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Thread: Cocksucking

  1. #1
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    Cocksucking

    I just wanted to pull on a particular thread from that messy ball of yarn on the front page.

    Cocksucker is an insult because the act of sucking cock is understood to be submissive and demeaning. The cultural imagery supporting this interpretation is pervasive, from the 'money shot' in porn to blow job metaphors. Underlying that are the power-through-height dynamics buried so deeply in our evolutionary make-up that it's unlikely they will ever be eradicated, and which manifest themselves in everything from sexual relations to career prospects to architecture. The insult is usually directed at men because sucking cock is a woman's job and the worst insult that one can direct towards a man in most cultures is to suggest that he is in some way woman-like.

    The use of cocksucker as an insult isn't just homophobic, it's patriarchal and misogynist as well.

  2. #2
    Lesser Hivemind Node Keep's Avatar
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    Agreed.


    That thread is a mess but it's good that so many people are challenging the worst expressions of privilege in it. Kudos, RPS.

  3. #3
    ...

    Is this some kind of joke?
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  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph-Sulphur View Post
    ...

    Is this some kind of joke?
    No. The thread on the main page is full of the basest of wrongness the internet can offer: "The people spouting all these offensive terms are innocent to the offense they are allegedly causing. It's the fault of homosexuals and liberals that they're offended!"

    Stating the obvious, as Rii has done, sometimes needs to be done.
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  5. #5
    Yeah there's no doubt that it's an offensive term. The funny thing looking at the comments is that people are getting surprised by this.

    I'm going to copy part of my post here, just to pre-empt the inevitable comments...

    Here’s how it works. You (or blizzard or whomever) is allowed to say WHATEVER they want, and it can be sexist, racist, homophobic or whatever. That’s fine. Just be aware that anybody has the right to call you out on it. That’s what is happening here.



    When you argue for free speech, be aware that you are also arguing for people's rights to respond to what you say, and to call you a dumbass if you say something offensive.

  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    What I found funny was the article's use of the word "peculiar."

    Having played WoW for over four years, nothing of what these guys said sounded out of the ordinary to me, because the general decorum on trade or barrens chat is that of a middle school lunchroom. I suppose what's 'peculiar' about it is that Blizzard appears to be condoning it by allowing them to play at BlizzCon. However, by allowing similar talk to go on for years (belittling, trolling, bullying, et cetera are okay so long as you don't curse) they've always condoned it.

    I guess there's still the "what kind of monster have we wrought?" feeling when realizing you've manufactured the PC equivalent of Xbox Live.
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  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snargelfargen View Post
    When you argue for free speech, be aware that you are also arguing for people's rights to respond to what you say, and to call you a dumbass if you say something offensive.
    A remarkable number of people seem to be unclear on this point. Seems like a failing in civics education to me.

    I do have some sympathy for the idea that terms like 'homophobia', 'privilege', etc. are used to chill dissent. It's difficult to sympathise too much when there never seems to be any shortage of folks willing to heroically brave the PC thought police in service of bigots everywhere, but still. There're a lot of ideas compressed into those words and as useful and often reasonably applied as that shorthand is, it can also allow for the uncritical burial at sea of ideas that one doesn't like. And ultimately, that doesn't serve anyone.
    Last edited by Rii; 29-10-2011 at 02:54 PM.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    What I found funny was the article's use of the word "peculiar."
    Haha, well the title would have been pretty confusing if they had used "queer" instead.

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    I agreed with the gist, but I disagree with misogynist being thrown in there. Misogyny is 'hatred of women' and that's a very distinct thing from 'sexism', and it's important to distinguish between the two.
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  10. #10
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    It's a liberal hangup to get caught up demonstrating one's tolerance to intolerance.

    I also don't accept that, because these particular idiots "may not" have been explicitly directing their language towards homosexuals, that their language can be construed as anything but offensive to homosexuals, if for no other reason than that nobody is innocent to the connotations of those words and nobody says those words in regular speech except suburban American teenagers.

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but suburban teenagers have never been known for being particularly friendly towards homosexuals. Hell, the whole It Gets Better project is directed towards homosexual teens in closed, suburban enclaves because they could not escape the intolerance and homophobia until their majority and independence.
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  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    I agreed with the gist, but I disagree with misogynist being thrown in there. Misogyny is 'hatred of women' and that's a very distinct thing from 'sexism', and it's important to distinguish between the two.
    I agree that sexism, patriarchy, and misogyny are distinct concepts. But I think the contempt for one's sexual partner underlying the use of 'cocksucker' as an insult is enough to qualify as misogyny.

  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    I agree that sexism, patriarchy, and misogyny are distinct concepts. But I think the contempt for one's sexual partner underlying the use of 'cocksucker' as an insult is enough to qualify as misogyny.
    No because you're still attaching a sexual aspect to things, misogyny as a concept transcends that, by passing it off as part of your argument, you're muddying it with sexism.
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  13. #13
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    No because you're still attaching a sexual aspect to things, misogyny as a concept transcends that, by passing it off as part of your argument, you're muddying it with sexism.
    Then what would you consider a proper display of contempt for women such as to justify the term 'misogyny?'
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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    It's a liberal hangup to get caught up demonstrating one's tolerance to intolerance.
    Fair enough, but I think the most important thing is to engage in a dialogue with these intolerant people. The only way to get through to somebody is to provide rational arguments and hope some of it gets through. Education, basically. We really aren't trying to win anything.

    I always make a point of engaging with the worst comments, because anything that makes them think about their viewpoint is a good thing. Shutting them out just perpetuates the problem. And yeah, nobody ever admits they are wrong on the internet. But some of those proud people do go to bed and wake up the next day with a changed opinion.
    I am often guilty of this.

  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Althea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    But I think the contempt for one's sexual partner underlying the use of 'cocksucker' as an insult is enough to qualify as misogyny.
    But it's usually used to refer to men, not women. I've never heard a woman call another a "cocksucker", but I've heard plenty of men use it between each other. I've heard terms like "Pussy-licker", but never worked out how that's particularly insulting, and there's also "ass kisser" for your good ol' generic insults.

    Not that it's necessarily homophobic either, because some women do have penises. But largely it implies homosexual acts, and in a negative manner, therefore it can be homophobic.

    I think you're taking it too far. The guy in question is a homophobic prick, yeah, but you didn't need to bring the "BRING DOWN T3H PATRIARCHY" points into it. It's hardly a "submissive" or "demeaning" act either, and I bet you could easily find a bunch of men and women out there who will find it the complete opposite. Yes, it can be a "submissive" or "demeaning" act, but that goes for any sexual act. It can be "dominant" and "empowering" too.


  16. #16
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snargelfargen View Post
    Fair enough, but I think the most important thing is to engage in a dialogue with these intolerant people.
    There's a reason bigotry takes a few generations to die out: Bigots do not change their views. You cannot convince a bigot to think, because a bigot is a bigot specifically because he does not think.

    You do not turn him to your views. You wait for him to die.
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  17. #17
    Activated Node golden_worm's Avatar
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    But should we let Mr.T off, because he left out the "cock"?

  18. #18
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    Then what would you consider a proper display of contempt for women such as to justify the term 'misogyny?'
    One that doesn't rely upon sex as a starting point. If you want an example of a living breathing misogynist, go look at Jim Fleming.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finicky View Post
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  19. #19
    So if you don't believe people's opinions can change, why are you posting at all?

    By no means am I saying that any bigot out there can be "saved", but people's beliefs can and will change, and it has a lot to do with the outspoken opinions and viewpoints of the people they encounter daily. It is a slow, painful, embarrasing and imperfect process, but it happens.

    If you refuse to engage with bigots, then you are a part of the problem. Education doesn't stop when you get out of high school. People continue to learn and grow and gah! I can't believe this is up for discussion!

    Edit: this in response to Nalano

  20. #20
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snargelfargen View Post
    So if you don't believe people's opinions can change, why are you posting at all?
    Because I like to hear myself speak.*

    I work in a high school. You want people to become free thinkers? You start young.

    You've touched upon what I've always said was the solution: Education. Universal, compulsory education. That our public school system is failing so hard - due to lack of prioritization, lack of funding, entrenched rote methodologies, and a whole host of other ills - speaks very ill to our country's future. I place the blame of our current political climate squarely at the feet of our flagging educational system, and I place the blame of that squarely at the feet of the Republican party, which has been systematically destroying good governance as we know it for the better part of forty years.

    *No, really, the reason I post is because of catharsis. I've never convinced anybody who wasn't already inclined to be convinced. I gravitate towards places where I end up preaching to the choir, like here. People get set in their ways very early in life. It is my view that the only method worth dealing with a societal, systematic form of racism or any other bigotry is to give up on the current generation and start working on the next.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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