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?

TunipTheVegedude Mon 21-Jan-13 11:47:03

You are going to hate me for this and feel free to tell me I'm an arsehole, but please, it's 'misogynistic'. From the Greek mis- meaning hate and gyn- meaning woman.

What do I think.... well, I agree with you, I don't like it, but I think it is really trivial compared to stuff like this. I'd be concerned that putting our energies into 'bitch' and 'cow' on here rather than the much worse stuff that men say about women all over the rest of the goddam web was related to wanting to hold women to a higher standard than men.
Of course if you feel you can fight on both fronts at once then fine, good luck with it smile

AnyFucker Mon 21-Jan-13 11:52:12

I don't like it either, kim, unless it is very clear it is used affectionately between friends. I haven't seen any recent ones though, so not sure of the context you are describing.

Misogyny should be called whenever it is seen. HQ can't delete everything though, and since I have just called someone on another thread an "atrocious cunt" as a joke and was taken as such, I guess relying on the self-moderation that is one of the strengths of MN is still really the answer.

personal attacks however, when reported, are not tolerated and so they shouldn't be

steppemum Mon 21-Jan-13 12:51:06

tunip - just clicked on your link - truly horrifying (and I like Mary Beard so much, and she was so cool about it all - amazing lady)

personally I don't like the bitch/cow stuff, not just because it is misogynistic, but becasue I don't feel the need to swear /use offensive language in RL and so I don't on here. It is the context though that I find more worrying.

And I find the threads about useless men with all that that implies also pretty annoying, more so than the odd word.

kim147 Mon 21-Jan-13 12:52:21

Tunip I always find that word hard to spell. And I'm supposed to be a teacher (who's done Latin)

MN is just one example - there is also the whole internet to worry about.

I am shock at that link Tunip.

SaskiaRembrandtVampireHunter Mon 21-Jan-13 13:31:42

I don't like it either, but I suppose here on MN we do have the option of reporting posts when terms like that are used to attack someone - rather than as a joke in the way AF mentions.

But the abuse that Mary Beard has been receiving is a whole other level. I knew the DM was trying to stir things up after her appearance on QT, but had no idea people were being so nasty. It reminds me of what happened to Kathy Sierra a few years ago - and sadly she ended up being driven offline sad

I agree with tunip - it's stuff like that link that really worries me.

To focus on what women say on MN comes across to me like 'handmaiden-blaming', which I think is too easy to do. Instead of looking at the deeper causes for why it's acceptable to use woman-hating language, we'd be focussing on other women and using them as scapegoats.

TunipTheVegedude Mon 21-Jan-13 13:36:52

I didn't mean to derail that thread - apologies to Kim - and I'm usually sceptical of 'we shouldn't do x because y is more important' arguments. But I do feel like we're in an emergency situation wrt women's right to public expression.

I agree, tunip.

I do think MNHQ have a problem with the way they delete things. At the moment, you could be deleted for saying something quite crudely and obviously rude - like, fuck off, you pillock - or for something disablist or racist. I've not seen anyone deleted for referring to women as 'bitchy' in the way you'd be deleted if you referred to [insert racial group here] as [insert term of abuse here].

But I suppose it is, practically, quite hard to police misogynistic language simply because it's so very embedded. I'd be reporting half my own old posts and I'm sure that's not just me! blush

What's the problem with bitch or cow? Apart from the fact that they are derogatory terms?

The fact that they are derogatory terms.

AnyFucker Mon 21-Jan-13 15:25:02

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

Yes, sorry (for some reason I misread your post joyful, so mine reads oddly now): the fact they're derogatory terms and gendered (or, at least, not associated with hetereo men).

I think it's horrible to grow up thinking that the way you talk to your mates is 'bitching' just because you're all girls. Of course, girls can be really mean - but so can boys. And if you were to describe a group of men 'bitching', that term would sound slightly out of place - it implies men communicate in a different way, that's less mean and more serious. IMO.

higgle Mon 21-Jan-13 15:29:25

I'm always taken aback by the very judgemental attitudes and abusive language extended to "Other Women". The husband/partner involved with the OW who is the one who has reached trust generally seems to get off far more lightly.

badguider Mon 21-Jan-13 15:30:58

there aren't a lot of gender-neutral sweary and derogatory terms in english.

i guess fucker is about the only one i can think of right now. it is interesting, but i think as it's such an ingrained part of the english language you are unlikely to be able to stop it on mn, considering how hard it is to prevent outright racist and disablist language which far more people baulk at..

Susan2kids Mon 21-Jan-13 15:33:50

No but the word dick and cock is used all the time for the same reasons....with the addition that women are also called by the masculine 'names' AnyFucker.... you seem very keen to invent bias where there is none. What would you like NO GENDER based insults at all. Or are you just in fact one of those women who has little to do rather than insisting that any use of the words like 'cunt' is terribly offensive to women...because you've run out of legitimate complaints because the language of insult is fairly gender equal and very little to do with misogyny? Oh and plenty of men get called for bitching about things.......

higgle - that is so true. MN really opened my eyes to that one.

bad - it's so odd, isn't it? But I don't think that it actually goes back so very far in the language. A lot of our swearing that's second nature would have been unthinkable for our grandmothers or great-grandmothers, wouldn't it? And words like 'slag' may have existed for a long time, but their current meaning is quite recent, I think?

Oh, Susan. Bless you.

<gets popcorn>

ChilliChips Mon 21-Jan-13 15:41:55

LRD, before you get too far down the popcorn, I really would like an informed response to what (I think) Susan's point is, because it's something that I've genuinely wondered about. What is the difference between calling a woman a bitch and calling a man a bastard/dick/arsehole/other male-gendered insult?

Susan2kids Mon 21-Jan-13 15:46:54

That's entirely my point Chilli.....There is no difference other than admitting it to be true would relieve a whole load of keyboard feminists who would embarass Germaine Greer with nothing to cry about. There are legitimate complaints and then there's complaints like this which if anything damage the quest for equality rather than help it.... You can tell its a valid point because LDR's attitude was to try and pretend she didn't need to answer and that it was automatically laughable.

AbigailAdams Mon 21-Jan-13 15:48:51

Power dynamic, ChilliChips. Men oppress women, not the other way round. One of the ways that men oppress women is using parts of our body as really derogatory insults for other people. Apart from the fact that dick and cock are considered in no way as offensive as bitch or cunt.

And yes Susan I would like no gender based insults at all.

"plenty of men get called for bitching about things....... " only when they are viewed as doing something that really only women <allegedly> do. So it is in fact a double insult - oh look he is "gossiping" and being like a woman. As we know there is nothing worse for a man than to be like a woman.

Oh, sorry!

I did actually think Susan was taking the piss ... I've done advanced search and I was thinking of a different S-named poster. blush One who knows AF.

Anyway ... I think gendered insults are not a great thing, not matter which gender they apply to. It is a real problem IMO that it's so easy to reach for a phrase like 'oh, he's such a dick' or 'she's such a bitch', because these are gendered phrases that suggest the people in question are being nasty in a way that's intrinsic to their gender. It's also quite hard to find alternatives. But then, when my dad was growing up people had a rich and varied vocabulary of offensive terms for non-white people, and we've moved beyond that.

That's my main point. But secondary to that - yes, I do think there's a difference between using a gendered derogatory term for a man, and using it for a woman. Ideally you don't use either. But I think women are more discriminated against than men, so to make the playing field equal, we have to be more careful with insults against women than men. I think it's a bit like the way that I'd think of race relations in 1940s London between the Irish and the English. Someone Irish is discriminated against just by virtue of being Irish. Someone English isn't. If the Irish guy has had a day of seeing signs saying 'no Irish' on doors, and someone then swears at him for being a 'paddy', IMO that is nastier than if someone English, who has no problems renting a room, gets sworn at by the Irish guy.

Does that make any sense? I do see where you're coming from, I just think there has to be acknowledgement some people are more discriminated against than others, so the extra bit of discrimination can be the straw that broke the camel's back.

DameMargotFountain Mon 21-Jan-13 15:53:36

i read a really interesting debate on the 'net a while back about how most swearwords are aimed at a slur on women

call someone a bastard and it's all about the parentage - an unmarried mother

cunt - well obvs

twat - again, a cunt

prick - well, yes you can have that one

motherfucker - obvs

bitch - female animal

slut - woman

slag - woman

and so on

asshole is probably my choice of phrase now, but will use cunt in the (probably vain) hope that common usage will help to disarm the shock factor

ChilliChips Mon 21-Jan-13 15:55:34

Thanks to all. I'm on a type-and-run here but will read through and have more of a think about it later. I've never seen the arguments set out before.

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

But it's not ok to use male-based swear words. confused

Why would you assume people think that? Surely men aren't so much the default? We've established gender-based swear words are dubious, so it smacks rather of male entitlement to expect a special confirmation that this is still the case for men, no?

Daddelion Mon 21-Jan-13 16:17:06

I've never heard a woman called a wanker, ever.

Does it happen?

Twat seems to be the favourite insult for men on MN.

Sunnywithshowers Mon 21-Jan-13 16:20:12

I'm a fan of douchebag myself, or cunt when I'm provoked.

That aside, I'm not sure what the answer is - we live in a world saturated with misogynistic language and it's no surprise that's reflected here.

StewieGriffinsMom Mon 21-Jan-13 16:28:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sorry for posting and disappearing earlier! Thanks for the explanatory posts, I thought I must be missing something. blush

Charlizee Mon 21-Jan-13 17:05:32

Pig and dickhead are other insults dominantly used for men

Charlizee Mon 21-Jan-13 17:08:28

The word which makes me the most angry is "pimp" because it is now used in a positive connotation when its reality is violence against women.

You do realize pimp is just a slang term for an agent (female equivalent is a madam)? ie someone who is employed by a sex worker to provide a place to work and security from clients who cause trouble?

Just because someone is an agent/pimp doesn't automatically mean he is violent or disrespects the sex worker. That's a stereotype that's been played so often it's often the first thing people think of when they hear the word pimp.

AnyFucker Mon 21-Jan-13 17:15:37

here is a dictionary definition of the word pimp

here is a more colloquial description of the term

it's fairly clear to me

Darkesteyes Mon 21-Jan-13 17:22:32

Nymphomaniac -derogatory term for women who like sex
frigid -derogatory term for women who may have problems
with intimacy for whatever reason (i dont mean that to sound flippant btw.)
I dont hear these terms applied to men.

AnyFucker Mon 21-Jan-13 17:48:42

No, you are more likely to hear "he likes to sow his oats" and i can't think of anything that equates to "frigid" when applied to a man, tbh

Because men are entitled to shag around and have no judgments made (but God help the woman who does it) and men are always up for sex, ain't they ? Er, no.

Darkesteyes Mon 21-Jan-13 17:51:35

Exactly AF. Agreed.

Charlizee Mon 21-Jan-13 18:01:56

@AnyFucker You're quoting urbandictionary as a source?? You do realize it's like wikipedia anyone can add anything to do and it isn't checked or verified?

StewieGriffinsMom Mon 21-Jan-13 18:37:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AnyFucker Mon 21-Jan-13 18:39:54

charli, yes, I deliberately quoted a formal dictionary definition and a colloquial definition to show that both sources describe "pimp" as something rather more than simply "a man who works in the sex industry"

Charlizee Mon 21-Jan-13 18:53:51

"A pimp is an agent for prostitutes who collects part of their earnings. This act is called procuring or Pandering. The pimp may receive this money in return for advertising services, physical protection, or for providing, and possibly monopolizing, a location where she may engage clients. A woman who runs a brothel is known as a madam rather than a pimp."

There you go a Wikipedia definition.

feministefatale Mon 21-Jan-13 20:02:27

I think most insults seem to be pretty gender specific.. So i tend to not worry too much when someone (a female) calls another bitch or cow, but do get very upset about words that are derogatory to women as a whole. Such as slut whore etc. I'd use either the way I would call a man a dick or prick etc. I wouldn't call a man a female insult purely because I think using female insults at a man the implication is that being a woman is shit some how. So I won't call a guy a pussy etc.

Daddelion Mon 21-Jan-13 21:47:00

Or stop insulting people.

Do people say these words to people's faces in real life?

They don't in my world. Well not very often.

Hobbitation Mon 21-Jan-13 22:06:48

I think what I hate more is people using "girly" as derogatory. As being a girl is a bit shit, inferior obviously. angry Or men calling each other "ladies" implying they are a bit namby pamby.

We definitely need some great non-genderised insults though. Shitclown?

feministefatale Mon 21-Jan-13 22:19:01

no daddeliion, some times a well placed, "fuck off, you ****" is totally necessary. I have used bad words to people's faces, yes, not as often as is necessary on mumsnet because I only hang out with people I like in rl. I am exposed to the views of thousands on mumsnet.

AbigailAdams Tue 22-Jan-13 12:31:04

Ahh that's what's wrong. Women should just stop insulting people. Then we will get freedom from oppression and equality. Naice girls get the rewards, hey?

And really, someone is trying to argue that pimp is not synonymous with violence? Vested interest, much?

rainbowrainbowrainbow Tue 22-Jan-13 13:49:44

I don't think anyone be they male or female insulting someone by swearing at them is necessary or productive.
I think you can put a strong argument across without resorting to chucking insults around. It just seems to cause more hatred and can often shut down a debate, that's what I've often seen on many threads here anyway.

snowiceslush Tue 22-Jan-13 15:53:29

Cow
Bitch

All a bit childish. Sticks and stones. PIG Pretty Intelligent Girl, Cow - Confident Outgoing Woman, Bitch - Leader of the pack. Reminds me of schoolground nonsense.

The word I absolutely loathe and find most offensive is Cunt. It is such an ugly , nasty, vulgar word.

Xenia Tue 22-Jan-13 16:32:11

I don't swear on or off line. It's a sign of a limited vocabulary.

I have never understood why one of the most wonderful things in creation - the vagina or even the penis are used as derogatory terms. The other one people use is gay and old woman or old anything.

There are certainly more anti women uses than anti male/gay etc.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Tue 22-Jan-13 17:07:32

Whilst bastard and arsehole may be used more about men than women, they don't come from a male root (in the way that dickhead or bitch come from a gendered root). It's possible they get used more about men because there are fewer swear words with a male root so these even up the numbers.

I've never heard simian or alpha male used as an insult. Macho is a bit of a teasing word (oh look at him off to the gym for the tenth time this week, he's so macho) but wouldn't be a standalone insult I don't think ( you macho bastard wouldn't seem to flow like, say, you stupid bastard)

Re pimp - never use this, but sometimes say "hardcore" (that hike was really hardcore). though it's an exaggeration of hard in my mind, I should probably stop.

catgirl1976 Tue 22-Jan-13 19:02:52

Bitch is gender neutral to me (except when talking about animals)

Context is key as always though

feministefatale Wed 23-Jan-13 14:21:28

I have never heard someone call a male a bitch without calling out his masculinity, so used differently which I find offensive to women.

StewieGriffinsMom Wed 23-Jan-13 14:27:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Susan2kids Wed 23-Jan-13 15:11:06

really ladies we can claim Macho isn't an insult all we want in an attempt to make it seem like we are downtrodden women.... the word Macho is insulting in th language it is taken from, its not really arguable, its fact ... unless you want to claim men 'reclaimed' it somehow..... but thats down to us.... we could reclaim female insults. Genetalic swearwords are common in all cultures and languages and its nothing about gender traits really its about comparing you to genitals. There arent really more female than male ones......how often have you head the expression "balls'd it" up...or the word 'scrote'. I've not heard one woman here say she wouldnt be offended by being called manlike so its untrue to say that female characteristics are automatically found to be offensive....It works equally for either sex.....

Yes, I'm sure it's pure coincidence words like 'hysterical' even exist. Or indeed that 'cunt' is widely considered more offensive than 'prick'.

Of course it has to do with gender. It's nothing to do with making us 'seem' like downtrodden women: it is simply that, right there in our language, is the evidence that women have been seen as lesser than men. It goes right from that fact that 'he' is default (cf. 'mankind'), to the fact that misogynistic language is normalized.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Wed 23-Jan-13 15:22:31

Oh, man up and stop acting like a girl... hmm

grin

OneMoreChap Wed 23-Jan-13 15:41:18

It must be my labouring background, but I'd always assumed hardcore is related to the rough bits of rock I remember compacting before concreting.

Whence hardcore porn - rough/industrial.

On the other hand, it might just be my age.
I think gendered insults are wrong, and seeing women calling each other cunts is somewhat distressing. As a very young boy, I remember having a physical discussion with another boy who'd called me a bastard, as it was a reflection on my mother... But that was in another country, and besides, the wench is dead or something...

In general, I think Xenia's right and insults reflect most upon those that use them.

HeyHoHereWeGo Wed 23-Jan-13 15:45:49

I hate the phrase "Man up" which means act like a responsible adult.
So any one, male or female who acts in an admirable way is acting - like a man?

Susan2kids Wed 23-Jan-13 16:16:08

LDR "indeed that 'cunt' is widely considered more offensive than 'prick" Ah now weve moved on to degrees of offensiveness....well thats down to us. Women. Men dont take that much insult from prick...maybe its up to us not to take such offence from cunt (although im not suggesting we all act like a friend and try and reeclaim the word...she would sing the word cunt for about five minutes at anyone who used it as an insult.....whilst it did work as a deterrent it probably isnt the best method.)

Susan2kids Wed 23-Jan-13 16:17:42

"I hate the phrase "Man up" which means act like a responsible adult."
Perhaps the best response to this would be to run off and spend all evening watching TV and expecting dinner to be made smile

Rubbish. It's not remotely 'down to us'. Language doesn't work like that.

And I've not 'moved on' to anything. The fact that insults are disproportionately anti-woman is the subject of the thread.

I do like the root of the word 'cunt' (I'm a medievalist, I read my Chaucer, I know what it means). What makes me terribly sad is that this is a word with a really nice etymology, that women could be proud of - yet it's become one of the most offensive words you can say.

IMO that tells you all you need to know about misogyny in our language.

HoneyDragon Wed 23-Jan-13 16:28:31

I'd rather be called a bitch than a dog, oddly enough. confused

TheOriginalSteamingNit Wed 23-Jan-13 16:29:57

Anyone remember that 80s song 'he's gotta be/such a cunt/ he's gotta be / such a cunt/ he's gotta be big and strong, enough to turn me on'?

'Dog' is nasty too - but I'd argue it's gendered as well, isn't it? In that when someone says 'that woman, she's such a dog', we know what it means. If someone says 'he's such a dog', it doesn't mean the same. In fact I've only heard men referred to as 'dog' in a US context, where it seems to mean something a bit like 'stud', maybe? confused

(Anyone who is rolling around laughing at me because that's wrong, feel free to correct ...).

HoneyDragon Wed 23-Jan-13 16:32:00

Nope, that's I get confused

He's such a dawg -- good

She's a dog -- baaaaaaad

Oh, good, that's what I thought (well, not 'good', but you know what I mean).

JustAHolyFool Wed 23-Jan-13 16:41:07

I think saying swearing is a sign of a limited vocabulary is a non-argument. In fact, I'd say repeating this truism is a sign of limited thinking power.

I have no problem with cunt/twat being applied to anyone, same as I use cock/dick for anyone.

I hate bitch/cow/slut/slag because they're only used against women, or to imply that men are womanly and thus shit.

feministefatale Wed 23-Jan-13 16:48:38

I can't see how using the word that bests suits in a situation is a sign of limited vocabulary either.

Susan2kids Thu 24-Jan-13 17:00:29

LDR "Rubbish. It's not remotely 'down to us'. Language doesn't work like that." Thats nice, again youve just stated something youve not supported it.

Language does indeed work like that.

Its entirely based around how we interpret it. We place our own meanings on words. Women are the worst critics of women...we always have been. The first people to level epithets like 'slut' and 'slag' in any sitution ive personally encountered are women. Ill make the same challenge you've ignored twice now. Why is Cunt or Twat actually more offensive than Prick or Cock?

Susan2kids Thu 24-Jan-13 17:01:46

FeministeFatale, I entirely agree...... smile "I can't see how using the word that bests suits in a situation is a sign of limited vocabulary either." Sometimes there isnt a better word than cunt or prick available i the space you have to say it smile

susan, language is not given its entire meaning by one half of the population.

I am not certain I need to 'support' this, since it has been quite some time since I came across a society of men who communicated entirely in grunts, and they were extremely pissed at the time.

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