereotypical ideas to bare?



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 08:22 AM
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Originally posted by bigfatfurrytexan
About the only solution I can see is for people to look for intent, not content. But since that won’t happen, this is a notice to the world: I will no longer bend to your will. Social pressure will not change my vernacular any more.


I can't agree with you on this. If somebody tells me flat out that they find my method of address is insulting to them...I pay attention. Intent doesn't always work. My ex once told our Jewish dentist not to be so 'hymie' with the painkillers. He was not pleased...nor should he have been.

Many such loaded words exist in our vocabulary, a holdover from days when we were not so enlightened. Think Jim Crow.

And other words are adopted...such as 'gay'. I'm not gonna take offence, because it wasn't huge in my vocabulary. I have seen political correctness reach absurd heights, as when a friend died from ALS...and some numbskull at his funeral referred to when he became 'differently abled'.

No, he got sick and died!

But if somebody tells me my choice of language is hurtful...why not change it?
Why not use Gay as a descriptive, rather than an insult?
Why not lose 'retard' as an epithet?
And if anybody knows why 'Oriental' is now on the #list...please let me know, eh?




Originally posted by Tinman67
Just out of curiosity, how do you all feel about the word "redneck"? Is it good conduct to use it or should it be avoided like any other word that brings negative, stereotypical ideas to bare?


I used that word rather freely until somebody on this site...may have been you...told me that it was insulting to them. They self defined as redneck...but rejected the negatives associated with it.

Same as when my mother told me off for calling somebody 'trailer trash'...pointing out that a for a lot of decent people, the ol' double-wide is the first step in home ownership and and ought to be respected as such. Not to mention that personal economics doesn't define decency.

I just try to lose those terms.
edit on 30-12-2010 by JohnnyCanuck because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 08:45 AM
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Originally posted by Tinman67
Just out of curiosity, how do you all feel about the word "redneck"? Is it good conduct to use it or should it be avoided like any other word that brings negative, stereotypical ideas to bare?


Me personally? Not bothered by it a bit. I am from the West Texas oil fields. The very definition of "redneck" (literally and figuratively).

I don't identify myself with groupings like that. Look at my name here. I am about 400 lbs, and call myself "fat". I am insulted by intent, not content.

To address my friend JohnnyCannucks point, if someone tells me that it insults them, and I continue to use a term, then it should be assumed that my intent is to insult, right?

But there does a come a point where it is frustrating. Being insulted by mere words should not be so common an occurrence. When do you find it appropriate to inform the overly sensitive that the real problem is their delicate sensibilities?

There is a difference between expecting civility and politeness, and then holding a language hostage to your interpretation of meaning as well as intent.
edit on 30-12-2010 by bigfatfurrytexan because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 09:02 AM
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Originally posted by bigfatfurrytexan
,There is a difference between expecting civility and politeness, and then holding a language hostage to your interpretation of meaning as well as intent


It is said...

...that it is almost a definition of a gentleman to say that he is one who never inflicts pain. www.his.com...

Further, as an example, I have occasion to interact with members of our First Nations community. How smart is it to continue to use the term 'Indian', which our indigenous folks tend to dislike? Does it get me any further ahead? I used to think intent was sufficient...until I asked.

So if we carry this forward, philosophically, how does it define me then to only apply these principals when it suits my intent?

I find it easier and better suited to my nature to make some effort not to give offence and change my vocabulary accordingly if required. And in turn, as a male WASP...I try not to take myself too seriously, so that in the end, consideration should rule the day.

But I still don't get that thing about 'Oriental'.



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 11:18 AM
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reply to post by JohnnyCanuck
 


I think we are in agreement, and you understand my point.

You are right, it is the mark of a gentleman to not inflict pain. However, there are those who feel pain over everything, and then there are those who use their statement of feeling pain as leverage for some manipulation. It is these two people that I am mainly concerned with.

For an Amerind to be insulted by the term "indian" is sillyness. It is like a hispanic person from Mexico not liking the term "Mexican". For the love of God, it is your nationality. If you or your ancestors hail from Mexico, you are Mexican. Just like my wife and children, who are not hispanic but Mexican or Latino.



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 11:31 AM
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reply to post by bigfatfurrytexan
 


Umm..just out of curiosity, and so all my Native American friends will know, just what part of the US was originally part of India?


Seriously, though, I am torn. I know that words carry meaning, that words matter (just ask Jefferson ha ha), but on the other hand I am also getting a wee bit sick and tired of being told what I can and cannot say. I don't mean insults or whatnot, but there was a time when saying something was queer meant it was strange, gay meant happy and no one got too bent out of shape over sophomoric humor and insults. Now, we must be so PC that justy about the only class that doesn't exist is plain, garden variety Amerikans.

Just my two cents, now I'm off to provoke Republicans...



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 11:37 AM
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Originally posted by bigfatfurrytexan
For an Amerind to be insulted by the term "indian" is sillyness. It is like a hispanic person from Mexico not liking the term "Mexican".


I allow folks the right to self-identify. And Indian is a name we gave them, right? They aren't from India.


Originally posted by Cyprian
Umm..just out of curiosity, and so all my Native American friends will know, just what part of the US was originally part of India?
Just my two cents, now I'm off to provoke Republicans...

Well, you know, God Bless...



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 11:47 AM
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Of course, this just brings up my next question. I was born in the US. My parents were born in the US. My grandparents were born in the US. Now, I may be mistaken, but I'm fairly certain this makes me a "Native American". Thus proving that polispeak is pointless, redundant and only serves to divide.

Now that that is settled, I'm off to confound the Democrats...



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 11:56 AM
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Originally posted by Cyprian
reply to post by bigfatfurrytexan
 


Umm..just out of curiosity, and so all my Native American friends will know, just what part of the US was originally part of India?




Seriously, though, I am torn. I know that words carry meaning, that words matter (just ask Jefferson ha ha), but on the other hand I am also getting a wee bit sick and tired of being told what I can and cannot say. I don't mean insults or whatnot, but there was a time when saying something was queer meant it was strange, gay meant happy and no one got too bent out of shape over sophomoric humor and insults. Now, we must be so PC that justy about the only class that doesn't exist is plain, garden variety Amerikans.

Just my two cents, now I'm off to provoke Republicans...


None of it was. But that is the point...doesn't them being offended by the term "Indian" mean that they are saying there is something wrong with that term?

It is all so silly. Just be what you are, you know?



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 11:57 AM
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reply to post by JohnnyCanuck
 


Good point.

So then, about the word "gay".

And if we are going off of "self identify", lets bring out the grand father: the dreaded "N" word.



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 12:00 PM
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Originally posted by Cyprian
I was born in the US. My parents were born in the US. My grandparents were born in the US. Now, I may be mistaken, but I'm fairly certain this makes me a "Native American". Thus proving that polispeak is pointless, redundant and only serves to divide.


...so it comes back to self identification. I've heard that 'Native American' argument, I've been told that 'aboriginal' sounds Australian...First Nation is used in Canada, it seems. Indigenous Peoples as well. Call yourself Indian...fine with me.

But you tell me how you wish to be identified...who am I to tell you that you're wrong?



Originally posted by bigfatfurrytexan
So then, about the word "gay".
And if we are going off of "self identify", lets bring out the grand father: the dreaded "N" word.

Well, that's kinda like 'queer'...taking back the word that wounds and making it your own...amongst your own.

And not being a particularly oppressed minority, I'm not about to argue the point a whole lot...just fall back on your initial comments about intent and respect. While not forgetting that There Be Dragons...



Originally posted by bigfatfurrytexan
...there are those who feel pain over everything, and then there are those who use their statement of feeling pain as leverage for some manipulation. It is these two people that I am mainly concerned with.

That falls under my maxim that just because one comes from an oppressed minority doesn't rule out one being an arse as well.
edit on 30-12-2010 by JohnnyCanuck because: catching up



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 12:08 PM
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Originally posted by JohnnyCanuck

And if anybody knows why 'Oriental' is now on the #list...please let me know, eh?



Yep! Oriental is out. Asian is in.

Just because: By the late 20th century, the term had gathered associations in North America with older attitudes now seen as outmoded, and was replaced with the term "Asian" as part of the updating of language concerning social identities. However, in Europe, use of the term Oriental for an east Asian has no negative connotations attached and is commonly used. Note particularly that, in the U.K. at least, Indian people (for example) are considered Asian but not Oriental, giving credence to the point that the term 'Oriental' now means 'East Asian' rather than any meaning related to the Greenwich Meridian and its colonial links.




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