View Poll Results: Are some words inherently offensive?

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Thread: Are some words inherently offensive or is context important?

  1. #21
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    Re: Are some words inherently offensive or is context important?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    Feminazi is actually a wonderful example.

    I can see how someone that considers themselves a strong feminist may see it as all around inherently offensive.

    For me personally, its a context thing. If someone calls anyone that simply is pushing for womens rights a feminazi, I'd think they're rather ignorant. However, if someone was using it to refer to a specific group of feminists that are so overblown on their views that they begin to swing it from an honest attempt to bring women to an equal playing field but instead to place women above men and to actively work to punish and oppress males for the sake of raising up women then I'd see it as a rather junvile, but understandable, attempt to label them with a word that invokes the imagery you view their thought process to be like.
    I bolded the exact definition of a feminazi as was originally used. I am technically a male feminist as I see nothing wrong with a qualified(insert human being here) getting the desired position, what gets to me is when standards are argued lower by(insert overreactive braindead zealot here) group that takes things to the dangerous extreme.

    My second point for all is, what is wrong with offending a specific person who needs to be offended. Let's face it, some people are jerks no matter their sex, ethnicity, creed, etc.. Why is it all of a sudden a kid gloves situation when a true jerk gets a little humbling?
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  2. #22
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    Re: Are some words inherently offensive or is context important?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gwendoline View Post
    Just curious. What "word" would you use for a man who is "... so overblown on their views that they begin to swing it from an honest attempt to bring men to an equal playing field but instead to place men above women and to actively work to punish and oppress women for the sake of raising up men..."

    So how does it work when said that way? And is there a word equivelent to "feminazi" for men, and what is it? Neanderthal? Sounds kinda soft... maybe something a bit harsher, maybe...
    I would take a step above and use the word misogynist. And for men hating women I would use the word misandry.

  3. #23
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    Re: Are some words inherently offensive or is context important?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gwendoline View Post
    Just curious. What "word" would you use for a man who is "... so overblown on their views that they begin to swing it from an honest attempt to bring men to an equal playing field but instead to place men above women and to actively work to punish and oppress women for the sake of raising up men..."
    I don't think guys like that are really that complex. I'm sure they wish they were. I think you are giving them far too much credit. To me they just have extremely fragile egos and want to lash out at others because of it.

    So how does it work when said that way? And is there a word equivelent to "feminazi" for men, and what is it? Neanderthal? Sounds kinda soft... maybe something a bit harsher, maybe...
    I agree. There should be a good name for guys like that.

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    Re: Are some words inherently offensive or is context important?

    Quote Originally Posted by dclxvinoise View Post
    I don't think guys like that are really that complex. I'm sure they wish they were. I think you are giving them far too much credit. To me they just have extremely fragile egos and want to lash out at others because of it.
    If we all whittle away and take off our gender garments... we are pretty "basic" human beings, methinks.

    Thank you for your responses, dclxvinoise. Very well received and appreciated by me. Plus I really like the quote in your sig? Who said that?

  5. #25
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    Re: Are some words inherently offensive or is context important?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gwendoline View Post
    If we all whittle away and take off our gender garments... we are pretty "basic" human beings, methinks.

    Thank you for your responses, dclxvinoise. Very well received and appreciated by me. Plus I really like the quote in your sig? Who said that?
    No problem.

    It's from a movie that a friend of a friend made called "Onward To Calgary". It's very surreal and strange, but also hilarious.

  6. #26
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    Re: Are some words inherently offensive or is context important?

    I believe that words have no power in themselves, yet how a person utilizes the words create the offensive nature.

  7. #27
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    Re: Are some words inherently offensive or is context important?

    I see words as just the colors with which we use to paint an image. If I intend or prefer my image to be dark, then the words I would choose would be such; opposite, of course, with a bright or enlightening image.

    In addition, I think the words we all use, regardless sometimes of how, where or why we use them, are misconstrued based upon who is hearing or reading them. If someone wants to believe another is being derogatory toward them, then they will take a phrase like "you are a water drinker" in a poor way. I, as well as others here, can be sarcastic and include a little bite in our comments, never truly intending them to be taken the "wrong" way...but at times they are.


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  8. #28
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    Re: Are some words inherently offensive or is context important?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gwendoline View Post
    Just curious. What "word" would you use for a man who is "... so overblown on their views that they begin to swing it from an honest attempt to bring men to an equal playing field but instead to place men above women and to actively work to punish and oppress women for the sake of raising up men..."

    So how does it work when said that way? And is there a word equivelent to "feminazi" for men, and what is it? Neanderthal? Sounds kinda soft... maybe something a bit harsher, maybe...
    Well, a few issues with giving a true answer here.

    First, unlike feminism, there's no real "movement" or political grouping or terminology for the "advancement of man". There's no manimist or anything of the sort. As such, there's no easy way to take the generic groups (in this case feminists) general term and then merge it with a well recognized group term for the type of attitude you're saying the extreme section of them represent (nazi's) and then to merge those.

    So, with female's who are great advocates of female rights and rank in the world (feminists) who believe they must punish, degrade, and destroy an enemy that they feel is wrong in order to prop up and bring to prominence the more correct sex/person (nazi-esque mentality) easily creates the notion of a "feminazi" that if one is to look at it objectively should provide a reasonable image of the TYPE of extreme feminist you're talking about. By that very nature, if you use it to describe EVERY feminist then you're being overly hyperbolic and rather insulting as you're attributing extremism to everyone in a movement.

    This is difficult, as I said, to give a correlation for a man showing the same thing because they do not have an identifiable political or social group label.

    Frankly, as a male, being compared to a barely over animal IQ horribly unevolved humanoid that is essentially an entirely different species could be seen as rather offensive. YOU may not find it that offensive and find it "soft", but could it not be for the same reason you seem to be implying that males find the use of "feminist" as an insulting term as "soft"?

    So, no, I can't give you a good analog because the situations are not directly relatable. I do think if there was some organized political or social movement with a distinct label for the "advancement of men's rights" and some of them acted in an extremely oppressive way that the use of "[whatever]nazi" would make me react much the same way as the one we're talking about, thinking its a decent enough way to give imagery to what you're thought is but overall rather juvenile and not useful for the conversation.

  9. #29
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    Re: Are some words inherently offensive or is context important?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    So, no, I can't give you a good analog because the situations are not directly relatable. I do think if there was some organized political or social movement with a distinct label for the "advancement of men's rights" and some of them acted in an extremely oppressive way that the use of "[whatever]nazi" would make me react much the same way as the one we're talking about, thinking its a decent enough way to give imagery to what you're thought is but overall rather juvenile and not useful for the conversation.
    I see a couple problems with this. There are certainly men who view women as little more than property and such, and the strongest term we have for those is "misogynist", which is a term with almost no emotional impact. A woman who views men with contempt is a "feminazi", which is a word with considerable emotional impact, and is used far more often than "misogynist". In a very similar way, "bitch" is female directed, and has a strong impact, but the male version, "bastard" has almost no impact.

    The second problem is that the word "feminazi" is used more to marginalize women of strength than it is to describe women with ultra extreme man hating positions, at least in my experience. Thankfully, it seems the use of the term is going down, but at one time, any time "women's issues" where brought up, it was a safe bet the word "feminazi" would be broken out soon.

    Now, I don't find the word "feminazi" to be offensive. I do not find words to be offensive at all. I am more worried about ideas than words.

  10. #30
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    Re: Are some words inherently offensive or is context important?

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    I see a couple problems with this. There are certainly men who view women as little more than property and such, and the strongest term we have for those is "misogynist", which is a term with almost no emotional impact.
    I'd question that. I imagine men who don't present misogynistic tendancies that are lambasted as that would find it greatly offensive. I imagine men who DO present such tendancies would be the type to typically take insults and scoff at them, choosing to instead shield themselves through insulting back rather than letting themselves be outwardly offended. Again, this is a case of a word not being universally insulting but it having different insulting meanings to different people.

    A woman who views men with contempt is a "feminazi", which is a word with considerable emotional impact, and is used far more often than "misogynist".
    Again, I think this is again an instance where it is the context and society that has caused the possible backlash, not the "word". Once again, the term is likely used "more often" because in general you do not have an organized political movement to push "men's rights" where as there IS for women. I have no doubt, knowing our society in which EVERY political grouping generally has some kind of insulting term affixed to it, that there would be something for an equivilent male organization.

    I also think this comes down in general to the different attitudes that at least on a personal level I've observed between extremely over the top males and females in regards to their sex. Where as Males, from what I've observed, seem more likely to go on the attack and shrug off an insult as "meaningless" I've noticed women more likely to take it and wear it as a badge and as something to use as a sort of standard bearer to attack back.

    To give an analogy, let us say that insulting words are like a weapon...say a knife. The male tendancy, from what I've observed, would be to rip the knife out, ignore it, and run forward to kill the enemy with their own weapon. The female tendancy would be to grab it, use it to fuel their anger further, and use it as the weapon to attack them back with. (A bit crude of an analogy but I hope you get where I'm going).

    Essentially, that the way in which the extreme's on both sides of the sexes react to the words is less about how "offensive" the words are but more simply on the ways in which they react to it, which in turns creates the way in which the words are viewed to a certain extent.

    In a very similar way, "bitch" is female directed, and has a strong impact, but the male version, "bastard" has almost no impact.
    Again, I hear "bitch" and "bastard" generally said in EXTREMELY similar context with extremely similar venom. The only real difference I see is the way in which it envokes a reaction *typically*. Your assertion seems to be that that means one word is naturally more "offensive" than the other it seems, where as I think it has more to do with the general way in which the sexes tend to act and respond to certain things on a stereotypical general level.

    The second problem is that the word "feminazi" is used more to marginalize women of strength than it is to describe women with ultra extreme man hating positions, at least in my experience.Thankfully, it seems the use of the term is going down, but at one time, any time "women's issues" where brought up, it was a safe bet the word "feminazi" would be broken out soon.
    Which was my point in the post. "Feminazi" as a term is not something I have an issue with. While I think it is not extremely useful in conversation because it does have a tendancy to inflame, within the context of its creation and general meaning I do not think it is an offensive thing. When it is extended as an overall generalization to any and every women that feels the need for womens rights THEN I can understand offense to it. But this still leads back to my original statement...that in general I do not view words as being able to be "universally" offensive but requiring context to be offensive, which said context at times can only apply to a singular person.

    Now, I don't find the word "feminazi" to be offensive. I do not find words to be offensive at all. I am more worried about ideas than words.
    I agree, and in regards to something like "Feminazi" I do not believe that the "idea" behind it in a general sense is "offensive" but I do believe it can be used, and often is used, in an offensive way when over generalized.

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