Author Topic: "Gay" as an insult  (Read 10185 times)

Offline Cybersquirt

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Re: "Gay" as an insult
« Reply #50 on: May 07, 2004, 05:31:00 AM »
Quote from: Cybersquirt
who, in this century, uses gay to mean happy? ..unless you're an author writing in Elizabethan times. When seen in context it is obvious just what the word means, unless one chooses to be ignorant.
The very first post in this topic shows that gay does not always, nor exclusively is used to mean, homosexual.
Nor did my comment say that it meant homosexual, exclusively - I ask again: who, in this century, uses gay to mean happy (as a common everyday term)?

Quote from: Cybersquirt
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How 'bout we all grow up and learn some respect? In society, are we taught to ignore the inappropriate behavior or curtail it?
In this case, the point is that while you consider this use of the word inappropriate, many others don't, and your views of inappropriate, and what actually is inappropriate, shouldn't be confused.
Ah. So you're saying (from your viewpoint, lest we forget) that equating gay to stupidity is entirely appropriate? Or are you saying that the 2 have nothing to do with each other and claim ignorance about the slang derivation? Or are you, as ever, remaining far removed from these trivial matters and claiming some supposed neutral position?

"many" others don't? I only see a few.  I think I've a healthy sense of morality - heathy enough to be realistic about what is and is not appropriate.  :-*
« Last Edit: May 07, 2004, 06:01:28 AM by Cybersquirt »
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Offline jester

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Re: "Gay" as an insult
« Reply #51 on: May 07, 2004, 06:56:30 AM »
Quitch, you can be a picky c**t. :D I was just trying to illustrate the situation. ;)

Galactygon: Pick a word that really insults you. If you can still pull off that trick, kudos to you.
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Offline Alarielle

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Re: "Gay" as an insult
« Reply #52 on: May 07, 2004, 09:40:34 AM »
your attempts to diffuse this situation, or otherwise make light of it, are getting quite irritating. Are you going to say, next, that you didn't know what I meant? "Unless you're authoring Elizabethan times, ..."

I sorry if I pissed you off there, but I honestly didn't catch your meaning.  You wrote 'unless you're an author writing in Elizabethan times' and I took that to mean an author writing in the 19th Century, not an author writing about the 19th Century, with 19th Century language.
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Offline SimDing0

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Re: "Gay" as an insult
« Reply #53 on: May 07, 2004, 10:36:06 AM »
Uh, right... because every time someone says something rude you start a street brawl.  What planet do you come from?  Chances are they'd looked a bit shocked.
Oh, I dunno...

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Nor did my comment say that it meant homosexual, exclusively - I ask again: who, in this century, uses gay to mean happy (as a common everyday term)?
This doesn't mean it's not valid usage. And I've seen plenty of modern literature, especially poetry, that uses it in this sense.
However...you're saying the meaning of the word has changed. So am I.

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So you're saying (from your viewpoint, lest we forget) that equating gay to stupidity is entirely appropriate?
I'd say so, yes. Of course, equating homosexuality to stupidity is not appropriate, but that's a different issue.

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Or are you saying that the 2 have nothing to do with each other and claim ignorance about the slang derivation?
This is the crux of the matter. Firstly, how has the slang derivation actually come about? Not from calling bad things homosexual, presumably, since that makes no sense. But in any case, I maintain that it's progressed long beyond the point where such an origin would have any significance. These days, "gay" can mean "bad".

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Galactygon: Pick a word that really insults you. If you can still pull off that trick, kudos to you.
This made me think, actually. I can pick a word that would really insult me if it was used as an insult addressed to me... let's take "bastard" for example. It's not a nice thing to be called if it's indended to be nasty. Written or spoken in any other context, why should I get offended at it, however?

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edit: btw, Sim, you're trying to be logical (or contentious, but I choose to believe logical) about this - These things are rarely logical.
Well at least arguing over this is more fun than talking about Neverwinter Nights. :)

Offline jester

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Re: "Gay" as an insult
« Reply #54 on: May 07, 2004, 10:54:08 AM »
Bastard??? You must be kiddin me, Sim. Is that the meanest you can come up with? :P I am talking about something that makes you take a deep breath and ponder in your head if you really heard what you just heard. I mean most people wouldn't lift their eyes from their beers for 'bastard'.

And the question to Galac was not to come up with a word that he could shrug off, but to have a really insulting one to himself as a person. I don't want to know that word. I just wanted to point out that you can call me many things and everything that is offensive but does not resonate within me and I couldn't care less. So it is not a good example to use that word which you don't mind being told and say: Hey it can't be that bad. See, I do not even twitch.

The NWN thread never made it to the second page that is really telling something....
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Offline SimDing0

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Re: "Gay" as an insult
« Reply #55 on: May 07, 2004, 11:02:35 AM »
Bastard??? You must be kiddin me, Sim. Is that the meanest you can come up with? :P I am talking about something that makes you take a deep breath and ponder in your head if you really heard what you just heard. I mean most people wouldn't lift their eyes from their beers for 'bastard'.
Don't make me post "no pubes" in large text a second time in one thread... :)

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And the question to Galac was not to come up with a word that he could shrug off, but to have a really insulting one to himself as a person. I don't want to know that word. I just wanted to point out that you can call me many things and everything that is offensive but does not resonate within me and I couldn't care less. So it is not a good example to use that word which you don't mind being told and say: Hey it can't be that bad. See, I do not even twitch.
Okay. Think of the worst, most insulting word you can, and write it down. Whatever it is, I'm not gonna be offended, because you're not insulting me.

Offline Kish

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Re: "Gay" as an insult
« Reply #56 on: May 07, 2004, 12:52:52 PM »
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Or are you saying that the 2 have nothing to do with each other and claim ignorance about the slang derivation?
This is the crux of the matter. Firstly, how has the slang derivation actually come about? Not from calling bad things homosexual, presumably, since that makes no sense.
No sense?  Since when are bigots concerned with sense?

I'd say it's abundantly obvious that "gay=bad" was started by people who think of homosexuality as bad.  There are millions of people like that, all over the place.
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But in any case, I maintain that it's progressed long beyond the point where such an origin would have any significance.
Yes, there is no lack of clarity about what your position is.  About how you can believe that, yes, but not about what you believe.

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This made me think, actually. I can pick a word that would really insult me if it was used as an insult addressed to me... let's take "bastard" for example. It's not a nice thing to be called if it's indended to be nasty. Written or spoken in any other context, why should I get offended at it, however?
This really isn't a proper analogy (yes, I know you didn't propose it).  The issue isn't the casual use of an insulting term, but the drift of a neutral term into an insult.  A better example would be--how would you react if people started using "English" to mean "bad"?  Whenever they want to say something's bad--something that has absolutely no connection to English culture, mind--they say it's "English."  "I don't like Neverwinter Nights because 3d is English!"
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Offline SimDing0

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Re: "Gay" as an insult
« Reply #57 on: May 07, 2004, 01:09:17 PM »
I'd say it's abundantly obvious that "gay=bad" was started by people who think of homosexuality as bad.  There are millions of people like that, all over the place.
But this is not to say that everyone who uses it shares the views. Adopting one usage of the word does not force people to consider its origins.
As the only thing that springs to mind: black people addressing their friends as "niggers" presumably do so with little thought for the history behind the word, no?

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This really isn't a proper analogy (yes, I know you didn't propose it).  The issue isn't the casual use of an insulting term, but the drift of a neutral term into an insult.  A better example would be--how would you react if people started using "English" to mean "bad"?  Whenever they want to say something's bad--something that has absolutely no connection to English culture, mind--they say it's "English."  "I don't like Neverwinter Nights because 3d is English!"
As far as I can tell, I don't find it particularly disturbing... and I suspect that if I was surrounded by people saying "that's English!" with no racist implications, I would have even fewer problems with it. They presumably wouldn't be suggesting that things originating in England were bad, and I don't feel overly defensive of "English" as a word.
Yes, I could easily make that claim just for the sake of argument, and I obviously have no way of proving that it's really how I'd react. Take my word for it.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2004, 01:11:07 PM by SimDing0 »

Offline Quitch

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Re: "Gay" as an insult
« Reply #58 on: May 07, 2004, 06:28:57 PM »
Quote from: Cybersquirt
Ah.  So you're saying (from your viewpoint, lest we forget) that equating gay to stupidity is entirely appropriate?  Or are you saying that the 2 have nothing to do with each other and claim ignorance about the slang derivation?  Or are you, as ever, remaining far removed from these trivial matters and claiming some supposed neutral position?

Well, the problem with this theory is that were I to use the phrase "that's so gay", I would mean stupid, stupid and nothing but stupid.  So, unless I am lying and enjoy having a dig at gays, I would like to know how I just struck out at them.  Or, and I have little dobut of this, are you saying that regardless of my intended meaning, because one of several definitions of this word relates to gays, then it should always be taken to mean as such?  I don't believe this is true for any other word with multiple meanings, slang or otherwise, so I fail to see the reasoning here.  To use the phrase "mother-fucker" for example, I would hardly consider someone launching this as part of a tirade against me as an implication that I participated in incest.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2004, 06:32:09 PM by Quitch »
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Offline Cybersquirt

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Re: "Gay" as an insult
« Reply #59 on: May 07, 2004, 06:43:03 PM »
^ then, ultimately, you fail to believe that the word has dubious origins. I obviously believe otherwise an AM insulted when people throw it around like water - which would be why I taught my nephew not to do it (but that statement got lost in my lost posts).

Sim: Yes, actually, I do think they know what n***** means, and that's why they use it; I explained why they use it anyway. As I've said, go up to a black person, 'cause I know you're white, and lay the word on them.

Ignorance is bliss, but stupid lasts a lifetime. Young people, anyone, that uses a word without regard to its origin.. I don't know, maybe its supposed to happen that way, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

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Not from calling bad things homosexual, presumably, since that makes no sense.
It makes perfect sense, as Kish points out.

btw, yes, it's a better discussion than NWN any day.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2004, 07:03:27 PM by Cybersquirt »
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Offline Quitch

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Re: "Gay" as an insult
« Reply #60 on: May 07, 2004, 08:24:04 PM »
Quote from: Cybersquirt
^ then, ultimately, you fail to believe that the word has dubious origins.

Make whatever assumptions you wish.

Quote from: Cybersquirt
I obviously believe otherwise an AM insulted when people throw it around like water - which would be why I taught my nephew not to do it (but that statement got lost in my lost posts).

What offends you is of no interest to me, nor relevant to this debate.

Quote from: Cybersquirt
Sim: Yes, actually, I do think they know what n***** means, and that's why they use it; I explained why they use it anyway.  As I've said, go up to a black person, 'cause I know you're white, and lay the word on them.

Which would prove what?  Surely you're going against your own creed my making this sweeping generalisation about blacks?

Quote from: Cybersquirt
Ignorance is bliss, but stupid lasts a lifetime.  Young people, anyone, that uses a word without regard to its origin.. I don't know, maybe its supposed to happen that way, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

Anyone who wants only to speak a language doesn't need to know the origin of a word, only its current meaning.  Frankly, the fact that people use the word without regard to its origin is the very thing that should reassure you.  The day someone can shout "you black bastard!" and no one will regard it any differently to "mother-fucker" will be the day that racsim is dead.  As long as people special case, then it will always exist.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2004, 08:25:47 PM by Quitch »
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Offline Kish

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Re: "Gay" as an insult
« Reply #61 on: May 07, 2004, 08:31:13 PM »
What offends you is of no interest to me, nor relevant to this debate.
Considering that you asserted using the term "gay" as an insult is not offensive, the question of whether it offends is the heart and soul of this debate.
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Offline jcompton

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Re: "Gay" as an insult
« Reply #62 on: May 07, 2004, 09:29:32 PM »
Okay, we're pretty well caught in a loop arguing about root causes now, which is what typically happens in Unresolvable Arguments, so I'd like to thank you all for your generally level-headed participation and encourage you to move on now.
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