Ricky Gervais still bravely expressing hatred of female genitalia


Yes, still. I guess it went so well last time, with the whole “if I told Hitler ‘stop killing people you cunt’ then people would scold me for sexism” caper. This time it’s cruelty to animals instead of Hitler. It’s a public post on Facebook.

gervais

Ricky Gervais

I did a tweet once calling those who skin dogs alive, cunts and someone actually bothered to comment on my language, not the inhumane torture.

25,508 Likes  764 Shares

First comment:

And those who complained are cunts.

587 Likes

There was a little time between the screen grab and now – half an hour or so. There are now 27,882 Likes on Gervais’s post and 633 on the first comment.

Imagine if the word had been “nigger”. Would Gervais say that? If he did say it would he be getting all these Likes?

There’s just nothing hipper or funnier than vomiting on women. Nothing.

Comments

  1. screechymonkey says

    Yeah, I’m also not a big fan of his argument that “lots of people commented on part X of my comment, not part Y, therefore they think X is a more important issue than Y.”

    Like, maybe people didn’t comment on the skinning dogs alive part because there’s broad consensus that it’s a bad thing? There’s not really much to discuss there, and most people don’t feel much point in chiming in with “yeah, I think that awful thing is awful, too!”

    It’s basically another form of Dear Muslima, and one that can easily be turned back on its user. Why is Ricky Gervais complaining about people complaining about his language, when he could be tweeting more about animal cruelty? What’s the worse crime, Ricky, people criticizing your language or people skinning dogs alive? Why are you busy whining about criticism when you could be writing about actual free speech infringements around the world?

    The same kind of thing happens with blog comments. I don’t often comment on Ophelia’s posts about, e.g., the latest atrocity in Nigeria, or revelations about past atrocities in Ireland, and judging by the comment counts I’m fairly typical in that regard. It doesn’t mean that people care less about those subjects than they do about the high-comment-count posts, it’s just that there’s not a lot to say about some things. But of course people interested in scoring cheap points will argle-bargle about drama bloggers and doing it for the hits.

  2. Dweller in Darkness says

    @ #2, You’re quite right. Being anti-skinning living animals is rather low-hanging fruit. If he’d said, “I hate those n******* who run fighting dogs,” I’d be more likely to comment on the racial slur than on the dogfighting even though, at least locally, most of the people who run fighting dogs are, in fact, African-American.*

    * We have a large population of immigrants from an African country I shall not name where dogfighting is a popular pasttime.

  3. says

    Good point about nothing to say about atrocities in Nigeria or Ireland (or the US for that matter). One of the harassers’ favorite talking points about me is about my shocking habit of sharing a lot of news reports without adding a lot of words of my own. The horror! But, one, lots of blogs and websites do that; two, I find the stuff and select it and choose extracts; three, the news items often speak for themselves.

  4. says

    it’s just that there’s not a lot to say about some things

    Exactly.

    Perhaps people objected to Ricky’s language because they didn’t object at all to the idea that skinning dogs is bad? QED that, now let’s nitpick a bit. Considering that a comedian’s job is to nitpick society, Ricky ought to understand that. He probably does, he’s just an asshole.

  5. Anthony K says

    Gervais is a fool. The words they use and how they use them is pretty much the difference between a comedian and any random person complaining about airline food or shitty bosses.

    Maybe he realised that. Either my connection is spotty or he took down the page while I was composing this comment.

  6. thetalkingstove says

    So basically Ricky, it’s fine to use any slur you want so long as you attach it to criticism of an evidently abhorrent practice?

    Because that’s…strange. Language that demeans a particular group doesn’t magically become ok just because you’re using it against the bad guys.

  7. Anthony K says

    Whoops, my ‘any old person’ should be replaced with ‘any odd person’ or similar variant meaning ‘non-specific’ without the ageist connotation.

    Language matters. Even if comedians somefuckinghow fail to understand this, though their jobs depend on it.

  8. says

    Someone should take him aside and gently point out that, to future generations, he’s going to look a bit like Roy ‘Chubby’ Brown does now :-)

  9. Billie says

    @#1 Tony! The Queer Shoop
    In Dutch I usually use the word “klootzak” (scrotum) instead of “cunt” (kut).
    Is that allowed?

  10. serena says

    A much lesser-known comedian named Jimmy Dore once said something to the effect of “comedy should punch upward, not downward” and that really stuck with me. I wish it would stick with more comedians too.

  11. says

    Too bad he’s so unimaginative. Given his celebrity he could come up with some creative, non-sexist term to call baddies, and potentially have thousands of people using it as well in short order. Who wouldn’t want to be the creator of a new word or phrase that might still be used decades, or centuries from now?

  12. says

    Billie:

    In Dutch I usually use the word “klootzak” (scrotum) instead of “cunt” (kut).
    Is that allowed?

    People are free to use whatever words they want. But they aren’t free from the possible consequences of their word use. If others are offended by words, they are free to state their opposition, and they’re free to try and convince others not to use those words.
    I don’t use sexist slurs like ‘cunt’. They only work by associating something feminine with something bad. To call someone a cunt is to draw a negative association between a person and women’s genitalia. The word is still commonly used to refer to women’s genitalia and has not been divorced from that no matter how many times people claim otherwise (I’ve listened to many people across the pond-I’m in the US-state that ‘cunt’ is still used as a sexist insult). While calling someone a ‘dick’ lacks the impact of millenia of sexism and misogyny, I also don’t use that to be consistent in my opposition to sexist slurs.
    I don’t have an answer to your question bc I’m not in charge of determining what words others can use. Nor do I want that power. However, I would like people to understand the impact of the words they use and how they can be used to continue oppression against others. I’d like people to become aware of that, and *choose* not to use those terms.

  13. Billie says

    @Tony! The Queer Shoop

    “..free to state their opposition..”
    Indeed they are.

    That’s why I comment on this thread, because I’m getting tired of this cunt-thing that I’ve seen coming around here so often lately.

    The sexism and misogyny that’s prevalent in our societies sadden me too, but I don’t see the connection with the use of a certain profanity.

  14. Tessa says

    Billie:

    The sexism and misogyny that’s prevalent in our societies sadden me too, but I don’t see the connection with the use of a certain profanity.

    You don’t see the connection? Tony! even described the connection in the post you quoted 5 words from. Here I’ll quote it for you again.

    They only work by associating something feminine with something bad. To call someone a cunt is to draw a negative association between a person and women’s genitalia.

    How is that not an example of misogyny?
    The insult “dick” is somewhat different, too. It is gendered, but it’s associated with specific supposed “male traits” that are usually seen as positive, but pushed to the extreme. The traits themselves aren’t bad, but the overabundance makes the person annoying to be around. It’s similar with other male genital insults, at least in English. (You should examine the usage and meaning for the insult in Dutch yourself. Self reflection and analysis of your own actions is your own responsibility.)

    This isn’t the case with female genital insults. You have one which is more often directed at men for being weak, and cowardly (guess which by the description).

    Then there is cunt which is, at worst, used to basically call a woman detestable– equating the badness to the genitalia.

    And then if people like yourself are to be believed, it’s just something guys will call their friends… A friendly insult kind of thing. Let’s say this is the case. How is that still not misogynistic? Look at it this way. It’s like in sports for men when the coach calls the players “ladies” or “girls”. Those aren’t even profanities but are still misogynistic to equate femaleness with badness or weakness.

  15. Silentbob says

    @ 18 Tessa

    The insult “dick” is somewhat different, too. It is gendered, but it’s associated with specific supposed “male traits” that are usually seen as positive, but pushed to the extreme. The traits themselves aren’t bad, but the overabundance makes the person annoying to be around.

    I’m skeptical of this claim. Can you provide an example of comparison to male genitalia being used as a compliment? If not, what is the basis for your claim that male genitalia are associated with traits “that are usually seen as positive”?

  16. says

    Billie:

    The sexism and misogyny that’s prevalent in our societies sadden me too, but I don’t see the connection with the use of a certain profanity.

    Let me try something a bit different.
    Bob and Jim are workout buddies and friends. They decide to grab some beers after they finish their workout. After they shower, Jim dresses pretty fast. Bob, OTOH, spends 15 minutes longer finishing up. When Jim checks on him, he sees Bob in a pink shirt, brushing his hair and applying hair gel. Between the shirt and the length of time Bob took, Jim remarks “dude, that’s so gay”. Bob looks at him and says “dude, I ain’t fuckin’ gay”. Jim responds by saying “I didn’t mean nothing about it, but come on, a pink shirt.” Bob ignores him and finishes up.

    Now, I’m a gay man. I would read the above and think “my sexuality is being used to insult or demean someone.” The only way the insult works is if there’s something wrong with being gay. To Jim, there is something wrong with a guy who spends time getting his hair perfect or wearing a pink shirt. Bob even takes the comment as impugning his manhood. He gets irritated at the idea that someone would call him gay. The insult works because they both have the perception that there is something wrong with being gay…as if being gay makes him less than a man. They associate something negative with homosexuality. If both of them perceived nothing wrong with homosexuality, the insult wouldn’t work.

    To continue, Jim and Bob head out to a local bar and spend the next hour and half getting plastered. Jim goes to order another drink and their bartender, Renee, isn’t comfortable serving them any more alcohol. She tells them they can have more to drink if they’ll let her call a cab so they can have a safe ride home. Bob looks at her, leering, and says “That ain’t the kind of ride I want” and winks at her. Renee knows what he’s talking about and looks at both of them and says “That’s it. You’re done.” She calls a cab for them, and swipes their credit card, and closes their tab out. Bob looks puzzled at first, but then gets mad. He then says “You’re a fucking cunt!” Renee calls security over and has them escorted outside where they can wait on their cab.

    What’s wrong with calling Renee a ‘cunt’ in this example? Bob is expressing his contempt for Renee (for cutting them off) by referencing women’s genitalia. He feels there’s something contemptible about women such that words referencing their genitalia can be used as an insult. The insult only works if-on some level-Bob thinks there’s something wrong with being a woman, or having women’s genitalia. If there were nothing wrong being a ‘cunt’, the insult wouldn’t work. Just like the above case involving “that’s gay”.

    It’s about perception. The perception on a conscious or unconscious level, that there’s something wrong with being gay…or being a woman (or having female genitalia).

    I’ve had people try to insult me by calling me a girl. They’re shocked when I turn it back on them and say “that’s not an insult to me, bc there’s nothing wrong with being a girl”. No, it doesn’t make it right for them to use gender as an insult, but it always takes people aback. I even had one guy realize my point.
    I hope this helps you understand where I’m coming from.

  17. says

    Silentbob:

    I’m skeptical of this claim. Can you provide an example of comparison to male genitalia being used as a compliment? If not, what is the basis for your claim that male genitalia are associated with traits “that are usually seen as positive”?

    Initially I was in agreement with you, but as I think about it, the traits often associated with men, such as strength, power, stamina, or virility are often seen as positive traits. Men are expected to be strong and tough. Leaving aside the gender essentialism inherent in thinking that men are supposed to possess any such traits, there are times when they are taken to an extreme. I’ll use my two guys from above as an example.
    Imagine that Bob and Jim went to high school together, and Jim used to routinely tease Bob about being a virgin. Bob didn’t like the ribbing from his friend, but never said anything. When they got to college, Bob finally had sex for the first time, and after he told Jim about it, he made the comment “you used to be such a dick back in high school. Trying to push me to have sex. I didn’t like it much. I thought it was obnoxious and overbearing.”

    That obnoxiousness, that overbearingness (don’t think that’s a word, is it?) can be seen as an extreme example of male power and dominance. To Jim, it was important that his buddy lose his virginity, bc that’s part of what it means to be a guy. But to Bob, the traits that Jim was demonstrating in high school-traits that are usually seen as a positive traits in men-were pushed to the extreme.

    That’s my take on what Tessa meant.

  18. Tessa says

    Silentbob

    I’m skeptical of this claim. Can you provide an example of comparison to male genitalia being used as a compliment? If not, what is the basis for your claim that male genitalia are associated with traits “that are usually seen as positive”?

    I didn’t say it is used as a compliment, but typically, guys are called a dick when they are too aggressive, too arrogant, insensitive, etc. Being aggressive, confident and not emotional are all generally associated with masculinity. Men are expected to have these traits*, but when at an extreme, it’s abrasive.

    But since you asked, while doing a search, I found an article wondering if you need to be a dick to be a good nfl coach.
    http://juniordsports.com/do-you-have-to-be-a-dick-to-be-a-successful-head-coach-in-todays-nfl/
    Also, at a fantasy football site:
    “Don’t be so willing to accept trades. Sometimes you need to be a dick and make your friend throw in a little sweetener into the deal.”

    There were lots of others in random forums or blog comments, but I figured these would be OK since they were part of articles, but it’s used positively in the sense that dicks get things done.

    By comparison, when directed at women, the insult “bitch” is used when they are perceived as too arrogant, or too aggressive but the entry point is much much lower since it’s a negative for women to have these traits at all, not just in excess.

    *I in no way think think this should be the case. I am very against gender roles and expectations.

  19. says

    Tessa:

    I didn’t say it is used as a compliment, but typically, guys are called a dick when they are too aggressive, too arrogant, insensitive, etc. Being aggressive, confident and not emotional are all generally associated with masculinity. Men are expected to have these traits*, but when at an extreme, it’s abrasive.

    Ok, I thought that’s what you meant. Glad to know I didn’t misread you.

  20. Billie says

    Tony!
    Thank you for your elaborate answers, but you didn’t convince me.

    To me it simply looks like special pleading.
    I was raised (dis)respecting men and women equally, so for me a profanity’s gender is irrelevant.

    Tessa
    No, I still don’t see the connection.

    And for your quote of Tony!
    “They only work by associating something masculin with something bad. To call someone a klootzak is to draw a negative association between a person and men’s genitalia.”
    I just gave it a sex change.
    And yes you are right, it’s a “negative association”. But that is why they call it a profanity!

    As you’ve said, just saying “girl” can be a profanity, even though Tony! wouldn’t care.

    Funny it is that you try to bend the profanity “dick” into a positive thing.
    And indeed your example is quite right; there are men that consider their being a dick as positive.
    But then you should be consistent and realize that there are women that do the same with “bitch”.

    Maybe we should totally stop using profanities. (nah, that’s fucking bullshit, with apologies to all bovines)

  21. says

    Billie:
    I like using profanities*. I don’t intend to stop. But I choose not to use profanities that use other people’s physical or mental characteristics as insults. It’s a concept called splash damage. Whether you believe it or not, that kind of language is hurtful to others. When you call someone ‘retarded’, you throwing people with mental disabilities under the bus. Socially, people consider ‘retarded’ a sign of something wrong with someone. It’s degrading term that works by associating mental disability with a contemptible person. People who suffer from mental disabilities often don’t like that used as an insult. I dropped the usage of it years ago.

    Likewise with calling someone ‘faggot’. It’s a disparaging term for gay people. I’m a gay man. I like to suck dick. There’s nothing wrong with it. However, I don’t want people using that as an insult to anyone, bc it propagates the harmful idea-which is still prevalent in societies across the planet-that there’s something wrong with being gay.

    If you want to know more, there’s a wealth of sociological information out there. It can be difficult to give up bigoted slurs, but it can also be fun coming up with new ones. Ones that don’t result in splash damage directed against marginalized, oppressed people.

    Funny it is that you try to bend the profanity “dick” into a positive thing.

    It’s not trying to make the insult sound positive. It’s recognizing that the attributes associated with the insult are seen in society as positives. Men are seen as strong, virile, and powerful. That is a fact about society. When you call someone a dick, those are the attributes that the word denotes, taken to the nth degree and treated as an insult. A big problem is that people don’t think about the words they’re using. They don’t think about what it means to call someone a ‘dick’ or a ‘bitch’. Those words mean things, and they only work as insults if they mean specific things. People have gotten so used to using certain insults that they don’t understand why they’re insults or what makes them work.

    *I don’t like referring to them as profanity , cursing, or swearing though, bc the origin of those words is rooted in religion. The opposition to “fuck” is largely borne out of religious objections to use sex related terms “around god”. I don’t give two shits about gods, bc they don’t exist, so I don’t have issues with saying “fuck you” or “horseshit”.

  22. Silentbob says

    @ 23 Tessa

    Thanks for the response. I’m not entirely convinced that “dick” in those example isn’t simply being used as a synonym for “nasty person”. In other words, that the article couldn’t just have well been titled “sometimes you have to be an asshole to be a good coach”, but I appreciate you taking the time to reply.

    @ 20, 21, 24, 25, 27 Tony

    Hey, you give great comment! 😉

    Again, I’m not sure I agree with everything:

    He feels there’s something contemptible about women such that words referencing their genitalia can be used as an insult. The insult only works if-on some level-Bob thinks there’s something wrong with being a woman, or having women’s genitalia. If there were nothing wrong being a ‘cunt’, the insult wouldn’t work.

    I think it’s often the case that rude words are used as insults simply because they’re rude words. There’s not necessarily any connection to the literal meaning. (I doubt that most people who use the words “fuck” or “fucker” as an insult actually think sex is disgusting.)

    But seriously, you’re very good at explaining the rationale behind your thinking. Please keep commenting.

  23. Silentbob says

    … Oh, BTW, for the record, I am opposed to the use of gendered insults. I completely agree that (especially in international fora) they cause splash damage, whether intended or not, and there is simple no sustainable argument for using them when genderless alternatives are available.

    Ricky has had this explained to him and is being an obstinate asshole.

  24. Tessa says

    Billie:

    And yes you are right, it’s a “negative association”. But that is why they call it a profanity!
    As you’ve said, just saying “girl” can be a profanity, even though Tony! wouldn’t care.

    Something isn’t profane just because it’s an insult. And not all profanities are insults. Shit and asshole are still profanities even if you’re referring to actual feces and anuses.

    The issue isn’t about negative association between the person you’re insulting and the profanity. I’m assuming you’re trying to insult the person you’re insulting. That’s awesome. The issue is taking into account if the word you’re using is insulting people other than the person you’re intending to insult*.

    Let’s look at the word “girl” again. I had said girl can be used as an insult. Not that it was profane. Calling someone a girl with the implication that “young and female” equals weakness or poorness at sports is also an insult directed at girls. It singles girls out. So even if Tony! wasn’t insulted, you were still equating “young and female” with weakness and poorness at sports. So regardless of how Tony! feels, why would you feel the need to attack girls in your attempt to insult him?

    In contrast, asshole is a profanity, and can also be used as an insult. But calling someone an asshole doesn’t single out anybody else. So please please please recognize that the fact that if a word is profane is irrelevant. Everything is about the word’s meaning.

    Funny it is that you try to bend the profanity “dick” into a positive thing.
    And indeed your example is quite right; there are men that consider their being a dick as positive.
    But then you should be consistent and realize that there are women that do the same with “bitch”.

    The how and why are important. Words have meanings. They do. The dictionary says so.

    I didn’t bend “dick” into a positive thing. It’s still a negative, but its negativity comes from an overabundance of normally positive traits. Also, I don’t use dick as an insult, as I like to avoid associating the negativity with men’s genitals, same as cunt, but I do see the difference in how they are used.

    As for “bitch”, yes some women decide to wear it like a badge. And I expressed WHY in my previous post! Because fuck those who say women shouldn’t be assertive or strong. Does that mean bitch stops being an insult no matter who uses it?

    Maybe we should totally stop using profanities. (nah, that’s fucking bullshit, with apologies to all bovines)

    I’m all for profanity and vulgarity, but I try to make sure I’m insulting or offending who I want to, and only who I want to*. And just thinking a profane word is a profane word and that’s the end of it with no thought into what it means and how it’s used is like when little kids sit under their covers saying “fuck and shit” at each other and giggling even though they don’t know what the words mean. Just that they’re “not supposed to” say them.

    *By that I don’t mean being insulted just because a word is vulgar. I honestly don’t care if someone is insulted simply for vulgarity’s sake. That all stems from religious sensibilities. I mean insults stemming from the word’s meaning and usage.

  25. Tessa says

    Silentbob

    Thanks for the response. I’m not entirely convinced that “dick” in those example isn’t simply being used as a synonym for “nasty person”. In other words, that the article couldn’t just have well been titled “sometimes you have to be an asshole to be a good coach”, but I appreciate you taking the time to reply.

    Ah, but “nasty person” can mean many different things. but a “dick” usually refers to a specific kind of “nasty person.” Do you disagree with the traits I listed being associated with the term “dick”? What was incorrect about them?

  26. says

    Silentbob:

    I think it’s often the case that rude words are used as insults simply because they’re rude words. There’s not necessarily any connection to the literal meaning. (I doubt that most people who use the words “fuck” or “fucker” as an insult actually think sex is disgusting.)

    But seriously, you’re very good at explaining the rationale behind your thinking. Please keep commenting.

    I appreciate the compliment.

    I get where you’re coming from re: rude words. But all words have meaning. For them to have impact they must mean something. Some words have multiple layers of meaning. Look at the difference between shit and nigger. Both are insults. Both are considered rude words. But nigger is worse. Why? It’s a word used to dehumanize black people. It’s specific to that group of people (even when it’s used by white people to one another, the history of the word, and the predominate way it is utilized is to dehumanize black people). The word derives it’s additional layer of evil bc it’s a bigoted slur that targets a group of oppressed people. Shit does not. Also, shit isn’t specific to any group of people. It’s a word that can be directed toward anyone and lacks the association with an oppressed group (unlike nigger; I’ll abbreviate the word as N* from here on).
    When people use N* as an insult, the word has a meaning. People might quibble over the specific meaning, but the core of the word expresses prejudice and contempt for a group of people based on their actual or perceived race. I’ve been called a nigger in my life twice. The first time occurred when I was a teenager. I remember riding my bicycle to the comic book store and passing through a neighborhood and a young girl was playing in the yard with her parents. She looked up at me, then said to her mother “mommy, it’s a N*”. I remember being taken aback. I didn’t stop, nor did I say anything, but it still stung. And that was before I had any true understanding of the word. I just thought it was bad word white people used to denigrate black people (which was bad enough). I knew little of the history behind it.
    That leads to another layer of insult for the word. The history of oppression of black people in the US is long, storied, and still continues to this day. Not in the same ways, true. Black people aren’t-by and large-lynched or mobbed. However, institutionally, socially, politically, economically…racism is still intact. It can be traced back to the days of slavery (and before that really). That history creates a backdrop for the use of a bigoted slur like N*. The word is made worse by being used in a society where black people are still struggling to achieve equality. Were this a more egalitarian society, the use of the word might still sting, but it wouldn’t be backed by a culture that’s permeated with racism. Oddly enough, some people think racism is over and thus, using the word really isn’t that bad (I saw this firsthand on the second occasion someone called me a nigger). But racism still exists, so using that word still stings deeply.
    It stings because it’s demeaning. It’s dehumanizing. It’s a word that-at it’s core-is about reminding black people of “their place”.

    A word like cunt (C*) is similar in many ways to N*. It’s a word used to denigrate and demean women. It has a long history of usage as a slur. It gains added power bc its used in a society where sexism and misogyny are rampant. It, like N*, means something. At the core, it means a contemptible person. It’s an expression of disgust. . When someone says “You’re a C*”, they’re expressing disgust or contempt with another person, but due to the origins of the word, it still has a strong association with women’s sexuality. It’s saying “you’re a contemptible, disgusting person bc you are, or you are like a woman”.

    The same is not true of dick. Historically men have not been subjected to oppression, marginalization, or discrimination (individually, yes, but on a large scale? No). As a result, when the word is used as an insult, it lacks the socio-cultural power that backs N* and C*. They take extra power from social context. There is no social context to grant added power to dick.

    So while N*, C*, and D* are all insults and bigoted slurs, D* lacks the social backing of the other two, and as a result it is nowhere near the same type of slur. It simply lacks the weight of oppression to provide a backbone.

    I find it odd that you find room to disagree with that, yet in your next post, you say this:

    … Oh, BTW, for the record, I am opposed to the use of gendered insults. I completely agree that (especially in international fora) they cause splash damage, whether intended or not, and there is simple no sustainable argument for using them when genderless alternatives are available.

    Ricky has had this explained to him and is being an obstinate asshole.

    You seem to recognize a difference between insults and gendered (bigoted) slurs. You mention the splash damage caused by using bigoted slurs. I would think you can see how they differ from non-bigoted slurs.

    Related to all that, I like that you brought up the word fuck. I comment at Pharyngula a lot, and I use the word with great frequency. In recent months Jason over at Lousy Canuk had a discussion of the word stupid. As I read it, I started thinking about what the word meant. What is it that one is trying to convey when calling someone stupid? That’s neither here nor there at the moment, bc that’s not what I really want to discuss, but it provided a springboard for me to start thinking about other words and insults. Which led to thinking about fuck.

    I realized that the word means so many things that I feel it’s lost a lot of impact. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still used as an insult, and people take offense. There are people who are so attached to antiquated and overrated notions of civility, that the mere presence of a word like fuck causes them to lose any ability to parse meaning from sentences. They turn into blithering, foolish, tone trolls. Then there are the religious people who take issue with the word bc profane words…swear words…curse words…they’re an affront to god. It’s not dignified to use such language. God doesn’t like that. To which I flip the bird, bc I’m an atheist and I don’t give a fuck what an imaginary being thinks.

    That last sentence there? My use of the word fuck has to mean something, no? In the context of that sentence, I’d say it is meant to grant added weight to my statement. I felt it wasn’t enough to simply say I don’t care. I wanted to apply greater emphasis, thus I used fuck. I’m not an English major, and I suck at breaking down sentences and tenses and all that, but the word almost means “I don’t care”, but more strongly stated.

    That’s one usage. I’m sure you’ve seen it.
    There are, of course, many more:
    Fuck you.
    Fuck off.
    What the fuck?
    Shut the fuck up.
    Even assuming that the sexual meaning of the word doesn’t apply (and I’m not so sure that’s the case, but I won’t argue that here), the word still has to mean *something* in those sentences, no? Whatever the meaning is, however, differs in each case. Fuck you is some sort of insult, often conveying anger, extreme disappointment or disgust, or contempt. Fuck off is often used in a manner similar to go away or leave me alone but it’s more intense, more forceful. What the fuck often indicates shock or surprise. But the actual word in the sentence must have some meaning for the sentence to make any sense. What is that meaning? Likewise, shut the fuck up means something. You can tell the fuck is meant to modify something in the sentence. But the actual word fuck appears to mean something different than the way the word is used in the other examples. *

    I think this can be confusing when trying to parse the exact meaning of this particular word. Not confusing in that people don’t understand the overall message being conveyed. After all, when someone tells me to Shut the fuck up, I know what message they’re sending me. But to dig deeper, into what fuck means in that sentence, one finds that it’s not entirely clear. And it’s made worse by the fact that fuck means many different things. It’s become the swiss army knife of insults.

    *I won’t even touch on insults like ‘fuckface’ or one I _think_ I coined- ‘fucknugget’. Or ‘fucker’. Or ‘You fucking fucker’.

    BTW, I appreciate your willingness to talk about this in depth. I’ve encountered some people that tell me I’m thinking too deeply, and while they may have a point, I find nothing wrong with giving this topic considered thought. I’m not harming anyone, just trying to come to a better understanding.

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