[0:00] Thunderf00t: Today’s message is brought to you by Jessica Valenti, feminist author who, under the banner of “MORE FEMINISM, LESS BULLSHIT”, Tweets: “I truly believe that American culture prefers girls chaste and dead over slutty and alive.”
[0:17]: Well, thanks for letting us know what MORE feminism will look like, Jessica.
[0:22]: So, there’s ALWAYS someone out there telling you what you CAN’T say. I mean, let’s start from the very top. Some people think that the word ‘nigger’ is so offensive that they ALWAYS, and in many ways, childishly substitute it by calling it “the N-word”.
[0:39] clip from YouTube, “Charles Barkley discusses the N-word on TNT”: “I’m a black man. I use the n-word. I’m going to continue to use the N-word with my black friends, with my white friends.”
[0:52] Thunderf00t: Even Seth McFarlane backs away from using the word.
[0:55] clip from Family Guy: “WHAT did you just call me?”
“I thought that was your name!”
“THAT IS OUR WORD! YOU’VE GOT NO RIGHT USIN’ IT!”
“Hey—hey—hey—I’m cool, I’m cool. No problem . . . Could—could you pass me the oar, N-word Jim?”
[0:10] Thunderf00t: I mean, don’t these people realize that language is context-specific? The word ‘nigger’ is neither universally offensive-
[1:18] clip from Pulp Fiction (YouTube, “SHEEIT NEGRO!!”)
[1:30] clip from YouTube, “Chris Rock – Black People VS. Niggaz (Bring the Pain 1996)”
“Every time black people wanna have a good time, ign’nt ass niggas fuck it up . . . CAN’T DO SHIT . . . CAN’T DO SHIT! without some ign’nt ass niggas fuckin’ it up.”
[1:45] Thunderf00t: Nor does it make a lot of sense to always allude to it as the “N-word”.
[1:50—3:20] clips from YouTube, “Top Gear Presenter Jeremy Clarkson Apologises over N Word . . .” and from Life of Brian
[3:20] Thunderf00t: I mean seriously, what would be the point of having words that you CAN’T use?
[3:26]: And some people think that the word ‘cunt’ is so offensive that they always, and in many ways, childishly substitute it by calling it “the c-word”.
[3:36] clip from YouTube, “Paloma Faith On Meeting Diane Warren & The C Word”: “Her favorite word was the C-word.”
“OH NO, it’s not like that.”
[3:40] Thunderf00t: Well this video is about words like these, and the people who think that you shouldn’t be able to use them.
[3:48] clip from YouTube, “Ban Bossy—I’m not Bossy. I’m the Boss”: “Words matter.”
“Let’s just ban the word ‘bossy’.”
[3:51] Thunderf00t: Well, in the atheist community, it’s people like PZ Myers. Apparently, he thinks that every time someone uses the word ‘cunt’, every single woman on the planet is insulted, devalued, and demeaned.
[4:05] clip from YouTube, “Rebecca Watson – European Atheist Convention 2012”: “And when I point out that ‘bitch’ is a gendered insult that demeans all women—again—most people, get it.”
[4:13] Thunderf00t: In a recent article titled, “How to drive a Brit crazy” he states “It turns out to be really easy. All it takes is five little words. “’Cunt’ is a sexist slur”.
[4:24] Thunderf00t: So PZ tweeted this image here: which is meant to be a social-justice-warrior joke about what happens when the outraged-about-everything brigade want to point out that “‘cunt’ is a misogynistic slur”.
[4:38] clip from YouTube, Feminist Frequency, “Kanye West’s Monster Misogyny”: “’Misogyny, as defined by The Blackwell Dictionary of Sociology, is a cultural attitude of hatred for females simply because they are female.”
[4:45] clip from Skepchick Video [?]: “-um, more that I think that there are a lot of things that are, uh, part of a misogynist culture or milieu that would go by unnoticed by most women. They went unnoticed by me for most of my twenties.”
[4:58] Thunderf00t: That is that it conveys HATRED for ALL women.
[5:05]: So PZ goes on: “I retweeted it, and then the replies came flooding in. The defenses are hilarious, irrational, and indignant. It’s incredibly common to see people protest that it’s a perfectly acceptable word; everyone says it in England; it doesn’t have any sexual connotations at all, because apparently, people in the UK are so stupid that they don’t remember that it’s a word that refers to the female genitalia.”
[5:34] Thunderf00t: Well actually, let me tackle that one. Not just as a Brit, you understand, but as someone who has travelled extensively in the wide world. Firstly, colorful language is rarely literal.
[5:47] clip from YouTube, “Trekkie Lingo! ;-)”: “Your use of language has altered since our arrival. It’s currently laced with—shall I say, more colorful metaphors.”
[5:54] Thunderf00t: When people are saying words like ‘dick’ or ‘cunt’, they are not literally referring to the genitalia of all men or women on the planet.
[6:03]: Secondly, no it doesn’t drive Brits crazy. Indeed, quite the contrary, it just shows that you are perfectly fitting into the stereotype of the archetypal American, as the culturally narrow-brained moron.
[6:16] clip from The Simpsons, (YouTube “It’s Chowder!”)
[6:24] Thunderf00t: -arrogantly thinking that your use of the language in YOUR culture is how ALL other cultures around the world must use their language. Sorry, but language just isn’t like that. It’s very plastic in its meaning.
[6:40]: So, for instance, in America, ‘fanny’ means ‘bottom’. It’s a nice way of saying ‘ass’, and it’s a term that you can quite happily use in polite conversation. Not quite so much in England. No, in England, ‘fanny’ means what ‘cunt’ means in America.
[6:58]: Indeed, when I was a kid in England, the terms were perfectly interchangeable. Yeah, there’s one hell of a learning curve on that one. So yeah, news flash social-justice-warriors, the whole planet does not revolve around YOUR use of language. Just because YOU swoon at the mere mention of the word ‘cunt’ does NOT mean that the rest of the world does too. Yes, words have very different associations in different places.
[7:29]: So for instance, in England what you call ‘pants’ in America, are called ‘trousers’. And what they call ‘pants’ in England, are called ‘underpants’ in America. Indeed in England, the term ‘pants’ can even be used as sort of polite and comical swear word in that if something is ‘rubbish’—ah—sorry, something is ‘garbage’, then you would say that it’s ‘pants’.
[7:52]: Well, when I was a kid in England, the word ‘nigger’ was nowhere near as offensive as it is deemed in America. And this is because we didn’t have the Deep South in England; which is where the name acquired most of its social connotations.
[8:08] clip from YouTube, “Where did the N-word come from?”
[8:19] Thunderf00t: There really weren’t that many African sorts in England. But if there were, the offensive term used in England dated back to the colonial days, which was to refer to black folks as ‘Wogs’.
[8:30] clip from YouTube, “Niggers & Wogs”
[8:41] Thunderf00t: But like I say, the term wasn’t that widely used, because there weren’t that many African folks in England. However, after WWII there was a fierce labor shortage in England. And lots of people came over from both India and Pakistan. And so it was that the name ‘Paki’, short for ‘Pakistani’ became a very offensive way of referring to people with brown skin.
[9:05]: Now for people who didn’t live in that culture, it’s probably difficult to see why it should. I mean, surely ‘Paki’ is just a contraction of ‘Pakistani’, right? Why should that be offensive?
[9:17]: But like I was saying, language is rarely that logical. And it carries a lot of the social baggage of its civilization. I mean you could claim that ‘nigger’ is just a phonetically contracted way of referring to someone from Nigeria.
[9:32]: Or maybe another more pertinent example, would be ‘Jap’, which could simply be viewed as a contraction of ‘Japanese’. But it picked up most of its negative connotations during WWII where it was widely used, especially in America, as a pejorative. And yeah, the term has much more offensive connotations in America, than elsewhere in the world. I mean, this is just the plasticity of language.
[9:58]: And, likewise, other contractions of nationalities or nicknames for cultures are not seen as offensive. So for instance, referring to people from Britain as ‘Brits’, or referring to Australians as ‘Aussies’, or Americans as ‘Yanks’, just isn’t offensive. Language can just be infuriatingly illogical like that.
[10:17]: However, yeah, in England, the term ‘Paki’ is seen as a very strong term. It’s almost like ‘nigger’ in America and is a derogatory way to refer to dark skinned people, along with other terms, like ‘coon’ or ‘the brown people’.
[10:32]: However, if you’re over to Germany, the ‘brown people’ refers to something entirely different. It refers to the modern incarnation of the nationalists—you know, after Hitler’s “brown shirts”. They are “the brown people”. And while we’re talking about things that can be UNfortunately offensive in German, ‘schwarze’ means ‘black’ in German. Whiiich, phonetically speaking, makes this one the most unfortunate names EVER.
[10:59]: And in parts of Germany, cats have seven lives, not nine. And you go a little east to the Slovak ones, and you find that dogs don’t go ‘woof’, but ‘haf’. And cows don’t go ‘moo’, but ‘boo’. And in Easter, they chase girls, and whip them, to make them strong and beautiful for the next year. And the girls have to give them candy in return. EEh, it’s kind of like trick-or-treating; which in itself is a pretty weird thing to do if you think about it.
[11:26]: And in places in Spain they throw tomatoes at each other. And one day a year in Germany, women are allowed to go and cut the ties off men.
[11:35] clip about weiberfastnacht
[11:45]: Or in England, once a year, we celebrate a guy failing to blow up the government, by making an effigy of that man and burning it on a fire. Seriously, that’s “family fun” in England—is burning an effigy of a man who’s been dead for a couple hundred years—on a fire!
[12:03]: Oh, and don’t get me started on all the different ways that cultures celebrate Christmas. It’s like they say: travel broadens the mind—it really does. And you know you’ve travelled enough, when you come back to your native country, and it feels like just another foreign land, with its own set of peculiar customs. And you just come to the conclusion that when in Rome, do like the Romans.
[12:28]: And it takes a special level of arrogance to expect every culture on earth to conform in every detail to what YOU find offensive in Minnesota.
[12:40]: As for the word ‘cunt’ demeaning all women, well like I was saying: language is rarely that literal. When people refer to someone as a ‘cunt’, they’re no more making a reference to the genitalia of women, than calling someone a ‘dick’ is a reference to male genitalia.
[12:56] clip from YouTube, “Trekkie Lingo!”: “Are you sure it isn’t time for a colorful metaphor?”
[12:58] Thunderf00t: Or that calling someone an ‘unclefucker’ is referencing someone who actually fucks their uncle.
[13:03] clip from South Park
[13:06] Thunderf00t: These are just colorful metaphors of our time. So no, around the world the word ‘cunt’ or ‘fanny’ means different things in different cultures, like in Australia, where the word ‘cunt’ can almost be used as a term of endearment.
[13:24] clip from The Sound of Music “what is it you can’t face”
[13:34] clip from YouTube, “Australia, Yeah, C**t – Australia’s new National Anthem”
[13:46] Thunderf00t: So what’s the point of all this, I hear you ask. It’s to let people like PZ Myers and the “I-find-that-offensive!” brigade, claiming that because the word ‘cunt’ is really offensive in America, that everyone in the entire world should find it as offensive as they do.
[14:05]: And the strange thing is these folks think that this is showing how wonderfully thoughtful, egalitarian and progressive they are. When actually, it shows the exact opposite—of just how arrogant, narrow-minded, and ethnocentric they are, to expect the entire English-speaking world to fall in line with their use of language in, say, Cowpoke [?], Minnesota.
Many thanks to Linda for supplying the transcript 🙂