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This is the thread dancon asked for, in which people can discuss gendered language and why accidentally using it makes me a bad person.

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This is the thread dancon asked for, in which people can discuss gendered language and why accidentally using it makes me a bad person.

 

Accidentally using it doesn't make you a bad person, but this pretty juvenile lash out doesn't help your case. 

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Look I think outside of a debate setting the impacts of using gendered language with no sexist motives are pretty minimal. Plus, calling people out on it doesn't help the people who are new to this forum- I saw that, and I thought, "Wow, this guy actually called someone out for using gendered language?" We're not looking for independent reasons to drop the debater here, we're trying to provide a good environment for people to learn. If you really want to criticize people for using gendered language, copy and paste a K, why not go to the whole 9 yards? Doesn't that seem a little ridiculous now?

 

What do you really gain from criticizing people who accidentally use gendered language? I think a lot of us can agree that if you're trying to combat sexism, there are much more efficient ways of going about it.

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Good learning environment =/= an environment in which questionable discursive practices go on unquestioned.

 

I get way too invested in discussions of gendered language and ultimately end up getting my karma ruined on reddit, so I'll just leave my thoughts in the form of the above sentence.

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This is the thread dancon asked for, in which people can discuss gendered language and why accidentally using it makes me a bad person.

I never said using it made you a bad person, I just called it out... 

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Good learning environment =/= an environment in which questionable discursive practices go on unquestioned.

 

I get way too invested in discussions of gendered language and ultimately end up getting my karma ruined on reddit, so I'll just leave my thoughts in the form of the above sentence.

These questionable discursive practices do not detract from having a good learning environment, at least in any realistic scenario. I can say with a good degree of certainty that most people would agree that saying his instead of their does not directly cause sexism and thus a degraded learning envirnoment. We're talking about real-world scenarios here, not crazy discourse Ks founded on extremely nitpicky principles.
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These questionable discursive practices do not detract from having a good learning environment, at least in any realistic scenario. I can say with a good degree of certainty that most people would agree that saying his instead of their does not directly cause sexism and thus a degraded learning envirnoment. We're talking about real-world scenarios here, not crazy discourse Ks founded on extremely nitpicky principles.

Going to start with that. 

 

Now for substance. I think you're definitely wrong about it not detracting from an educational experience, and in the "real world", it definitely does show how we posit male identity as being more "desirable" than female identity. 

 

Also, there's probably only a risk that using the word "their" is a better option. You have no reason why it's not a preferable pronoun. 

Edited by CapitalismIsNotCool
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Going to start with that. 

 

Now for substance. I think you're definitely wrong about it not detracting from an educational experience, and in the "real world", it definitely does show how we posit male identity as being more "desirable" than female identity. 

 

Also, there's probably only a risk that using the word "their" is a better option. You have no reason why it's not a preferable pronoun.

 

Not trying to sound like a PFer here, but come on, I think we can agree that some policy arguments are rather crazy.

 

How does it detract from the educational experience?

 

And can you name a gender-neutral language in which its users have less sexism? No? And what about the romance languages, in which nouns themselves are gendered? They don't seem to have more sexism than the users of english.

 

And if we are talking about the action of positing the male gender as being more desirable, we need to look to the motive behind it. For example, if I say that black is my least favorite color (or shade, whatever), and I say it simply because I don't like the color black, with no racist intent, then I am not racist in saying so. Yet if I say that black is my least favorite color, and I say that because I hate black people so therefore I don't like the color black, I have racist intent and thus I am racist in saying so. We need to evaluate the motive of these types of actions to really determine the impact. The act of being racist is the thing with the impact, not the act of saying black is my least favorite color. So if someone's intentions in using gendered language is totally impartial, there is no negative impact of using it. As for the argument that women themselves feel subjugated as a result of the use of gendered language, (I just asked 4 women this recently- they said that they don't) then I might as well claim that I feel that veteran's parades posit being a veteran as being a more desirable trait, (I don't, and I don't see any reason why anyone should) and that they should stop. No one is going to bow to me simply because I misinterpreted their motive, which I interpreted as them making me feel like I am at a lower class than they are.

 

Motive is everything. If the majority of people using gendered language's motive is to posit the male gender as being better, then using gendered language should stop. If not, then there's no reason why it shouldn't continue.

 

It's not that I don't think their should be used, nor do I think that his is better than their. I just feel that we don't need to cause a big fuss about using one over the other, when they're (impactwise) the same. Perm do both their and his.

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Also, there's probably only a risk that using the word "their" is a better option. You have no reason why it's not a preferable pronoun. 

Yeah, there's no reason its not good to use y'all or their, but it becomes harmful when debate becomes a nitpick over who uses the least gendered/ableist/etc. language as opposed to, ynow, debate.  Or when we focus on the picking apart someone's post in search of that language instead of actually responding to said post

 

That Being said, i do agree starting a thread complaining is perhaps not the best solutions...

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Not trying to sound like a PFer here, but come on, I think we can agree that some policy arguments are rather crazy.

 

How does it detract from the educational experience?

 

And can you name a gender-neutral language in which its users have less sexism? No? And what about the romance languages, in which nouns themselves are gendered? They don't seem to have more sexism than the users of english.

 

And if we are talking about the action of positing the male gender as being more desirable, we need to look to the motive behind it. For example, if I say that black is my least favorite color (or shade, whatever), and I say it simply because I don't like the color black, with no racist intent, then I am not racist in saying so. Yet if I say that black is my least favorite color, and I say that because I hate black people so therefore I don't like the color black, I have racist intent and thus I am racist in saying so. We need to evaluate the motive of these types of actions to really determine the impact. The act of being racist is the thing with the impact, not the act of saying black is my least favorite color. So if someone's intentions in using gendered language is totally impartial, there is no negative impact of using it. As for the argument that women themselves feel subjugated as a result of the use of gendered language, (I just asked 4 women this recently- they said that they don't) then I might as well claim that I feel that veteran's parades posit being a veteran as being a more desirable trait, (I don't, and I don't see any reason why anyone should) and that they should stop. No one is going to bow to me simply because I misinterpreted their motive, which I interpreted as them making me feel like I am at a lower class than they are.

 

Motive is everything. If the majority of people using gendered language's motive is to posit the male gender as being better, then using gendered language should stop. If not, then there's no reason why it shouldn't continue.

 

It's not that I don't think their should be used, nor do I think that his is better than their. I just feel that we don't need to cause a big fuss about using one over the other, when they're (impactwise) the same. Perm do both their and his.

Starting off with what I bolded and underlined again. It's problematic when I point that out in the post above but you don't change it. 

 

Again, "they" is a gender neutral pronoun, that's pretty simple. Also, who cares about romance languages? Are you just posting a block to gendered language? 

 

Also, there's a delineation to be had between the example you're giving and gendered language. Gendered language literally says "let's use a male pronoun to refer to everyone, because that's how everyone should be, right?". Saying you don't like the color black is totally different, especially without racist motivation.

 

Also, motive doesn't matter in context of glang. It's still gendered, and still posits the male identity as something to be uniquely aspired towards, and therefore necessarily dictates that all other identities are of lesser value.  

 

They're not impact-wise the same, and using his over their probably still influences us as well as shows the way in which we posit males as being "superior". So "perm" probably fails, especially since you still say it should include glang. 

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Starting off with what I bolded and underlined again. It's problematic when I point that out in the post above but you don't change it. 

 

Again, "they" is a gender neutral pronoun, that's pretty simple. Also, who cares about romance languages? Are you just posting a block to gendered language? 

 

Also, there's a delineation to be had between the example you're giving and gendered language. Gendered language literally says "let's use a male pronoun to refer to everyone, because that's how everyone should be, right?". Saying you don't like the color black is totally different, especially without racist motivation.

 

Also, motive doesn't matter in context of glang. It's still gendered, and still posits the male identity as something to be uniquely aspired towards, and therefore necessarily dictates that all other identities are of lesser value.  

 

They're not impact-wise the same, and using his over their probably still influences us as well as shows the way in which we posit males as being "superior". So "perm" probably fails, especially since you still say it should include glang.

 

What's the problem with saying crazy?

 

You should care about romance languages because they prove that gendered language does not mean sexism.

 

Okay, so if someone is using the word his, does that mean that they are saying that everyone ought to be men? I bet the person you called out doesn't think that. Your point is inconsistent. Plus, you are saying that using male pronouns is sexist because male pronouns are being used to be sexist, right? So if using color words is racist because they are used to be racist, then its the exact same principle. If people are using male pronouns to use male pronouns and to not be sexist, they're not being sexist. If people use color words to color words and not be racist, they're not being racist. Simple. There's no delineation to be had here. Plus, we must have some different definition of gendered language then. If gendered language is definitionally always used to be sexist, then thats not what I'm advocating for. I'm simply saying that using male pronouns is not bad. Definitionally, is using male pronouns always using gendered language?

 

There's still no warrant you provide. You simply say that motive doesn't matter, and you always are positing men as better in using male pronouns. I thought you were a debater, we don't reassert claims.

 

Warrant?

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Food for thought on this topic:

 

http://fredrikdeboer.com/2015/01/29/i-dont-know-what-to-do-you-guys/

 

I have seen, with my own two eyes, a 19 year old white woman — smart, well-meaning, passionate — literally run crying from a classroom because she was so ruthlessly brow-beaten for using the word “disabled.” Not repeatedly. Not with malice. Not because of privilege. She used the word once and was excoriated for it. She never came back. I watched that happen.

 

I have seen, with my own two eyes, a 20 year old black man, a track athlete who tried to fit organizing meetings around classes and his ridiculous practice schedule (for which he received a scholarship worth a quarter of tuition), be told not to return to those meetings because he said he thought there were such a thing as innate gender differences. He wasn’t a homophobe, or transphobic, or a misogynist. It turns out that 20 year olds from rural South Carolina aren’t born with an innate understanding of the intersectionality playbook. But those were the terms deployed against him, those and worse. So that was it; he was gone.

 

I have seen, with my own two eyes, a 33 year old Hispanic man, an Iraq war veteran who had served three tours and had become an outspoken critic of our presence there, be lectured about patriarchy by an affluent 22 year old white liberal arts college student, because he had said that other vets have to “man up” and speak out about the war. Because apparently we have to pretend that we don’t know how metaphorical language works or else we’re bad people. I watched his eyes glaze over as this woman with $300 shoes berated him. I saw that. Myself.

 

These things aren’t hypothetical. This isn’t some thought experiment. This is where I live, where I have lived. These and many, many more depressing stories of good people pushed out and marginalized in left-wing circles because they didn’t use the proper set of social and class signals to satisfy the world of intersectional politics. So you’ll forgive me when I roll my eyes at the army of media liberals, stuffed into their narrow enclaves, responding to Chait by insisting that there is no problem here and that anyone who says there is should be considered the enemy.

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Not trying to sound like a PFer here, but come on, I think we can agree that some policy arguments are rather crazy.

 

They're outlandish and improbable, not insane, deranged, or mentally ill - that is to say, crazy. Using precise language is a virtue and using ableist metaphors is a vice. That's reason enough to avoid the metaphor.

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A lot of people, especially trans people, struggle their whole life against a set gender binary and try to identify as something they see that fits their identity not what society wants them to fit as. That's why they don't want people to acknowledge them as something they don't feel as part of their identity ("you guys"). For that reason, it's generally a good thing not to assume identity through gendered language. The best solution is to correct gender language but also to educate people that don't understand why it's a bad thing.

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They're outlandish and improbable, not insane, deranged, or mentally ill - that is to say, crazy. Using precise language is a virtue and using ableist metaphors is a vice. That's reason enough to avoid the metaphor.

I'm extremely sorry for using such a synonym, I won't ever use synomyms again. I know now that I'm obligated to use the exact, precise word for everything I need to say.

 

This is why I already don't like this forum. Someone gets criticized for using the word "his", I get critized for using synoyms. Great job guys.

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What's the problem with saying crazy?

Stop using this word.  Get it out of your vocabulary forever.  I'm so tired and exhausted of people throwing around words like crazy insane and retarted to discuss something that is "relatively" bad.  There are thousands of words in the English langauge.  Pick one that doesn't continuously perpetuate abled-body privilege.  

 

- a debater with disabilities

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I'm extremely sorry for using such a synonym, I won't ever use synomyms again. I know now that I'm obligated to use the exact, precise word for everything I need to say.

 

This is why I already don't like this forum. Someone gets criticized for using the word "his", I get critized for using synoyms. Great job guys.

Meaning is determined through common usage. Words are used differently based on the connotations they carry, as is proven in linguistic theory by the development of certain idioms over others. As long as they win that certain words carry different (and bad) connotations, they are far from synonymous and you are being far from precise. Your whole argument in this sarcastic post is that it's okay because it carries the same meaning and  you shouldn't be held to such a high standard. It's pretty obvious that 'improbable' and 'crazy' aren't synonymous, and you don't need to fixate on precision to speak in a way that acknowledges that. 

 

 

 

Stop using this word.  Get it out of your vocabulary forever.  I'm so tired and exhausted of people throwing around words like crazy insane and retarted to discuss something that is "relatively" bad.  There are thousands of words in the English langauge.  Pick one that doesn't continuously perpetuate abled-body privilege.  

 

- a debater with disabilities

 

This also proves that, even if you don't care at all about the destructive effects of your discursive practices, you should care about them more  extrinsically due to their destructive impact on the inclusivity of debate, which I presume that you still care about  given that you're (a) engaging in argumentation right now, albeit in a sarcastic way and (b on a forum dedicated to debate.

Edited by Bdawgsupreme
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I'm extremely sorry for using such a synonym, I won't ever use synomyms again. I know now that I'm obligated to use the exact, precise word for everything I need to say.

 

This is why I already don't like this forum. Someone gets criticized for using the word "his", I get critized for using synoyms. Great job guys.

No you're obligated to realize the words we say affect those who are around us  You are obligated to recognize that not everyone is an able bodied person, and that when you say "crazy" and you associate that with something inherently "bad" you associate those who are identified as "crazy" with being "bad".

Edited by Awesomepants3
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No you're obligated to realize the words we say affect those of us around you.  You are obligated to recognize that not everyone is an able bodied person, and that when you say "crazy" and you associate that with something inherently "bad" you associate those who are identified as "crazy" with being "bad".

1) I don't identify people as crazy to begin with

2) I don't associate crazy with being inherently bad

3) I don't associate discourse Ks with being inherently bad

3) I'm sorry I hurt you with the mention of the word crazy, but my intent is to call certain debate arguments outlandish/improbable. You need to understand that motive is everything. I'm sure that if I called you crazy you would take it much differently than if I impartially called a debate argument crazy.

 

Either way, this is just getting out of hand. I highly doubt you are severely emotionally impacted by my calling a discourse K a crazy argument.

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Accidentally using it doesn't make you a bad person, but this pretty juvenile lash out doesn't help your case. 

 

I don't see what is juvenile about this thread or why you think I'm "lashing out". I haven't said anything rude about anyone or to anyone, but you just insulted me. The thread's title is not a seriously intended challenge, if that's what you perceived? I meant it as a joke, and I posted it because I wanted to prevent the possible derailing of the other thread. Can you explain what I've done that you find problematic and why you think so? Is your objection that I didn't apologize for my mistake before learning whether or not it hurt OP?

 

Also, ageism. Being juvenile is okay. If being mature means not being allowed to make jokes, I know which option I choose.

 

I never said using it made you a bad person, I just called it out... 

 

Apologies. I didn't mean to imply you said that. I was fine with you calling it out, I just wanted to get clarification on whether or not OP was actually misgendered or hurt by what I said. This thread is not intended to accuse you of anything, the initial post was intended to be read in a half-joking way and was aimed as an invitation from me to the forum as a whole so anyone who did have a problem could voice it. I figured that if I didn't create this thread, then anyone who might have objected to my actions would have ended up ignoring dancon's request and thus derailing the other thread.

 

Good learning environment =/= an environment in which questionable discursive practices go on unquestioned.

 

I agree that it's good to have an environment in which people feel comfortable making arguments that might challenge other people's assumptions. However, that norm cuts both ways. If there is a social norm where the use of certain phrases provokes skeptical questioning and incredulity, that itself is a type of discourse which we should not automatically assume to be unquestionable. I think that CapitalismIsNotCool's comment was fine in itself, but contextually it fits into a larger trend I've noticed on this site where there is some hostility and rudeness that gets around while hiding under the concepts of social justice and protecting the powerless. So while I acknowledge my mistake and wish it hadn't happened, I also want to create rhetorical space for people to be able to have disagreements about language where the social justice point of view isn't automatically assumed to be right but rather is investigated in the same way that all other ideas are.

Edited by Chaos
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The only thing I'm hurt by is these false accusations of ableism.

 

Please. If you are trying to combat ableism, or sexism, or racism, there are much much better ways of doing it than critiquing people's word choice. Like maybe doing something involving the people who truly are ableist or sexist or racist.

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I agree they're overenthusiastic, but disagree that they don't have any point at all. It's true that there are much better ways of fighting ableism, but realistically most people aren't actually going to do the optimal thing because they're only human. It's worth doing things which have small positive impacts even if there are better uses of resources, because trying too hard to be efficient means that you'll discourage anyone from attempting to help anyone else at all. Analogously, this is why I don't yell at people who donate money toeg  the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army isn't the best charity, it has some medium-large problems, but it's better people give to them than that they keep their money in their pockets, which is what they'd probably do if I yelled at them for not being strategic enough.

There are some people out there whose feelings would be hurt by words like crazy, right? Do you agree with that statement?

In my view, if you can avoid hurting someone's feelings by avoiding certain words, it's worth putting some effort into avoiding those words (even if the people whose feelings would be hurt are misunderstanding your intent). The costs of this need to be considered alongside the benefits, I concede, but I think that in general it's worth a little bit of effort and that the position deserves some respect even if it also has its extremes that might benefit from criticism.

 

I think it's fine that you used the word crazy, but I also think it's understandable that other posters might object to your word choice. I think their objections are overexaggerated, but I feel similarly about your response to their objections. What I want is peace and for people who disagree to manage to voice their ideas amicably - that's a large part of what debate is supposed to be about, after all, even if it might have gotten somewhat polarized in recent years.

Edited by Chaos
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Please. If you are trying to combat ableism, or sexism, or racism, there are much much better ways of doing it than critiquing people's word choice. Like maybe doing something involving the people who truly are ableist or sexist or racist.

Either/Or fallacy---i fail to see where there's a forced choice between critiquing gendered language and political activism.  If such a trade-off existed, I'm confident everyone on this thread would choose direct activism.  Maybe such a trade-off exists in the context of a debate round, in which case I do sympathize with objections to using the ballot to punish offensive language, but for the most part as long as people don't use it as a pretext for not answering other of my arguments I don't have a problem with them correcting my language

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