Codes of Conduct

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Re: Codes of Conduct

Postby korvys » 04 Sep 2016, 16:32

If you say something and someone calls you out, and then they say something equally bad, that is not hypocritical. People make mistakes. People have their blind spots. What would be hypocritical would be if they were not ok with being called out in turn.

As I said, if I've said something you don't like, I want to know. Talking to someone if they've done something you don't like is both a rule of the forum (see Ditto's comment) and the way adults deal with problems.
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Re: Codes of Conduct

Postby korvys » 04 Sep 2016, 17:28

Also, separately to this, I'd been thinking on this topic for a while, and I'd like to ask you a question, Elomin:

Of the people who said they were upset at your use of the word "retarded", which of the following do you believe is true?

A) They are not actually upset, they are just saying they are (for some reason).

B) They are upset, but should not be.

Because it seems like those are the only options, unless it's C) They are upset, and should be upset. In which case insisting on continuing to use it seems just antagonistic.
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Re: Codes of Conduct

Postby Darkflame » 04 Sep 2016, 23:37

Only options, but I would add a important innocent subset of a) That is people that feel should _should_ be upset, and its wrong not to be. Sort of meta-upset.
I think its pretty common in society.(I am positive vastly more people claim nudity is offense then actually could give a reason why). Sometimes upsetness is sort of learned behavior.

I am a great believer in "context not the word", and I do think some people lock on too much to the idea of 'bad words' rather then overall contexts being expressed.
Not that you can ever really say which it is without mind-reading of course.
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Re: Codes of Conduct

Postby korvys » 05 Sep 2016, 02:01

What you're talking about is, I believe, academically referred to as "virtue signalling". I.E. speaking up not because you're upset, but because it tells other people in your community that you're socially conscious individual, etc.

Also, quite unfortunately, that term seems to be used in non-academic situations mostly by people on the "anti-PC" side of internet discourse (ironically in a way consistent with being a virtue signal itself) as a sort of catch-all insult to anyone expressing some kind of compassion, as replacement for the old internet insult "white knight", a person who defends someone (usually a woman) against harassment, in order to curry favour with/get sex from them, and not because they genuinely think harassing a person is bad.

But even so, that would still fall under A), and I'd like to know if that's what Elomin thinks.

As for context, I wholeheartedly agree. I would say context can be more important than the word itself. Consider that if I were to be attacking someone for being gay, it would not be any less offensive to call them a bundle of sticks than to use a slur, since we're all well aware of what I would mean.

While conversely, I think you're usually fairly safe to use any word you want if you are talking about that word, or directly quoting someone.

Certainly something worth considering should the answer be B), that people should not be upset, as this might be a reason why.
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Re: Codes of Conduct

Postby My pseudonym is Ix » 05 Sep 2016, 02:45

korvys wrote:Also, separately to this, I'd been thinking on this topic for a while, and I'd like to ask you a question, Elomin:

Of the people who said they were upset at your use of the word "retarded", which of the following do you believe is true?

A) They are not actually upset, they are just saying they are (for some reason).

B) They are upset, but should not be.

Because it seems like those are the only options, unless it's C) They are upset, and should be upset. In which case insisting on continuing to use it seems just antagonistic.


OK, I wasn't planning on getting involved in this, but this is actually a very interesting point and one that I've been trying to articulate into an essay for a while now- and it concerns subset B). I will, however, make it clear at the outset that this is intended more as a general commentary than any particular comment on the situation at hand and I neither condone or decry Elomin's choice of words (or his subsequent, and IMO slightly petty, response).

The western world nowadays, and particularly in various swathes of the internet (looking at you, tumblr) is more accepting of people generally than pretty much any previous time or place. This is not to say that discrimination based upon sexuality, gender, race or general personal identity is not present or even widely prevalent, but acceptance of these various factors is nonetheless at an all-time high.

In addition, one of the most profound effects of 20th century education on modern discourse is the desire of individuals to have an internally logically consistent philosophy. We are better than ever before able to interrogate (and thus intellectually influence) our own opinions and in doing so we like to create universally applicable 'rules' in our heads for how the world should work. Now, people are often incredibly open to cognitive bias with regards to this and a LOT of people are incredibly intolerant of anybody who has different 'rules' to them (indeed, I feel this factor has more than a little to answer for with regards to the current argument at hand), but that's a whole 'nother kettle of fish.

The effect of these two things combined is a prevailing attitude amongst various sectors of the liberal population, particularly online, that the 'ideal' world is one in which, basically, nobody is ever offended or made uncomfortable. A world in which everyone is considerate to everyone else, everyone is offered all concessions to their desire to express themselves, and a world in which everyone's fears and mental difficulties and triggers are compensated for by basically steering well clear of them at all times. One can almost think of the ideal of the concept as 'universal happiness through appeasement', and it as a philosophy is kinda being worked out as it goes on.

It is very easy when existing within this sphere of influence to feel as if this is the only logically consistent way of approaching the fullest diversity of people and their various sensitivities- that the only way to be fair and kind to everyone is to be fully accepting and concessive (is that a word? I can't think of a better one) towards everyone's little quirks. However, this is not the only viewpoint; indeed, it's almost certainly in the minority.

The counter-argument to this likes to think of itself as rather more grounded in reality. It holds, basically, that trying to be fully accepting of absolutely everyone is fundamentally impractical, if not downright impossible- for one thing, any decree that some people ought to change in order to accommodate others is inherently unequal, as it instantly poses the question of why the other side can't just accommodate them. In many cases the "inequality" at hand is visibly asymmetric and picking 'the good guys' is relatively straightforward- the inequality involved in 'forcing' same sex couples to accept gay marriage, despite some couples feeling it impacts their own identity as a married couple, is to me fairly obviously not on the same scale as the inequality involved in not letting gay people get married and thus implying their partnerships are less valuable. But when we get into the area of people being merely offended at something... it gets trickier.

Stand-up comedy provides an excellent case study of this predicament. Many 'edgy' or 'near-the-knuckle' comedians frequently find themselves the target of groups on both sides of the liberal divide for making 'inappropriate' jokes, usually regarding sexual, religious or political subject matter. However, stand-up comedy has also provided a rather interesting rebuke, in the form of this (rather truncated) speech by Steve Hughes:

Steve Hughes wrote:"What happens if you say that, and someone gets offended?"

Well, they can be offended, can't they? What's wrong with being offended? ...that's what you teach children, that's what you teach toddlers isn't it? "He called me an idiot!" Don't worry about it, he's a dick!

Now you have adults going "I was offended! I was offended and I have rights!" Well so what, be offended! You're an adult, grow up, deal with it! "I was offended"- I don't care!

Nothing happens when you're offended- it's not like "I... I went to the comedy show and... and the comedian said something about the Lord and I was offended. And when I woke up in the morning, I had leprosy!" Nothing happens!

"I wanna live in a democracy but I never want to be offended again!" Well then, you're an idiot. How do you make a law about offending people, how do you make it an offence to offend people? Being offended is subjective- that is everything to do with you as an individual, or a collective, or a group, or a society, or a community, your moral conditioning, your religious beliefs. What offends me may not offend you- and you wanna make laws about this? I'm offended when I see boybands for God's sake. They're corporate shills posing as musicians to further a modelling career, and frankly, I'm disgusted.


Putting aside for one moment the questions of freedom of speech and censorship that always crop up in these debates, and acknowledging that this view is clearly deliberately extremist in support of his particular brand of comedy, there is the nugget of a really, really important point in there- the true value and consequence of being offended by a simple choice of language. And it's interesting argument because it's such a hard-to-define sliding scale; being offended when somebody insinuates (say) that gay people are paedophiles is in my view perfectly legitimate, and I find it equally valid to argue that punishing people who do so is to the benefit of society as a whole by not legitimising hate speech. However, being offended because someone merely used some words in a way that you dislike... it's hard to argue that's on the same level. And so here comes the argument: why should an individual have to expend mental effort modifying their speech, forcing them to behave in a way that doesn't come naturally to them, if the only consequence of not doing so is making somebody mildly uncomfortable? Why can't they just toughen up a little bit and let everyone else feel a little more comfortable for a change?

The most common counter-argument to this that I see is "well changing words doesn't cost anything". Or, as Fayili put it much more eloquently above:

Fayili wrote:Of course we can't control your speech or thoughts, but why use these words? Why use words that have historically been used to hurt and commit violence against people for the sin of being different?


I always find reasons like that ripe for interesting interrogation, because it all seems so straightforward as to who is in the right... but still, a lot of people don't behave like this, even if they can't argue against it. This usually suggests there is a quite deep, underlying reason that people don't acknowledge because they don't feel they can voice it without feeling like a dick. In this case, I feel the reason is quite simple- it's just hard work, and less fun.

This is not to say that I or anyone I know particularly enjoys being offensive. However, none of us are raised in a cultural or historical vacuum and that includes our choice of language- when I was growing up, for example, "he-she" was considered appropriate playground terminology for referring to trans people, something that I now cringe remembering. As we go through our adolescence our linguistics are still very flexible, but the older we get the harder and harder it is to make changing our vocabulary feel 'normal'. As such, having to adjust our internal linguistic behaviour becomes kinda exhausting, and being in a scenario where we don't have to do so often feels quite relaxing and liberating. If anyone here has ever felt "Eurgh I don't want to deal with [majority] people right now, let's go hang with my [minority] friends" (insert your choice of guy/girl/cis/trans/white/black/straight/gay/bi/ape/unicorn as appropriate), you might find it interesting to realise that we lucky straight-cis-white-male people sometimes feel the same way- but to vocalise it in public is seen as exclusionary due to our history privilege. Personally, I try to always make a distinct effort to adjust my vocabulary across the board and make all my apologies, because I feel it is polite and important for me to do so- but I can empathise with those who struggle with this.

In addition to the "I don't feel I ought to change for something like this" argument, there's also the very nature of the world we live in. Our world is decidedly imperfect in a lot of ways- it is often messy and brutal, and full of the kinds of people who don't go in for articulated moral thought on these subjects. Being offended, being hurt, being at risk from the world is a neverending fact of life, and it is for practical purposes impossible to escape this. The "always accepting, all the time" people would take the view that this is a point in favour of the "happiness through appeasement" approach, arguing that if the world is so potentially harmful then it only exacerbates the need for people to have safe spaces in order to escape and take refuge from this. But the "man up" lobby (side note: worst imaginable name for a lobbying group right there) would take a different approach- since we all have to live in the real world, hiding away from it in artificial 'safe zones' is in most cases going to do more harm than good to an individual. The world is not a safe space, so attempting to live only in them is like living in some kind of hermetically sealed rubber suit- the moment you step outside, you are incredibly vulnerable to attack from pathogens. Too much dependence on the suit has only made you more at risk of harm, not protected you from it. Which of these routes is right? As ever, there is no singular correct answer. The modern schools of positive reinforcement are popular and successful for very good reason, but in our rush to accept them it is often forgetten that the 'toughen up and stop complaining' school of thought is what gave the world Teddy Roosevelt.

Now, this argument is here much more articulated than many of the people who stand behind it would have it, and I did not intend this piece to argue that "just man the hell up" is an appropriate response to all complaints of being offended or uncomfortable. As articulated within, the whole business is one of sliding scales; and everyone has a different idea of where the cut-off point between acceptance and "tough love" is. Once again, I stress- the extent to which this particular argument is applicable to this particular context is by no means certain, and really I'm not writing this expecting a response. I'm writing this because I think it's worthwhile that people think about where the opposing viewpoints are coming from, and to sympathise with them. That way we might all get somewhere.
Last edited by My pseudonym is Ix on 05 Sep 2016, 05:35, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Codes of Conduct

Postby Elomin Sha » 05 Sep 2016, 03:32

korvys wrote:Also, separately to this, I'd been thinking on this topic for a while, and I'd like to ask you a question, Elomin:

Of the people who said they were upset at your use of the word "retarded", which of the following do you believe is true?

A) They are not actually upset, they are just saying they are (for some reason).

B) They are upset, but should not be.

Because it seems like those are the only options, unless it's C) They are upset, and should be upset. In which case insisting on continuing to use it seems just antagonistic.


A & B.

Reasoning: there are people who ingratiate/subjugate themselves into certain areas or bubbles through either choice or because of a career path or social circles (I've seen it with friends and family, and because of how job prospects haven't gone my way I have to deal with those people at work). What some of these people do is noble but can be misguided if they don't take a step back from time to time and think.

A - Vacuum sealed into a certain area can bring about a Pavlovian response where: 'I don't atually think this way but because this is what people are telling me I must say the same thing without thinking it through'.

B - I layed out over the last couple of months at various times the sorts of things my co-workers would say an it got really stupid. Grown men, talking about things that only a thirteen year old would find interesting or funny. So by normality their development of thinking is quite retarded as in late developing. There was the context.


C doesn't come into this as it is a big blue wobbly thing. But seriously, everything I say is never antagonistic in nature. I never go, "RIGHT! Who can I piss off today." *Rubs hands together with glee* Or target anyone, unless I state it.

People can take something as antagonistic and can react as they choose but they have a high probability of being wrong that is the intention. I mentioned in the thread that started this, there are words that some people use on the forum, benign as they may be, are actually used as an insult to specific people too. I didn't get uppity with a self imposed delusional right to start telling people what they can and cannot say. Although I was asked what it was so I wouldn't be made uncomfortable.

No. The world is an uncomfortable place, it's not perfect, it is in flux all the time and there will never be a time where it won't be as long as humans are here. We are individual higher functioning animals that have different factors that manipulate us in some small way, some on the genetic level. There will only be a consensus when there is a total of 1 person left or if there is no one. You can't expect an easy ride through out life, it will be boring and mundane and not living it's laborious grind of monotomy and unfulfillment. Hello North Korea, how are you doing today?
Whoever is upset should ask themselves, why am I upset? Why does it effect me as a single unit? An individual. Not on the behalf of another you do not know, telling us how THEY feel when you know nothing of the workings inside another person's head.


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Re: Codes of Conduct

Postby Elomin Sha » 05 Sep 2016, 03:36

My pseudonym is Ix wrote:situation at hand and I neither condone or decry Elomin's choice of words (or his subsequent, and IMO slightly petty, response).


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Re: Codes of Conduct

Postby JustAName » 05 Sep 2016, 12:04

Elomin Sha wrote:Have a good holiday.


It was lovely, thanks.

Elomin Sha wrote:I was originally going to take the high road and not bring this up, buuuuuuuuuuut I'm me, and my annoyance from what happened previously overides that. I am goofey, I am silly, I am [can't say that word] with what I say, because I like to make people laugh. But, when I am direct it is few and far between because I know I can upset someone and it's probably going to be today too.

So goodbye common sense. My firestarting kit is en fuego.


Okay, so we're doing this.

It is quite hypocritical that I can be called out and have this thread made to deal with me with a passive aggressive stance of: if you don't like it - there's the door. All this when I was refering to people I know personally and Fayili assumes with one-hundred percent positivity it will offend some imaginary person who in all likely will never read what I wrote. It comes from the French for late.


The "there's the door" comment is about claiming "censorship" for being asked not to use slurs in here. The entire thread was made to legit discuss the topic.

Again, you were referring to people you don't like using the r-word as a slur. I don't give a shit if you insult some assholes. I just insulted them myself! What I have a problem with, and I have tried to make very clear, is your use of the word "retarded" as a slur to insult some people. Whether or not they have Down Syndrome or a similar disability, your use of that word as an insult implies that all those who DO have Down or another developmental disability are worth ridicule and insult. That it is shameful to be what they are. That is the heart of slurs, and that is my problem with your usage of this word.

I do assume it will offend people. As evidenced by the post right above yours, people with Down Syndrome find the use of this word as an insult hurtful. That open letter was from an individual asking people not to use that word in that way anymore because it ascribes all sorts of negative attributes to him and people like him. These people are not imaginary.

Whether or not they will ever read your post (and don't assume that of all the lurkers on this forum, none have developmental disabilities/would be hurt by your comment), you are normalising the use of that word as an insult. Again.

Also, please don't try to etymology this. We both know you know the social context of that word.

BUT

Fayili wrote:I NEVER use this word, but she sounds like a bitch. You are not in the wrong here.


Fayili finds it is okay that she can use a degrading/insulting term, that people use to belittle someone (mainly one gender), to insult a REAL person she has never met before and only had a couple lines to go on (even if that girl is a moron).


I could argue that as a member of the group targeted by this insult, I have more leeway to use it, or that it is a broader term that has been more naturalised into our language (and I would argue that for "queer;" it's why I use that word to label myself), but... Honestly I regret this post. I regret saying it, and I knew I would while I was making it. I should never have done it. I apologise unreservedly for having used that word. Had you made your comment in that thread, saying "Isn't it a little hypocritical for you to use a slur here when you called me out on it earlier?" rather than reviving this thread to make a targeted post, I hope I would have apologised there. But here we are.

It's not the first time you have jumped in guns blazing. Remember: you told another forum member not to use the term OCD because you didn't like it, prejudging them without realising they had that condition. In turn it made them apologise for something they didn't need to.


So here's the literal breakdown for what occurred:
I wrote:Not to get on your case, but OCD is a pretty serious thing that shouldn't be flung around like it's a casual descriptor. You could go with "a very particular question" or something instead."


You wrote:Fayili, you did get on his case by posting that.
If it is still available look at LRR's old video: Offensisensitivity and you'll see why I say that.
I don't think anyone on this site is going to get upset if he uses that acronym.


They wrote:Thank you, Elomin Sha, but Fayili has a point. OCD should probably not be used in a casual manner.

While it is true that I used the acronym for comedic effect, I do in fact suffer from a mild case of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Not anywhere nearly as bad as other people can, but little things (like the nonstandard d20) tend to really get under my skin until I can figure them out. I apologize if I offended anyone.


You wrote:Don't apologise unless anyone IS offended.
(Which is another thing; I think preemptive apology is thoughtful and a nice gesture; but that's a matter of opinion I suppose.)

I wrote:Ah, sorry then! Yeah, I've known some people with stronger OCD that causes them severe distress in areas of their life and they really don't like it being thrown around as a neatness or organised thing, because it's 1) not, and 2) that downplays what they go through.

But yeah, if you've got it, by all means use the initialism how you want


They wrote:On a side note, I am constantly amazed how awesome a community this is. On almost any other forum, this small sidetrack into the proper use of 'OCD' would have become a major flame war. But here, it is a short and reasonable discussion that is over quickly and nobody's feelings got hurt. I have said it before and I will say it again: I love each and every one of you, both individually and as a group!
(Which feels vaguely ironic in retrospect.)

You were far more upset about this exchange than they ever were. Which also feels vaguely hypocritical as you are now upset with me for being offended on behalf of "some imaginary person."

And, because I made a reference to LRR's video Offensivity (getting offended on the behalf of others) that in a PM you used your emotions to make me feel bad about what I had done, and tried to be high and mighty saying you would forgive me in time. I don't ask for people's forgiveness, never have or will, it is up to a person to give never demand they need forgiveness. That is self-centred. You thought I was in the wrong, I thought I was in the right with what I said: it's an impass. I've called others out for it many a time for things in other threads or in real life.


Seeing as we are now airing our dirty laundry all over the forums, here is a direct transcript of our gchat that day:

Erin S
Seriously
Elomin Sha
Hello
Erin S
Telling someone they're being too sensitive is pretty rude and I'm honestly kinda pissed
I know you might not understand, so I'll try to explain in a bit
But right now I'm just angry
Elomin Sha
I'm sorry if you feel that way.
Erin S
Be sorry that you hurt me, not sorry how I feel
Elomin Sha
Okay. But you did go into that post, not knowing if they do suffer from OCD and told them what they couldn't say. That is what my intent was.
Erin S
I said the term shouldn't be thrown around as a casual descriptor. If they'd replied before you, they probably would have said that they actually had mild OCD, I would have said sorry, and we would have gone on our separate ways. I had a point of language to content. You came in and directly insulted me.
Elomin Sha
Again I apologise. I tend to be direct.
Erin S
Yes. But you hurt me, and I want you to know that. I'll forgive you very soon I'm sure, but this is how I feel right now and it is important.
Elomin Sha
Understandable. I think it should be right to say that once on the forum. Forum members came after me because of a simple comment I made (3 years ago) that was in reference to a topic. Writing that isn't going to make things any better but there was a reason good/bad/misjudged but not malice.


You said at the time that it was understandable, so I did not know that I was "using my feelings to make you feel bad." (Which... does that mean if I feel bad about something you did I should never tell you - just let it stew? Because that does not seem ideal to me. Especially since you are now taking your personal issues with me and putting them all over the forum.)

Saying I would forgive you in time was shorthand for "Our interactions might be a little stilted and awkward for a while because I may still be upset, but we are friends and I have good memories of when you came to visit that one time, so I think I'll be able to get over it and we can be back to normal soon."

Why bring up whether or not you ask for forgiveness? You clearly didn't. You say that's for someone to give or not give. That's what I thought I was doing?

I didn't think you were in the wrong on the whole, just for specifically insulting me by saying I was oversensitive. I told you I found that comment hurtful, and you deflected. So, yeah, I was going to be upset by that for a while. It felt kinda like this:

Image
(From http://moosekleenex.tumblr.com/post/69001034971)

I, again, don't know how much of that personal interaction has a bearing on this thread at large.

If you would, please dismount from the high horse as it is my turn, thank you.


Okay, that was seriously uncalled for.

One of my favourite quotes:

Caboose: You ever wonder why we're here?
Church: You know, Caboose, I used to not care. I just went along with orders and hoped that everything would work out for me. But after all that's happened, you know what I've learned? It's not about hating the guy on the other side because someone told you to. I mean, you should hate someone because they're an asshole or a pervert or a snob, or they're lazy or arrogant or an idiot or a know-it-all. Those are reasons to dislike somebody. You don't hate a person because someone told you to; you have to despise people on a personal level, not because they're red or because they're blue, but because you know them and you see them every single day, and you can't stand them because they're a complete and total fucking douchebag.

That's the people I have had to deal with that you have no clue about.
I don't hate you, never will. Some people just need to be told things directly, like I have in my life, otherwise they will never grow and develop.


Again, I don't give a good goddamn if you insult specific people who have been awful in your life. I take umbrage with your word choice. Like I would if you used "f*ggot". It is a word that has historically been used to hurt the already disadvantaged. Why punch down?

Here's how it breaks down from my perspective: I ask you not to use a word. You say I should not ask you to do that (not that you want to use it, but that I should not ask). And you get mad at me. And now you are saying that you are just trying to be direct with me (but when I was direct with you I was attacking you?) and that I need to grow up (from my perspective, it's you saying, "I can use this word even if it hurts others because they need to grow thicker skins, but don't you tell me not to!").

korvys wrote:If you say something and someone calls you out, and then they say something equally bad, that is not hypocritical. People make mistakes. People have their blind spots. What would be hypocritical would be if they were not ok with being called out in turn.

As I said, if I've said something you don't like, I want to know. Talking to someone if they've done something you don't like is both a rule of the forum (see Ditto's comment) and the way adults deal with problems.


Yeah, p. much this.

Elomin Sha wrote:
korvys wrote:Also, separately to this, I'd been thinking on this topic for a while, and I'd like to ask you a question, Elomin:

Of the people who said they were upset at your use of the word "retarded", which of the following do you believe is true?

A) They are not actually upset, they are just saying they are (for some reason).

B) They are upset, but should not be.

Because it seems like those are the only options, unless it's C) They are upset, and should be upset. In which case insisting on continuing to use it seems just antagonistic.


A & B.

Reasoning: there are people who ingratiate/subjugate themselves into certain areas or bubbles through either choice or because of a career path or social circles (I've seen it with friends and family, and because of how job prospects haven't gone my way I have to deal with those people at work). What some of these people do is noble but can be misguided if they don't take a step back from time to time and think.

A - Vacuum sealed into a certain area can bring about a Pavlovian response where: 'I don't atually think this way but because this is what people are telling me I must say the same thing without thinking it through'.


I think it's pretty clear this is not me in this instance.

B - I layed out over the last couple of months at various times the sorts of things my co-workers would say an it got really stupid. Grown men, talking about things that only a thirteen year old would find interesting or funny. So by normality their development of thinking is quite retarded as in late developing. There was the context.


But you KNOW it is a slur. That has historically been used to insult people with developmental disabilities. You can't just claim you were using it outside that context when everyone reading it would read it with that context unless you said otherwise at the time of posting.

C doesn't come into this as it is a big blue wobbly thing. But seriously, everything I say is never antagonistic in nature. I never go, "RIGHT! Who can I piss off today." *Rubs hands together with glee* Or target anyone, unless I state it.

People can take something as antagonistic and can react as they choose but they have a high probability of being wrong that is the intention. I mentioned in the thread that started this, there are words that some people use on the forum, benign as they may be, are actually used as an insult to specific people too. I didn't get uppity with a self imposed delusional right to start telling people what they can and cannot say. Although I was asked what it was so I wouldn't be made uncomfortable.


I never said you could or could not use certain words. I asked you not to because they are hurtful. To many people. And yes, then people asked if there were words that were hurtful to you so that they could not use them. Because they don't want to be cruel.

No. The world is an uncomfortable place, it's not perfect, it is in flux all the time and there will never be a time where it won't be as long as humans are here. We are individual higher functioning animals that have different factors that manipulate us in some small way, some on the genetic level. There will only be a consensus when there is a total of 1 person left or if there is no one. You can't expect an easy ride through out life, it will be boring and mundane and not living it's laborious grind of monotomy and unfulfillment. Hello North Korea, how are you doing today?


Saying, "The world is mean so I shouldn't have to not be mean" is... basically just admitting you don't care if you hurt others? You keep getting mad at other people for asking you not to do something, but you're instead suggesting that everyone else needs to change. You can't change your vocabulary, everyone else has to grow thicker skins. For someone who is so flabbergasted that others would impose their will on you by ASKING you to be considerate, that's... that sure is something.

There must be a discrete difference to you between the r-word and other slurs (f*g, n*gger, m*dget), so why do you use this one and not the others? If it is because they are too hurtful, that seems hypocritical to me. If it is because they are too taboo... again, you have been making a point of what a blunt person you are. What is the difference? Because at the moment you seem to be okay with hurting certain people, just only certain ones. Why is that?

Whoever is upset should ask themselves, why am I upset? Why does it effect me as a single unit? An individual.


Wow, what a way to shift the focus. I think I've been making it abundantly clear why I'm upset. It affects me because if you find it okay to insult a certain subset of people, you are not the individual I thought was my friend, and you are likely to cause harm to others I hold dear, as well as myself (if you ever feel like targeting queer or female-identifying individuals).

Also, if you never act on behalf of others, it leaves the world in a pretty shitty place. Men voting for suffrage, white people voting to end slavery, etc. (Yes, none of these issues are done and dusted, but the positive steps come and MUST come from people helping others, and not forcing them to stand alone all the time. It is so exhausting to try and defend oneself 24/7 and have others treat it like a petty complaint. And I acknowledge I have it better than most.)

Not on the behalf of another you do not know, telling us how THEY feel when you know nothing of the workings inside another person's head.


So... I should never accept what people say? I should always assume people are lying to me? Or just about when they are hurt? Because that just sounds like a justification to keep hurting people as long as I want and saying I don't believe them. I would rather take it as read that if a person says something upsets them, they are telling the truth, and do what I can to help fix the situation as best as it can be fixed.
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Re: Codes of Conduct

Postby AdmiralMemo » 05 Sep 2016, 13:59

Not on the current topic, but this feels like the appropriate thread to make this known. I'm putting this out there basically because I've found there's a lot of people who are innocently using a word that they don't know can be offensive, and when they find out, they are usually aghast, mainly because they never connected the concepts due to a spelling error.

I'm seeing people frequently saying that they got "jipped" or that they don't want to someone else to get "jipped" out of something, referring to being swindled out of something illegitimately.

First of all, the word is spelled "gypped."

I feel like this:
Monsters Inc. wrote:Randall Boggs: Wazowski! Where is it, you little one-eyed cret-in?
Mike Wazowski: Okay, first of all, it's "creet-in". If you're gonna threaten me, do it properly.
Second, once you see the correct spelling, it's easy to see that the reference is to "Gypsies" and I think that 99% of people see what the problem is right away once they realize that.

If you still need it explained after this, please let me or someone else on the forums know and we can explain the issue in more detail.

However, I'm not going to be hard on anyone who was using it out of ignorance. Ignorance =/= malevolence. I used the word myself all through high school, ignorant of the connotations. I think this is a widespread issue and getting the word out there is important, making sure not to demonize anyone who uses it simply because they just didn't know. Love and respect and gentle correction is the key in this instance.
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Re: Codes of Conduct

Postby Elomin Sha » 05 Sep 2016, 14:55

Wow, what a way to shift the focus. I think I've been making it abundantly clear why I'm upset. It affects me because if you find it okay to insult a certain subset of people, you are not the individual I thought was my friend, and you are likely to cause harm to others I hold dear, as well as myself (if you ever feel like targeting queer or female-identifying individuals).


Nope, never targeted a sub-group (which you keep assuming I have done). You need to show me one person from that group I have insulted. You can't, because I haven't, that person doesn't exist. People with mental handicaps do but the insulted person doesn't because I haven't gone up to anyone and called them retard. I don't know how you would have reacted if I used tosser/tosspit instead. It means drunkard, stemming from those suffering from alcoholism. If we replaced the two words it is the same thing as I did not go to an alcoholic and insult them.

I've had friends who were gay, never once insulted them because of it. I have customers, who are regulars, I get on well with who have missing limbs through accidents, birth defects, someone with dwarfism, another person who went from male to female. I would be a terrible person in retail if insults were the first thing on my mind. Even if I wasn't working there I wouldn't be going up to them insulting them.

Thanks for making an erroneous assumption about what you think I will do. I've never insulted one person because of who or what they would identify themselves as. I've insulted based on what they have said, usually because it was really stupid. Don't mistake annoyance for mad.

In regards to the word nigger. I'm from the UK, that word has never been in my vocabulary because it was born from the US South and it doesn't have the history here as it does back in your home country. And midget is an annoying insect over here, and a two-seater sports car once produced by MG. Have I used nigger in normal conversations as topics of discussions, yes. Have I used it as an insult, no. Will I? No. Why? I go by actions and not outward appearance.

We're still friends, we just don't see eye-to-eye on a use of a word in the context I used. Correctly, I might add, because of its french origin, steming from conversations the people at work were having and advice given. Example: "Treat your girl badly and she'll want you more."
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Re: Codes of Conduct

Postby MetricFurlong » 05 Sep 2016, 14:58

Elomin Sha wrote: But seriously, everything I say is never antagonistic in nature.


Elomin Sha, in the next paragraph, wrote:I mentioned in the thread that started this, there are words that some people use on the forum, benign as they may be, are actually used as an insult to specific people too. I didn't get uppity with a self imposed delusional right to start telling people what they can and cannot say.

(emphasis mine)

No further comment.
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Re: Codes of Conduct

Postby Arclight_Dynamo » 05 Sep 2016, 18:05

This is probably tangential to the thread, but it relates to something that My pseudonym is Ix said - namely, the "man up and tough it out" attitude.

I was bullied fairly mercilessly through elementary and high school. Despite the fact that I went to teachers and the like, and despite the fact that they tried to help, the overall response was "man up and tough it out." I internalized that. I learned that there was no point in trying anything else. Eventually I stopped complaining, and decided just to endure. There was nothing else for me.

Example:

One time, after I had decided all that was left for me was to endure, I was sitting on the school bus going home. Two kids in the seat behind me, who I never encountered before or since, decided I was a good target. They tore open a cigarette, and emptied it into my hair. Small thing, really - far smaller than a lot of the crap I had to put up with (and I'd rather not go into the worse things kids did to me). But what matters is my reaction - I just sat there and took it. Didn't even tell them to stop. It weirded them out so much, that they told me point blank "Uh... you're, uh, you're supposed to tell us to cut it out and fuck off. You know that, right?"

I didn't. I had learned to "man up and take it." All there was was endurance. Life was something to get through, not to live.

That attitude caused me real problems. It made me a deeply bitter and unpleasant person, since I pushed people away in order to feel safe. I didn't really have a childhood. I didn't have many friends, and even fewer real friends. I hated everything, everyone, and myself.

And the ordeal broke my mind. I developed a host of mental illnesses, ranging from clinical depression, to generalized anxiety disorder, to post-traumatic stress.

Luckily, when I went away to university, everything got better. I lived life for the first time.

Then I graduated and went on to law school. Things got bad again. Really bad. Those mental illnesses, combined with the stress of law school and the highly competitive nature of the place, combined to send me into some deep trouble. But I had learned to "man up and tough it out." To endure. To get through it on my own, because the world wouldn't help me.

Fuck that.

It got bad enough that I couldn't handle it any more. I got help. I had to take a year off school. And now that I've graduated, I'm still in therapy and on medication. I couldn't keep trying to man up, to tough it out, to endure. If I had kept trying, I'd probably be dead of suicide today.

That's the problem with "man up and tough it out." And every time I see its "tough love" touted as a good thing, all I can think of is what it did to me. It's bullshit. And it makes me angry to think of what my life could have been, how much more I could have lived, how much less suffering I would have gone through, had "tough love" never come into my life.
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Re: Codes of Conduct

Postby korvys » 05 Sep 2016, 20:52

Elomin Sha wrote: People with mental handicaps do but the insulted person doesn't because I haven't gone up to anyone and called them retard.

There seems to be some confusion here.

The point you seem to be arguing, several times, that you have not given insult a specific mentally handicapped person or persons, is not what anyone else is saying. No one is disagreeing there.

What people are disagreeing with you on, and what you seem to be taking as a given, is that because no specific person has been insulted, what you said was fine. And I, and others, disagree.

If you and I were in a room, and no one was around to hear us, and you said "Man, I hate n*****s", it would be entirely appropriate for me to be upset by that, though I am not black.

Additionally, the word does not have to be directed at a person for that person to be insulted. We don't use the word "gay" as a pejorative (as in the standard high-school age exclamation "That is so gay") because it conflates being gay with something being bad. That is what you are doing (unintentionally). You are taking a word that was used to attack those with mental handicaps, and using it as a general purpose insult to someone's intelligence.

At least that's my view on it. And I get the impression you disagree. It's a topic worth talking about, and worth trying to convince others on. But ultimately, I think it's less important than talking about what happens when we do disagree.

***
Here is where I spent an hour trying to think of what to say in a neutral way, and failed. There's a version of this post with more stuff, but it gets into unproductive ranting. Suffice to say, I do not think "just ignore people" is a good advice if you care about a community.
***


Memo: I've stopped using gypped for a while now, once I really thought about it. It's interesting, too, because that sort of idiomatic language having a historical meaning makes me think more critically about other parts of English.

Fayili: Pretty much entirely on board with your post, as usual.

Ix and Arclight: I plan on reading your posts later. I have some thoughts on the general topic of communities wanting to be welcoming, but not welcoming to those who would make other feel unwelcome, but I think I need to read your posts first.
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Re: Codes of Conduct

Postby betsytheripper » 05 Sep 2016, 21:39

I have a lot of incoherent thoughts regarding this topic, but I think I'll point out just a couple that I think I can sort of articulate.

The first is, regardless of one's intent, no one gets to decide what other people find offensive. I hope this is just a reminder, but we all must remember that what we perceive to be perfectly fine might be offensive to others around us.

This leads me to my second thought, and that is a pretty crude simplification of the two sides of the argument I think Ix was getting at. In my experience, I've found these two sides to be people who try to not be awful, and awful people who just like being awful. Let me explain a little.

People who try not to be awful may not be generally good or virtuous people, but they try not to actively harm others. They try to be conscious of what's socially acceptable, as dictated by the company that they are in, and aren't out to hurt anyone. In fact, they are often actively out to make sure no one is hurt. These are the kind of people that when they slip up and get called on it are apologetic, and try to be better in the future. There are no excuses, but we all make mistakes, and that's okay. Actively trying to not be awful to others.

The second camp is the sort that I like to sum up with, "If you don't like that I'm an asshole, then fuck you." They don't care about social decorum or situational gravity, they don't consider how their actions might affect others. They often seem completely self-centered, and appear to genuinely not care about other people's well being. They believe they are right in all things, and that anyone who disagrees is just wrong.

Now, these simplifications are just my experience in the world. I'm very happy that the vast majority of people on these forums fall into the first category. I honestly admit to having been in the latter group several years ago, but now I am trying my best to actively be a not awful person. People can change, and people make mistakes, and that is okay.

Regarding tying my two points together, I think people in the latter category will often believe that just because they don't find something offensive, clearly it's not offensive, and no one should take offense. It shows a lack of empathy for and humanization of others. I think, most importantly, it shows a lack of respect for those they interact with when they deny that request for self-evaluation in the face of criticism. We must remember that no one can tell anyone else what to feel.

I'd like to close with a reminder that offense to something is contextual. At least two examples have been pointed out in this discussion already, but I will use a separate example.

Due to my example dealing with sexual violence, I am going to collapse it.
Click to Expand
It is common to find people who are not offended by rape jokes. Now, they may enjoy them actively, or they may find them distasteful but still not be offended. There is a whole vernacular associated with gaming that relies heavily upon the concept that the most embarrassing (and feminine, but that's a whole different discussion) thing ever is to be raped. I am a rape survivor, and I am deeply offended by rape jokes, or other mockery of victims of sexual violence. But that offense comes from my context. When I was younger, I was not offended by these "jokes", though I did find them pretty distasteful still, I had not developed a context that made me find them offensive.


Your life experiences provide a background of context for what you find acceptable in a way that no one else's life experiences can. To outright deny others the respect of their life experiences is, I feel, pretty damn awful. It is, in a way, saying you do not value them as a person. And in a public setting such as this, I believe the highest and most stringent rules of social decorum should follow, as you have no say in who may be reading and lurking, and what their life experiences may be.

This got a little more rambly than I intended, but I would just hope that we all try to be not awful.
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Re: Codes of Conduct

Postby korvys » 06 Sep 2016, 03:27

Ix: Having finally read your post, I must say, your writing is excellent, and your arguments compelling. I shall have to go read your essay thread, which I initially avoided due to not having the mental energy to take in the long-form compositions when it first appeared.

Your thoughts match mine quite closely on this topic, at least in the abstract. Once we delve into the concrete details of the particular conversation at hand, I find various parts to be more or less applicable.

Overall, what I take from your post though, is the same as my own conclusion: interpersonal relationships are hard. Communities are hard.


Arclight: I'm sorry to hear what you went through. I'm glad things sound like they're better, and I hope they continue to improve.

I feel very much the same about our society's enthusiasm for stoicism, and said as much on the previous page
korvys wrote:The world has enough cruelty and pain in it already, why would I ever want to add to that? My cruelty is not going to "toughen people up", and if it were to, who the hell am I to decide that someone needs that? Fuck that.
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Re: Codes of Conduct

Postby My pseudonym is Ix » 06 Sep 2016, 05:32

Arclight_Dynamo wrote:This is probably tangential to the thread, but it relates to something that My pseudonym is Ix said - namely, the "man up and tough it out" attitude.

I was bullied fairly mercilessly through elementary and high school. Despite the fact that I went to teachers and the like, and despite the fact that they tried to help, the overall response was "man up and tough it out." I internalized that. I learned that there was no point in trying anything else. Eventually I stopped complaining, and decided just to endure. There was nothing else for me.

Example:

One time, after I had decided all that was left for me was to endure, I was sitting on the school bus going home. Two kids in the seat behind me, who I never encountered before or since, decided I was a good target. They tore open a cigarette, and emptied it into my hair. Small thing, really - far smaller than a lot of the crap I had to put up with (and I'd rather not go into the worse things kids did to me). But what matters is my reaction - I just sat there and took it. Didn't even tell them to stop. It weirded them out so much, that they told me point blank "Uh... you're, uh, you're supposed to tell us to cut it out and fuck off. You know that, right?"

I didn't. I had learned to "man up and take it." All there was was endurance. Life was something to get through, not to live.

That attitude caused me real problems. It made me a deeply bitter and unpleasant person, since I pushed people away in order to feel safe. I didn't really have a childhood. I didn't have many friends, and even fewer real friends. I hated everything, everyone, and myself.

And the ordeal broke my mind. I developed a host of mental illnesses, ranging from clinical depression, to generalized anxiety disorder, to post-traumatic stress.

Luckily, when I went away to university, everything got better. I lived life for the first time.

Then I graduated and went on to law school. Things got bad again. Really bad. Those mental illnesses, combined with the stress of law school and the highly competitive nature of the place, combined to send me into some deep trouble. But I had learned to "man up and tough it out." To endure. To get through it on my own, because the world wouldn't help me.

Fuck that.

It got bad enough that I couldn't handle it any more. I got help. I had to take a year off school. And now that I've graduated, I'm still in therapy and on medication. I couldn't keep trying to man up, to tough it out, to endure. If I had kept trying, I'd probably be dead of suicide today.

That's the problem with "man up and tough it out." And every time I see its "tough love" touted as a good thing, all I can think of is what it did to me. It's bullshit. And it makes me angry to think of what my life could have been, how much more I could have lived, how much less suffering I would have gone through, had "tough love" never come into my life.


Gotta say, I entirely agree with you on that one Arclight. "Tough it out" is not a universally applicable solution, and its effects can be highly damaging- that's why we don't beat children any more. I've known it prove effective advice, and I've seen it cause needless harm, entirely dependent on the person and situation involved. It's highly situational and cannot be a hard-and-fast rule one way or the other.

I apologise if I came across as implying that the "man up" approach was inherently superior or how it 'should be done' in any way; I only intended the essay as a discussion piece in the name of moderation and understanding. I hope I've not caused offence.
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Re: Codes of Conduct

Postby Darkflame » 06 Sep 2016, 05:40

Second - and the problem with attitude goes way beyond this topic too.
(normally the "tough it out" crowd dont overlap much, or at all, with the 'having the problem' crowd - regardless of issue)

korvys wrote:What you're talking about is, I believe, academically referred to as "virtue signalling". I.E. speaking up not because you're upset, but because it tells other people in your community that you're socially conscious individual, etc.


Don't want to derail the thread, just Id point out that would be a sub-category of what I said. (so, a) 1) ii) or something...)
While some people seek approval and "point scoring", I do think more people do it just instinctively without consciously wanting acknowledgment at least. They haven't necessarily thought about it much at all basically. So even even when people are offended "without reason" they arnt necessarily doing it for bad reasons.

I thought nudity was a fair comparison here where its (mostly I think) sort of "society osmosis offence" rather then any real slight against someones character, either directly or on behalf of others.
(which I think is probably the main example when people should be actively offended)

Actually, would that be a relevant thing to discus here? What exactly does offensiveness mean for people here?
While its correct as pointed out above no one can get to decide other then the potentially offended party- I assume thats because we link offendedness to a feeling, and you cant quantify that easily.
But even feelings need limits to definitions.
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As above, I think I classify offence as a unfair slight against my own character in someway, or I can state something is offensive if I think it does the same to others.
But interested what others think.
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Re: Codes of Conduct

Postby Arclight_Dynamo » 06 Sep 2016, 09:54

korvys:

Thank you very kindly. :)

My pseudonym is Ix:

Oh, no - there's no need to apologize. You haven't offended in any way, and I didn't take you to be advocating for that approach. Your discussion of "manning up," though, prompted me to consider how it had impacted my life. You caused me to think, and that's a good thing!
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Re: Codes of Conduct

Postby Elomin Sha » 06 Sep 2016, 13:10

MetricFurlong wrote:
Elomin Sha wrote: But seriously, everything I say is never antagonistic in nature.



I missed 'with intent to insult' at the end.
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Re: Codes of Conduct

Postby Deedles » 06 Sep 2016, 20:20

The attitude that the world is cruel so people should just toughen up when they're upset or offended makes as little sense to me as someone walking through an area with an empty chocolate wrapper, and instead of holding onto it til they get to a trash can thinks "Well, this place is already a mess, with lots of trash everywhere!" and then throwing the wrapper on the ground.

You kind of become part of the problem at that point.

And I'm sorry if this post comes across as aggressive or insulting, I have no intention to, just early morning and I wanted to get a thought I had out before heading to Uni.
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Re: Codes of Conduct

Postby Amake » 09 Sep 2016, 14:22

Here's a quick guide to avoiding slurs that hurt people you have no intention of hurting:

Step 1: Think about what the words you use mean, what you mean by using them and what people you talk to may think you mean.

That's it.

Especially be careful with words that hold negative meaning to you. Insults like the R-word are ableist, because they equate disability with failure. It only has power as an insult if you think mentally disabled people are not as good as non-disabled ones; that their disability - more generally, personal qualities and circumstances over which they personally have no control - makes them at fault. If you've considered all this and you're still fine with using the word for insulting purposes, well, that's a big problem. But if you just haven't thought this far before, it's never too late to start!
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Re: Codes of Conduct

Postby JustAName » 10 Sep 2016, 11:17

Found this on tumblr; thought it was pretty insightful: https://alisfranklin.com/wyrd/the-reddit-myth/
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Re: Codes of Conduct

Postby My pseudonym is Ix » 11 Sep 2016, 08:38

Deedles wrote:The attitude that the world is cruel so people should just toughen up when they're upset or offended makes as little sense to me as someone walking through an area with an empty chocolate wrapper, and instead of holding onto it til they get to a trash can thinks "Well, this place is already a mess, with lots of trash everywhere!" and then throwing the wrapper on the ground.

You kind of become part of the problem at that point.


Personally I don't actually think that's the most relevant analogy (although it is doubtless relevant- it is a strong human tendency to ignore that which we feel we cannot change). Rather I feel the dilemma is one of different models of the problem. You posit an idea based in what you might call the commodity theory of fol
goodness- that goodness is like a physical substance where the more you put in the fuller the pot gets. The theory behind the 'the world is a rough place' argument is I feel more aligned with a mechanistic theory of goodness. This theory would hold that if one lives a life only being accounted for, given space, 'pussyfooted around' so to speak, one is more at risk of damage and unhappiness as a result of exposure to the harsh realities of our world. Hence the name 'tough love'- endeavouring to be kind in the long run by toughening one up so as to be more resistant to the ravages of the world.

The essential balancing act at play lies in trying to figure out where the balancing point is where 'toughening someone up' does more harm than good.
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Re: Codes of Conduct

Postby Deedles » 11 Sep 2016, 10:09

My pseudonym is Ix wrote:
Deedles wrote:The attitude that the world is cruel so people should just toughen up when they're upset or offended makes as little sense to me as someone walking through an area with an empty chocolate wrapper, and instead of holding onto it til they get to a trash can thinks "Well, this place is already a mess, with lots of trash everywhere!" and then throwing the wrapper on the ground.

You kind of become part of the problem at that point.


Personally I don't actually think that's the most relevant analogy (although it is doubtless relevant- it is a strong human tendency to ignore that which we feel we cannot change). Rather I feel the dilemma is one of different models of the problem. You posit an idea based in what you might call the commodity theory of fol
goodness- that goodness is like a physical substance where the more you put in the fuller the pot gets. The theory behind the 'the world is a rough place' argument is I feel more aligned with a mechanistic theory of goodness. This theory would hold that if one lives a life only being accounted for, given space, 'pussyfooted around' so to speak, one is more at risk of damage and unhappiness as a result of exposure to the harsh realities of our world. Hence the name 'tough love'- endeavouring to be kind in the long run by toughening one up so as to be more resistant to the ravages of the world.

The essential balancing act at play lies in trying to figure out where the balancing point is where 'toughening someone up' does more harm than good.


I know that I didn't make the most apt comparison in some ways, but it's the best one for trying to relay my thoughts/feelings on the matter. I feel like people using "the world is tough" as an excuse are brushing off the fact that most people are well aware of that, and that isn't even what's asked of them. No reasonable person would expect anyone to just make all the problems go away, rather I feel like the people who are advocating being more thoughtful in your word-choice are(and correct me if I'm wrong) not thinking bad of anyone for using a word, but rather want people to be aware of how it might effect someone else, and acknowledge that. Just acknowledge that another human being is feeling something, and respect that.

That's where my analogy comes from. Though I suppose it would be more accurate if I added this to it - Someone comes up to this person and asks them to pick up the wrapper that they threw on the ground, and instead of actually doing so they shrug it off and keep walking.

See, I'm not referring specifically to the situation in this thread, i.e. with Elomin and Fay. I'm referring to the attitude in general.
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Re: Codes of Conduct

Postby korvys » 11 Sep 2016, 15:07

Deedles wrote:No reasonable person would expect anyone to just make all the problems go away, rather I feel like the people who are advocating being more thoughtful in your word-choice are(and correct me if I'm wrong) not thinking bad of anyone for using a word, but rather want people to be aware of how it might effect someone else, and acknowledge that. Just acknowledge that another human being is feeling something, and respect that.

This is an entirely accurate description of how I feel.
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