What would it mean if sexual hate words were banned?

(11 Posts)
dummad Tue 26-Mar-13 18:55:11

Been thinking of this a while and am wondering if how it would work if sexual hate language was made a criminal offence, like race hate language is. I'm pretty clueless when it comes to this sort of thing, but all I can think is if words like Bitch and c* were considered offensive language like the racist phrases and words that used to be used as a matter of course. If so, is it not therefore the case that just about ANY swear word will be be ruled out, and who decides what oversteps the mark? Am confused by the whole argument tbh.

dummad Tue 26-Mar-13 19:03:18

Tap tap tap... Can someone sort me out here?

NiceTabard Tue 26-Mar-13 19:11:35

Ooh impatient!

I think there are two sorts of things here.

The illegal bit is if you direct language at someone, or to incite trouble (I think).

So if you use racist language at a person or in order to incite hatred then that's against the law. I think the same should be the case with sexual hate language (if it is not already? i don't think it is).

The other part is just general swearing. The decrease in certain types of words in general swearing has been a shift in society (probably helped by the law) but just generally people feeling that it's unacceptable to say certain things. If the law were changed so that hate speech included against sex, it might be that using certain words would drop out.

I suppose with racist language it was only generally used against people, directly, and wasn't in general sweary use so went more easily? None of it was used in the "life's a bitch" kind of general way that these sort of words sometimes are.

Personally i like a good swear, but don;t think I use anything non generic IYSWIM. Actually no scratch that I say twat sometimes.

dummad Tue 26-Mar-13 19:22:06

Cheers. I don't think it could ever happen. Most swear words are 'feminine inclined', and are used commonly towards men AND women. It'd mean most swear words were banned if it was seen as generally unacceptable to degrade women, or women's bodies, which of course should happen.

Also the racist 'n' and 'p' words that are now unacceptable were not even considered swear words at one time.

Why can't feminism do for women what racism did for...well... Humanity?

Is this making any sense at all? hmm

TeiTetua Tue 26-Mar-13 20:23:58

Ah yes. F* all you patriarchal c*s. Much better.

What about "prick", and "cock", and "knob"? They are generally considered much milder insults than "cunt" - presumably because female genitals are considered disgusting while male ones are just amusing - but they are still swear words related to sex.

dummad Tue 26-Mar-13 22:16:46

Well that is just it. Is it possible to ever have a policy on sexual hate language? And if not then there will never be a case for imposing boundaries. Using gender-specific hate language will therefore never be ruled out like racist language is. Unless we ban all swearing?

dummad Tue 26-Mar-13 22:22:13

Just wondering what the seasoned feminists think about gender specific hate language and how to deal with it.

Creeping Tue 26-Mar-13 23:30:56

The church more or less successfully banned blasphemous swearing, but I think people still felt the need to use the banned words so they found a way around it. God became gosh or golly, damn became darn, God blind me became Cor blimey.

Not sure what I want to say with this, other than that the blasphemous character was indeed lost and nowadays few people are aware of their origins. To start a movement that would make sexist swearing unacceptable would probably need a force as strong as the church used to be, which, unfortunately, feminism isn't. After all, we haven't got damnation and hellfire to threaten with.

elQuintoConyo Tue 26-Mar-13 23:41:39

But other words would soon come along to replace those such as 'cunt' and then they'd have to he banned and so on.

No sure about c* what's rude about that?

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 27-Mar-13 08:50:35

Swearing, I think, has to have some shock/taboo value. sex, masturbation, genitals and toileting still have an element of privacy about them. Hence fucker, wanker, cock and shit.

Genitals are gendered and so are masturbatory words to an extent because of the different actions. It makes sense therefore that it's unusual to call a woman a cock. It doesn't really make sense that cunt and tit are broadly gender neutral as swear words.

In a way, I have more of an issue with "bitch" and "cow" than with "cunt"

Which words would you like to ban, OP?

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