The casual use of mysogonistic language on MN

(96 Posts)
kim147 Mon 21-Jan-13 11:21:44

Just wondering what people think of it and if MN should do anything about it?

Look at AIBU and the casual use of "bitch" and "cow" to describe other women.
Should MN do anything about it?

kim147 Mon 21-Jan-13 15:55:35

I can think of a lot more words used to describe woman that are negative - but used widely compared to those used between men.

Hysterical
Cat fight
Battle axe
Screeching

I'm sure there's more but I think these words only seem to be applied to women in a negative way - whereas if a male was doing the same thing, there would be more positive words.

Susan2kids Mon 21-Jan-13 15:56:10

sigh Im not sure theres many women who would take well to being told they were manly.... or macho.......infact 'macho' is an entirely insulting word......based entirely around sex. So lets end that ridiculous argument right there. Its insulting for either sex to be described as the other always has been always will be.
Nor do I find because YOU Abigail percieve men to have the upper hand thats any reason to display the same behaviour you find abhorrent yourself.... im glad however you agree that no gender based insults should be used because that's an 'equal' arguments and one many women forget is the one they are trying to make.....we have been seeking equality for years....why so many on this board forget that is beyond me.

Susan2kids Mon 21-Jan-13 15:58:12

@Kim147

Dick head

Cock

Alpha male

Simian

Cavemen

Neanderthal

....
hence your argument dies....

susan - but 'macho' is only insulting to women, right? If you say a man is 'macho', I think that's a compliment?

I think the point that there are more subtle gendered terms like 'hysterical' or 'cat fight' (and 'shrill' is one that I've heard a lot) is important too. We're so used to these terms, we forget they might be rude.

Sorry, cross posted. susan, what has 'simian' to do with gender? confused It just means, 'monkey-like'. And 'alpha male', like 'alpha female', is as often a term of praise as of blame, IME.

Susan2kids Mon 21-Jan-13 15:59:54

@LRD fair enough im new here so I thought it was a bit off I take it you though i was a regular troll or something! all is therefore forgiven smile

Susan2kids Mon 21-Jan-13 16:01:36

Its ok LRD..... I was respoding to Kim.....its used about men in the same way she claims 'shrieking for women' Ive never heard alpha female used as an insult...wheras alpha male is..... mind you some men would take 'macho' as a compliment i suppose.

ChilliChips Mon 21-Jan-13 16:02:05

I understand about the different power dynamic, and think I agree.

The example that was confusing me was "wanker" used for a man. You could argue that this reduces men to their biological function, by ridiculing sexual pleasure that doesn't involve a woman. But it's more likely that the insult means he's so pathetic that he "can't even get a woman", which is then an intrinsic insult towards women (?)

(and now I really do have to go!)

Oh, no, please don't worry! I don't read names very well. To me, yours has the same shape as a poster I 'know' quite well on here.

But I'm glad we've sorted it out. smile

Susan2kids Mon 21-Jan-13 16:02:48

LRD no 'macho' has it routes in italian and was always insulting. smile It refers exclusively to unpleasent behaviour....

I've heard alpha female used as an insult and alpha male used as a compliment. Macho, I've never heard used as an insult. It is fascinating how words change their meanings so fast.

But, sadly the power dynamic doesn't change.

Susan2kids Mon 21-Jan-13 16:03:37

Im now panicing because i thought wanker could be gender neutral and it was my favourite...im now worried its a male bias word.....drat.

Cross posted - susan - no, macho is often complimentary.

Susan2kids Mon 21-Jan-13 16:04:14

I also think the power dynamic has changed...if it hadnt I wouldnt have the job I do.

Susan2kids Mon 21-Jan-13 16:05:50

yeh LDR i said 'was' always insulting...I accept that rather sadly a some folk would be compliented.....but.... most men i know would be insulted by it... (and certainly many italians still)

YouBrokeMySmoulder Mon 21-Jan-13 16:06:32

Alpha male isnt automatically an insult, I would say it was praise disguised as an insult. I havent put that very well but its a complicated phrase.

The only time you hear men being described as shrieking or bitvhy is when it involves gay men as they are the 'other' as well and feminised by their sexuality - being like women makes them lower than 'real' men.

Arsehole isnt gendered though surely?

Susan2kids Mon 21-Jan-13 16:07:28

What I havent heard so far is why its ok to use male based swear words and not female ones..... Id rather ask Mumsnet to stop all gender based swearing if thats what was suggested by the OP? I think that was my point which is getting lost somewhere....smile have to go now sadly office phone ringing....

Susan2kids Mon 21-Jan-13 16:09:27

Battle axe isnt an automatic insult either but I dont see you attacking that smile
Arseholes surely gender neutral I agree.....we can keep arsehole surely!

AnyFucker Mon 21-Jan-13 16:09:37

well, the way susan is commenting on my post in particular you might be led to believe he/she does know me

otherwise, it jars a bit, doesn't it ? hmm

the thing is susan we weren't talking about the words "dick" and "cock"

we were talking about some other words

StewieGriffinsMom Mon 21-Jan-13 16:09:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Startail Mon 21-Jan-13 16:10:09

OK OK, But some women behave in a manner such that Bitch is the perfect description.

It's not to be used lightly, but very very occasionally it is just perfect.

I just wish there was an exact equivalent for DH this morning.

Charlizee Mon 21-Jan-13 16:11:27

....that you don't hear being used to describe (heterosexual) men

But there are insults which are primarily used for hetero men. For example it's not often a woman is called a wanker is it?

DameMargotFountain Mon 21-Jan-13 16:14:00

Start that is the nail on the head though, there is no 'male equivalent' for bitch is there?

AnyFucker Mon 21-Jan-13 16:14:20

You could just as easily call a woman a wanker

I'm all for gender-neutral self-lovin'

AnyFucker Mon 21-Jan-13 16:15:08

"dog" could be the male equivalent of bitch, but doesn't have quite the same connotations

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