« Anyone Else Object to "Ass Wednesday"? | Main | Super-Fantastic Manolo Uses the M-Word--Again »

March 03, 2006

Comments

D K Jones

It always has struck me as ironic that people tell others that they are upset with to perform various sex acts on them as an insult AND THEN expect someone to willingly participate in those same acts as a symbol of love and affection...

SensitiveEars

Two responses:

1)What would a guy's response be to being called an "asshole" or "prick" by his girlfriend, or even a female sitting at the same table? I don't know many that would take it. Why should women?

2)My family taught me to never waste time on a guy who is disrespectful of ANY woman. The reasoning: if he doesn't respect people he doesn't "have" to, he doesn't respect people. Sadly, it's rare to find a guy who NEVER refers to women with one of the words you mentioned, Cassandra, because those words have gained acceptance in society. Most people don't think about what the words actually mean, and do not realize anymore how offensive they are...or, should be. The question is, how to reiterate the offensiveness without being labeled, and written off as, a "b**ch."

Susan B.

You've given me a lot to think about. I've always thought it was ungentlemanly for a man to call a woman a slut or a whore even if it's true. However, among women, my view has always been, "If the shoe fits..." I admit that it's not easy to let go of the malevolent satisfaction you get from insulting people.

D K Jones,

I've always wondered about that myself. I think this is because, deep down on perhaps a subconscious level, people know that such acts are inherently degrading.

TF

This is something that truly gets under my skin - not only because it is derogatory, but because these terms are so glorified by the entire pop culture at this point. I was absolutely sickened yesterday when one of the prominent headlines on several news sites was that the word "bitch" was going to be heard on television during the Oscars, as part of a rap group's act. This news was being heralded as if this was something GOOD!

Worst of all are the women who refer to other women as "bitches" and "whores". They may think that they're showing just how tough and modern they are, but in the long run, they just sound like trash and other people perceive them as trash.

I live outside the USA, and many men in my country refuse to marry women from this country. They look for wives in other lands. If you ask why they do this, they will be forthcoming. "Women in this country are far too stroppy (negative, confrontational)" or "Women in this country are foulmouthed and I don't want to listen to that for the rest of my life, I don't want a wife who swears all the time".

The women here who think they're being so modern and liberated by swearing all the time like a bunch of longshoremen are literally cutting their own throats when it comes to finding a marriage partner. Every few months stories appear in the newspaper about how single women here have such poor chances of marrying - yet every time I hear one sitting in a restaurant or other public place, talking loudly to her female friends, where "bitch", "whore", "f**k" and "c**t" are every other word coming out of her mouth, and where her sole topic of conversation is complaining about how awful all the men are, I'm not at all surprised.

In the long run, people judge us by how we present ourselves, and a large portion of how we present ourselves has to do with how we perceive and feel about ourselves. A woman who refers to herself and other women as "bitches" or "whores" is sending a great big negative signal to the rest of the world - she thinks no more of herself than to degrade herself verbally. Who would want to be around someone like that?

sunnyday

The blog and comments are so thought-provoking and at the same time validating of my own sentiments. One thing I'd like to add that may (hopefully) make men (and women) think the next time they cuss:

If a word such as "s**t" (I know, it's mild compared to others) comes out of a person's mouth, what does that make his/her mouth?

Another thing: we know that even if a person looks like trash and smells like trash, he is still a person -- a human being, with a soul, created in God's image. In my country we have many such people wandering the streets. At the same time, it sure would be wonderful if we can help women understand that if they act like trash and accept being treated like trash, the harder it will be for others to see beyond their "trashy" exterior. The easier it will be, too, for these women to keep accepting the "trashy" treatment.

TF

I do want to clarify that my use of the word "trash" was not meant to indicate people of any particular financial status. In my day, that word was used to indicate behavior, not social standing. There are plenty of very rich celebrities out there who justifiably deserve the appellation "trash" - not because of what they earn or own, but because of the things they do and the way they present themselves to the world.

Having been very poor myself when I was still living in the USA, I have known many very poor people, some of whom were so poor they had nowhere to live - yet they were decent and caring people and were not foulmouthed or trashy in any way. They did the best they could, and it was tragic that they did not receive more help or concern from the society they lived in. I have also had the opportunity to know some very rich people who were far from decent and caring, who lived like swine even though they had every opportunity and advantage, and who squandered all the advantages they had while presenting an image to the world that was coarse, uncaring, vulgar and foulmouthed. Yet, so often, these people were idolized and revered by their society simply because of their riches and in the cases of celebrities, because of their notoriety or the amount of exposure they received in the media.

Financial standing has nothing to do, in my mind, with whether a person behaves like trash or not. Trash is as trash does, whether they have a full wallet or an empty one.

sunnyday

Hi TF,

Good points there. In case any of my statements were misconstrued, I'll make clarifications as well. By "people who look like trash and smell like trash," I was referring to people who -- for one reason or another -- have made the streets their home. Some actually sift through garbage dumps and trash cans with the hope of salvaging something to earn some money or obtain bits of food to quell their hunger. There are many in the Philippines and it it's heartbreaking to know that some people actually live the way they do. =(

I used this description a couple of years ago in an advice column I used to have, to illustrate the need to go beyond a person's exteriors. The one who wrote complained about a friend's vampy manner of dress and behavior and, in some heated argument, she ended up calling the friend a b**ch (I really don't relish using that word, except when referring to canines). Hence, my advice included something that expressed the need to treat every person as a human being worthy of respect even if his/her less-than-dignified exterior may make it hard for us to do so.

I just had a thought: I've heard of the expression "swears like a sailor." Do sailors really cuss a lot? I've never met a sailor in my life and few movies I've seen that include sailor-characters don't present sailors this way, so I'm just wondering... =)

Erin P

Great point, Cassandra, about modest speech. I feel that way about cursing. It's one thing if under pressure, it slips out. But as casual conversation? It's a practice that needs to end I think. I used to curse a lot in college and then made a conscious effort not to do so and rarely does a curse word leave my mouth now. Quite a turnaround, but I speak from experience, definitely possible and SO worth it! It makes you a more sensitive person.

Also, what's with radio stations not even censoring those words from songs anymore - many of those words are mainstreamed. I even heard an interview today on NPR where a derogatory term was just part of the flow of conversation. Kind of glorified too - like if you're in the intellectual elite, it's acceptable, even praised.

Tatiana

Some men just don't care. It seems natural because no one taught them to respect women or disrespect women. They just made the decision on their own. Anyways everybody is responsible for their own actions, so if u call anybody a bitch or a hoe then you are disrespectful no matter what he or she did. Yes women sell their bodies out in the streets, but they sell it to men who want it so I don't see the problem. Men want sex and so therefore women give it to them, but they still call them a hoe and other stuff. But men will never understand. They say their not disrespectful but really they are. If you tell them that women are the ones that birthed you after they just called a female a hoe, they'll say that " hoes didn't birth me". A hoe is a garden tool and nothing else. It has nothing to do with men or women. But poeple who are going to read this will never understand. If you call a female or a male a BITCH or a HOE, you are disrespectful no matter what he or she did. Nobody ( men or women) is a BITCH or a Hoe and thats the truth it is not my opinion.

The comments to this entry are closed.