Author Topic: What does "bitch" mean now?  (Read 23975 times)

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: What does "bitch" mean now?
« Reply #30 on: April 13, 2012, 02:35:00 pm »
He seemed to take great pleasure in calling me a bitch.  I let it go.  Consider the source.  

You are a very wise person.  :)
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline milomorris

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Re: What does "bitch" mean now?
« Reply #31 on: April 13, 2012, 11:14:28 pm »
Oh, sorry. I thought when you said "culture" you meant culture. But you mean everyday discourse, as in what I hear people say in person? Even then I'd say "dick" and "bitch" are at least equally common.

Yes, and I agreed with that earlier in this thread. The point I'm making is what effect being called either or those things has on a man or a woman. "Dick" might not seem as horrible as the "c-word" by society at large, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't have the same impact on individual men as the "c-word" has on individual women. Moreover, if using "bitch," the "c-word," etc. is demeaning to all women, the same goes for "prick," "dick," etc. for all men.

The point is, slurs used to insult those groups carry more power to hurt and offend than slurs used against dominant groups. As a member of two out of of those three dominant groups, I can attest that I'm not particularly stung by "honky" or "breeder," nor have I known any other members of those groups who were. They're more like, "Yeah, OK, fair is fair, there should be some insulting term for the other side." But in practice, they just aren't as insulting.

So the next time I'm at my favorite bar up here in rural Pennsylvania (which won't be until next month), I can call a 300 lb. biker "cracker" to his face, and he'll just laugh it off?? I don't think so. I think I'd be picking my black ass up off the floor.
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Offline milomorris

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Re: What does "bitch" mean now?
« Reply #32 on: April 14, 2012, 12:23:38 am »
As we've been here discussing these words, people on Twitter have been putting them to use against Ann Romney:

http://twitchy.com/2012/04/12/new-tone-alert-libs-attack-ann-romney-as-cunt-bitch-whore/

WARNING: these tweets are harsh.
  The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: What does "bitch" mean now?
« Reply #33 on: April 14, 2012, 12:35:18 am »
"Dick" might not seem as horrible as the "c-word" by society at large, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't have the same impact on individual men as the "c-word" has on individual women. Moreover, if using "bitch," the "c-word," etc. is demeaning to all women, the same goes for "prick," "dick," etc. for all men.

Here's why I would dispute that: I hear individual men call other men "dick" all the time. I can't even remember when I last heard a woman call another woman  the "c-word." Can't say it's never happened, but it's not a common occurrence.

Sorry, I know it's nice to feel just as victimized as the people in the opposite camp, but it doesn't always work that way. I'll grant you supposed "victim" status in regard to race and sexual orientation, but you'll have to give the same to me when it come to gender.

Quote
So the next time I'm at my favorite bar up here in rural Pennsylvania (which won't be until next month), I can call a 300 lb. biker "cracker" to his face, and he'll just laugh it off?? I don't think so. I think I'd be picking my black ass up off the floor.

How should I know, when I don't even know this guy? He may have any number of reasons to beat you up.

But I will tell you that few white people feel stung by "cracker." And on the small chance they did, I would absolutely guarantee you that they are working class or poor. Whereas class does not determine a black person's reaction to being called a racist slur by a white person. So in essence, "cracker" is a slur against class, not race.




Offline milomorris

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Re: What does "bitch" mean now?
« Reply #34 on: April 14, 2012, 12:53:08 am »
Here's why I would dispute that: I hear individual men call other men "dick" all the time. I can't even remember when I last heard a woman call another woman  the "c-word." Can't say it's never happened, but it's not a common occurrence.

I admit that women don't use the "c-word" on each other as often as they use "bitch," but they certainly do use it.

Sorry, I know it's nice to feel just as victimized as the people in the opposite camp, but it doesn't always work that way. I'll grant you supposed "victim" status in regard to race and sexual orientation, but you'll have to give the same to me when it come to gender.

I guess we'll have to let this one be.

But I will tell you that few white people feel stung by "cracker." And on the small chance they did, I would absolutely guarantee you that they are working class or poor. Whereas class does not determine a black person's reaction to being called a racist slur by a white person. So in essence, "cracker" is a slur against class, not race.

When black people use "cracker" it has nothing to do with class. That would be "redneck."
  The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Offline ifyoucantfixit

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Re: What does "bitch" mean now?
« Reply #35 on: April 14, 2012, 04:48:19 pm »
    See to me.  The term Redneck denotes an area and behavior, more than anything else.  I doubt that many so called Rednecks\
even mind that term. 

    I am sure some people don't associate enough with the term Cracker to really bother with that either.  Unless it is pronounced in
the midst of a heated argument.  Where danger is impllied.


     That is different from making a truly racist remark, such as the one that African Americans are so injured by.  I however do not
think it is cutsie or should come from them either towards each other..  That simply continues the term, that teaches the ups and
downs of the usage ad infinitum..  It should be placed in the refuse can, and try and rid the language of it.  I do not thinik any
differently about certain physiological terms either.  Where they are from men to men, women to women or cross gendered.  They are
simply too inflamatory. 
     
       However all this is subject to the real truth.  Opinion be damned.  Some people simply do not have the proper ability to
speak in such a way, to another person in anger with Shakesperean flair.  Therefor they are readily willing and able to use those
so called forbidden words against someone that they are in a heated disagreement with.  They use them deliberately to injure, and
hurt.  I think that is the way of life.  There are people that cannot say a hate remark without using those ikinds of words. 

    Then there are the Artists, that use them, and want to have no retribution.   They feel it is their right to use them and no one
elses..  Jay Z comes to mind.  He recently remarked, I am going to paraphrase.  I can use those terms in my music, and call women
in general those terms.  While I better never hear anyone call my wife or daughter that...  I think that is the worst kind of a hypocritical
behavior..  Inexcusable.  He had just made a  statement and then retracted it.  Saying he was no longer going to use those terms
since the birth of his daughter...  I Just do not understand anyone that thinks they have evough gravitas to act in such a way..



     Beautiful mind

Offline milomorris

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Re: What does "bitch" mean now?
« Reply #36 on: April 14, 2012, 09:33:42 pm »
     That is different from making a truly racist remark, such as the one that African Americans are so injured by.

Non-white people use "cracker" or "redneck" as a slur for whites. That is racist. There is no difference between me sitting in a barbershop in the hood complaining about "crackers" with other black men, and a bunch of white men sitting in a barbershop complaining about "niggers." No difference at all.   
  The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: What does "bitch" mean now?
« Reply #37 on: April 15, 2012, 12:37:18 am »
Non-white people use "cracker" or "redneck" as a slur for whites. That is racist. There is no difference between me sitting in a barbershop in the hood complaining about "crackers" with other black men, and a bunch of white men sitting in a barbershop complaining about "niggers." No difference at all.   

I disagree. Not as long as the white men in their barbershop have a much better chance of having jobs, wealth, security, etc., than the guys in the black barbershop. (Admittedly, the specific white guys in some certain specific barber shop may not. But white guys in general? Sure.) As long as there is a cultural power imbalance, the slurs do not carry equal sting, because the two sides do not have equal power to back the slurs up with violence and/or financial protection.

Let's take another comparison. If I'm a heterosexual walking past a gay bar late at night, and I hear someone yell out, "Breeder!" (not necessarily a likely scenario, but bear with me), how intimidated am I going to feel? Maybe somewhat, I guess. But will I really feel no less intimidated than a gay person would walking past a non-gay bar late at night and hearing someone yell out the f-word?

Or maybe you're saying the two scenarios are equivalent in a morality kind of way. In that case, I still disagree.



Offline milomorris

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Re: What does "bitch" mean now?
« Reply #38 on: April 15, 2012, 01:37:22 pm »
I disagree. Not as long as the white men in their barbershop have a much better chance of having jobs, wealth, security, etc., than the guys in the black barbershop. (Admittedly, the specific white guys in some certain specific barber shop may not. But white guys in general? Sure.) As long as there is a cultural power imbalance, the slurs do not carry equal sting, because the two sides do not have equal power to back the slurs up with violence and/or financial protection.

Let's take another comparison. If I'm a heterosexual walking past a gay bar late at night, and I hear someone yell out, "Breeder!" (not necessarily a likely scenario, but bear with me), how intimidated am I going to feel? Maybe somewhat, I guess. But will I really feel no less intimidated than a gay person would walking past a non-gay bar late at night and hearing someone yell out the f-word?

Or maybe you're saying the two scenarios are equivalent in a morality kind of way. In that case, I still disagree.

I say its racism in both barbershops because each group of men is expressing malice towards members of the other race because of the others' race. The power imbalance does nothing to make the words of the black men not racist.

As for the "sting" factor, that is going to vary from person to person. You might not be terribly offended by being called a "cracker," but another white person would.

I ran headlong into this back in 1986 when I was working in Bermuda. A few months into the run of the show I was doing down there, a talk-show host did a series of interviews with a handful of members of my cast. I was one of them. The host was a young, attractive black woman, and most of the employees at the radio station were also black. While she and I were in the studio prepping for the interview, I noticed a very handsome, young white man in the booth working with the black sound engineer. They were laughing about something, but I could not hear them through the glass. I asked the host, "So who's whitey?" Immediately, the white guy's head snapped in my direction, and as our eyes met, his whole face and body sort of slumped. Then he left the booth. Even though we weren't on air yet, the microphone in the studio was on, and I didn't know it. The host told me that the guy was an intern from the college.

I was so embarrassed by what I had done that I got the guy's name & number from the host. When I got back to my hotel later, I called him to apologize. His mom answered the phone, and explained that he was not at home. She asked who I was, and I told her my name and that I was in the Follies show. She laughed and said that she had been to see the show several times with various visitors, and that she enjoyed it. But she was curious about why I was calling. I sort of half-confessed, and told her that I was in the radio station for an interview, said something I shouldn't have, and needed to apologize to her son. She took my number and said she would give him the message. I never heard back from him, nor did I see him again for the remainder of my time on the island.

My point is that I clearly offended that young white man. And all it took was "whitey," which as negatively-charged words goes, carries only about 1 electron as far as society is concerned. But for that young man it was enough.
  The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: What does "bitch" mean now?
« Reply #39 on: April 15, 2012, 04:42:59 pm »
I say its racism in both barbershops because each group of men is expressing malice towards members of the other race because of the others' race. The power imbalance does nothing to make the words of the black men not racist.

Sure, if you take the two situations out of all other real-life contexts, the words are equivalently offensive. But when you add three real-life factors -- that black people are in the minority, that as a group they hold less power, and that historically they've been severely oppressed by people who openly used those very slurs against them (whereas a black man using slurs against a white person would be taking an enormous risk) -- they acquire different weights. Words are not heard out of context -- on the contrary, the contexts and history of words greatly affects their meaning and power.

If I called you a "moron" or an "idiot," you'd rightly be offended. If I used those words to describe contestants in the Special Olympics, most people would be horrified. Yet, in the early 20th century words like that were the "scientific" terms doctors used to describe people at various levels of developmental challenge.

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As for the "sting" factor, that is going to vary from person to person. You might not be terribly offended by being called a "cracker," but another white person would.

Sure. I'm not saying no while person in the world would mind it in the least. I'm saying that overall those words do not have the power to hurt white people as a group to the extent that anti-black racial slurs do. Notice that people don't really call "cracker" the "c-word."

Quote
I ran headlong into this back in 1986 when I was working in Bermuda. A few months into the run of the show I was doing down there, a talk-show host did a series of interviews with a handful of members of my cast. I was one of them. The host was a young, attractive black woman, and most of the employees at the radio station were also black. While she and I were in the studio prepping for the interview, I noticed a very handsome, young white man in the booth working with the black sound engineer. They were laughing about something, but I could not hear them through the glass. I asked the host, "So who's whitey?" Immediately, the white guy's head snapped in my direction, and as our eyes met, his whole face and body sort of slumped. Then he left the booth. Even though we weren't on air yet, the microphone in the studio was on, and I didn't know it. The host told me that the guy was an intern from the college.

Well, this story could not be a more perfect illustration of what I'm saying. In this situation, the racial balances were reversed. Whitey was the only white guy around -- and living on an island that's 2/3 black and 1/3 white. Being a college-age intern and thus holding less power than the others gives him even more reason to feel threatened and offended by a remark from another black guy focusing on his race.

Also, it might be instructive to note that if you reverse all the races in that story, and the white guest spots a black guy and asks his white host "So who's blackey?" that guest might well get thrown himself off the show. At the very least, I would imagine that everyone who heard the remark would regard him with suspicion until he somehow showed himself not to be racist. (Getting the guy's number and calling him would probably go long way, though.)

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My point is that I clearly offended that young white man. And all it took was "whitey," which as negatively-charged words goes, carries only about 1 electron as far as society is concerned. But for that young man it was enough.

Oh, sure. I didn't mean nobody would ever be offended. I'm talking, in general.