Author Topic: "Gay" as an insult  (Read 10904 times)

Offline jester

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Re: "Gay" as an insult
« Reply #25 on: May 06, 2004, 12:21:53 PM »
Yes, and you might just try out some of your good old English words on the niggaz in your hood and you will be very lucky to get away with the famous salute or have a lively discussion about how much they appreciate you classical education. :P

If you do not state a specific context you might want to consider that those who used it here are prob roughly the same age and the same cultural background.
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Offline Kish

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Re: "Gay" as an insult
« Reply #26 on: May 06, 2004, 01:06:24 PM »
Hence, why should using gay always be considered as insulting?
Did someone, at some point, say or imply that using gay should always be considered as insulting?  Noo...using gay as an insult is insulting.

If you read nineteenth-century American literature, you'll see that it was fairly common practice to refer to negative qualities as "womanish," quite casually.  Just like the gay people you know who don't object to "gay" being used to mean "stupid," the female characters in that literature don't seem particularly distressed or surprised by this--by other insults, yes; by the general acceptance that of course everyone knows "womanish" means weak and stupid, no.  Nothing offensive there, right?  It's not a big improvment that that kind of thing isn't tolerated today, right?
« Last Edit: May 06, 2004, 01:26:03 PM by Kish »
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Offline Alarielle

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Re: "Gay" as an insult
« Reply #27 on: May 06, 2004, 01:09:38 PM »
Yes, and you might just try out some of your good old English words on the niggaz in your hood and you will be very lucky to get away with the famous salute or have a lively discussion about how much they appreciate you classical education. :P

If you do not state a specific context you might want to consider that those who used it here are prob roughly the same age and the same cultural background.

the point I was trying to make is that a word is only offensive if you choose to see it as such.  How about we all grow up and see it as what it is: just a word!
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Offline Hendryk

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Re: "Gay" as an insult
« Reply #28 on: May 06, 2004, 01:09:43 PM »
Is it purely coincidence that the Neverwinter Nights thread has evolved into an extended debate about derogation?

Offline Kish

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Re: "Gay" as an insult
« Reply #29 on: May 06, 2004, 01:16:06 PM »
the point I was trying to make is that a word is only offensive if you choose to see it as such.
That would mean it's impossible to insult anyone, ever.

So if someone were to call you a list of terms that suggested low intelligence, ugliness and sexual promiscuity, you would not be offended?  After all, "A word is only offensive if you choose to see it as such."  I'd give an example of such an "inoffensive" term, but then you might feel flamed by me, and I don't want that.
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Offline Alarielle

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Re: "Gay" as an insult
« Reply #30 on: May 06, 2004, 01:21:19 PM »
I think maybe I'm just too easy going.  People can call me what they want.  If someone wants to call me a moronic, trout-faced slag then fair enough.  It's probably true on some level ;)

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That would mean it's impossible to insult anyone, ever.
I meant it's the context and tone behind the word that makes it offensive.  A word alone isn't.  I realise it didn't make much sense before, but I'm tired :)
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Offline SimDing0™

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Re: "Gay" as an insult
« Reply #31 on: May 06, 2004, 01:23:35 PM »
Did someone, at some point, say or imply that using gay should always be considered as insulting?  Noo...using gay as an insult is insulting.
I'm fairly sure this whole discussion is over whether it's an insult to homosexuals or not. I'm saying it isn't. And as much as you fancy arguing that it insults the game, I don't really think that has a lot of bearing here, since it's clear nobody's implying that NWN is bad because it is homosexual.

Offline Alarielle

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Re: "Gay" as an insult
« Reply #32 on: May 06, 2004, 01:24:54 PM »
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I don't really think that has a lot of bearing here, since it's clear nobody's implying that NWN is bad because it is homosexual.

I was under the impression that inanimate objects were fairly asexual anyway
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Offline jester

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Re: "Gay" as an insult
« Reply #33 on: May 06, 2004, 01:25:51 PM »
A word is only offensive if you choose to see it as such

Try walking up to an Englishman (preferably in NY) and say 'You c**t!'. His proper reaction would be to say that you misjudged him as he is male and, although he is sure you just use that word as pars pro toto, he would prefer a less descriptive term.

IRL chances are you just picked a fight. ;)

In theoretical discussions words can have very different meanings, especially between social groups where slang is very often used to define the groups and derogatory terms are used to bond that group. This is strictly limited to the group and the consent of its members. So saying that any term colloquially associated as negative can have other meanings too is naive at best.
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Offline SimDing0™

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Re: "Gay" as an insult
« Reply #34 on: May 06, 2004, 01:25:55 PM »
I was under the impression that inanimate objects were fairly asexual anyway
Insert smutty joke here. :)

Offline Kish

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Re: "Gay" as an insult
« Reply #35 on: May 06, 2004, 01:30:37 PM »
Did someone, at some point, say or imply that using gay should always be considered as insulting?  Noo...using gay as an insult is insulting.
I'm fairly sure this whole discussion is over whether it's an insult to homosexuals or not.
Then I'd suggest you reread the earlier messages.  The whole discussion is over whether using "gay" casually as an insult is an insult to homosexuals.  Not over whether using the term "gay" is insulting if it's not used as an insult.
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I'm saying it isn't.
Yes, that is quite clear.
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And as much as you fancy arguing that it insults the game,
Is that something I said?  Or even relevant?
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Offline Alarielle

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Re: "Gay" as an insult
« Reply #36 on: May 06, 2004, 01:32:21 PM »
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And as much as you fancy arguing that it insults the game,
Is that something I said?  Or even relevant?

I think relevance went out the window a long time ago
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Offline SimDing0™

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Re: "Gay" as an insult
« Reply #37 on: May 06, 2004, 01:38:14 PM »
Then I'd suggest you reread the earlier messages.  The whole discussion is over whether using "gay" casually as an insult is an insult to homosexuals.  Not over whether using the term "gay" is insulting if it's not used as an insult.
I'm fairly confident my short term memory is working okay. I do not think that the casual use of gay is an insult to...anything. While your statement about using gay as an insult being insulting is true, this isn't addressed.

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Is that something I said?  Or even relevant?
Yes, because I want to know to whom calling a game "gay" (note again that there is no suggestion that it is homosexual) should be considered insulting. Because if I'm not suggesting any connection with homosexuality, why should homosexual people be offended?

Offline SimDing0™

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Re: "Gay" as an insult
« Reply #38 on: May 06, 2004, 01:38:41 PM »
Slut.
Whore.
Bastard.
Prick.
Fuckface Rodriguez.

No offense implied, anyone.  :D

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Offline Kish

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Re: "Gay" as an insult
« Reply #39 on: May 06, 2004, 01:45:27 PM »
While your statement about using gay as an insult being insulting is true, this isn't addressed.
So you think, as Jester jokingly suggested, that "3d is gay!" was meant to be a compliment to the game?

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Because if I'm not suggesting any connection with homosexuality, why should homosexual people be offended?
Because the connection exists, and "gay" as an insult would not exist without it, whether you think of yourself as "suggesting" it or not.
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Offline SimDing0™

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Re: "Gay" as an insult
« Reply #40 on: May 06, 2004, 01:52:17 PM »
So you think, as Jester jokingly suggested, that "3d is gay!" was meant to be a compliment to the game?
No, but I don't think "insulting" a game is really an issue. Saying the game is bad shouldn't have an impact on this.

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Because the connection exists, and "gay" as an insult would not exist without it, whether you think of yourself as "suggesting" it or not.
I assume "gay" was around meaning "happy" long before "homosexual". But the connection between homosexuality and happiness is never implied when you use it, surely?

Offline discharger12

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Re: "Gay" as an insult
« Reply #41 on: May 06, 2004, 03:28:58 PM »
So you think, as Jester jokingly suggested, that "3d is gay!" was meant to be a compliment to the game?
No, but I don't think "insulting" a game is really an issue. Saying the game is bad shouldn't have an impact on this.

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Because the connection exists, and "gay" as an insult would not exist without it, whether you think of yourself as "suggesting" it or not.
I assume "gay" was around meaning "happy" long before "homosexual". But the connection between homosexuality and happiness is never implied when you use it, surely?


It had to have been around long before it meant "homosexual" otherwise people more then likely wouldn't have the name "Gaylord."

Offline Rusalka

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Re: "Gay" as an insult
« Reply #42 on: May 06, 2004, 03:57:19 PM »
Well, from where I sit using "gay" as a derrogitory term insults some people and others not. So out of respect for those who might find it offensive, I don't use it. I think it's a good policy. ;)

Offline Galactygon

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Re: "Gay" as an insult
« Reply #43 on: May 06, 2004, 09:07:59 PM »
So this topic's name got chaged, eh? ;) Gay is actually a good word, it means "merry". So when some naiive pre-teen (teens don't use it as much these days) cames up to me and calls me gay, I smile and say thanks; I am one of those people who like to be called as "merry", even if the individual who came up to me meant to insult me.

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Offline Cybersquirt

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Re: "Gay" as an insult
« Reply #44 on: May 06, 2004, 09:43:05 PM »
(my other posts got lost in the shuffle  :-[)

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.

Language is a living thing, there is no doubt; just as new meanings form, old ones fall away.
Gay, in the 19th century, meant happy - N** had an archaic meaning as well and was adopted by the Klan
Gay, in the 20th century, meant happy or homosexual - N** was used by the Klan and the general populace (derogatorially, period)
gay, in the 21st century, means homosexual or stupid. - N** is used derogatorially and by people of color to refer to their friends

who, in the last century, used n***** as anything but a derogatory term?

The difference is the group of people using the word n***** - I still cannot use it.  You don't believe me, go up to a black person you barely know or don't know at all and call them a n**.  Using gay to mean stupid is not as much a condemnation, to me, probably because it's kids that use it - otoh, it's a bit more disturbing for that same reason. 

Consider that fag, gay, and queer, mean roughly the same thing on each side of their meanings.  Similar to n*****, qeeer and fag have been adopted by the gay populace in an attempt to destigmatize the word; gay, in the same fashion, has not been adopted.  Similar to me not using the word n*****, I won't use fag or queer.. nor will I say anything other than stupid or dumb, when I mean stupid or dumb.  An insult is an insult.

Intentionally twisting variations to rely on an old, outlived meaning of a word is, in my opinion, being contentious at least.. belligerent at worst.  And if you ignore how the word was born/formed, you'll not understand why it is offensive.

(well said, Rusalka)

edit: btw, Sim, you're trying to be logical (or contentious, but I choose to believe logical) about this - These things are rarely logical.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2004, 10:43:49 PM by Cybersquirt »
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Offline Alarielle

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Re: "Gay" as an insult
« Reply #45 on: May 07, 2004, 01:39:43 AM »
(my other posts got lost in the shuffle  :-[)

who, in this century, uses gay to mean happy? ..unless you're an author writing in Elizabethan times.

how exactly would that be this Century?
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Offline jester

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Re: "Gay" as an insult
« Reply #46 on: May 07, 2004, 02:53:01 AM »
exactly ;)
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Offline Cybersquirt

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Re: "Gay" as an insult
« Reply #47 on: May 07, 2004, 03:19:05 AM »
who, in this century, uses gay to mean happy? ..unless you're an author writing in Elizabethan times.

how exactly would that be this Century?
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, ..."
« Last Edit: May 07, 2004, 03:22:14 AM by Cybersquirt »
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Offline Cybersquirt

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Re: "Gay" as an insult
« Reply #48 on: May 07, 2004, 03:28:28 AM »
the point I was trying to make is that a word is only offensive if you choose to see it as such.  How about we all grow up and see it as what it is: just a word!
How 'bout we all grow up and learn some respect?  In society, are we taught to ignore the inappropriate behavior or curtail it?  I think prisons and law answers that question quite nicely.

Words have power, granted it's the power we give them, but they have power.  There's a saying that goes: Walk a mile in someone else's shoes.. then see how much a word some of these words just are not.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2004, 03:38:04 AM by Cybersquirt »
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Offline Quitch

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Re: "Gay" as an insult
« Reply #49 on: May 07, 2004, 04:08:49 AM »
Is it purely coincidence that the Neverwinter Nights thread has evolved into an extended debate about derogation?

NWN is so dull that this is far more interesting

Quote from: jester
Try walking up to an Englishman (preferably in NY) and say 'You c**t!'. His proper reaction would be to say that you misjudged him as he is male and, although he is sure you just use that word as pars pro toto, he would prefer a less descriptive term.

IRL chances are you just picked a fight.

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.

Quote from: Galactygon
So when some naiive pre-teen (teens don't use it as much these days) cames up to me and calls me gay, I smile and say thanks

*cringe*

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.

Quote from: Cybersquirt
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.
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