Sexism


Danneskjold

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Below is a performance Lenny Bruce gave at the Café Au Go Go in 1961. Bruce was playing the drums chanting the language often used between lovers--it was a lover's mantra. After all, the universal language of love is to ask "did you come?" or to admonish "Don't come in me!"

After the show, Bruce was busted for obscenity.

“To is a preposition.

To is a preposition.

Come is a verb.

To is a preposition.

Come is a verb.

To is a preposition.

Come is a verb, the verb intransitive.

To come.

To come.

I've heard these two words my whole adult life---even as a kid when the adults thought I was sleeping.

It's been like a big drum solo.

Did you come?

Did you come?

Did you come good?

Did you come good?

Did you come good?

I come better with you, sweetheart, than with anybody in the whole goddamn world.

I really came so good and I came so good 'cause I love you.

I really came so good.

I come better with you, sweetheart, than anyone in the whole world.

I really came so good.

But don't come in me.

Don’t come in me.

Don’t come in me

Don't come in me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me.

Don’t come in me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me.

Don't come in me.

At this point Bruce stepped toward the stand mike and intoned: “Now if anyone is this room or the world finds those two words decadent, obscene, immoral, amoral, asexual-- the words "to come" really make you feel uncomfortable--if you think I'm rank for saying it to you, you the beholder think it's rank for listening to it…you probably can't come. And then you're of no use, because that's the purpose of life, to re-create it.”

***

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Okay -- I asked the question to illustrate sharply the difference between our positions, and I succeeded.

Clearly, when you guys use the word "pussy", I'll never convince you that you're being sexist by it, because you use the words "dick" and "dickhead" and don't consider it disrespectful to men, either, and I disagree with that. So I'll let my argument on "pussy" rest.

Judith asked if guys get offended when they are the victim of some kind of phallic invective.

Well - no. I asked if the specific people with whom I was discussing this issue were so offended. :)

The ground-zero of "taboo" words is "fuck." If you trace it back, you find things-- mainly "to plant," which makes sense if you look at it. At a time, I believe it was spelled (cutting thru Olde English and such) fauq, or something like that.

Words evolve, much as I am reluctant to admit that. I hate to see split infinitives, violations of the style manual, and other such excresences. I have a lot of the Victorian in me. :D

That said, I wouldn't hesitate to say, "Jesus fucking Christ!" as an expression of surprise or frustration, or to say, "Fuck you!" to someone.

On the other hand, unlike you, I wouldn't refer to lovemaking as fucking. Lovemaking is too important and sacred, and the word "fuck" has EVOLVED to mean something crude and unrespected. YOU may use words to mean whatever you like. They DO have an objective meaning to your hearers, however. I often claim some words to make a point. Rand did that with "selfish". Maybe you're doing that with the so-called "foul" or "dirty" words. If your hearer knows like that, as does your lady, and there's no misunderstanding between you, then where's the problem? And if I choose not to do that, then where's the problem?

Like Rand, I don't think sex is dirty. On the contrary, like you, I think it is very powerful and very important, and I choose not to apply to it a word that has come to mean something crude and contemptible.

I suppose my underlying point for this discussion is that we shouldn't use terms thoughtlessly. We should think about what we say, and why, and what are the underlying implications. We tend to pick up terms from our culture thoughtlessly and use them. Do we really want to do that, or should our language be our own? If I call someone an "asshole", what does that mean? If I think about it, it means that I am saying that some parts of the body are dirty and unworthy of respect. Do I believe that? Do I mean that? When I think about it, the answer is, "NO! Most emphatically not! It's a leftover from a belief system to which I don't subscribe!" So I no longer use that epithet.

Same goes to calling someone a "bitch" or a "son of a bitch". It's an insult to canines everywhere. I don't do it.

Same goes for "pussy".

I rest my case.

Judith

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Judith,

I’m trying to put it to you that once you invest in the idea that words—never mind ideas—but WORDS themselves are somehow objectionable in ANY manner—is a calling card for powerful puritans and other busy body social engineers. Now a lot of blood and lives have been claimed to secure the right to free speech, let's not fuck it up over some sense of Victorian sensibilities—or a Russian equivalent.

Again, taking the case of Lenny Bruce: When Lenny Bruce appeared making free use of “dirty language” people couldn’t believe their ears. But the “dirty words” were incased around ideas. He gave public voice to their most guarded thoughts about religion, sex, and politics. One night on stage, Lenny peered out into the house and inquired: “Are there any niggers here tonight?” Then the hum of shocked whispers: “What was that?” Before the people’s jaws dropped, he said it again: “Are there any niggers here tonight?” Lenny Bruce was making liberals—his defenders—uncomfortable. "The liberals can understand everything but people who don't understand them," Lenny joked.

Now the word nigger is a “bad word”, it is a hateful word, right? Did Lenny have to say that? YES. Because it was all part of a comedy campaign to bleed racist words of their poisonous meaning. By bringing the N-word into the open, Lenny filched from bigots. In addition to the N-word, his devastating machinegun fire of "Mick . . . Spick . . . Yids. . . Kike . . . Guinea," etc., until the despicable words hilariously lose all meaning whatsoever.

Lenny also had the same idea with the word “Fuck.” Lenny believed that you broke the viciousness of certain words down by their use. "If white America told the truth for one day, its whole world would fall apart." When you place a taboo on words, you give them their ferociousness. In fact, he once said to great comic effect: “Fucking is real nice. In today’s society, what the meanest thing you can say to somebody? It would be ‘Fuck you!’ But it’s good to fuck somebody and to be fucked. In fact, if we really want to hurt somebody, we should say ‘un-fuck you!’” And then in a moment of reflection, he said, "'Sex' and 'obscenity' are not synonymous."

The System (Church, State, Police, DA's, Bluenoses, the Courts) set out to crush Lenny Bruce, and did so, arrest by arrest, across the United States, trial by trial, wherever he tried to work. Why? Because he was the “dirty word” comic, and I think that the very idea that some words are “objectionable” is a dangerous notion. Lenny said, "It's the suppression of the word that gives it the power, the violence, the viciousness." I agree. Listen to the wisdom of Lenny Bruce: "I want to help you if you have a dirty word problem. There are none."

I rest my case.

-Victor

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I’m trying to put it to you that once you invest in the idea that words—never mind ideas—but WORDS themselves are somehow objectionable in ANY manner—is a calling card for powerful puritans and other busy body social engineers. Now a lot of blood and lives have been claimed to secure the right to free speech, let's not fuck it up over some sense of Victorian sensibilities—or a Russian equivalent.

Again, taking the case of Lenny Bruce: When Lenny Bruce appeared making free use of “dirty language” people couldn’t believe their ears. But the “dirty words” were incased around ideas. He gave public voice to their most guarded thoughts about religion, sex, and politics. One night on stage, Lenny peered out into the house and inquired: “Are there any niggers here tonight?” Then the hum of shocked whispers: “What was that?” Before the people’s jaws dropped, he said it again: “Are there any niggers here tonight?” Lenny Bruce was making liberals—his defenders—uncomfortable. "The liberals can understand everything but people who don't understand them," Lenny joked.

Now the word nigger is a “bad word”, it is a hateful word, right? Did Lenny have to say that? YES. Because it was all part of a comedy campaign to bleed racist words of their poisonous meaning. By bringing the N-word into the open, Lenny filched from bigots. In addition to the N-word, his devastating machinegun fire of "Mick . . . Spick . . . Yids. . . Kike . . . Guinea," etc., until the despicable words hilariously lose all meaning whatsoever.

Lenny also had the same idea with the word “Fuck.” Lenny believed that you broke the viciousness of certain words down by their use. "If white America told the truth for one day, its whole world would fall apart." When you place a taboo on words, you give them their ferociousness. In fact, he once said to great comic effect: “Fucking is real nice. In today’s society, what the meanest thing you can say to somebody? It would be ‘Fuck you!’ But it’s good to fuck somebody and to be fucked. In fact, if we really want to hurt somebody, we should say ‘un-fuck you!’” And then in a moment of reflection, he said, "'Sex' and 'obscenity' are not synonymous."

The System (Church, State, Police, DA's, Bluenoses, the Courts) set out to crush Lenny Bruce, and did so, arrest by arrest, across the United States, trial by trial, wherever he tried to work. Why? Because he was the “dirty word” comic, and I think that the very idea that some words are “objectionable” is a dangerous notion. Lenny said, "It's the suppression of the word that gives it the power, the violence, the viciousness." I agree. Listen to the wisdom of Lenny Bruce: "I want to help you if you have a dirty word problem. There are none."

I rest my case.

I agree with you.

Shocked? :devil:

First of all, I would NEVER, EVER advocate any kind of censorship. What I am talking about is personal choices.

Second, I agree that people who are the targets of derogatory words need to learn not to be paralyzed by them. I took a women's self-defense course about a year and a half ago, and one of the things we were taught was that often rapists paralyze women by what the instructors called "garbage mouth". The use of certain words so paralyzed the women that they were unable to defend themselves. So part of this very intense course was to have each of us go through simulated rapes -- not one, not two, but again and again and again, with the guys playing the rapists calling us every socially unacceptable word in the book -- even asking us if there were certain words that pushed our buttons so that we could get used to hearing them and be desensitized, and if the occasion ever arose, not be paralyzed by hearing "garbage mouth", but be calmly analyzing which body part of the rapist we were going to attack next.

Anyone who has ever been hurt by name-calling or other words needs to desensitize those words. Period. If you can't go around the world open and unafraid of what others will say to you, you're in a prison of your own making.

That said, I don't think any of what you said is inconsistent with any of what I said in my previous post. I like to choose the words I use so that they mean what I want them to mean, including all of the implications behind them. Especially the insults.

At work, I'm especially sensitive to bad projects being called "dogs". I love dogs. I think they're about the purest souls ever to grace the earth. When I used to hear people say, "Shoot the dogs", I would usually say, "HEY!" Watch that!" and my colleagues, knowing my love for dogs, would usually back off to the point that lousy projects aren't called dogs in my office any more. I'm the same way about the expression "Beating a dead horse," and for the same reason; I have horses. My colleagues don't use that expression around me. I suppose I can be a pain to work with sometimes, but it's all in fun, and I like to think I make enough good jokes to make my company worth it. :) I don't try to force my standards on strangers; I just say stuff like that to my friends. If anyone really objected, I'd back off, of course.

Judith

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First off (and I suppose actual protocol would involve me sending a personal message, but I want to give accolades), I have been remiss in giving, for what I'm worth, my MAJOR RICHIE SEAL OF APPROVAL to our fellow warrior Judith. Folks, this woman is just amazing, and she warms my heart with her words. One of many treasures on OL. And then my comrade Victor and her interacting; Victor pulls out the Lenny Bruce. Heavens, it's just mind candy to read, what a treat! See? Hoofa!

Victor's input is understood by me, I too understand and admire Lenny Bruce, who I consider to be a fucking patriot.

I am starting to see words that are common to my thoughts on this matter, a matter that I obviously consider to be core. Desensititize, indeed.

A word is only as powerful as you make it, and moreso how you take it. It is only as powerful as one allows it to be.

Judith talks about taking self-defense for women classes. Now, that's home court for me, and it is interesting that she fugues that into the discussion, and I think I understand why she talks about it. I'm a poster boy for that shit, and I have written about it here and elsewhere. I don't do it much anymore, but I started a side-channel of teaching women's SD from the time I was about fourteen years old (I started MA training when I was 11). In the end, I was working on the street level. Meaning, there was this class of women that came in every week, and they were under the cycle of abuse. We got ones out that we could, we helped, but the fact remains that some of them have to stay in the violence. So, you help them perfect their right jab or something. That's the facts of it. "Hey, you got a black eye this time, but did you get a piece of that bastard? Did you give him something to remember you by?" This is vicious stuff. I saw one that came in with her fingernails pulled off, and then she went into intensive care from a beating, and then she came back and gouged the a-holes eyes out and they finally ejected him. Ugly. I had to stop doing it because I wasn't strong enough to endure that kind of vicarious emotional trauma within the context of the rest of my life. Today, I still coach here and there. I show women and small men and kids basic principles, most of which evolve around the concept of situational awareness and avoidance, and then, those being exhausted, what the mentality is to survive under attack.

Now I think I have separated the physicality of violence from the other kinds. Judith talked about garbage mouth. Yes. You see, the core of combat, any kind, is mostly about shocking someone's mind. That can be done with words, a look, projecting a type of intimidation that a human can smell and feel on their skin.

Trash talking is the main tool of most street fighters. I love it. I have been attacked 3 times this year, and everytime it all started with talk. These were survival situations, and, being hesitant to always carry a sidearm, I won two of them barehanded, and one of them using the butt end of my tactical knife (it went down so fast I couldn't even open the blade). These were jackings, unfounded attacks, all in broad daylight.

While they talk, I am zoning and making rhythms. Talk away, fuckfaces! You're wasting your time.

Desensitize, but remain sensitive. Feel.

If you are a kindhearted kind of soul, a kindhearted writer, you might swear, you might not. What is the principle behind the action you take? What is the significance of the word? I (at least now) am finally free of using word as weapon. But that doesn't mean I won't pull from the stock-at-hand.

It is liberating to get past that word thing. My girlfriend is enjoying saying "fuck" quite a bit nowadays, and when she does it is very loving and cute. She's moving on to other stuff. It's liberating as hell.

We are free creatures. Talk about "There is nothing to fear but fear itself."

I think that Victor really said it all here.

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So, if I write dirty, I don't give a rat's ass. I will use the words. They are not taboo. That is, unless you buy into that. Which means, other people are using mere words to control you. Your guilt, your misunderstanding.
I haven't had time to keep up with this thread but I wanted to acknowledge the value of this point. It's one way we plug into the social matrix and allow it to affect our behaviour.

Paul

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Society looks down on certain things, one of those things, is for a human being to transcend genderal boundaries (The sometimes exception being homosexuality).

Jeff, why is homosexuality the exception?

-V-

On every occasion I have talked to straights about gays, they say that they don't really mind as long as they don't hit on them (them being the people I talked to). Culture in general seems to accept gays who are transcending genderal boundaries in their sexual preference. Generally people accept/are completely apathetic about homosexuality, that's why they are the exception.

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First off (and I suppose actual protocol would involve me sending a personal message, but I want to give accolades), I have been remiss in giving, for what I'm worth, my MAJOR RICHIE SEAL OF APPROVAL to our fellow warrior Judith. Folks, this woman is just amazing, and she warms my heart with her words. One of many treasures on OL. And then my comrade Victor and her interacting; Victor pulls out the Lenny Bruce. Heavens, it's just mind candy to read, what a treat! See? Hoofa!

:) Thank you! Kind words from someone I respect.

If you are a kindhearted kind of soul, a kindhearted writer, you might swear, you might not. What is the principle behind the action you take? What is the significance of the word? I (at least now) am finally free of using word as weapon. But that doesn't mean I won't pull from the stock-at-hand.

Whoo hooo! It's worthwhile to persist in trying to communicate my thoughts until I'm finally understood! :D

I have been attacked 3 times this year, and everytime it all started with talk. These were survival situations, and, being hesitant to always carry a sidearm, I won two of them barehanded, and one of them using the butt end of my tactical knife (it went down so fast I couldn't even open the blade). These were jackings, unfounded attacks, all in broad daylight.

While they talk, I am zoning and making rhythms. Talk away, fuckfaces! You're wasting your time.

You and I have to get together some time and discuss fighting. I could learn some things from you. I'm taking two courses in January (four if you count the firearms ones), but I can always learn more.

Judith

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Eh, Judith, you ask me about fighting.

You seem to have developed an interest in such matters; well, let's just do it right here, as far as I will give you a brain dump.

Principles. What is a principle? The first thing is this: the secret is that there ARE no secrets.

Principles simply exist. I can dispense with this quickly for you, maybe, if my words are true.

If you read back into my posts, I mentioned the idea of "shocking the opponent's mind." This is a concept that was developed by Master Ed Parker, the founder of modern Kempo, at least in the US.

My teacher (I will leave him unnamed for the moment) had the benefit of dual study. Meaning, he had two main teachers. There was Parker (Google Ed Parker), and there was Danny Inasanto (Google him). Both are high-profile teachers. Danny was the guy that managed all of Bruce Lee's studios in CA. So, if you watch Lee's last film "Game of Death," you will see a very Jungian last scene where Lee goes up through the levels of a house. If I am not mistaken, the next-to-the-last level he must pass through is Danny. There is also stuff (mainly revolving around an exhibition match that Lee did) showing where Parker and Lee were, for a minute, involved.

The first secret is that there ARE no secrets. Here's a few secrets.

Guns terminate all activities, but ground engagements still occur. That's a principle.

As far as choice of weapons go, I highly recommend escrima sticks (per Danny Inasanto). Phillipino fighting style. The upside is that one, at least currently, can't be ticketed for carrying a stick. Sticks are legal. An escrima stick is rattan, it has plys. One doesn't enjoy feeling the sting of one. The way to fight with one is dance-based. There's another principle for you. What's most important? Rhythm, or timing?

Answer carefully!

Answer: Timing is always established by creating a rhythm. That's a fucking principle. Lead into the attacker by looking for and then creating, quickly as can be, a rhythm.

Which leads to principle 2 as far as fighting goes. I will use one word: footwork.

Body mechanics, center-of-gravity, critical thrust. Meaning on that last one... Do you want to punch ten times harder than you can now? Do this: Prepare a blow. Say, your right lead. Take a wide stance, and PUSH off your back foot. Make your front foot land at the same time you deliver the blow.

If you don't believe me, try punching like normal, then do this. Use target gloves for the receiver. Listen to the increase in volume when you hit the way I say. That's a principle. Body mechanics. If you do it right, you will hear a BANG when you hit as I say. It will stick.

If a fighter of any persuasion concentrates heavily on footwork, they are more likely to win.

Bruce Lee footwork: rocker shuffle (google it), and pigeon toe (google it).

So, there's a lesson, Judith. Check is in the mail, I'm sure!

But let's get back to BAD WORD USAGE.

I'm for it, so long as it's heartflelt, and in context.

Can, really, using a word like "pussy" be so powerful? Hell, I was holding back! It could've been worse.

You oughta see the smack they talk in East Cleveland. I'll leave it at that.

We need to draw this down.

And I stand with what I said earlier. To amplify/paraphrase: A word is no more than how you take it, or give it. Best be mindful, but, personally, I don't recommend holding back.

Who are we afraid of? Others? Ourselves? The WORDS themselves?

Questions we have to ponder...

domo,

rde

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You seem to have developed an interest in such matters; well, let's just do it right here, as far as I will give you a brain dump.

. . .

If you read back into my posts, I mentioned the idea of "shocking the opponent's mind."

Holy shit. Well, you've certainly shocked my "beginner's mind" out of its complacency. I've got so much to learn and life is so damned short....

Guns terminate all activities, but ground engagements still occur. That's a principle.

Oh, yes. I'm not stupid enough to think that I'll be able to get to a concealed firearm and fire it easily and perfectly in all situations, or even that I'll be in a situation where it's legal or even advisable to be carrying a firearm when I happen to need one. (Like any time I travel out of state, to give a glaringly obvious example.) The plus side of knowing how to shoot is that I know how easy it is to miss, and therefore I'm not paralyzed with terror at the thought of an armed assailant.

There's another principle for you. What's most important? Rhythm, or timing?

Answer carefully!

Answer: Timing is always established by creating a rhythm. That's a fucking principle. Lead into the attacker by looking for and then creating, quickly as can be, a rhythm.

I couldn't answer the question; I kept thinking that they're both two aspects of the same thing, but I'm not sufficiently advanced to explain how. My skills are so rudimentary that I haven't been taught rhythm.

Which leads to principle 2 as far as fighting goes. I will use one word: footwork.

Body mechanics, center-of-gravity, critical thrust. Meaning on that last one... Do you want to punch ten times harder than you can now? Do this: Prepare a blow. Say, your right lead. Take a wide stance, and PUSH off your back foot. Make your front foot land at the same time you deliver the blow.

If you don't believe me, try punching like normal, then do this. Use target gloves for the receiver. Listen to the increase in volume when you hit the way I say. That's a principle. Body mechanics. If you do it right, you will hear a BANG when you hit as I say. It will stick.

If a fighter of any persuasion concentrates heavily on footwork, they are more likely to win.

Bruce Lee footwork: rocker shuffle (google it), and pigeon toe (google it).

So, there's a lesson, Judith. Check is in the mail, I'm sure!

Thank you, sir! The lessons I've had so far have included footwork, but haven't emphasized it. It does make intuitive sense.

But let's get back to BAD WORD USAGE.

I'm for it, so long as it's heartflelt, and in context.

Can, really, using a word like "pussy" be so powerful? Hell, I was holding back! It could've been worse.

You oughta see the smack they talk in East Cleveland. I'll leave it at that.

We need to draw this down.

And I stand with what I said earlier. To amplify/paraphrase: A word is no more than how you take it, or give it. Best be mindful, but, personally, I don't recommend holding back.

Who are we afraid of? Others? Ourselves? The WORDS themselves?

Questions we have to ponder...

You know, I think the description "bad word" in this context is a red herring. It's more about conscious word usage and the implications of words. I don't want my words to have implications that I don't truly mean.

If I call someone a "bitch" or a "son of a bitch" as an insult, I imply that I think that dogs are contemptible. Holding dogs in contempt started in the Judaism/Christianity/Islam tradition in the Middle East, where dogs used to hang out outside the city walls and gnaw on corpses and other offal tossed over the walls, and were thus considered unclean. Staunch Moslems don't have dogs as pets to this day; in fact, there was a big fuss recently in one of the midwestern states about Moslem cab drivers not wanting to carry service dogs at the airport. I disagree with this whole attitude so vehemently that I don't want any action of mine to imply agreement with it in any way. I find the attitude repulsive.

The same goes for the attitude that sex and certain body parts and body functions are dirty or shameful or repulsive. Did you know that the smell of excrement is not naturally offensive to the human sensibilities? It's not unless and until the baby's caregivers react with revulsion that humans learn that excretion is disgusting. I've gone to gastroenterologists and asked questions and had the doctors tell me that I was embarrassing them. These are doctors being asked questions about their specialty! I am so disgusted by the whole attitude of our society about body parts and sex and body functions that I don't want any words of mine to imply agreement with it in any way. And to use language in the context in which I described would do so. If I say, "Oh, shit!" to express frustration, I think that's perfectly fine. If I say, "The dog took a shit on the floor," I think that expresses contempt and disrespect for bodily functions. These things should be treated as normal and natural, and with respect.

Respect is the key word here. I'm tired of the lack of respect of our society for the human body and its functions. The body should be treated with reverence.

What would you think if you were a patient in a hospital, deathly sick, and you vomited, and the nurse by your bed showed revulsion and said, "Christ, did you have to puke all over me?" You'd be in such a weakened condition, both physically and psychologically, that you probably wouldn't even be able to protest being treated with such a gross lack of respect. Any nurse who responded to such a situation with anything other than kindness and patience and utmost respect for the sick patient doesn't belong in that job.

Am I beginning to make myself understood? Are my reasons beginning to make sense?

Judith

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