The power of words

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Alan de Robson
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We've seen over the last 30 years word become weaponised and others lose their meaning as societal attitudes have changed.

There's one word I absolutely hate though and I was wondering if it's just me.

The "n" word is horrific and shocking to me but so is the "q" word (for gay people).

As a hettie bloke, I consider myself a very strong LGB ally. One of the best men at my wedding is gay. I have had countless fun nights on the Newcastle gay scene with gay mates of mine. (Just setting up my liberal credentials there, by the way).

But I detest the "q" word. It makes my skin bristle every time I hear it. I know many in the LGB community have reclaimed that word for themselves and power to their elbow. I just wish they hadn't. I remember back in the 80s and 90s how it used to be used and it was a dreadful, disdainful putdown of another human being for an immutable quality.

Does that make me evil? Or do others think the same?
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WillPS
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I've never liked the word 'dormitory'. Perhaps not quite the same thing.
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Whataday
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Alan de Robson wrote: Fri 01 Apr, 2022 14.57 We've seen over the last 30 years word become weaponised and others lose their meaning as societal attitudes have changed.

There's one word I absolutely hate though and I was wondering if it's just me.

The "n" word is horrific and shocking to me but so is the "q" word (for gay people).

As a hettie bloke, I consider myself a very strong LGB ally. One of the best men at my wedding is gay. I have had countless fun nights on the Newcastle gay scene with gay mates of mine. (Just setting up my liberal credentials there, by the way).

But I detest the "q" word. It makes my skin bristle every time I hear it. I know many in the LGB community have reclaimed that word for themselves and power to their elbow. I just wish they hadn't. I remember back in the 80s and 90s how it used to be used and it was a dreadful, disdainful putdown of another human being for an immutable quality.

Does that make me evil? Or do others think the same?
Perhaps it makes you feel uncomfortable because you're heterosexual, and the word was and still is used as a slur mainly by heterosexuals.

As a gay man, who has been called queer in a derogatory way many times (and far more recently than the 80s and 90s), I find it empowering to take ownership of that term. Because then it weakens the slur. It has also been adapted to encompass all members of the community, including trans people who you seem to have omitted when you described yourself as an ally.
Alan de Robson
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Whataday wrote: Fri 01 Apr, 2022 19.02
Alan de Robson wrote: Fri 01 Apr, 2022 14.57 We've seen over the last 30 years word become weaponised and others lose their meaning as societal attitudes have changed.

There's one word I absolutely hate though and I was wondering if it's just me.

The "n" word is horrific and shocking to me but so is the "q" word (for gay people).

As a hettie bloke, I consider myself a very strong LGB ally. One of the best men at my wedding is gay. I have had countless fun nights on the Newcastle gay scene with gay mates of mine. (Just setting up my liberal credentials there, by the way).

But I detest the "q" word. It makes my skin bristle every time I hear it. I know many in the LGB community have reclaimed that word for themselves and power to their elbow. I just wish they hadn't. I remember back in the 80s and 90s how it used to be used and it was a dreadful, disdainful putdown of another human being for an immutable quality.

Does that make me evil? Or do others think the same?
Perhaps it makes you feel uncomfortable because you're heterosexual, and the word was and still is used as a slur mainly by heterosexuals.

As a gay man, who has been called queer in a derogatory way many times (and far more recently than the 80s and 90s), I find it empowering to take ownership of that term. Because then it weakens the slur. It has also been adapted to encompass all members of the community, including trans people who you seem to have omitted when you described yourself as an ally.
Perhaps you're right. Perhaps it's because I am straight that I find it uncomfortable.

I don't personally believe it weakens the slur just like I don't think the "n" word has been weakened by people of colour taking ownership of that.

The power of the "n" seems to have strengthened in recent years given the fact that the Beeb won't use the word when quoting some racist thug in court using it.

PS. I don't have to list every cause I support to make a point. I do support trans people but, for me, I can't see the connection between gay people and trans people. I find the word "tr*nny" horrible and offensive but I was making the point about the "q" word and how I felt about it.
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Sput
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Oh that is weak bad faith shite and you know it.

You don’t get to decide who’s in a movement you’re not part of, even if you do like to holiday there. So, you can either support it as it is, however it chooses to name itself, acknowledge you’re with “LGB only” folks that actively exclude and malign the “T” or you can keep your opinions to yourself.
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Alan de Robson
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Sput wrote: Fri 01 Apr, 2022 22.00 Oh that is weak bad faith shite and you know it.

You don’t get to decide who’s in a movement you’re not part of, even if you do like to holiday there. So, you can either support it as it is, however it chooses to name itself, acknowledge you’re with “LGB only” folks that actively exclude and malign the “T” or you can keep your opinions to yourself.
I don't think I've maligned anyone, Sput.

My missus's best friend's daughter is trans and I have employed a trans person before. I don't come at this never having met and got to know anyone T before. My original point was about the "q" word which, to my knowledge, is not applied to trans men and women.

My gay friends, like I, are very supportive of T rights but they have different opinions on the subject. The idea that, among any group in society, there is absolute unanimity and conformity on all subjects is incorrect. The gay community is just as diverse in their opinions as any other.

I'm not entirely sure why you and Whataday have been so bristled by my original comment. And how can someone who is not a member of a community "holiday" there and be an ally at the same time? Apologies but I am confused.
bilky asko
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Alan de Robson wrote: Fri 01 Apr, 2022 22.19
Sput wrote: Fri 01 Apr, 2022 22.00 Oh that is weak bad faith shite and you know it.

You don’t get to decide who’s in a movement you’re not part of, even if you do like to holiday there. So, you can either support it as it is, however it chooses to name itself, acknowledge you’re with “LGB only” folks that actively exclude and malign the “T” or you can keep your opinions to yourself.
I don't think I've maligned anyone, Sput.

My missus's best friend's daughter is trans and I have employed a trans person before. I don't come at this never having met and got to know anyone T before. My original point was about the "q" word which, to my knowledge, is not applied to trans men and women.

My gay friends, like I, are very supportive of T rights but they have different opinions on the subject. The idea that, among any group in society, there is absolute unanimity and conformity on all subjects is incorrect. The gay community is just as diverse in their opinions as any other.

I'm not entirely sure why you and Whataday have been so bristled by my original comment. And how can someone who is not a member of a community "holiday" there and be an ally at the same time? Apologies but I am confused.
You specifically excluded "trans" from the well-known initialism, at a time when trans rights are under significant threat, and a day after it was announced that trans conversion therapy isn't going to be banned, separated out from gay conversion therapy, in an attempt to try and pit the two groups against each other, and a time when trans people in general are being attacked by the so-called "gender critical". Perhaps that's why.
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Alan de Robson
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I didn't specifically exclude trans - it's just that my initial observation, to the best of my knowledge, wasn't used against T people.

Anyway, to you Billy, Sput, and Whataday, I am genuinely sorry if I caused any offense to any of you. I value you all and I value this forum and this is the only place on the internet where the opinions of others (you lot) are important to me.

I swear it was not my intention to upset anyone. I am a lover of language and am fascinated by its power. I read something earlier yesterday that used the "q" word and it got me thinking and I wanted to share those thoughts.

Hope you accept that and you're are all OK with that and me.
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Sput
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Re the holiday thing: you’ve had many a fun night at the clubs. Very much all of the fun with none of the trauma eh?

Overall maybe you aren’t trying to establish a basis for exclusion. But politely phrased, logical-sounding wedge-driving online looks a lot like this, *is* widely done nowadays on *exactly* this topic, and it omits one essential truth: the community comes from actual real life and not some thought experiment.

In real life it’s messy but interestingly it’s the same set of cunts with the same set of interests meting out the same abuse to people who, broadly speaking, have some difficult stuff to deal with and just want to get on. Oh their exact focus shifts and they learn new ways to give themselves permission to be cunts (a polite “just-asking-questions” phase is often now the start to the process), but it’s a figleaf covering the same load of old balls from 20, 30, 50 years ago. I mean the anti LGBT types haven’t even updated their list of “concerns” other than to change “gay” to “trans” and giving it another whirl.

So, sorry if my bristling shocks you but I’ve too long seen the difference between politeness and civility when it comes to taking rights away from a group of people. Maybe that’s the power of language

EDIT: I’m not lumping you in with the cunts. Making a wider point about they act now.
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Alan de Robson
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Sput wrote: Sat 02 Apr, 2022 08.27 Re the holiday thing: you’ve had many a fun night at the clubs. Very much all of the fun with none of the trauma eh?
That's completely fair but for someone who is not a member of the community, I will never have the trauma, if you know what I mean.
Sput wrote: Sat 02 Apr, 2022 08.27 Overall maybe you aren’t trying to establish a basis for exclusion. But politely phrased, logical-sounding wedge-driving online looks a lot like this, *is* widely done nowadays on *exactly* this topic, and it omits one essential truth: the community comes from actual real life and not some thought experiment.
I am aware that there is a trans "debate" (not sure which word I should use) but, TBH, I am not that up to speed on it as I probably should be.
Sput wrote: Sat 02 Apr, 2022 08.27 In real life it’s messy but interestingly it’s the same set of cunts with the same set of interests meting out the same abuse to people who, broadly speaking, have some difficult stuff to deal with and just want to get on. Oh their exact focus shifts and they learn new ways to give themselves permission to be cunts (a polite “just-asking-questions” phase is often now the start to the process), but it’s a figleaf covering the same load of old balls from 20, 30, 50 years ago. I mean the anti LGBT types haven’t even updated their list of “concerns” other than to change “gay” to “trans” and giving it another whirl.

So, sorry if my bristling shocks you but I’ve too long seen the difference between politeness and civility when it comes to taking rights away from a group of people. Maybe that’s the power of language.
I'm sorry that the way I put the original comment bristled you - that's my bad.

My original point is that I find the word beginning with "q" difficult because I think it's horribly disrespectful and dehumanising. I understand why the community want to claim it back but that still doesn't stop it sounding awful to me, if that makes sense.
Sput wrote: Sat 02 Apr, 2022 08.27 EDIT: I’m not lumping you in with the cunts. Making a wider point about they act now.
Given your eloquent exposition of the shifting sands, I can understand why your, billy's, and Whataday's defences went up.

I am not a cunt, I didn't mean to offend, and I hope you see that and accept my apologies.

As a much funnier person than me once said, I'll get my coat.
all new Phil
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For what it’s worth I really dislike the word queer as well. Happy for people to identify however they wish but I don’t like it being used as a blanket term when its use is clearly so divisive. Whenever I hear “queer community”, “queer history”, queer anything really I don’t feel like that’s describing something I’m a part of.
Thought this was a nice forum, clearly not.
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