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Come Write in #22 - Respect for the Bitches

I have been following a thread on the Facebook page of a Brisbane cocktail bar that asked for feedback for its new drink names which include Winey Bitch and Redheaded Slut. You can imagine that a lot of people are taking offence and a lot of people are taking offence at the offence. The whole feedback thread has degenerated to name calling between those who think the names are really ‘mad’ and those who think they are hate speech.

I’m offended by the names. They really are hate speech towards women as far as I’m concerned. But normally I would screw my nose up and move on. This time I didn’t. I’ve stopped and commented, thought about it, then I sent an email to a current affairs program hoping they will look into it.

Why did I do this?

It really worries me how things are going out there in social networking meatspace. I don’t participate personally – I don’t have the opportunity nor the inclination. I’ve always felt that hanging out in pubs is not a good way to meet people. It used to be a personal thing – with background noise I can’t hear what people say so I am effectively isolated. That was my original reason. But now, it’s because I believe these social scenes truly have become a meat market and merely an opportunity for a large number of the people who frequent them to have meaningless and sometimes harmful liaisons.

Hell, that makes me sound so old fashioned. However, there is harm being had on physical, emotional and psychological levels not only for individuals but also for the broader community. All in my own humble opinion, I guess.

My reasoning is this. You surround yourselves with derogatory language, you eventually speak it too. You end up quite happily calling women bitches and sluts. For crying out loud, I even had a friend who spent the night at “xxx’s rape palace”. But it all means nothing, right? It’s just a stupid joke, right? WRONG!

Bitch usually means a lewd, unpleasant woman. Slut is a version of slattern and while originally it meant kitchen maid, it evolved into a woman of loose morals or promiscuous. And do I really need to ask you about the guy who thinks it’s hilarious to call his home a ‘rape palace’?

Are they only words? I’m a wordsmith and normally I would say yes. But they are all symptoms of a much bigger, worrying trend. For example, the Brisbane cocktail bar (and most likely others) is using these words in the names of cocktail drinks in a place where people become intoxicated, respect is the dirty word, and women may become vulnerable to attack.

If pubs and clubs are the places to meet and greet, then the lack of respect is only going to spread and usually amongst young adults. If young adults have not learnt self respect, they’re certainly not going to learn it drinking excessive amounts of Winey Bitch or Redheaded Slut. Add in social networking sites like Facebook where people seem to think it’s open slather on morals and values, and you get a cocktail for social disaster.

With no respect in our world, where are we going to end up? Already it seems okay to do away with common courtesy. Few say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ any more. People don’t seem to acknowledge messages or favours done for them. They expect these things so why add a nicety to it?

I’ll leave out the huge, logical progression from saying ‘please’ to the eventuality of rape and murder. Believe me there is one, but the Internet has contributed to a short attention span so maybe I need to cut to the chase here.

We have road rage and carpark rage, deaths of people from being king hit is on an alarming rise, drugs are saturating common suburbia, underworld crime is no longer confined to ‘the underworld’ and our comfortable little suburban lives are no longer happy or comfortable. As a society we have lost our way. We think it’s okay to call someone a slut yet the word has not been devalued by being used more commonly. What actually has been devalued is respect for each other.

Where the hell do we draw the line?

Just thinking about it.
Just thought I’d write about it.
Just the ponderings that flash through my mind every few seconds.

Comments

  • Danny
    Dannyover 1 year ago

    Modern slang, hey? Remember when negro was French for black, faggot was bundle of sticks and you could bite into a golden gay time in public? I still get pissed off with the Term Ho ( as in whore) and Santa’s catch cry of ho ho ho being confused, especially in bad comedies New meaning should always be placed second , especially derogatory ones. This comment really doesn’t reflect on your article Anne I’m just having a birch. :)

  • Your bitch sounds the same as mine, Danny. I hate these drink names. I believe though they are merely a symptom of a much, much bigger problem. It’s not a new idea I guess that respect is disappearing as a common value. But it is renewed in me as a source of angst.

    – Anne van Alkemade

  • Mardra
    Mardraover 1 year ago

    You are right. I’ve been thinking alot about this same sort of thing lately for two reasons. One is the “One Billion Rising” campaign – awesome words used check some powerful words here: http://onebillionrising.org/pages/over-it

    And two – I keep thinking Joking is what makes things ok. And these actions (calling people sluts for fun for example) are not ok.
    Joking about rape, not Ok. Ever. In fact, I feel that the fact that we (as the human race) accept rape by joking about it. Who’s the punchline in these jokes? The victim.
    Prison Rape – common, stand up comedy banter. Not OK.
    Penn State boys in the locker room jokes (US issue you may or may not have heard about) not OK. Ever.
    Slipping a “Mickey” in a girls drink as hilrious. Not OK.
    I swear, sometimes I think, “Am I the only one who feels this way?” Well, good news, there’s me and there’s you. So – you take on your world and I’ll take on mine.
    Whew.
    That was a rant. Thanks for asking.
    – Mardra