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R0ckets03
07-03-2002, 12:29 AM
Reading a thread in the Rockets forum got me thinking (yes I do think sometimes). Some people get offended way too easily. I'm not blaiming anyone. I dont think its easy to offend me, but its not hard either.

Anyways, I didn't even know the term "chinaman" is offensive to the Chinese people. What is offensive to the Caucasion people on this board? Do some of you get offended by the term "white boy" easily. I use that term jokingly from time to time. I dont think I've ever offended anyone with it.

The only term that I can think of that offends Indians or brown people would be "camel jockey". I heard plenty of that when I first moved here in 1989.

What do Mexicans get offended by? I didnt even know there were any derogatory terms for Mexicans or Caucasions. Maybe I am naive as anything, but the only derogatory terms I know are "*****" and "camel jockey".

I am not meaning to start a war here, but am merely interested to see what offends people of different nationalities or people of different color. Most of us are adults and should be able to handle this without a major flameout. :)


Sorry if I've offended someone already. :(

R0ckets03
07-03-2002, 12:30 AM
And I wanna know this because I dont want to offend someone by mistake.

EddieGriffin
07-03-2002, 12:48 AM
I can't think of any real derogatory term for white people except for "Honky" which I've never really taken offense to.

I've heard "wetback" and "spic" used for Mexicans/Hispanics.

rimbaud
07-03-2002, 12:48 AM
White people have no need to get offended at language because it has never been used against them from a position of power.

"Wetback" is the Mexican term for which you are looking. Americans of all kinds use that term (North, Central, and South).

So many more, so little time. If you don't know the offensive temrs, though, then you are not likely to use them...so why worry?

Hydra
07-03-2002, 02:34 AM
Cracker I believe is the term in vogue for AAs to insult Caucasian Americans.

White people have no need to get offended at language because it has never been used against them from a position of power.

In America this MIGHT be true, but I would think that when the Moors invaded Europe, or after the end of Apartheid in South Africa, many white people were held under the power of black people, and the danger to them was far greater than that to the average African American today. I am sure that the Arabs thought up plenty of derogatory terms for their white victims after Saladin retook the holy land. To say that the white man has been dominant in every situation is absurd.

jlaw718
07-03-2002, 03:45 AM
rimbaud,

The social/political position of the offender is not the sole criteria as to whether one's words may offend others.

As a bi-racial person, I've lived both sides of this issue. The argument that caucasians have no standing to feel offended by language is not cogent and illogical.

Anyone from any race has the power to hurt with words. Racial epithets are included. The right to feel offended is not exclusive to non-caucasians.

If a caucasian uses a term to identify a race or group, and that race or group is genuinely offended, the term should not be used.

Conversely, if a term is used to identify caucasians, and that term is construed offensive, it should be discontinued as well.

These tests are rather subjective, but need to be applied in a consistent manner.

giddyup
07-03-2002, 04:21 AM
RM95 called me a cracker just a couple of days ago.... :cool:

boomboom
07-03-2002, 09:37 AM
"The Man"

BrianKagy
07-03-2002, 09:43 AM
Frankly, having my race used as part of a slur by anyone who I'm not familiar and comfortable with is offensive. If one of my black friends called me "cracker", I would take that as a joke. If a stranger or passing acquaintance did likewise, I'd be angry.

And I'm 28 years old, so I take serious exception to being called "boy" for any reason by any person. "White boy" is extremely derogatory and offensive.

I must have skipped class the day they taught us that since the majority of Americans are white, I can't or shouldn't be offended when someone insults me based on my race.

DiSeAsEd MoNkEy
07-03-2002, 09:44 AM
im a nice giRL...

i dont know any bad words, but you did forget to mention a lot of them.

;)

rimbaud
07-03-2002, 10:32 AM
Hydra & jlaw - Both good points that point (haha) to my poor usage of language. I will try to clarify.

Hydra,

I do not want to get into history now, nor was that my intent with my initial statement, I meant in the present. More specifically, I meant in this country...I apologize for not being more clear. Your problems with anything involved within my clarified context might be answered in my next response.

jlaw,

Excellent post. Again, I should have been more responsible. Sometimes I just throw things out. I know what I mean...everyone else should as well. My flawed logic.

In any event, of course any words can hurt anyone. I, coming from Texas, dislike it when anyone makes generalizing rude or derogatory comments about Texans. Of course the media is filled with such imagery and talking.

In any event, my comment was simply that whites (in this country) might not get offended as much, will not bring terms (that are "anti-white) into the public awareness to be reviewed, and often will not understand the true power of ethnic slurs (often saying "who cares" or "big deal") because of the politics of power. Ultimately, there is no real history behind it. They are not as loaded. Does that clarify anything?

Kagy,

Interesting point about "boy." You know I have taken issue in the past on this BBS with people calling adult females "girls" instead of "women" and have basically been told to lighten up and stop being so silly.

BrianKagy
07-03-2002, 11:23 AM
You know I have taken issue in the past on this BBS with people calling adult females "girls" instead of "women"

I would probably take that more seriously if:

A) Women didn't identify themselves as "girls" so often

B) The request came from a woman-- I've never heard a woman take issue with the difference (primarily because I think the terms are used in specific settings).

C) The use of the term "girl" was used or meant to demean women.

All of those are assumptions on my part. Your experience with the terms may be different; the women you know may hate the term "girl", or you may have heard it used inappropriately, or as a pejorative.

That's not how I've experienced it. I've experienced it as a casual term used by both sexes to describe informal gatherings of women. "Girl's night out", that sort of thing. I don't hear it used in formal context, to describe professional women-- "that girl who runs the core team sure is stupid".

The intent behind using "boy" to describe a man, in the context of referring to a white male as a "white boy", is entirely different. It's clearly meant to impugn the person's masculinity by describing a fully-grown adult as childlike. I don't think there's a similar connotation to girl/woman-- there could be, but I don't think the term "girl" would be used.

I just don't think it's the same thing.

mr_oily
07-03-2002, 11:40 AM
I get called everything!:D
Hot Latin Lover
Latin Stud
Mexican Sausage Delivery
El Grande Chorizo
Macho Mexican
etc...

JuanValdez
07-03-2002, 12:18 PM
Just about any term in the world can be derogatory if used properly -- just as any word can be a come-on if used properly. The words themselves are not important, it is the venom with which they are spoken.

I think Kagy has alluded to this already in mentioning that racial slurs from friends are not offensive. I think it can be extended to strangers as well as long as their intent is clearly communicated: if they don't mean to insult you and the use of the word doesn't connote any condescension or lack of respect, it isn't very insulting.

By the same token, words that are not in themselves at all insulting can be extremely insulting and unacceptable, depending on the attitude it betrays in the speaker. Three recent examples from the BBS are 'Frogs' (for the French), 'Euros' (for Europeans more generally), and 'libs' (for anyone who is not tbagain). 'Frog' is actually a light racial slur, but not often taken seriously in the same way 'honky' is not taken seriously. 'Euro' is an acceptable shorthand and we see it all over the Game Action section. 'Libs' is also a shorthand and shouldn't be any more insulting than the longform 'Liberals'.

But in the mouth (or keyboard) of someone who obviously feels superior morally, intellectually, and otherwise, it is more insulting than if they impugned the chastity of my mother. In the three examples I mentioned, in every case the writer obviously felt that the defined group were of poor moral character, lacked intellectual precision and, in the end, ran at cross-purposes to their own self-interest. In the end, it is condescension that is insulting, with slurs being only an indicator. What can be more condescending that this?

As a sidebar, I've noticed that shortening or 'puppifying' words goes a long way toward making something more offensive. This is the case with 'libs' and 'Euros'. It also works for 'Brit', 'Russkie', 'Dem', and many others.

MadMax
07-03-2002, 12:20 PM
i guess it's all about context....but you will NEVER hear me say certain words, in any context. I've had black friends who call themselves certain words among themselves...even though I'm entirely comfortable with those guys as friends...and in all conversation...I still don't use those words...they just weird me out. My dad said not to say them, and it stuck.

DiSeAsEd MoNkEy
07-03-2002, 12:58 PM
being called a girl is bad?

uh oh...

personally i do not care.

mrpaige
07-03-2002, 01:06 PM
Originally posted by JuanValdez
'Frog' is actually a light racial slur, but not often taken seriously in the same way 'honky' is not taken seriously.

I didn't realize "French" was its own race these days.

I know it's me being anal, but it actually bugs me when folks use 'race' interchangibly with 'ethnicity'. They aren't the same thing.

Mrs. JB
07-03-2002, 01:32 PM
Originally posted by BrianKagy
The intent behind using "boy" to describe a man, in the context of referring to a white male as a "white boy", is entirely different. It's clearly meant to impugn the person's masculinity by describing a fully-grown adult as childlike. I don't think there's a similar connotation to girl/woman-- there could be, but I don't think the term "girl" would be used.

I just don't think it's the same thing.

Actually, Brian, I feel the same way about being called "girl" (by strangers) as you do about being called "boy." I am a 32-year-old woman with a wide range of education, abilities and life experiences -- for me to be called "girl" feels in some way to be a diminuation of all that I am.

Obviously, not all women feel this way. And much like African-Americans who can use the n-word around one another, women often refer to one another as "girl." That seems more acceptable because we instinctively understand what it is to be female in America, so it doesn't feel like a label so much as a wink at one another.

When a man that I am not acquainted with refers to me as a "girl" (which actually almost never happens) it can feel like a slap in the face. Thankfully, no one has ever referred to me as "little lady." That'd probably get them a tennis shoe to the head. :D

Grizzled
07-03-2002, 01:51 PM
I think you need to get more specific than “white people” to get to the more traditional derogatory names. There are a lot of peoples who fall into the “white people” category after all. There are fairly well known derogatory names for Italians, Irish, English, French, Poles, Ukrainians, Germans, etc. There are terms based on nationality too. If you want to offend a Canadian, call him an American. ;)

Isabel
07-03-2002, 01:52 PM
"Girl" doesn't bother me too much, but it can if it's used in a patronizing or condescending fashion. (Women often say "Hey girl!" to each other, which is totally different.)

I try not to be too offended by words, because in general I think people ought not to have such thin skins as they do these days, but there are a few I don't like. I'm 27 and married and I still get "miss", "hon", "sweetie", "dear", etc. Maybe I look really young - I know I dress younger than my age when I'm not at work. Kind of weird to think I still come across as a kid. At least I'm too tall to ever be a "little lady"...

Rocketman95
07-03-2002, 02:43 PM
giddyup, I meant it as a term of endearment buddy! :)

BrianKagy
07-03-2002, 02:48 PM
Mrs. JB, oughtn't you change your signature...? :D

Roc Paint
07-03-2002, 03:04 PM
Where is Steve Martin when you really need him? "You can call me...."or "You can call me...."but whatever you do don't call me Kelvin Cato.

Princess
07-03-2002, 03:06 PM
Just about any term in the world can be derogatory if used properly -- just as any word can be a come-on if used properly. The words themselves are not important, it is the venom with which they are spoken.

How true! I know that there are some truly hateful words and people out there. However, people also need to not take offense so easily. Sometimes, it just looks like people are trying to pick a fight over language and deogatory terms. Just be better than everyone else and let it go.

Mrs. JB
07-03-2002, 03:08 PM
Originally posted by BrianKagy
Mrs. JB, oughtn't you change your signature...? :D

Point taken. :)

It was an honorary title conferred upon me by Clutch himself (whom I am acquainted with) so I was not offended by it.

However, on your good advice, I will now become...

Princess
07-03-2002, 03:16 PM
Originally posted by Mrs. JB


Point taken. :)

It was an honorary title conferred upon me by Clutch himself (whom I am acquainted with) so I was not offended by it.

However, on your good advice, I will now become...

Can I be "Hangout Girl" then? ;)

I hate being called a woman. It makes me feel old (no offense please).

jlaw718
07-03-2002, 03:22 PM
rimbaud,

You have clarified things. I can see your point.

Princess
07-03-2002, 03:25 PM
In any event, of course any words can hurt anyone. I, coming from Texas, dislike it when anyone makes generalizing rude or derogatory comments about Texans. Of course the media is filled with such imagery and talking.

I don't take offense when people call Texans "hicks" or "rednecks" or a whole slew of other terms. I know I'm not like that and that's all I need to know.

Mrs. JB
07-03-2002, 03:26 PM
Originally posted by Princess


Can I be "Hangout Girl" then? ;)

I hate being called a woman. It makes me feel old (no offense please).

I pass the title on to you, Princess. Use the power wisely. :)

Rocketman95
07-03-2002, 03:27 PM
Can I have some fun with both Hangout Girl <B>and</B> Hangout Woman?

:D

rimbaud
07-03-2002, 03:51 PM
Originally posted by Princess


I don't take offense when people call Texans "hicks" or "rednecks" or a whole slew of other terms. I know I'm not like that and that's all I need to know.

Good for you. My only complaint is the continuation of the stereotype - not that my feelings get hurt. I have no accent and people are always shocked that I am from Texas, so it is not personal.

Go be rude to rockHEAD some more.

Princess
07-03-2002, 03:54 PM
Originally posted by rimbaud


Good for you. My only complaint is the continuation of the stereotype - not that my feelings get hurt. I have no accent and people are always shocked that I am from Texas, so it is not personal.



Why does the stereotype bother you? Most people are getting over it, but it's still fun. Why can't stereotypes be fun?

rimbaud
07-03-2002, 04:03 PM
Originally posted by Princess


Why does the stereotype bother you? Most people are getting over it, but it's still fun. Why can't stereotypes be fun?

You wouldn't understand. You are too white, too young, too "girly," not smart enough, too racist, go to UH, and live outside the loop.

Princess
07-03-2002, 04:07 PM
Originally posted by rimbaud


You wouldn't understand. You are too white, too young, too "girly," not smart enough, too racist, go to UH, and live outside the loop.

Is that supposed to be funny or are you trying to prove some sort of point?

outlaw
07-03-2002, 04:07 PM
who here uses the words "***" or "queer" on a regular basis?

jlaw718
07-03-2002, 05:53 PM
Princess,

I, too, applaud your openness in not getting offended easily.

I think the problem lies in your assertion that 'most people are getting over it'.

Maybe your observations of people's non-reaction to those characterizations support your view. However, I think its safe to say many still feel uncomfortable when they are made.

Instead of questioning one's sensitivity to a stereotype, maybe we should understand their feelings and act accordingly.

MadMax
07-03-2002, 06:03 PM
Originally posted by outlaw
who here uses the words "***" or "queer" on a regular basis?

i'll admit i used to call people *** in a joking manner in high school...maybe college. don't anymore.

i sometimes say something is queer if it's not right....or if something is odd about it...but doesn't that fit a Webster's definition? maybe i'm wrong here..i'm not sure.

i recognize that *** in particular can be pretty offensive to people...i've removed it from my vocabulary. no need to offend someone when, 1. i really don't mean it to be offensive -- lost all meaning in terms of homosexuality; and 2. i can say what i mean in a way that won't offend anyone.

Invisible Fan
07-03-2002, 09:28 PM
When I moved out of Texas, a lot of people wondered where was my accent. Only hateful people really made it an issue.

I believe that derrogatory terms is an extension of a bigger issue: cultural awareness and how to get it across. There are so many volatile subjects these days, and it seems so PC to dance around it. But silence is only promoting ignorance. On the other hand, how can you get ideas across without offending the other person? Most likely your understanding of the subject pales in comparison to what the other guy identifies with, so you're bound to say something stupid.

I think the problem in America is that political correctness is only perpetuating stereotypes of other ethnicities instead of helping us bridge our gaps. Labeling people and giving them stereotypes is a very natural human trait. And you can't say it's PC to ignore the race of the person and take him for what she/he is. That is the greater goal, but a person's identity and beliefs is what makes them who they are.

And that's why when some great tragedy happens, like 9/11, occurs we fall back on those sterotypes, forget about political correctness, and rely on our ignorant assumptions based on fear.

Jeff
07-03-2002, 10:23 PM
I always think of it two ways:

1. If it is offensive to the person I'm saying it to, no matter what I may think, it is impolite to treat them that way. I always think, "If this were my grandmother (God rest her soul), would I tell her to screw off if she didn't like it?" Since I wouldn't treat my grandmother that way, why would I treat someone else that way?

2. If I met this person in a dark alley, would I call him a name that offended him knowing he could kick my ass? Nope.

If it won't pass either one of those tests, I figure it is the right thing to do to be nice to people and treat them with respect. It's the only way to get respect back from people.

Invisible Fan
07-03-2002, 10:46 PM
It's very true Jeff, but there are so many issues and misconceptions the media has and what each of us have. I'm Chinese/Taiwanese/American/ Asian or whatever you want to put it and there are times when someone says something stupid that makes me think "what a stupid SOB". But mostly they aren't being malicious, rather trying to be funny. It's ignorance at it's best.

But deep down, I know it's a process. You can tell someone that it's offensive, or you can become angry and call him a dumb****. You can get your message across but how you give it determines everything. It also depends on how dense the person you're trying to reach...

The goal of political correctness does not match the means. You can force someone to not say offensive thoughts by either fear or castigation, but you can't force him/her not to think it. This isn't tolerance, more like censorship at a social level. With respect comes tolerance, and unfortunately our country has ways to go.

DiSeAsEd MoNkEy
07-03-2002, 10:50 PM
Originally posted by outlaw
who here uses the words "***" or "queer" on a regular basis?

my bestfriend is gay and we call each other **** all the time...
queer doesnt really ever come up.

Princess
07-03-2002, 11:55 PM
Invisible Fan...where have you been all my life ;)

That's pretty much how I've thought, but I could never put it into words exactly. Thanks!

Jeff
07-04-2002, 12:28 AM
Invisible: Very well said.

I tend to get frustrated because the people decrying too much political correctness often seem to be the same people who say our country needs more values and morals. I thought "do unto others" was at the top of that list.

maybe maybe no

:)

Manny Ramirez
07-04-2002, 12:41 AM
Originally posted by Roc Paint
Where is Steve Martin when you really need him? "You can call me...."or "You can call me...."but whatever you do don't call me Kelvin Cato.

Or Ray Jay Johnson.... Errr...the only bad show I had was when Ray Jay Johnson came on. "You can call me Ray, and you can call me Jay!" Err....that was funny for 5 seconds.