glorious_spoon: (wtf hardison)
[personal profile] glorious_spoon
What is it with people and insults?

I mean, there are plenty of insults out there that don't have gross implications or links to the historical (or current) oppression of one group or another. It's not like you have to give up using insults for all time. You might just have to crack open a dictionary and, IDK, give two or three seconds of thought to what you say before you actually say it.

But I'm seriously so fucking sick of the argument that being justifiably pissed off gives you the right to say whatever the hell crosses your mind without regard to who might be hurt by it. Being a woman doesn't give me the right to use racial or homophobic slurs, even if I'm justifiably angry about misogynistic behavior. Being a queer woman doesn't give me the right to say that morons should be forcibly sterilized, even if I'm justifiably pissed off about homophobic behavior.

Why? Here's why. Forcible sterilization is an actual thing that has actually happened in this country in living memory. 'Morons' were among the targets of these eugenics programs.

Say 'I wish bigots wouldn't have kids', and I'm right there with you, but that's not the same thing. And maybe it was just poor word choice; so what? It's poor word choice when somebody says, 'Our team got raped in the playoffs.' It's poor word choice when someone says, 'That shirt is so gay.' That doesn't make either of these things okay to say. Words fucking mean things.

Date: 2013-01-06 04:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
As someone who would have been merrily forced into sterilization, I just can't get worked up about this. Linguistic drift exists, and while moron might once have been a medical diagnosis, it hasn't been in decades. Thanks to drift, it now means anyone who has ever demonstrated a lack of forethought, planning, common sense, or due care. It is not reserved specifically with those with developmental delays, and unless it is directed at a disabled person, it is not a slur, though it is still an insult. Likewise with words like "imbecile", idiot," "peon," or "dolt". Contrary to popular fannish opinion, context matters.

And frankly, I would be more moved by the outrage if I hadn't seen most of these righteous warriors for the oppressed hurling this same word and others I've listed at politicians and others of whom they disapprove.

Most of these people are just looking to be outraged. Indignation is addictive.

Date: 2013-01-06 05:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
IDK, I guess I just...haven't really seen it used in that way? I mean, maybe this is actually a regional thing, but whenever I've heard anyone use 'moron' in real life, it's the functional equivalent of 'retard', which I think is pretty unequivocally offensive.

I'm right with you there on the hypocrisy thing, though. If you find a word offensive, it's offensive all the time, not just when it's convenient or you're in the mood to rant about something.

It's also possible that I'm just tired and oversensitive right now. :/

Date: 2013-01-06 06:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
By the same token, I've never heard moron used as a slur against a disabled person. Against some asshat who drives his ATV of a cliff as part of a dumb stunt? Yes. Against a disabled person, no.

Date: 2013-01-06 11:29 am (UTC)
geckoholic: (SPN eyeroll)
From: [personal profile] geckoholic
Word to everything you wrote, but especially the last paragraph. Because that's a point some people forget about: if you want respect for your beliefs and causes, then give the same to others. Getting worked up about poor and/or offensive statements doesn't justify doing essentially the same thing with in order to express your annoyance. Respect goes both ways.

And don't even get me started on what's wrong with that exact statement... D:

Date: 2013-01-06 06:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think I probably would have given them a pass if they'd just called the person a moron--I don't like the word, but I'm far from perfect on the offensive language front--but 'morons should be forcibly sterilized' is just...oh, you didn't realize that eugenics is a sensitive subject for some people. Well, that makes it okay, then.

I feel a little bad about the dogpile that ended up happening, but honestly, there were so many other ways to express that exact same thought without saying something hurtful.

ETA: I really adore your icon, also. Which ep is it from?
Edited Date: 2013-01-06 06:53 pm (UTC)

Date: 2013-01-07 09:25 pm (UTC)
geckoholic: (Dean2)
From: [personal profile] geckoholic
Yeah, okay, moron in itself isn't that horrible. Still a little... Touchy, maybe, but not so bad on it's own. The combination, though. Eugh.

It was a well-deserved dogpile, IMO. Especially considering where it's been stated. Ffrants is NOT going to let something like that go, and that could've been obvious if the original commenter had stopped to think for half a minute.

Uhm, I've had it for a while, so... Late S5? Maybe? I don't know, exactly, to be honest. /o\

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