cw: slurs

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Fish don’t see the ocean.

I was called a bitch, a cunt, a whore, an autistic, retarded, a fucking idiot, a faggot, a middle-aged mom, (that one was hilarious because it’s true but I guess was an attempt at an insult) a fake geek girl, and stupid too many times to count. I was told repeatedly to kill myself, drop dead, jump off a cliff, and deserved to be killed “700 ways” as well as numerous threats of rape and other forms of violent harm. I was told over and over that no one cares about me, or what I was saying, or what I did with donating my money, yet hundreds and hundreds of people were seeking me out to bully me, threaten me, and even photoshop a fake tweet meant to look like I wrote it that said “I really want all these trolls to die. In fact I’m going to kill them all myself.” This is a hell of a lot of effort going into not caring what I have to say.  […]

What was crazy to me in all of this were the people coming after me to say that they “didn’t see a single threat” in my Twitter mentions and that I was lying. I guess when one lives online among a community of people who treat each other like this on a a daily basis, they think that kind of talk is perfectly fine.

–Anne Wheaton versus GamerGate.

This was prompted after Wheaton went to Calgary Expo and tweeted a photo praising the “cosplay does not equal consent” poster she saw there. The harassment intensified after she announced she was going to donate $1 per harassing tweet to Feminist Frequency, I guess because the Goobers thought they could, IDK. Bankrupt her or something? Which sort of worked, in that she ended up having to cap her donation, but Feminist Frequency, RAINN, and the ACLU still each got a cool grand out of the whole sorry episode.

But I like Wheaton’s point here in the quoted text: that people who exist online in toxic spaces don’t necessarily see how toxic those spaces are. There’s a reason Gators are associated with cesspits like 4chan, and a reason why we use words like “cesspit” to describe places like 4chan. Basically, if “fun” in your online spaces is predicated on the vicious tearing down of other people in that space, ((FWIW, this attitude is prevalent in progressive spaces, too. It just takes a slightly different form.)) then my friend? You have bigger problems than Anne Wheaton tweeting a con poster.

2015-05-07T08:15:36+10:0031st May, 2015|Tags: culture, cw: harassment, cw: slurs|

A post about swearing.

Swearing can be elaborate, hilarious and glorious. But even monotonous swearing of the kind that makes people tut about ‘poverty of vocabulary’ can be used to brilliant effect. Look at Trainspotting, which uses monotonous swearing to convey everything about its narrators – Scottish, rage-filled, of varying education, all of them spiralling into heroin and self-destruction and a mass of unfocused fury, turned inwards as much as out: You fucking knew that fucking cunt would fuck some cunt.

You can hear the character in that line (roughly translated, ‘It was inevitable that the individual we’re discussing would one day cause severe injury to somebody’.) The accent, the words spat out like bullets, the incoherent emotion overwhelming any powers of expression. That’s character through poverty of language.

–KJ Charles on using the right tools for the job.

[Content warning for slurs, below.]

I swear a lot; it’s in the fuckin’ ‘Strayan National Character, after all. Still, I disagree with KJ here on one thing: no matter how common it is in the UK, “cunt” is still an inherently misogynistic word. It’s rarity or lack thereof has no bearing on whether or not it’s a gendered slur. Think about words like “retard” or “tranny” or “fag”. The fact that they’re commonly used–and, often, commonly used in a way that doesn’t “intend” offense–has literally zero bearing on the fact that these words are, in fact, slurs.

Also see “bitch”, which is super-duper common in US media–as I’ve mentioned before, I always feel a bit taken aback when US shows will censor “piss” but not this word–but is still, in fact, a gendered slur. There’s probably some argument in here African-American women in particular could make that parallels the British use of cunt (also see: the n-word). Which, yes. Okay.1

These words are still slurs.

I like cunt, but I like it as a descriptor for the body part it’s intended to describe. Using it as a synecdoche for women in general is sexist, since it carries implications of a) womanhood being “dirty” or “unspeakable”, and b) women as a subordinate sex-class. Using it as an aggressor against men is misogynistic, because–as with bitch–it implies that womanhood is so “lesser”, and gender so essential, that the absolute worst thing a man could be considered is a woman.

So… yeah. Tl;dr, KJ is awesome and y’all should buy her books.

  1. Although, Black women can legitimately reclaim these words in a way, say, a white man can’t. See also usage of “fag” and “homo” in the queer communities. []
2015-06-23T10:57:43+10:0027th September, 2014|Tags: cw: slurs, english, language|