Posts filed under Andy the Slack Bastard

Re: Me, I’m voting for Hillary not because she’s a woman—but because I am.

The original “Goodbye to All That” is one of my favorite short essays in the world. So it’s a bit disappointing to see someone who once wrote this:

Goodbye to those simple-minded optimistic dreams of socialist equality all our good socialist brothers want us to believe. How merely liberal a politics that is! How much further we will have to go to create those profound changes that would give birth to a genderless society. Profound, Sister. Beyond what is male or female. Beyond standards we all adhere to now without daring to examine them as male-created, male-dominated, male-fucked-up, and in male self-interest. Beyond all known standards, especially those easily articulated revolutionary ones we all rhetorically invoke. Beyond—to a species with a new name, that would not dare define itself as Man.

… We are rising, powerful in our unclean bodies; bright glowing mad in our inferior brains; wild hair flying, wild eyes staring, wild voices keening; undaunted by blood we who hemorrhage every twenty-eight days; laughing at our own beauty we who have lost our sense of humor; mourning for all each precious one of us might have been in this one living time-place had she not been born a woman; stuffing fingers into our mouths to stop the screams of fear and hate and pity for men we have loved and love still; tears in our eyes and bitterness in our mouths for children we couldn’t have, or couldn’t not have, or didn’t want, or didn’t want yet, or wanted and had in this place and this time of horror. We are rising with a fury older and potentially greater than any force in history, and this time we will be free or no one will survive. Power to all the people or to none. All the way down, this time.

… is now drawing on her legacy and turning her talents to churn out endorsements for a triangulating pro-war corporate liberal candidate for President of the United States. I fear that the bottom of “all the way down” has become rather more shallow than it once was.

aketus, I’m not the…

aketus, I’m not the cops and I don’t have either the power or the desire to make Andy post different things on his weblog. I’m replying to what he said in a forum for replies that he made available. Your appeals to his rights to post anything he likes are therefore out of place.

aketus: “What’s important to remember is that words on paper are just lines. Words out loud are just sounds. It is humans that define whether they are offensive or not.”

Look, let’s say that Andy were talking about some male white supremacist twit, and he’d posted the same image, reading “Jesus loves you! But I think you’re a faggot.” Would you be responding the same way?

aketus: “But you’re not questioning why the word is offensive. It’s just 4 letters. Where is the Board of Profanities that label certain words with more or less connotations than others? And who gives them the right to make it universally accepted this way?”

aketus, I don’t care about whether the word “cunt” is by itself “offensive,” “vulgar,” “profane,” “dirty,” “obscene,” etc.; thus I don’t care about how we’re supposed to determine this. As I explained above, what I’m concerned with is not the word at all, but rather the way it’s being used in the “funny” image at the end of the post.

Andy, thanks for the reply.

I’m not claiming that the image couldn’t be funny without an appeal to sexism. In fact I think it would be funnier if it weren’t using the word “cunt” to contemptuously describe a woman (if it were, say, “But I think you’re an asshole,” just to take an example off the top of my head).

The problem with using “cunt” that way is that (1) it takes out your contempt in the form of explicitly sexualized aggression toward her (by reducing her to her genitals, making her a mere “cunt” instead of a human being) and (2) it presupposes that a “cunt” is a bad thing to be (otherwise it could hardly work as an insult). I hope you can imagine why this might be insulting to people who happen to have one.

Well, I know why…

Well, I know why “cunt” is considered a dirtier word than “vagina” or “vulva” (as you mention, it’s because it’s was a vulgar word, in the literal sense), and I’m familiar with feminist efforts to “reclaim” the word. My concern isn’t with profanity; it’s with “humor” that reduces a woman — even one who is, in fact, a really rotten person — to her genitals in order to express your anger or contempt for her.

English affords a lot of ways of insulting people that don’t have anything in particular to do with sex or gender; there’s no need to do it this way.