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Social Pressure And The Words We Use

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posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 12:14 PM
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Originally posted by JohnnyCanuck

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



I agree. Self-Identify is the best way to go.

My mom had polio - - I still use the word "disabled". Handi-capable - - is a dumb term IMO.




posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 12:22 PM
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reply to post by bigfatfurrytexan
 


This is a rocky road you've set upon. The vocabulary we chose to use is subjective to meaning, intent and tone of delivery. No doubt there are several other variables I've missed.

So let's look at intent vs. content regarding certain your example of gay, queer, etc.

Even when applying these terms or phrases in a lighthearted manner the underlying intent is still meant as an insult. The end result being that to be considered gay is a bad thing.

Sure social context plays a large part of what society as a whole deems acceptable behavior. Even in this day and age the issue of homosexuality is still highly controversial. So it comes as no surprise that such flippant remarks as, "you throw like a girl" or "don't be a sissy" are common place to the extent that hardly anyone bats an eye at the underlying insult.



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 12:28 PM
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Well I know that that some people on ATS explained the south to me in such a way that I would not use the word "redneck" and that is the heart of the movement that some have identified as PC. I genuinely see PC as a movement for politness. Why give offence if you do not really wish to do so?

I do not want to breach social mores or manners. Does the anti PC brigade really wish to do so? Is the right to give offence a right to be defended?
edit on 30-12-2010 by tiger5 because: Spelling



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 12:36 PM
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A more explosive example is this : Since when did a description of what was done shipt from "method" to "Methodology". This sets my teeth on edge!



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 01:18 PM
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Originally posted by maria_stardust
reply to post by bigfatfurrytexan
 


This is a rocky road you've set upon. The vocabulary we chose to use is subjective to meaning, intent and tone of delivery. No doubt there are several other variables I've missed.

So let's look at intent vs. content regarding certain your example of gay, queer, etc.

Even when applying these terms or phrases in a lighthearted manner the underlying intent is still meant as an insult. The end result being that to be considered gay is a bad thing.

Sure social context plays a large part of what society as a whole deems acceptable behavior. Even in this day and age the issue of homosexuality is still highly controversial. So it comes as no surprise that such flippant remarks as, "you throw like a girl" or "don't be a sissy" are common place to the extent that hardly anyone bats an eye at the underlying insult.


It IS a rocky path. ATS is the only real venue i could think of to carry out this discussion with any form of civility. This fine site has not let me down, either.

I practice the 8 fold path to the greatest degree possible. I mostly comes naturally to me. Especially when it comes to not attaching myself to a label or group. The whole PC thing just really puzzles me. It is like we create all sorts of drama and stress that really is not needed.

If a person says something that is overtly and purposefully offensive, that is one thing. but for a person to unwittingly offend someone, and then be ostracized for it is something entirely different. It would seem to me that the issue then lies with the person being offended. If i mean no offense, honestly, then why would it be my concern that you took offense?

It just seems so intellectually dishonest to do that to people.



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 01:29 PM
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reply to post by bigfatfurrytexan
 


What we are discussing more or less boils down to the use of stereotypes which are in turn derogatory in nature. It doesn't matter if the term happens to be "pansy," "redneck," or "retard." The underlying intent is still meant as an insult regardless if it was used in jest.

It has nothing to do with political correctness and everything to do with whether or not an insult was meant.



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 01:59 PM
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...hey, big fat furry... i like your new suit - very sexy - woo hoo!...


...i voiced a similar opinion back when bart simpson first started saying "suck"... my kids responded with - "gosh, mom, it doesnt have to mean what it meant a thousand years ago!"...

...i couldnt argue that point (intelligently), so i threatened to wash their mouth out with soap if i caught em using that word in my house - which made them laugh cuz they could out-run me (still can), lol...

...funny how time changes things... now i often use "suck", just like bart...


...if someone wants to base their low opinion of me on their wordage biases - well, okay, thats their call - but - its a really stupid one if they're in my house or in my truck...


...intent really is the key but sometimes thats a hard call to make fairly if your own bias clouds the issue... i got some biases - yep - and i think everyone does, especially those who claim they dont...


...re: amerindian, indian, indigenous, native american, ndn... if you poll 100 ndns, you'll get a bunch of different opinions and everybody is right, if they're talking about themselves... where many non-ndns go wrong is telling ndns which label to use...

...re: oriental... when i was in college (early 70s), i knew a gal whose parents were born in china... when someone called her oriental, she'd say - "to me, oriental means things from the orient - people are not things" and it was the way she said it (sweetly) that made the point stick (at least with me)...



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 03:48 PM
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reply to post by Wyn Hawks
 


People you know, have interpersonal relationships with, they should expect you to change a little about who you are to maintain the relationship. It is adapting, and it is what humans do best.

Complete strangers, however...there should be a bland set of "rules" that we kind of follow. If you don't, you suffer the social stigmatism.

In the State of Texas, they changed the "Department of Mental Health and Retardation" to "Texas Community Centers". Why? Because apparently retarded people want to be called something different to specify their medical condition. So we have cleansed the name to such a point that it is obfuscating entirely what it is they do there. As a "Community Center" are there kids playing basketball there? Can anyone go? How about help paying electric bills, like the community centers we have now?

Nope. It still is acting as MHMR, but with a name that is so misleading as to have started me on this entire thought train.



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 03:58 PM
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This is true.

People place a lot of emotion in certain words just by the way they sound.Though you have to remember not everyone notices your intentions.They aren't mind readers.Your sister might not get offended because she knows you're only joking but if you had to say that to a lesbian on the street the reaction you'll get might be different.

Sure you can live you life that way.By using the words you want to use but you'll only end up having to explain your intentions to everyone you end up offending.Take the road of less resistance I say.



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 04:05 PM
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reply to post by bigfatfurrytexan
 


I got sick of "Politically Correct" speech a long time ago. As far as I am concern it is nothing but mind control.

A nasty tempered stinky smelly billy goat is still nasty tempered and stinky even if I call him a buck instead of a billy and his nannies does.

Of course my does and buck are nice tempered and don't smell



WELL, nice tempered anyway



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 04:21 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 04:43 PM
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Originally posted by bigfatfurrytexan
reply to post by Wyn Hawks
 

People you know, have interpersonal relationships with, they should expect you to change a little about who you are to maintain the relationship. It is adapting, and it is what humans do best.


...sure, if the relationship is a valuable one and thats the key... whether adapting is a good thing or not depends upon who you're dealing with...


Originally posted by bigfatfurrytexan
In the State of Texas, they changed the "Department of Mental Health and Retardation" to "Texas Community Centers". Why? Because apparently retarded people want to be called something different to specify their medical condition.


...how could retarded people force that change?... answer: they couldnt - they didnt...


Originally posted by bigfatfurrytexan
It still is acting as MHMR, but with a name that is so misleading as to have started me on this entire thought train.


...you misunderstood the change... texas department of mental health and mental retardation became community mental health services - not texas community centers...

...heres a link to the consolidation...


consolidation.mhmr.state.tx.us...



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 04:49 PM
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As we address intent versus content I think it is important to recognize that often intent is very difficult to ascertain or interpret. This becomes exponentially more difficult when we realize that there are people who have experienced negatives, regarding "labels" and have a predisposition towards seeing insult very reflexively, even where others can see none.

I think I am right in assuming that most of us have accidentally pushed another persons button at some point. I can recall an evening, years ago, when I referred to a person on TV as "fat" without realizing that my wife, at the time, was having self-esteem and self-image issues. I said "God that lady on TV is fat" and then spent the next three hours talking to a locked bathroom door with sobs and angry words filtering through it.

I also think that there is a primal aspect of us, as humans, to be curious and to address our questions and insecurities about people who are different. I know, more than once, with a myriad of different races, religions, sexual orientations, etc... I have made friends with members of these communities and then found myself compelled to ask them about whether or not what I had been told or had heard over the years was really based in fact or not. I mean this from a place of innocence and genuine curiosity - like the way a child might ask a disabled person, in a wheelchair, questions that make the adults, in the room, uncomfortable to hear.

What I am saying, I guess, is that, in our drive to not offend, we have also lost our ability to celebrate our own unique, defining, special characteristics. We lose the ability to love ourselves in a certain way. We also lose the ability to educate others about those differences - which, ultimately, is the real answer to hate. Hate is a product of fear. Fear is the product of a lack of knowledge... Silence and avoidance do nothing to resolve these issues.

But, as it is, the world is the way that the world is. And most of us live in a sort of quiet, underlying terror that we might inadvertently offend others with words that we don't even realize can be hurtful. So, we proceed on tippy toes, treading lightly, and praying.

Another device we tend to use is substitution. Notice, for example, on the Internet many people have coined the term "ghey". Since the word "gay" has evolved to have several definitions and colloquialisms, not all of which are positive or empowering, this variation appears to differentiate between the two. To be honest, I do not know, if I were gay, if "ghey" would bother me or not. But I do know that I would recognize that, at least some people had the right intentions and were trying to spare my feelings by creating a word that I don't identify with, rather than continuing to the use the exact word that I do self identify with.

It may not be the best possible outcome, but at least it is a step towards trying to find answers. No?

Maybe if we could simply develop a cultural predisposition towards celebrating the differences of others instead of fortifying and defending our own differentiations, we could put all this mine-field walking nonsense behind us.

~Heff



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 04:51 PM
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Well, one way I see a difference in the two is that one is simply not all that accurate.

IE Girls throwing balls is MOST often ...well it's something a majority of girls don't do and aren't really built to do - our arms ARE weaker.

But a homosexual guy throwing a ball? That doesn't tell me squat. Have you seen the size of some gay men? There's some athletic, strong, super muscular gay men out there that could kick anyone's backside. There's probably gay baseball players, tho I don't know enough about sports to know if there is or not. (Because I'm a girl & I hate 'ball' sports?)



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 05:05 PM
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Personally I still use the term "gay" to mean happy
and all my happy friends know this..

It seems to me some people only ever hear/see the negative interpretation of any word, and also seem to feel that their definition is the only valid one.. which I find very sad.
edit on 30/12/10 by thoughtsfull because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 05:06 PM
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reply to post by JohnnyCanuck
 


If you were whacked for using a derogatory term on this site, especially a racist one, it was because it was against the T&C. And, yes, I am aware of the incident to which you're referring. And, no, it wasn't used in an appropriate context at all.



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 05:15 PM
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post removed for serious violation of ATS Terms & Conditions



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 05:38 PM
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Originally posted by Hefficide

Maybe if we could simply develop a cultural predisposition towards celebrating the differences of others instead of fortifying and defending our own differentiations, we could put all this mine-field walking nonsense behind us.

~Heff


It's hard to celebrate diversity without being totally secure in your own personal, genetic or cultural identity and there is much the modern world has to offer that can undermine individual self-esteem.

I think that whilst political correctness fosters politeness and courtesy, it simultaneously weakens the character of the individual, producing those 'sissies' mentioned in the OP. Where will it all end? With a spineless majority unable to accept criticism, eg 'you throw like a girl' (if you throw like a girl, face up, get over it and stop simpering like a pansy whenever anyone mentions it!)?

Personally, I would be deeply offended if certain loved ones did not include any insults when addressing me!



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 07:13 PM
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Interesting thread.. Had noticed that long ago about language.. Over the years have met / dealt with people of all social classes / cultures and adapt my language to fit the group that am speak with.. Must admit its hardest to do using english because of the slang and political correctness nonsense.. English is a limited and confusing language. Also english is the hardest language to learn according to many linguists..



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 08:32 PM
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reply to post by Wyn Hawks
 




hmm...they have changed it then. The local chapter/branch is called "West Texas Centers". That's it. The CEO (who I actually know quite well) changed the local office over to the new "flag" about 6 months ago. The State announced the change i previously mentioned about 6 weeks ago (I have a blog post about it...i would have to dig it up).

But you are right...It is people who feel bad hearing the word "retarded" used. THEY are the ones with the problem. They took a word with a legitimate meaning, and made it a "four letter word".



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