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Your thoughts on the use of derogatory words on this site for women
April 13, 2006
10:11 am
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Anonymous
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I’d like to discuss the usage of certain specific words that somebody used on this site recently. I won’t mention the individual who used them, because their identity isn’t important to this discussion. I’ll refer to this person as “X”.

X used some very explicit, derogatory words for women, words that seedy, vile men use (you can imagine what these words were). X claimed to do this only for instructional purposes in order to vividly portray what a hypothetical man might say in anger to a hypothetical woman.

However, this is a site where people come for help in dealing with some very difficult issues. Most of the posters here are women. I don't want for any woman, already hurting and in pain from suffering for perhaps years in an abusive relationship, to have to read language that is clearly vile and demeaning to women, language which she may have heard way too much of already and which has already caused her torment.

This sort of language also lowers the quality of this site. Its very existence here denigrates and drags down all of us, IMO.

Somebody else and I both objected to X about the use of these specific words, but X paid us no heed. X could have appropriately and just as strongly made their point by asking us to imagine the filthiest, most vile words a man can use to describe a woman, and leaving the rest to our imagination. This would have prevented specific vile words from being forced upon us against our will.

I’d like your thoughts on banning from this site the use of any vile and derogatory words for women, for any reason whatsoever. IMO, any use of these words would merit a warning from the SC, and any further usage would result in harsher action, perhaps in being ejected from the site entirely. If we have a consensus on this issue, the SC might very well take action on it.

What are your thoughts on this matter?

Seeker

April 13, 2006
10:17 am
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Hey Seeker,

I'm up on the threads right now & caught this post. Thank You.

Please read my post on the support threads as well. It addresses these kinds of problems here on the threads. Ones that most unfortunately, I seem to miss. And even if I do catch a glimpse of these kinds of problems, I usually don't take "action" unless someone contacts me stating that they feel it's an unsolveable or unapproachable problem that they'd like me to help with.

Please read the post on the support threads. I appreciate your willingness to create this thread to talk about this problem!

Thanks again.

SC

April 13, 2006
10:24 am
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kc30
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I do not agree...sounds like censorship to me...dictating what word choice is and isn't appropriate. I like to call my ex a jackass...perhaps there is someone out there who finds the word jackass offensive and vile...should we then add that word to the list of "no no"s on this site? I've also used a number of choice, derogatory words to describe the woman who is sleeping with my husband.

If the poster had used the word to attack, then we would be talking about abusive behaviour, and that is not permitted here.

However, I know the thread of which you are speaking. It was not directed at anyone...it was used as a part of a hypothetical conversation, and although the word choice may not have resonated well with many, it certainly served to emphasize his point.

IMHO- It sounds to me like an attempt to force X to concede that his choice of words was inappropriate. The point was already addressed with him and you made your feelings about his word choice very clear. Why drag this out any further?

Just my humble opinion...I do not support any form of censorship...sometimes the "f" word, or the "c" word is the right word to illustrate a point. As long as it's not directed towards someone specifically "ie- kc30, you are a real "[email protected]#t", then it's ok by me.

kc

April 13, 2006
10:33 am
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gazelle
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Yes, I agree. Thank you for standing up for our dignity.

Thank you for trying to protect us from further quite unneccessary hurt & offence here - which is supposed to be a 'safe place' we can come when feeling low, demeaned & ground down in other areas of our lives.

Thank you for trying to keep this site pleasant & respectful.

As the SC says, the occasional swear word may help express & release extreme tension / fear / anxiety when someone is venting ... but that was NOT the case in the incident to which you referred. This was someone presenting hypothetical situations to 'prove' his point. This type of rhetoric did not 'work' to win him allegiance, but only served to offend & alienate more sensitive people needlessly - myself included. Such 'words' trigger agression in the users & hurt in the hearers.

Just because some people (and not all!) may be already used to hearing such nasty, insulting language is NO EXCUSE to continue the onslaught. It's like kicking someone because s/he has already been beaten up,IMO.

I am grateful for your suggestion, Seeker, & support it. Blessings - gazelle.

April 13, 2006
10:36 am
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The above was addressed to Seeker. I had not seen the S C's & kc's posts when posting mine.

April 13, 2006
10:48 am
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>> any further usage would result in harsher action, perhaps in being ejected from the site entirely. < < Make sure you give them parachutes. I dont like derogatory terms for women myself but I have no opinion as to if there should be censorship or not.

April 13, 2006
12:29 pm
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lollipop3
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Sorry Seek, ya know I love ya buddy, but I have to agree with KC on this one.

As far as I'm concerned, people swearing does not bother me at all provided it is not directed at me.

We are all adults here. (with the exception of our beloved Jigsy who knows not to read threads unless her name is in it)

As they say in Alanon....take what you like and leave the rest.

Just my opinion.

Lolli

April 13, 2006
12:33 pm
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Cici
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I have no issue with swearing. They are words. Words have no value if they do not come from a valuable mouth.

I swear a lot, I grew up swearing because english is my mother's second language, and she never really understood what those words actually meant.

To me, they only have meaning if you give that meaning to them. Like anything. We have brains for a reason. We can think for ourselves.

April 13, 2006
12:51 pm
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Juanita
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Seekr,

You are a lovely man to be so concerned about us women. Your genuine caring and thoughtfulness is truly wonderful.

That said, and I speak for myself only, I am not a delicate china cup. I can stand the occassional swearing so long as it is not directed at someone. (I did not see the particular thread you are speaking of though.) Someone with a habitual "potty mouth" is (1) showing their true colors/ how they were raised, and (2) will be asked by SC to clean up the language once brought to her attention if truly offensive. Just like in "real" life, we will always encounter people who rub us the wrong way either in action or in verbage. My 2 cents is to treat them as you would in "real" life & either don't associate with them or tell them you don't like or appreciate those words being used. Suggest that we all can pretty well guess what words are meant when someone substitutes characters for vowels.... like the word sh*t. We know what's meant without the offensiveness of seeing the whole word.

Thank you for once again showing your chivilary (sp?) towards women.
I appreciate your kindness and well mannered ways.

Juanita

April 13, 2006
12:53 pm
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eve
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In real life, when I meet somebody who uses swearwords that refer to the sexuality of women to show how inferior and dirty these womanfolk are, I will propably not have a lot of contact with this guy. In fact this is a nice criterium to select people I want to deal with and people I don't want to have a lot to do with.

Exchanging swearwords with politically correct words without changing the mindset will just make things more complicated.

April 13, 2006
1:04 pm
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Thank you Seeker.

I feel my words were to the wind. I will repeat this; using words in example is insulting to talk that way to me; it is low class talk; it is unnecessary to make a point.

I shared my views (before) and have nothing further to say.

Peace

Sew

April 13, 2006
1:31 pm
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...and disrespectful. Period.

April 13, 2006
5:21 pm
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taj64
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I agree with KC; it is censorship. I think all walks of life come on and should feel free to talk how they are used to talking no matter what class they are, lower or higher. The words have no meaning except how you mean them to be heard. Now I personally get offended to read the detailed sex lives of people on this site and I find that inappropriate. I don't want to hear posts on what position people use in bed or other details of sex life yet there it is for me to read. Are we going to have a censorship on that too? Well I forget who told me that I was out of my league to be on liberation but I do read them and thought I would share that. We cannot censor everything in life.

April 13, 2006
6:48 pm
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kc,

This thread was simply my attempt to determine the pulse, so to speak, of the site on this issue. It sounds like things are split between concerns of censorship and between a desire to enforce something I thought would be common decency.

I was exploring the possibility of having some agreement to collectively abstain from a few particularly choice derogatory words for women, and I said so up front. There's no need to read anything into my post that wasn't there, by dragging the word "jackass" or the "f" word into this discussion.

And if the majority agreed on this, it wouldn't be dictating anything to anybody. It wouldn't be censorship. It would be democracy in action.

Society once had a higher standard for public speech than for private speech. I'm sad to see that this standard has eroded.

Don't worry; I'm not into trying to force anybody to do anything. That's about the worst thing anybody can do.

Seeker

April 13, 2006
6:52 pm
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seek-u are such a gentleman.:)

April 13, 2006
6:57 pm
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I've been re-reading the posts on this site, and it appears many of you think I'm advocating a ban on all swear words on this site.

I don't know where this impression came from. I never asked for such a thing.

I only referred to a potential ban on the use of certain, specific derogatory words for women. Period.

Does this change anything for anybody?

Seeker

April 13, 2006
7:02 pm
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Cici
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Well here's the thing. I frequent another forum online where they did a ban on certain swear words for a few months. They ended up taking the ban away.

The people who used the swear words would just find a way to get around the ban (which made swear words show up when written in a post as *****, which is I think the limit of what you can do with the coding? I dunno.)

Anyways, for example, they would write (this is my version of a random innocuous swear word) "sh!t".

So it didn't really work.

Like eve said:

Exchanging swearwords with politically correct words without changing the mindset will just make things more complicated.

April 13, 2006
7:10 pm
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gazelle, sewunique, and guppy,

Thank you for your support. I appreciate it.

Lolli and Juanita,

Thank you for your support of me, if not exactly for my idea.

Seeker

April 13, 2006
7:50 pm
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Dear Seeker, it is censorship. This site has all walks of life on it. You cannot come on here and ask people not to use certain words. I think in general this word you mentioned is rarely used on this site and used by one person out of many and this has offended you. It is ok to be offended and say so. I applaud that. I find it endearing quality to stand up for a woman. I find it very nice to meet a sensitive and caring man to want to bring the issue up. I am sorry you feel offended. I find it offensive too. But it is not fair to come on here and ask people to not use a certain word because it not in your or my standard. I support you too but I don't think it is fair for you to ask to ban it either. What happened to freedom of speech? As long as it is not used as an attack on someone. There are many people all walks of life, to the highly sensitive to the insensitive, to the highly educated etc, all of you know what I mean and we just cannot dictate to people who come on here for their life problems to use choice words. It is how you use the word that has the real meaning. Every once and awhile someone comes on here and says something highly offensive to someone but it is rare and we have to remember that it is not frequent. We cannot control everything on the site or what exactly what is said or what the intention is, if it is omitted.

sh*t = poop = bowel movement, no matter what class you are in, it has the same meaning. It is how you use the word that is important. So bowel movement hit the fan.

None of us are perfect, nor can we say the perfect thing at every post. I happen to try to see the flip side to everything and I understand your request but I also see that you cannot control it either.

April 13, 2006
8:31 pm
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I find it to be remarkable that two weeks later, anyone is still bothered that I uttered a four letter word. Even more remarkable is that you would be thinking in terms of "derogatory towards women" or "disrespectful," when you know darn well I am sparing in my use of profanity, and that being "disrespectful" to women is not one of my problems.

What I find to be not only ironic, but also just plain bizarre is that the context of the use of that four letter word has been completely lost and forgotten.

That context, you will recall, was a discussion to the effect that some language is more offensive and more harmful than other language and that some acts are more offensive and harmful than other acts.

I personally read the words "screw you" more times last week than I have heard them in my entire life. The context of that usage was discussion about the offensiveness and harmfulness of the phrase "screw you."

Imagine the following exchange of posts:

DelicateOne: "I believe it is wrong to say 'screw you.'"

WordCop: "How dare you say S*** Y** on this site!? I am absolutely offended by your use of that language."

LanguagePolice: "Oh, I completely agree with WordCop. Anyone who would use language like that should be ejected from the site."

PoliticallyCorrect: "WordCop and LanguagePolice are right--in polite society it is completely unnacceptable to use filthy language like that used by DelicateOne. DelicateOne is acting like a disrespectful, mean, vicious oppressor."

SensitiveEars: "I can't believe DelicateOne wrote that. Couldn't she have just said **** ***? I am going to be scarred for life. Oh the humanity!"

Not only has DelicateOne been taken out of context and cast as someone who she really isn't, but her entire point has been lost.

Meanwhile the significant and worthwhile topic that we were kicking around when the dreaded euphemism was uttered has been abandoned, and our hypothetical victim still has no one standing up for her.

I find that to be not only irresponsible, but also mind-bendingly surreal, and almost incomprehensible.

And people perseverating in taking offense when they know darn well that none was intended I find to be not only petty and childish, but also disrespectful, offensive, and unneccesarily violent.

Of course that's just my opinion.

April 13, 2006
8:44 pm
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Hi Seeker

I am responding to you because you addressed a post to me.

Thanks for clarifying your position- mine was merely an opinion, and observation- not right, nor wrong, simply mine.

I was not reading into anything you posted, nor did I "drag" the words "jackass" and "f" word into my thread as a result of somehow misreading your post.

A question about banning a word was posed...I used them as a way of illustrating my own perspective, and why I disagree with the proposition set forth in your original post.

The word in question (the filthy "c" word I believe?) has only, to my knowledge, been used once in the last year that I have been on this site. It was selected intentionally by a member who has been around for some time, and was selected to illustrate a point- it was part of an imaginary conversation on a thread about abuse, as I remember it. And it is a very real-to-form example of verbal abuse, n'est pas?

It was not used to demean or humiliate any member of this site.
As this is the only time I have ever seen this word, and the use of it was addressed with the poster at the time, and it has not resurfaced since, I don't see the need to potentially ban it.

Vulgarity is not, from my perspective, a problem on this site.

"If it ain't broke...."

kc

April 13, 2006
9:15 pm
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Hi Seeker,

I do support you and I do think that you are a good man with a kind heart.

Having said that, I still have to agree with Kc.

It really doesn't change it for me that you were referring to only specific derogatory words towards women...for two reasons. 1. The word(s) honestly don't bother me. Even they WERE directed at me...calling me a "bitch" or even the "c" word has no effect on me. They are words and words have no power over me unless I let them. If these words were used ALL the time....that would be a different story. Even then not because of the words themselves but because constant negativity brings me down. 2. If we stop the "derogatory" words pertaining to women....we must also stop the derogatory words pertaining to men. Fair's fair. That to me would then begin to cross the line into censorship.

As I said before, we are all adults here....and I think we're all old enough to hear the "swearwords"....even us women folk 😉

And to those who can't handle the "bad words"....I suggest you never attempt to see the "vagina monologues". Even I couldn't handle that one.

Lolli

April 13, 2006
9:16 pm
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even *IF* they were directed at me.

My bad yo

April 13, 2006
9:37 pm
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Oh brother, did anyone learn anything from the abuse thread? It is strangely eerie to this one. Control freaks!

April 13, 2006
9:46 pm
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Beyond the issue of distorting the original context words are used in, there is the issue of the emotional meaning that we attach to words. I think George Carlin did a great job addressing this one in his immmortal routine, "Seven Words You Can't Say on Television," which I found a transcript of....

"I love words. I thank you for hearing my words. I want to tell you something about words that I uh, I think is important. I love..as I say, they're my work, they're my play, they're my passion. Words are all we have really.

We have thoughts, but thoughts are fluid. You know, [humming]. And, then we assign a word to a thought, [clicks tongue]. And we're stuck with that word for that thought. So be careful with words. I like to think, yeah, the same words that hurt can heal. It's a matter of how you pick them.

There are some people that aren't into all the words. There are some people who would have you not use certain words. Yeah, there are 400,000 words in the English language, and there are seven of them that you can't say on television. What a ratio that is. 399,993 to seven. They must really be bad. They'd have to be outrageous, to be separated from a group that large. All of you over here, you seven. Bad words. That's what they told us they were, remember? 'That's a bad word.' 'Awwww.' There are no bad words. Bad thoughts. Bad Intentions.

And words, you know the seven don't you? Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, Cocksucker, Motherfucker, and Tits, huh? Those are the heavy seven. Those are the ones that will infect your soul, curve your spine and keep the country from winning the war.

Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, Cocksucker, Motherfucker, and Tits, wow. Tits doesn't even belong on the list, you know. It's such a friendly sounding word. It sounds like a nickname. 'Hey, Tits, come here. Tits, meet Toots, Toots, Tits, Tits, Toots.' It sounds like a snack doesn't it? Yes, I know, it is, right. But I don't mean the sexist snack, I mean, New Nabisco Tits. The new Cheese Tits, and Corn Tits and Pizza Tits, Sesame Tits Onion Tits, Tater Tits, Yeah. Betcha can't eat just one. That's true I usually switch off . But I mean that word does not belong on the list.

Actually, none of the words belong on the list, but you can understand why some of them are there. I am not completely insensitive to people's feelings. You know, I can dig why some of those words got on the list...like cocksucker and motherfucker. Those are...those are heavy-weight words. There's a lot going on there, man. Besides the literal translation and the emotional feeling. They're just busy words. There's a lot of syllables to contend with. And those K's. Those are aggressive sounds, they jump out at you. CocksuckerMotherfuckerCocksucker. It's like an assault, on you. So I can dig that.

And we mentioned shit earlier, of course. Two of the other 4-letter Anglo-Saxon words are Piss and Cunt, which go together of course. But forget about that. A little accidental humor there. Piss and Cunt. The reason Piss and Cunt are on the list is that a long time ago certain ladies said 'Those are the two I am not going to say. I don't mind Fuck and Shit, but P and C are out. P and C are out.' Which led to such stupid sentences as 'OK, you fuckers, I am going to tinkle now.'

And of course the word Fuck. The word Fuck, I don't really...well, this is some more accidental humor, but I don't really want to get into that now. Because I think it takes too long. But I do mean that. I mean, I think the word fuck is an important word. It's the beginning of life, and, yet it's a word we use to hurt one other, quite often. And uh, people much wiser than I have said, I'd rather have my son watch a film with two people making love than two people trying to kill one other. And I of course agree. I wish I know who said it first, and I agree with that. But I would like to take it a step further. I would like to substitute the word fuck, for the word kill in all those movie cliches we grew up with. 'Okay Sheriff, we're gonna fuck ya now. But we're gonna fuck ya slow.' So maybe next year I'll have a whole fuckin' rap on that word. I hope so.

Uh, there are two-way words, but those are the seven you can never say on television. Under any circumstances you just can not say them ever, ever ever, not even clinically. You can not weave them in the panel with Doc and Ed and Johnny, I mean it's just impossible, forget those seven, they're out.

But, there are some two-way words. There are double-meaning words. Remember the ones your giggled at in sixth grade? 'And the cock crowed three times.''Hey, the cock the cock crowed three times. It's in the bible.' There are some Two-way words, like it's okay for Curt Gowdy
to say 'Roberto Clemente has two balls on him.' But he can't say, 'I think he hurt his balls on that play Tony, don't you? He's holding them. He must have hurt them by God.' And the other two-way word that goes with that one is prick. It's okay if it happens to your finger. Yes, you can prick your finger, but don't finger your prick. No, no."

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