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29-04-2012, 06:11 PM #1
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.
29-04-2012, 06:17 PM #2
/10charFree speech don't mean unchallengeable speech.
29-04-2012, 06:18 PM #3
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.
29-04-2012, 06:40 PM #4
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.
29-04-2012, 06:44 PM #5
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 am once again writing a blog, vaguely about playing games the wrong way
29-04-2012, 06:52 PM #6
- Join Date
- Feb 2012
- Stockton-on-Tees, UK
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.
29-04-2012, 06:54 PM #7
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.
29-04-2012, 06:55 PM #8
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.
29-04-2012, 06:59 PM #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.
29-04-2012, 07:11 PM #10
29-04-2012, 07:36 PM #11
29-04-2012, 07:39 PM #12
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.
29-04-2012, 07:54 PM #13
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.
29-04-2012, 08:06 PM #14
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.
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.
29-04-2012, 08:09 PM #15
- Join Date
- Jun 2011
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.
29-04-2012, 08:15 PM #16
29-04-2012, 08:50 PM #17
- Join Date
- Jun 2011
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.
29-04-2012, 08:51 PM #18
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.
29-04-2012, 08:56 PM #19
29-04-2012, 08:57 PM #20