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To alllow my dd (age 2) to use the word paki?

(129 Posts)
littleducks Fri 24-Oct-08 08:22:10

ok i will admit thread title is deliberatly provocative (the other thread this morning has spurred me to ask) but the issue is this:

dh is british born pakistani, he uses the word paki, to describe himself and members of family mostly jokingly

he thinks dd should be allowed to say paki, i suppose in a 'reclaiming the word' way

I'm not so sure, dd is pale, blond with blue/green eyes, if you saw her alone/with me you wouldnt guess her cultural heritage and i fear she may offend someone, be told off especially at nursery/infant school as she grows older but doesnt understand about different terms for different audiences iyswim

dh sees my point but at the same time feels that as it is a term used by pakistani/british asian children (admitedly older pre teen and teenagers) i am in fact isolating her from her peers and will make it difficult for her to realise her identity

so am i being to smug and middle class?

soultaken Fri 24-Oct-08 08:25:29

YABU - I don't think it's OK for a 2 year old to say "paki"

Can't believe you need to ask really.

justgotbfp Fri 24-Oct-08 08:26:23

Is dh offended if people outside his social circle call him Paki? If so then dd could in turn offend others.

potoftea Fri 24-Oct-08 08:27:06

I think I would wait until she is older before allowing her to use this word. Then she can learn to use it only when she is with her pakistani family/friends who don't find it offensive.
But she will probably get into trouble if she uses it in the wider community, and may even offend someone who doesn't know her racial background, and feel it is an insult.

I know it's not the same. But I'm Irish and would be happy to tell an "Irish" joke. But if I heard a child with an English accent telling one, I'd be annoyed. I wouldn't know that her Dad is Irish, and she considered herself to be half Irish.

Troutpout Fri 24-Oct-08 08:27:35

No yanbu.
She is a little girl..she isn't older/pre-teen is she?.
She would offend someone at nursery and infant school. (i would be offended tbh)

ChopsTheDuck Fri 24-Oct-08 08:28:27

It such a complex issue, I don't think it is appropriate for her to use it at her age. Whehter she looks asian or not is irrelevant.

I don't particularly thinki it's appropriate at any age, even in terms of reclaiming, because there are just too many negative connocations with it. As you say, your dh only really uses it jokingly, and it is really an adult joke and I personally think he should refrain from using it in front of her.

There are very occassional jokes in our family about paki food, (dp is asian) but not in front of the kids.

pushchair Fri 24-Oct-08 08:28:38

I think I would avoid the term around her until she has more of a grasp of the context and application specific to your situation. I would have though even in a year or so you could explain to some extent and she will also be able to grasp different ways of using a word.

littleducks Fri 24-Oct-08 08:29:39

dh not really, he would be upset angry if someone deliberatly tried to wind him up and used it as an insult, ie if they shouted it at him for bad driving or something but no more/less so than if they shouted "idiot"

soultaken- but her cousins would say "i'm a paki" to identify themselves

MurderousMarla Fri 24-Oct-08 08:30:25

Your DH is an adult with an understanding of cultural terms and their significance, and also how they can be misconstrued. Don't force this issue onto your DD.

WigWamBam Fri 24-Oct-08 08:32:22

No, it's not acceptable. Most people find the word offensive.

When she's older you can explain to her what the term means, and the different ways in which it is used - and yes, the fact that some people use it in a "reclaiming the word" kind of way. But for now she doesn't understand the connotations so it's best avoided, I think.

Even at such a young age, using this word in context is going to upset and offend people - and your dh knows this.

edam Fri 24-Oct-08 08:32:40

You are right - she's far too little to understand the complex issues about reclaiming a word that most people see as racist insult. Unfair of dh to put that responsibility on her. People WILL think she's parroting a racist word, and you could well have problems at nursery and school - does dh realise if she uses this word there it will have to be recorded as a racist incident and get all of you into hot water?

littleducks Fri 24-Oct-08 08:36:06

i dont use it, no need to, but she has heard it and used it, dh said something to ds (six months) about being a little paki (and this is out of love, it is son and he is proud of him and thinks its a good thing) dd called ds a paki later (copying dh exactly, tickling his chin etc) so i said to her that i thought dh had said 'happy'

but to dh i think he fears if we tell her its bad word, she will grow to feel that it is bad to be a 'paki' which is how a whole group of her peers and relatives identify themselves

and part of me thinks that as a child of immigrants he probably knows and understands the issue more than me

AbbeyA Fri 24-Oct-08 08:37:41

It is unacceptable. I should stop it, because it will get her into trouble at soon as she goes to nursery or similar-much better to stop it before it is a habit.

littleducks Fri 24-Oct-08 08:37:50

edam- how? and if her cousin, who does not have a white mother used it would it be recorded as a racist incident?

SpookyButNice Fri 24-Oct-08 08:39:38

My brother is black and uses the n-word. I hate it with a passion, but within his circle of (mostly black) friends, it's commonly used as a matey welcome.

However, if myself or DH greeted one of them with "Hi there n*gger", they'd probably kick my butt to kingdom come.

Equally, they wouldn't use it to a black person who wasn't within their group.

Your DD won't have to ability to understand that she can say it to her Daddy or other relatives, but NOT an asian kid at nursery. And if I heard a small child use the word then my opinion of the parents would be lower than low.

My DB would never use the n-word in front of my Dad (also black) as he'd be mortified.

AbbeyA Fri 24-Oct-08 08:40:13

It would have to be recorded as a racist incident at a nursery. You can't have some DCs allowed to say it and some not.

SpookyButNice Fri 24-Oct-08 08:42:18

And having just read that your DH lovingly calls your son "little paki" I actually think you need to tell him if you are uncomfortable with this.

I couldn't stomach it personally.

StewieGriffinsMom Fri 24-Oct-08 08:42:46

Message withdrawn

theSuburbanDryad Fri 24-Oct-08 08:42:53

If she uses the word at nursery or primary school and then says, "But my dad is Asian," she risks sounding like "some of my best friends are...." iyswim.

I think Marla put it very well. You don't need to tell her it's a bad word, just don't use it round her.

littleducks Fri 24-Oct-08 08:43:06

abbey- i sort of understand that but it seems odd, i suppose its a minefield

would it be terrible to let it be seen by her as an urdu word and so she would only use with people speaking urdu, who then def wouldnt be offended?

more Fri 24-Oct-08 08:43:21

I was taken aback when our upstairs neighbour's girl (4 years old) said she was going to the Paki to buy some sweeties.

theSuburbanDryad Fri 24-Oct-08 08:45:57

Is 'eskimo' offensive? I had no idea! blush

littleducks Fri 24-Oct-08 08:47:02

Spookybutnice- but dh is a 'paki' in his own terms so ds as his son to him is a little 'paki' and he sees that as something to be proud of like wearing a pakistan cricket shirt (dh wears pakistan for cricket, england for football)

i think i will ask dh to try and not to use it at home for a bit at least and as she will hear it outside explain when she is a bit older

AbbeyA Fri 24-Oct-08 08:47:44

I should stick to that compromise littleducks.

Saggarmakersbottomknocker Fri 24-Oct-08 08:49:01

They record racist incidents in school and the use of Paki would be deemed racist in most circumstances.

I think it's unfair to let her use the word when she's not old enough to understand when and where is might be unacceptable.

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