Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 77
  1. #1
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Aussieland
    Posts
    1,656

    Conversational Metaphors: Rape vs. Other Bad Stuff

    Some folks are of the view that the metaphorical use of the word 'rape' is distasteful, inconsiderate, or otherwise objectionable. Yet we often employ language suggesting non-sexual violence metaphorically without similar objections being heard. Is there a rational basis for this difference in perception, or is it merely that we are desensitised to non-sexual violence to a greater degree than sexual violence?
    Last edited by Rii; 29-04-2012 at 06:20 PM.

  2. #2
    Lesser Hivemind Node Keep's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    The Library Bar
    Posts
    607
    Topical.

    /10char
    Free speech don't mean unchallengeable speech.

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Althea's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    England
    Posts
    3,457
    Rape is physical, mental and sexual. It's one of the worst things you can do to someone.

    It's extremely strong. When you talk about raping the land, you're talking about something highly destructive, not simply pissing on the soil.

    There's absolutely no need to use it in the majority of cases, and if you say shit like "I'm gonna rape that game" or "your score is gonna get raped", then I'm going to tell you to fuck off back to the primordial squalor from which you oozed as you're not fit to be in otherwise decent society.


  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Aussieland
    Posts
    1,656
    Quote Originally Posted by Althea View Post
    Rape is physical, mental and sexual. It's one of the worst things you can do to someone.

    It's extremely strong. When you talk about raping the land, you're talking about something highly destructive, not simply pissing on the soil.

    There's absolutely no need to use it in the majority of cases, and if you say shit like "I'm gonna rape that game" or "your score is gonna get raped", then I'm going to tell you to fuck off back to the primordial squalor from which you oozed as you're not fit to be in otherwise decent society.
    Murder is also one of the most terrible things that can be done to someone, yet when I hear someone say "I'm going to kill that guy" my emotional response depends upon the intent and demeanour of the person saying it. If they are in good humour and obviously speaking metaphorically, I will tend not to regard them with distaste. My response to someone tossing the word 'rape' around in a cavalier fashion, however, does not appear nearly so contextual: at best I will regard them as uncouth.

    In asking why this difference exists (and, by extension, what the implications of any explanations for it are) I am doing so in the spirit of philosophical introspection rather than pursuing any narrow agenda. I welcome any considered thoughts folks have to offer.
    Last edited by Rii; 29-04-2012 at 06:44 PM.

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    10,482
    Yeah, this is gonna end well. Maybe... No, there's no way to discuss this without being able party to the eventual devolution of the of this thread when it ultimately collapses in one of a dozen ways.
    I'm failing to writing a blog, specifically about playing games the wrong way
    http://playingitwrong.wordpress.com/

  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Stockton-on-Tees, UK
    Posts
    2,491
    I remember once during a pub argument (frequent occurence) I argued that rape was a worse crime than murder. This position received precisely zero support from everyone else.

    As for the question at hand, it probably just depends on who you're talking to. People have different sensibilities about emotive topics. It's not really that surprising I guess.

    Another thing that warrants consideration is the how widely-used the term is. I've heard people say "I'm gonna kill him" all my life, so I know that people don't mean anything by it and it's a basically normal non-offensive thing to say. Use of rape in this sort of context is something I hear much more rarely, and in particularly usually in either online gaming circles or football circles. Neither of these circles impresses me as particularly woman-friendly, which colours my opinion of the term.
    Last edited by NathanH; 29-04-2012 at 06:56 PM.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Heliocentric View Post
    Yeah, this is gonna end well. Maybe... No, there's no way to discuss this without being able party to the eventual devolution of the of this thread when it ultimately collapses in one of a dozen ways.
    I'd like to think it's possible.
    But then I remember that I'm on the internet, so not likely. But I live in hope (a bad habit I should get out of).

    However, it is something that merits discussion. I generally find the casual use of the word "rape" to be pretty tasteless. But, having said that, I just played a game where there are slow motion shots of people's bones exploding when I shoot them, so not sure if I'm in a good position to be evaluating taste.

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Lagoon West, Vermilion Sands
    Posts
    4,490
    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    Murder is also one of the most terrible things that can be done to someone, yet when I hear someone say "I'm going to kill that guy" my emotional response depends upon the intent and demeanour of the person saying it. If they are in good humour and obviously speaking metaphorically, I will tend not to regard them with distaste. My response to someone tossing the word 'rape' around in a cavalier fashion, however, does not appear nearly so contextual: at best I will regard them as uncouth.

    In asking why this difference exists (and, by extension, what the implications of any explanations for it are) I am doing so in the spirit of philosophical introspection rather than pursuing any narrow agenda. I welcome any considered thoughts folks have to offer.
    There is a finality to murder. The victim dies and the perpetrator has to live with the consequences. However with rape everyone involved lives with the consequences.

    Not a fan of its use outside of its primary definition and certainly not with respect to games in the 'lol we got raped/we raped them' manner as some are prone to do.
    Last edited by Kadayi; 29-04-2012 at 06:59 PM.
    Why yes you're right I'm deliciously evil

    Tradition is the tyranny of dead men

    Steam:Kadayi Origin: Kadayi GFWL: Kadayi

    Probable Replicant

    *blush* I'm flattered by the attention boys, but please let's not make the thread about liddle old me


    Quote Originally Posted by Finicky View Post
    Kadayi will remain the worst poster on the interwebs.
    Gifmaster 4000 2014 Year of the Gif

    Their early work was a little too new wave for my tastes....

  9. #9
    I think there's something about rape that is just inherently more sinister. While there can be (theoretically) plenty of reasons for taking a person's life, with perhaps being some more morally defensible than others, rape doesn't have quite the same range of motivations. Really it comes down to the desire to dominate and subjugate another person in the most base way. As Althea said, rape tends to have more elements involved than just the physical aspects.

  10. #10
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Lagoon West, Vermilion Sands
    Posts
    4,490
    Quote Originally Posted by zookeeper View Post
    Really it comes down to the desire to dominate and subjugate another person in the most base way. As Althea said, rape tends to have more elements involved than just the physical aspects.
    I'd add humiliation in there as well Zoo.
    Why yes you're right I'm deliciously evil

    Tradition is the tyranny of dead men

    Steam:Kadayi Origin: Kadayi GFWL: Kadayi

    Probable Replicant

    *blush* I'm flattered by the attention boys, but please let's not make the thread about liddle old me


    Quote Originally Posted by Finicky View Post
    Kadayi will remain the worst poster on the interwebs.
    Gifmaster 4000 2014 Year of the Gif

    Their early work was a little too new wave for my tastes....

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    I'd add humiliation in there as well Zoo.
    Agree. All of which can be aspects of physical violence, but which are inherent parts of sexual violence.

  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Aussieland
    Posts
    1,656
    Quote Originally Posted by zookeeper View Post
    I think there's something about rape that is just inherently more sinister. While there can be (theoretically) plenty of reasons for taking a person's life, with perhaps being some more morally defensible than others, rape doesn't have quite the same range of motivations. Really it comes down to the desire to dominate and subjugate another person in the most base way. As Althea said, rape tends to have more elements involved than just the physical aspects.
    This is a very interesting point. Perhaps, then, a more appropriate point of comparison for rape than murder would be other acts that seem to us intrinsically sinister and cruel and without plausible mitigating circumstances, such as torturing an animal.

    The question then is how applies to folks using it metaphorically. Is it that in jokes or other metaphorical uses of the term rape we perceive an underlying ugliness or propensity (to rape, at the extreme) in the speaker, as in the case of joking about torturing animals? The underlying notion being that it wouldn't have occurred to them to joke about if there wasn't something basically wrong with them in the first place. If this account does in fact resemble what is going on when we feel and react the way we do, are these inferences justifiable?
    Last edited by Rii; 29-04-2012 at 08:23 PM.

  13. #13
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Lagoon West, Vermilion Sands
    Posts
    4,490
    Grizzly referred to something in earlier thread on the subject. I thought this comment (by MP-Ryan) was particularly noteworthy: -

    Meaning is important. Many people aren't careful with how they convey it, particularly young people who are just learning this lesson. This is why it's important for younger forumites like Titan to receive that feedback in a constructive way rather than reach their twenties and thirties and figure out that every reasonable person around them thinks they're a complete and total asshole because of the way they use language. Again, meaning doesn't just convey opinion, but it lets other people form opinion of the person who is conveying the meaning - hence why the usage of the word rape in this context makes me say that anyone doing it is childish, immature, disrespectful, or all of the above.
    http://www.hard-light.net/forums/ind...topic=80668.40
    Why yes you're right I'm deliciously evil

    Tradition is the tyranny of dead men

    Steam:Kadayi Origin: Kadayi GFWL: Kadayi

    Probable Replicant

    *blush* I'm flattered by the attention boys, but please let's not make the thread about liddle old me


    Quote Originally Posted by Finicky View Post
    Kadayi will remain the worst poster on the interwebs.
    Gifmaster 4000 2014 Year of the Gif

    Their early work was a little too new wave for my tastes....

  14. #14
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Aussieland
    Posts
    1,656
    I'm not sure how far this gets us in terms of justification, but as explanation it seems to me that one of the most compelling reasons for refraining from casual use of the term 'rape' is that it seems to upset people, whereas casual references to non-sexual violence and killing do not inherently do so, although they may in certain contexts.

    Knowing that casual use of the term 'rape' upsets some people, continuing to use it (without good reason and in the presence of many alternatives) thus demonstrates one's lack of regard for the feelings of others, and this lack of sociality seems a reasonable basis upon which we might regard the speaker with suspicion.

    Quote Originally Posted by NathanH View Post
    I've heard people say "I'm gonna kill him" all my life, so I know that people don't mean anything by it and it's a basically normal non-offensive thing to say. Use of rape in this sort of context is something I hear much more rarely, and in particularly usually in either online gaming circles or football circles. Neither of these circles impresses me as particularly woman-friendly, which colours my opinion of the term.
    It seems to me that casual use of the term 'rape' in all- or mostly-male social contexts is ... well, actually that seems to be the natural habitat of rape language. And one can't help but notice that such groupings are also rape's natural habitat. A large group of men working to a common purpose is most often an army, and women are one of the traditional spoils of war. So yeah, such talk amongst male groupings raises some particularly ugly spectres, in my view. And of course it also sends the message that this is what men as individuals are like in the absence of women to frown upon them.

    On the other hand the last two instances of rape-as-a-joke that I've encountered were from women: an overheard conversation between the speaker and her (female) compatriots, and Lena Dunham's character on Girls. I'm sure the social dynamics there are worthy of examination also, alas I'm (even further) out of my depth on that score.
    Last edited by Rii; 29-04-2012 at 08:10 PM.

  15. #15
    Lesser Hivemind Node
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    868
    People's reservations about rape seem justified to me, I'm more curious about why use of killing as a figure of speech is acceptable. To me it seems that this has more to do with the prevailing societal norms than connotations carried by either word. And, this, I guess, is the reason why people don't seem to have problems joking about prison rape.
    Last edited by Shane; 29-04-2012 at 08:21 PM.

  16. #16
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Aussieland
    Posts
    1,656
    Quote Originally Posted by Shane View Post
    People's reservations about rape seem justified to me, I'm more curious about why use of killing as a figure of speech is acceptable. To me it seems that this has more to do with the prevailing societal norms than connotations carried by either word. This, I guess, is the reason why people don't seem to have problems joking about prison rape.
    Indeed. It occurs to me that venturing down this road ("what if it shouldn't be cool to joke about murder either?") is eventually going to lead one to consider the ethics of, umm, playing at killing loads of dudes.

  17. #17
    Network Hub LaunchJC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    134
    In terms of context I think it's appropriate to post this:


    And an article concerning it: HERE, obviously not gaming related as such but in terms of usage it has its similarities with competitive multiplayer.

  18. #18
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Grizzly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    The Bishopric of Utrecht
    Posts
    2,219
    The thing is - when I kill loads of dudes in, say, Mass Effect, I usually do so since they are actively trying to kill me. Which happens in wars all the time, for one, and has become socially accaptable in an "the Ends justify the means!" sort of thing. A few morals of ours come from the judeaistic religions, and the Old Testament is basically full with this stuff (whether or not the ends are actually justified is another thing entirely).

    The thing is, obviously, that there is absolutely no justification for raping someone. It's absusing your power over someone else for the sake of fulfilling your own desires, which is rather creepy. It's like making holocaust jokes.
    Last edited by Grizzly; 29-04-2012 at 08:54 PM.

  19. #19
    Lesser Hivemind Node
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    868
    Quote Originally Posted by Grizzly View Post
    The thing is, obviously, that there is absolutely no justification for raping someone.
    History disagrees.

  20. #20
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Grizzly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    The Bishopric of Utrecht
    Posts
    2,219
    Quote Originally Posted by Shane View Post
    History disagrees.
    Wait. What?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •