Thats called a simile and is a very different thing to a metaphor (the main one being that the word after "as" in a simile is a literal reference). find a metaphor like that which works and then we’d be talking about the same thing. but as it stands. you’re talking about 2 different things and don’t really understand what they are. so go ahead and beat your drum. bleat like the stupid sheep you are. There’s no talking to you. earlier you claimed that we were engaged in debate. we weren’t. i was laying out how it was and you were going "bah bah bah, my bull dyke mom told me blah blah blah". grow the fuck up, or at least learn how to think.
Comparing the idea of being a little girl to anything negatively reflects poorly on children and women. Why does being bad at something imply one is effeminate or young? Frankly this sort of talk sickens me.
To equate a derived meaning with a literal interpretation is sickeningly offensive to me and i find it to be about the most shallow form of thinking but hey, i guess its a matter of taste. I mean would you equate calling someone a pussy to calling them a vagina? does faggot always mean homosexual? (i would argue that, in europe at least, it doesn’t actually mean that at all anymore per south park really) does fuck always mean sex per its original german meaning?
There is nuance in concept and communication is 100% concept. whatever communicates what you’re trying to say the best way, is the best thing to say. There’s a reason for the phrase “take offence”. Offense is ACTUALLY taken. not given. and its up to you what you want to take offense to.
There is a distinct equating of femininity with weakness or inadequacy present in that use of language. it’s everywhere and it’s disgusting. It’s not just literal, it’s subversive. It’s demeaning. It’s easy to say it’s not because you are not offended by it or blind to it. But it’s there. Once it was okay to relate Africans to laziness and criminals. It was the easiest thing to do at the time, because everyone was racist so no-one in the major controlling interest was upset by it. When it was ever pointed out during the Civil Rights movement, people gave very similar answers to yours.
Now everyone is sexist. We are raised to be. Men are victims of this as well, raised to perpetuate the cycle of weakness and inadequacy that haunts our mothers, sisters, cousins, nieces and daughters. They never feel pretty enough, small enough, large breasted enough, tall or short enough. Too muscular, too fat, to thickly built, not thickly built enough in just the right places. And if they are? It’s almost never enough. But point out sexism to the modern man and he usually see’s little harm in his use of language concerning women. Calling people a pussy equates them to the female sexual organ because we don’t use the word for cats or felines. We use it to describe fearful people and female genitalia because we reinforce the idea that all women are fearful. This isn’t about intent. This is about ignorance. Ignorance of both the consistent patriarchal influence we see in society and the fact that we can do all kinds of things to stop it. We chose not to because it’s easy to rebuke with poorly constructed arguments like your own. Nuance in language and communication is a fine example of hiding from fact. By saying that it’s easy to insult some people to get your point across to others isn’t acceptable. It’s admission of guilt and indifference to hatred. Welcome to the banality of evil. Eichmann anyone?
Faggot is a slur originating in Europe for homosexuals, we in North America didn’t generate it. The burning of homosexuals was common practice once upon a time and so they equated them to wood an kindling, dehumanizing them. Making it easier to kill them without moral compulsion. People still use it here in North America to demean homosexuals and compare people to them by calling them it as an insult. It is still common place to call cigarettes fags and faggots but not because they burn. It’s because gay, effeminate men smoked them, and women did to. That slang remains as another constant reminder of gender and sexual orientation being linguistically frowned on.
I’ll play the devil’s advocate –
Kayne, what is your suggestion? What words or phrases could be used in place of the one mentioned which offends you so much? Does another phrase really get the point across to the reader?
The fact that you also just stereotyped the entire world by saying “Now everyone is sexist” should offend me, based on the fact that the phrase is literally suggesting that: I believe that men are superior, and women should stay in the kitchen a cook pies and raise children. If it were meant literally, then you would be suggesting that you personally are sexist. There is a big difference between literal meaning, and linguistic meaning, so don’t get them mixed up.
And another thing, You mentioned that: “By saying that it’s easy to insult some people to get your point across to others isn’t acceptable.”; is it actually insulting a little girl to suggest that a grown adult(those who are members of this site) are stronger? I myself would think it would be irrational to believe that any of the members of this site are less adequate at tackling any task than a female, or even male, under the age of… lets say 10 years old; and yes that is what I inferred from the word “little”. So would you be just as upset if the phrase was “are you tired of being a little boy when it comes to social situations?” – I would say on average little boys don’t understand how to handle most social situations and would be just as inadequate as a little girl, compared to a grown adult. So do you believe that the phrase is comparing a little girl to a little boy, or to a grown adult? The relative meaning, intended audience, and surrounding text, of the phrase actually determines whether or not the phrase is sexist, just because the words “little girl” are used, does not equate to it being sexist remark.
Sexism – The belief that one sex (usually the male) is naturally superior to the other and should dominate most important areas of political, economic, and social life.
“The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy”
Vinn: That’s a very interesting point. I have to admit, when my husband describes a bad football player as “playing like a girl” my shackles do rise. I think these things are not at all intended to offend but we should think about the implications of our analogies.
as a parent who gets to interact with little kids all the time it didn’t even cross my mind to get offended. the real problem with the phrase is that little girls are the most outgoing, friendly people I meet! So, really, we should be more like little girls socially.
The entire world IS sexist. This is a fact of society. Unless you are an exception and you were raised to recognize the damage just language conditioning then you carry these pre-programmed notions. The very fact that I’m being questioned on this is proof enough that the writer of the article, Martin, very likely yourself (though with a Devil’s Advocate you never know). I am as well, completely without intention and without being fully conscious of it. There is an implied sexism whenever this kind of language is used because it directly equates women negatively. What makes a person actively sexist about it is that when confronted about it, many like Martin seek to justify an easy path instead of doing the hard work; correcting their mistakes or even admitting that they could even be remotely wrong. People don’t MEAN to offend with the language. Not every white person in the 1800s who called a black man a ‘nigger’ was a racist. They didn’t feel superior consciously or hate them. But that didn’t stop them from using the popular language of the time; which was demeaning hate speech. Every time you or someone you know uses this language and you let them do it you reinforced thousands of years of sexist programming where we let over half our population suffer so men can continue in some way to sit at the top of the heap.
We just nod our quiet acceptance and push our buttons, write our memos and serve the next customer. Go on with our lives like nothing that is happening to the women around us is wrong. But unless we all start recognizing our unhealthy attitudes, our outlooks and work to change them we are no better then the people actively bringing down the rights of women. Because we are unwittingly helping people socially, mentally and sexually subjugate people. I for one want no part of that kind of disgusting system.
I am tired of being shy.
I am sick and tired of being shy.
I hate the fact I am shy.
I could keep going on. One of the best parts is that in the sentence used he doesn’t call himself down in any way directly or make out that there is something wrong with him
However he could have phrased in hundreds of other ways that would be more to the point then making a comparison. However most of those things involve A) potentially alienating the target audience and B) admitting that there might be a problem with a boy/man being shy. The whole article is written in a sort of language that only really impacts men an boys. It’s clearly not for women. It has a positive but aggressive overtone to it which psychologically speaking would put off the effeminately minded.
And secondly it is not wrong to say that adults are stronger. But strength isn’t in question. It’s weakness. He’s not suggesting all adults are stronger then children. He’s implying that all little girls are lacking social skills and that a man who lacks social skills should be ashamed of his remote connection to childishness and feminineness. It’s very clearly written in this way. He even highlights and underlines little girl in pink, just to drill the point home.
“I’m tired of being a little girl when it comes to meeting new people.”
Easily replaced with;
“I’m tired of being unable to meet people due to being shy.”
Which sentence is more direct? Mine has one fewer word, His has 54 characters not including the period. Mine has nine less, also including period. I made an empirically shorter sentence that puts the same idea across.
Except it’s not the same idea. Socially and psychologically speaking it’s better for him to compare to a group lower in society rather then admit he may have a problem because then he doesn’t lose any face and he knows he has not forced the reader to lose face. No direct language was used. Except in this case that group lower of the sociological ladder? Women. Typical.
Wow I love all this! Both sides of this argument are very well structured & valid in themselves. I just hope you guys are able to see that & not really getting upset with each other. @ “Martin’s side”—there’s nothing you can do about someone taking offense to something (“I’m responsible for what I say, but I’m not responsible for what you understand”). Just like Kayne said, “that’s their problem.” (so in that logic, your offense here is your problem Kayne :) and I’m not trying to be offensive please don’t take it like that!). @ Kayne, you’re right about what you say.. but there’s nothing to get upset about it’s just the way it is. I’m a woman.. I know there’s stereotypes-I know I match up with some, and I don’t with others. If it upsets you that stinks…bc chances are that the “world views” on sexism won’t change it your lifetime. I sooooo respect your passion on the topic though.. and I’m sure you have turned some heads & changed the world around you in a step in a positive direction on the topic. I think you guys are all awesome!!
*Edit–when I was quoting you Kayne about saying ‘that’s their problem’ if they’re offended–I was referring to your last post on the Gender Roles discussion-sorry for any confusion
its about connotations. the “ugly” words are ugly because of what they are actually implying. niggar is about the most ugly word in the world. not because it was used as a term for black people. but because its use is synonymous with oppression and slavery. Today its a word thats slipping back into common use by comedians and kids who admire black people they idolise. posters on bedroom walls that say “yo niggaz” or something to that effect. and in america black people use it regularly as a term of endeerment towards their black friends. its been claimed by black people cos thats how you defuse the hate of a word. you take it. you make it your own. you change the meaning. its why censorship literally doesn’t work. Its the nuance that matters. not the initial position of the word. it makes zero sense to censor a word if the intent of it still exists.
but well here’s the thing. because we spend so much time talking and communicating language becomes so ingrained in peoples consciousness that they think they actually mean something in and of themselves. they don’t. the intent behind them is whats significant. the word itself being wholly insignificant in comparison. do you think your subconscious thinks in words? cos thats where your internal nuance exists. thats where the intent of your words are. its why you have freudian slips. and sometimes you even say things you don’t mean… but ya really do. or sometimes associations you have with things are completely different to other peoples because of the connotations and nuance.
When i was younger i thought the word JEW was a derogatory term like niggar because we have no jew population here. the only context i had ever heard that word used in was movies about nazis. When i heard jews using the word in other tv shows i always thought it was just jews that could use it.
I highly recommend becoming disillusioned with language. you free yourself from taking all kinds of “offence” that there is no justification for, only backwards rationalisations. its like when people talk about the irish they sometimes call us paddys. but there’s a massive difference between a “paddy!” and a “Fuckin paddy”.
@ Martin Boo-yah! *edit I did just watch all the videos & they were pretty powerful. Thank you Kayne! I have to agree with her, when anyone calls me a bitch it’s the only word that stops me dead in my tracks :) Yet, it’s just a word. I really like this discussion.
1. I have seen and love the Vlogs of Amber, who posted the response to the Beyonce video.
2. I am a woman, and I completely happy with the parts of me that ARE weaker, softer, and more feminine than that of my male counterparts. I was born a girl, and I was never forced into BEING a “girly” girl, but instead, was a rough and tumble kid who played ball ( all sports, lol) with the boys, could catch a horse in our field and go riding holding onto a mane only, and could outclimb, outshoot, and likely out fight any boy I knew growing up, especially if I resorted to “female” tricks and utilized what I naturally am.
3. There is nothing wrong with a woman who WANTS to be more masculine, who wants to be more equal with men. But to say that men and women are equal in general is, in my opinion, a complete fallacy. Men and women are VERY different physically to say the least, and IMO, a woman should be PROUD to BE a WOMAN!
4. I disagree with the suggestion that referring to someone as a little girl is an insult, and instead, is merely a categorization. Little girls by nature are naive, innocent, soft, loving, and timid, while being talkative, outgoing, and wily at the same time. The description of “Being a little girl when meeting new people” is not offensive unless you are the type to purposely seek out offense in anything possibly gender related. Little girls are OFTEN nervous and shy around new people, despite their tendency to be hyper and their desire to impress and for approval. That is all an outward display of their desire to be liked, loved, accepted, and protected, which is an INBORN trait in MOST of the girls I have encountered in my life. I am a mother to 2 gorgeous girls and the step mom to another, and I would MUCH rather have my girls proceed through their early years guarded, timid, and over analytical of things than I would they rush headlong into impulsive things like boys are wont to do.
^Love it, Rain.
I’m proud to be extremely feminine. And I’m proud of my masculinity as well.
^Martin, it’s funny because that’s exactly right. People see connotations where there aren’t any, even. My manager heard me say “Whateva, I do what I want,” in reference to South Park, and being the dolt he is, proceeded to lecture me on how stupid white people sound when they try to mimic black people…
Yea. I don’t envy some people for their misguided “insight” as to what race has the right to talk a certain way and what race doesn’t. Either way, I’m not about to censor myself from using trivial words such as “yo” or phrases like “what up?” considering the fact that I don’t consciously do it to copy rap artists. Perhaps it’s a subconscious admiration of Snoop Dogg? Who knows.
I’m glad you said it, because I surely didn’t want to. Women and men are different. They are physically built different, and in many ways they are psychologically different. I think the idea of these two things being “equal” is an irrational argument. You can’t ever say an apple and an orange are completely equal, because they are two completely different things. Sure you may find an apple and an orange that weigh the same, but that only makes them equal in weight. Comparing a man to a woman is a similar comparison. It is also illogical to imply that one is inferior, overall, to the other.
@kayne – you can really take offense to anything, especially if the phrase is meant to be negative. The only way to really keep from offending people is to never use any type of negative language. You could never say that anything is bad or wrong. That is the only way to not offend people. Every statement would need to be objective, expressing that one thing is different than the other; even the word “less” can be taken negatively, and it is used to express measurement and mathematics. So to not offend anyone, you would have to completely remove any type of language that could be considered negative, which would never happen because of the fact that any language can be meant negatively. At my work we say people “have a big neck”, and it just means they are trying to look strong, like a body builder. It’s meant negatively because of that person’s individual actions, not because we think body builders are inferior.
The fact that you believe that the entire world thinks of women as inferior to men is just your negative outlook on the entire world. I personally believe the general population is dumb, that doesn’t mean they are, it just means that’s what I see when I look out my window or drive down the road. Just because you believe something, doesn’t make it so.
I believe the entire western world is unintentionally sexist. I can’t speak for other cultures, though as an Asian-Canadian I can say many Asian cultural nuances are misogynistic in nature. I disagree entirely, all sorts of things can be bad and wrong. We have neutral words for things like this, and it’s not like it’s difficult to use them. it’s laziness and programming. No different then when we mean to say something is stupid and we call it ‘gay’ or ‘retarded’. Your example is also flawed because unlike what I am talking about it does not have direct noun reference to a group, only to a body part. That can be taken many ways, heck, misheard they could think you are likening them to a giraffe. If I directly compare myself to a social group in a negative light, I stereotype that entire group. I don’t look at the world as a negative place. I see the world as a rather wondrous place filled with miracles. But it’s also a place filled with imperfections that help define the beauty. I don’t see all people as sexist. I see our culture and society as sexist. The people who may or may not be are victims of their cultural back grounds. I’m not looking to punish, I’m trying to educate. I would agree with many if not all of the points everyone has so far brought to bear in this discussion so far if not for the fact that this isn’t about belief. It’s about facts. The fact is he likened being a little girl to being a bad thing, regardless of the context. The nature of language does not suggest, it defines such a thing as being insulting. I don’t have any ‘faith’ that something wrong was done. I don’t believe it. From a linguistic and empirically scientific stand point I have proven it. No-one has even denied a single on of my points. Just that I shouldn’t be offended seemingly because there isn’t any intent. Well manslaughter is still a person being killed, and without intent you can call down an entire section of the population. It doesn’t make you a bad person, it makes you ignorant about a topic. Refusing to even for a moment reflect on the concepts I’m trying to put forward is a perpetuation of ignorance. Thinking about them and disagreeing with them is fine, but no-one had rebutted a single thing I’ve said. It’s just totally okay to talk and write and be sexist as long as you don;t intend to be? Thats ridiculous.
Calling someone a little girl isn’t an insult. Likening all girls of an undefined age range as being shy, anti-social, unable to converse with others effectives, to be scared of strangers, etc. is. It’s most likely unintentional. But that doesn’t change what it is. Likening anyone to class of person while in the same breath suggesting that such a comparison weakens the individual being likened to the class in question as being less some imaginary norm demeans the class of people involved. If I say I am sick of being lazy like black people and then wrote an upbeat article on being productive while showing pictures of productive white men and women then it would be the same damn insulting mess.
Like Martin and others you are mistaking connotations with clean empirical fact. I am not suggesting that he is taking a bunch of words associated with being feminine, young or effeminate and declaring those things are bad. He is taking a direct, though likely unintentional stab at young women. It’s explicit and direct. It’s not a nuance, or an alliteration or anything of the sort. It’s not even remotely abstract. It is a literal reading, word for word of what was written.
I am incredibly sad to know that is your opinion. In May 4th, 1961 a bus load of white and black civil rights activists challenged that way of thinking. Martin Luthor King challenged that way of thinking. Muhammad Ali, Jackie Robinson, Dr. Emily Howard Stowe, Genevieve Clark and countless others fought most of their adult lives for equality of sex and race, some more invested in one movement over the other. The very attitude you have just expressed is why it won’t ever change in our lifetimes, because people either can’t see the chains or they seem too light to worry bearing. Why would I ever settle on discrimination being a fact of life? I have to admit that it’s there and I refuse to deal with it with my head in the sand. If I have a daughter, I would be ashamed to send her to public school, least she see what kind of a society she would have to live in. I would feel the same for my son, rather then let the ‘facts of life’ like racism, sexism and religious/anti-religious bigotry warp him. Or worse, force him to witness it feeling powerless to stop it. I’m an adult and I don’t feel powerless. If I don’t do my part to end injustices in my society, then why bother getting up in the morning? And yes. I am fully aware that me taking offense is my problem. I am attempting to solve the problem.
Do you know why Wall Street in New York is named the way it is? It’s named for the walls people would chain slaves to, where they would auction men, women and children like cattle. A man could often be heard saying “How much for this nigger?” “Where can I get a good nigger for cooking for me?” “Where is my nigger?” “Where are my niggers?”. Just because a black man uses it for a term of endearment for another black man does not makes that right or even justifiable. Just because it means something different to them does not mean it’s any less representative of what it was originally designed as a word to do. Demean and dehumanize the African. They too suffer from having been conditioned socially into thinking that language is normal. Men died so that way their children would never have to be called niggers again by whites or anyone. Every time a rapper uses it in a song, he’s reminding the listener of where they came from (or rather, that was the original intent), the hardships that their ancestors had to endure at the ends of chains, whips and barrels of guns. Each time I hear a black man or woman use it about anyone it makes me sad to know that there are wars still being fought and lost for the minds of the African-North American. Just because something is popular or common place doesn’t make it right. Again I point to the banality of evil, and the trial of Eichmann.
Martin, I think you are missing the point and going off on some fairly unrelated tangents. You were challenged for saying little girls are socially inept. Personally this doesn’t offend me as I know it’s nonsense and I can rise above it. However, I believe you owe it to Kayne and others to admit this was probably not a good choice of words on your part.