A Response To My Critics About The 'Homophobic' Language In Battlefield 3

On Monday, I wrote about homophobic language in Battlefield 3. I thought I had sufficiently unpacked the words I quoted from the game's multiplayer dialogue in order to make my point clear.

Perhaps not.

Unpacking bias in language is about context and association. It's basically a semiotic exercise, pulling sentences apart and figuring out what the words mean underneath the words themselves. It's slow and tedious and often frustrating, and I had thought not to belabor the point any more than necessary.

I erred in the wrong direction, because people seem to think the lines "I'm getting fucked up the arse over here!" and "Fuck, I'm getting my shit pushed in here!" in Battlefield 3's multiplayer are expressing fear of rape instead of homophobia. Before I explain why that's not the case, some background is in order.

I am white, male and straight. I am the definition of cultural privilege in the United States. Social justice activists like to argue that bias affects everyone, but I maintain a sneaking suspicion that's more theory than reality. I could, at any moment, decide to pay absolutely no attention to the racism, sexism, or homophobia embedded in the culture and language around me, and my life would not change one whit. It takes effort for me to notice prejudice because I have to look for it. I suspect my efforts at being sensitive to prejudice are why I finally realised how this dialogue in Battlefield 3 was homophobic.

If you would like to argue that the soldiers in Battlefield 3's multiplayer are conveying fear of being raped in general, which is not homophobic, versus fear of being raped by men, which is decidedly homophobic, you are arguing that they are expressing fear of being raped by someone other than a man. In other words, you are arguing that they may be expressing fear of being raped by a woman in this specific context.

Technically, those lines could be referring to men and women. Anal sex is not strictly a gay activity. That is absolutely correct. However, in American culture, anal sex is linked to or often representative of gay sex. Saying that anal sex is a homophobic reference in this specific instance and context is not the same thing as saying that all anal sex is gay sex.

Someone asked me why I didn't address the "cocksucker" lines when calling out Battlefield 3's homophobic multiplayer dialogue. "Somebody kill these cocksuckers!" or words to that effect is another one of the homophobic lines one might hear during a match. That's a very clear example of homophobia because cocksucker, when used as an insult by one man against another man, is a gender-specific insult that unpacks into "Sucking cocks is bad."

Maybe I should have brought that line up instead of declining to do so out of fear of beating the reader over the head with my point. To argue that the lines "I'm getting fucked up the arse over here!" and "Fuck, I'm getting my shit pushed in here!" have nothing to do with homophobia when they are happening in the same space if not simultaneously with lines about wanting to "kill cocksuckers" is absurd. The reason why you cannot make the argument that these soldiers are only complaining about not wanting to be raped and remove homophobia from the equation is because in order to do so, you have to remove these lines of dialogue from the entire context in which they are set.

Language doesn't work like that. Context matters.

If you want to understand what these lines of dialogue mean, you cannot isolate them from the fact that they are being issued by members of an organisation which is institutionally homophobic, hence why Don't Ask, Don't Tell is a relevant context for analysis. Part of homophobia is fear on the part of straight men that gay men will not be able to control their sex urges and express sexual interest in them. This is why homophobic straight men get uncomfortable with the idea of sharing intimate space like showers, locker rooms -- or military units -- with "queers." You also can't refuse to hold these lines of Battlefield 3 multiplayer dialogue up to that contextual lens, either, if you want to argue that you fully understand what they mean.

There is one other frequent response to Monday's article that I'd like to address, namely that I am being over-sensitive. Having identified to you as being solidly outside the boundaries of where the injury from this sort of prejudice falls I hope I've blunted that idea in large part already. But then there's my love of the word cocksucker. It can leap out of my mouth during a match of Battlefield 3 when someone snipes me from 100 yards away, or when I'm about to drop an M320 grenade into a crowd of enemy players and someone else runs me over with a tank. "That fucking cocksucker!" I might yell out, much to the amusement of the group of guys I play first person shooters with on Xbox Live.

One night my friend Scott joined the Party Chat of my virtual band of brothers. I held off on the use of my favourite curse word because Scott is gay. I chose to be sensitive and not use a word that might have made him feel uncomfortable. I cringed every time someone in my Party said "That gun is so gay" when they were killed by a weapon which they felt was unbalanced, or "Someone kill this fag that just shot me." I have to recognise that I was just as responsible for my friends' language that night as they were, because it means fuck-all not to use the word cocksucker when Scott was around if I am going to use it when he isn't.

This isn't about being over-sensitive, but just sensitive. In the process of calling out the homophobic language in Battlefield 3's multiplayer I was calling myself out, as well, for my love of the word cocksucker and how profligate I can be with its use. Even if I'm only doing so within a closed Xbox Live Party chat, the simple humanity of not using that word shouldn't go away just because no one who might be offended is around to hear it. Whenever we use or turn a blind eye to homophobic language we encourage its use. It's difficult now for me to chide my friends when they call someone a fag in Battlefield 3, even if that person will never hear them say it, because my love of the word cocksucker has helped create an environment where the use of that language is sanctioned. By not discussing the homophobic language in Battlefield 3's multiplayer, we help create an environment where said language is sanctioned, as well.

Even if you remain unconvinced for whatever reason, and don't consider these lines homophobic, consider that since I published that article on Monday I've heard from plenty of gay men who do, and they are thrilled that someone with all the privilege in the world, who has no reason to pay attention to any of this, did. They're thrilled because if a gay man were to have brought this revelation forward, people could and would have dismissed it out of hand. Instead, because it was me, a conversation got started. And even if you're not convinced, at least you're thinking about it.

Then consider that Battlefield 3 fans who are gay are forced to listen to language which some of them consider homophobic and which is entirely unnecessary to support the design of the game. The way I stop myself from using the word cocksucker even though I adore it so much is by reminding myself what it means in the context I use it, and what the consequences are of doing so. I wonder how Scott would feel if he were there to hear me say it. Then it's easier to put the word down. I can use other words. So could DICE in Battlefield 3's multiplayer. In fact, they did.

There is plenty of multiplayer dialogue triggered by the suppression mechanic which could not possibly have anything to do with homophobia and which is just as effective at letting us know our squad mates are receiving suppressive fire and need our help. Sure, the homophobic dialogue might be realistic, but there are plenty of things about war which are equally realistic which we would never want to depict in a military first person shooter. I'm suggesting the homophobia of soldiers is one of them.

Ours is not to decide whether someone shouldn't be offended by something but to acknowledge that they are, and then decide whether or not we want to exercise a little compassion.

Dennis Scimeca is a freelance journalist from Boston, MA. His weekly video game opinion column, First Person, runs Thursdays on The Escapist. You can reach him through his blog, Punching Snakes, or follow his random excitations on Twitter: @DennisScimeca.

Comments

    Superb response that will go unheard by many that need to hear it. I enjoyed the first article, having a keen interest in semiotic studies.

    Good stuff.

      Agreed. Unfortunately, this article is doomed to go the way of the first, drowned under a sea of nay-sayers who didn't bother to read more than the headline before rushing to comment.

        I read it all, I made my criticism (I was in the "Oversensitive!" group), and his fantastic response made me think twice about my comment. Very few columnists and writers bother to respond to their feedback - respect to Mr. Scimeca for doing so. I might just pay more attention to his Escapist column now.

        It lasted ten minutes. I really wish they taught the idea of underlying message in schools, it would help with everything. The worst part is there are people so used to it that they just don't care enough to consider any other view point.

        And to help the nay-sayers out, because they clearly need it: Yes, yes I do fear ignorance and stupidity - it got the world to where it is today.

        Sorry accidently reported your comment when I meant to reply.

        I was going to say that I have plenty of mates that have served in the armed forces and they all agree that homophobic rants are prevelant.

        That's not to say it should be accepted, but I think the developers were merely creating "authenticity" in the language they used.

        I don't agree with the language, but I think any concerns should be levelled at the military not a game developer.

    Word.

    Maybe this guy should have actually ask some gay men how they feel about those terms in the context of war and battle, I hear there is a whole website called GayGamer that does a great job of not blowing little things like this out of proportion.

      I'm gay, and after a solid 30 hours of BF3, I've never thought twice about any of the lines. I didn't anything more of it than they're just gritty sounding bits of dialogue that actual American soldiers might say.

      That said, I guess I can see why people might find it offensive... but IMO they're being overly sensitive.

        How we respond to words is based on meaning

        'Gay' and 'Fag' have both taken on new derogatory meanings, and their original meanings no longer used commonly.

        However you will find these meanings have probably evolved beyond being homophobic to new meanings, with no homophobia intended. When I call something 'Gay' it usually means it 'sucks' (another homophobic slur if you really want it to be), if I call someone 'Fag' or 'Retard' it usually means they are an 'idiot'

        A simple linguistics lesson should help most people get over their preciousness about how words are used.

          Jeez thanks Professor Chomsky.

        I'm gay and I've played more than 60 hours of battlefield 3 and I can tell you right now buddy that hearing Lets go kill those cocksuckers tends to start wearing on your after awhile. Thank you for bringing this issue up and its not about being fucking oversensitive, someone said something earlier about how theyre just throwaway comments that don't really mean anything and I can tell you right now that Directed homophobia can hurt just as much as the throwaway careless comment that didn't really mean anything from the person who said it. But considering we have now had 2 articles on Privilge and 2 on battlefield 3's multiplayer remarks, people still aren't getting what the problem is, then how are you going to get through to them.

          Not even I quite get the problem. I'm not saying there is no problem, I'm just saying I don't really get it. It's an accurate depiction of how US soldiers speak. It's nothing personal and I certainly don't think language like that has an negative impact on the rest of the world's view of gays. If anything, I'd think that articles like this do more harm than good. In my opinion, it makes us out not only to be different, but preachy.

          im gay and i think your being oversensitive. Words have changed meaning. you call someone a fag it doesnt mean gay it means dickhead or wanker. same goes for cocksucker. i think its a good thing i no longer have to worry about these words since they arent arent in that way.
          the more this happens the better because it means that we are being accepted since they no longer use them to associate it with us. specifically.

            Good thing you and I haven't had to live with the kind of abuse that some people have had to because of their sexuality, http://www.kotaku.com.au/2011/10/this-gaymers-story/#comment-509869

            We can say it doesn't mean what it meant anymore but I'm finding that rather hard to believe.

          Dude that just like saying some time in the future it is perfectly ok to call someone N*GGER because we don't use that to mean black person any more we just mean it as bad. Seriously dude totally warped logic. Seriously think about it. That's not what you MEAN the word to say but that's what the word actually MEANS. The "intent" in your head is not referring to gay people but the word does. Thats the complexities of language.

            +1, I wonder what the outrage would be if the soldier had said Lets kill those sons of N*ggers! Oversensitive my arse, I'm just saying it might be authentic to the US militarys current attitude but its just bullshit and this does not make it acceptable and it shouldn't be in the game. Period.

        i'm 24, gay, australian. just want to say i think this is really amusing , people have actually analysed the word cocksucker.

    Barthes - the death of the author. Lacan then Derrida - Any semiotic analysis of the words results in a multiplicity of signified meanings. This signified meaning is in turn subject to a multiplicity and a deferral of meaning. Thus - semiotically - there is no implicit meaning thus another rant from the US

      Edit - de saussere not Lacan. snigger not snigget

    Battlefield is soooo last year lol

    I find Chuloopa offensive.

    Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh I get it so semiotic basically means looking to far into stuff -_-

    there's nothing homophobic about a straight person not wanting to be stuffed up the bum.

      I must have missed the map where getting "stuffed up the bum" happens.

      It can be seen as homophobic in the context in which it is used. When an institution has a long and well-known history of homophobia, the use of phrases relating to being "stuffed up the bum" cannot be so innocently dismissed.

      Not everyone will agree! People can believe whatever they want! But I think the writer makes an interesting point -- when you look at the context in which that kind of language is used, it would not be too outlandish to find it homophobic.

        I'd agree that it's not outlandish that you could find such terms derogatory toward homosexuals, what frustrates me is the idea that because some people might be offended by something that some people might mean when they make an utterance, that utterance should avoided entirely. Stifling language is never a good thing (see 1984) and it doesn't do anything to actually prevent or resolve a negative attitude toward homosexuality, if anything it merely represses it, which is something many homosexuals are well aware is not a healthy thing.

          And before anyone jumps on me, that doesn't mean I think homosexuality fear/hate should be allowed free reign in society, merely that putting bans on certain words is the wrong way to go about it. Tackle the root of the problem, (which granted being upbringing/nurture is highly difficult, but nonetheless important).

            I'll jump on you =P

        Honest question (and sort of following on from Sam):

        Given that the game is a (supposedly) realistic portrayal of a possible near-future, and there has been an attempt to "humanise" the game by making the characters act the way a regular soldier right now might, does this context then allow use of certain terms that might be objectionable because it's "real"?

        Or should effort be taken (as is kinda touched on by the author) to scrub this sort of thing, even if it does reflect the current reality of comments in a real situation?

    The bit I dont get about the responses to the first article is that his work was completely subjective, is a writer now not allowed to submit his own viewpoint or interpretation of something? This is what journalistic vision used to be before it was watered down into retyping press releases.

    Regardless of wether I agree or not with the subject matter, I can be open to someone elses opinion, especially when it was presented in a cogent and non-offensive way as your first article was, give the guy a break.

    Both are good articles mate, well done.

    Seriously, he's given an opportunity to publish on one of the most visited blogs in the world and this is what he comes up with? For shame. For all the real injustices in the world it's pathetic, narcissistic and narrow minded to write about something so trivial.

      Wow. Maybe he should just write a Top 10 BF3 Kills article, huh?

      OK, aside from your strawman argument, what would you like to read? Since you so vehemently disagree, why don't you pen 500 words and show us why the argument is wrong.

      Not why the author is wrong, but why the ARGUMENT is wrong. If it really is as trivial as you say, you shouldn't have a hard time coming up with such an argument.

      There might be merit in what you say, but your aggressive-yet-apathetic stance leads me to think otherwise.

        The number of words and quality of ideas have nothing to do with each other what so ever. Just look at the opinion piece...

        I hate the "strawman argument" defense. It's so overused, and mostly incorrect in its usage too, from what I've observed.

    I'm gay. Perhaps I'm not sensitive, but generally comments are like water off a duck's back. They aren't specifically aimed at me because I'm not gay when I play the game. I'm just the same as anyone else.

    Now if I identified myself as gay and someone called me a fag then that would be different, it still wouldn't bother me, but I could see why it would cause offence to others in the same position.

    The cocksucker thing is a real stretch. If I called a male or a female an arselicker chances are they would be insulted. This is despite the fact that a percentage would in fact practise the act. It's offensive because people tell us it's offensive, not because of the act itself. I mean if someone calls me a 'son of a bitch' it doesn't even twig that it's my mother who is the one really being insulted.

    The main thing that annoys me is how unimaginative people are with their insults and language. People calling something 'gay' annoys me not because I'm gay, but because it's overdone. It's the same with faggot in video games, if faggot is the best you can manage as an insult then you should be pitied, not the feature of articles.

    The irony of these articles never ceases to make me chuckle. I'm 100% in the party that offense should conveyed by intent not paranoid interpretation. When/if I use the term 'cocksucker', I don't relate it in anyway to homosexuality in my mind, it is interchangeable with 'asshole' 'bastard' 'prick' etc,and usually it's a casual admission that I just got beaten in some way, rather than a verbal insult meant to inflict psychological harm.

    But no you say, the meaning of the word determines its implications, cocksucker, because it literally means to suck a cock, it doesn't matter what your intent is, it must be derogatory to homosexuality! And yet here's the word 'homophobia,' it doesn't actually mean a fear of homosexuals, how could it? It translates to a 'fear of one,' in the general sense, one anything, anything coming in ones, the number one maybe, but certainly nothing specific to one sexuality, and yet most readers understand your intent is to imply a fear of homosexuality, because it has become a commonly used word for such, regardless of its literal meaning. This is because intent matters, context matters, language is dynamic not static, and culture is not global.

    I'm not going to claim that everybody who uses 'fag' or 'cocksucker' must be comfortable with homosexuality, because of course that's not true, but the contention that the way we react to words is determined purely by their literal meaning is clearly false, as evidenced by this article's own use of the word 'homophobia.' Indeed that contention that while that may be true among familiar company, but with the anonymity of the internet we should be more careful and assume words imply their literal meanings is also false for the same reason. Again, language is dynamic, I'd think it likely that a good subsection of (especially younger) gamers don't associate the word 'fag' with homosexuality at all, but instead see it as akin to 'asshole,' which of course you immediately know means 'mean person,' in this context, not 'the entry to the anal canal,' despite that being it's literal meaning. In a similar way that people my own age likely do at least have some association of 'faggot' with homosexual, and little with 'a bundle of sticks,' despite that being it's literal meaning.

    tl;dr version: Political Correctness is satanic.

      "But no you say, the meaning of the word determines its implications, cocksucker, because it literally means to suck a cock,"

      No Sam, read it again. It's the context, the environment that the word is used that determines its intent and implications. The context you are using those words in helps determine the consequences of said words, and in turn help shape whether using them is appropriate or not.

      When Al Swearengen calls Jonie or Trixie a cocksucker, he means that exact thing - they are cocksuckers and he is demeaning them for being such. However, when he calls E.B. Farnum the same name, he is sometimes meaning it literally, and other times merely as a dismissive word, as you say, no different to bastard or arsehole. The context dictates which is which, and furthermore how offensive it is.

      That's what makes it so intriguing as a mental exercise. Everyeon is familiar with home wonderful the word 'fuck' is. The intonation it is used with, the inflection in your voice (difference between hitting your hand with a hammer, dropping a catch in cricket and yelling at a pedestrian) all determine it's meaning at the time, and similarly, its likely offensiveness to its target.

      A high pitched 'fark-off' in response to hearing a tall-tale is not likely to be offensive to anyone listening, but draw a wry grin from the author of said story instead. However, a low pitch, growled 'fuck. off.' to someone on your front lawn is aimed at being both offensive to anyone listening, particularly the person it is aimed at. But it is the same two words.

      The same principle applies with cocksucker and the other narrative expletive-laden sentences in BF3.

        Okay, it was probably poorly worded, what I should have been pointing out was that despite the author's appealing to context over literal meaning he... well doesn't, or at least tries to have it both ways.

        "That’s a very clear example of homophobia because cocksucker, when used as an insult by one man against another man, is a gender-specific insult that unpacks into “Sucking cocks is bad.”"

        This line right here, I disagree that when used by a man to insult a man it is a gender specific insult that unpacks into 'sucking cocks is bad.' I think in that context it unpacks into 'asshole.' (asshole as in 'you're a meanie.')
        I say I think, in order to generalise, but in my specific experience this is always what cocksucker has meant when used by myself or anyone I know, the one time I've seen someone called out on this they were genuinely surprised to realise that you could take the term 'cocksucker' to mean homosexual, despite it's obvious literal meaning.

          On another note I realised that I'm using the wrong asshole, and literal meaning should be.... donkey's... hole... huh. Irrelevant other than poor spelling, but whoops all the same >_>

          Yeah that's fair enough too - that line is certainly a weak one in the article. The word 'cocksucker' can be a throwaway line (as used in aforementioned DeadWood), or a quite nasty insult. As you rightly point out, it does not necessarily unpack into a gender specific homophobic insult, though it can, which perhaps was the authors too-hastily-made point.

          And to your original tl:dr - I agree. OTT PC drives me mad, butit does make for interesting fodder to examine it's driving forces.

    This article should have been re-written to show its most compelling arguments first. The whole bit about 'being homophobic about being raped in the arse" is nothing but bias and conjecture, with no understanding or TOLERANCE as the writer is seeking of the feelings and preferences of the individuals saying it; regardless of their sexual orientation.

    I always found that "I'm getting effed in the A here" in that context to be more an allusion to rape than homosexuals. But that's just my read.

    Half the time I'm so caught up in things that I don't even realise that I've let a few nasty words slip out and I also find that a lot of the time I'm heavily influenced by others in the game as to what is acceptable behaviour or not... I'm not saying it's right, I'm just saying that it can be hard to modify behaviour like this, especially when it's become such a big part of the FPS culture.

    I don't particularly like the terminology, but I tend to think that in a game like battlefield 3, where they (claim to) trying to capture the experience (not simulate) of warfare, they unfortunately really need to use the words of that domain, even the offensive ones.

    I felt the same way about the whole Batman "bitch" thing though, and obviously some people had a fundamentally different view on that from my privileged position of being a super-hot straight white guy.

    Got your point here.

    And I agree that calling someone a cocksucker in a negative light implies that he is gay and in turn implies that being gay is negative.

    But I think "im getting shit pushed in" or "im being f'ed up the arse" taken offensively is wrong. The thing is, to any straight person, being screwed analy IS bad. It has nothing to do with the gay community.

    Imagine a gay person saying "shit, our dicks are in deep vagina now!" while being pinned down in a crossfire (i'm assuming vaginas are scary things to gay men, based on what my gay friends say).

    The difference I reckon is calling out yourself or calling out someone else. calling someone else cocksucker, thats homophobic, calling myself being fked up, not so much.

      "But I think “im getting shit pushed in” or “im being f’ed up the arse” taken offensively is wrong. The thing is, to any straight person, being screwed analy IS bad."

      Who are to say it is 'bad' with such a blanket statement? You speak for every straight person (presumably, this includes the fairer sex too)?

        umm you're being too technical. you should know i'm talking in a general sense. and if you really like, I'll amend "straight person" to "straight men" too be really really clear.

    I just agree with the last thing I read, so good on ya Sam.

    THIS IS RIDICULOUS.

    "If you would like to argue that the soldiers in Battlefield 3‘s multiplayer are conveying fear of being raped in general, which is not homophobic, versus fear of being raped by men, which is decidedly homophobic, you are arguing that they are expressing fear of being raped by someone other than a man. In other words, you are arguing that they may be expressing fear of being raped by a woman in this specific context..."

    I'm sorry, but why is fear of rape by a man considered "decidedly" homophobic? I if was about to be raped by a man, my fear is not that what about to happen is going to be homosexual, my fear is that I'm about to be RAPED. Period.

    Also, lets be real here and say the "shit pushed in" line is definitely referring to getting raped by a man. The thought of a woman penetrating a male asshole with an object (or her hand) is not what comes to mind when one hears that line.

    Regardless, rape is rape. Whether it's a man, a woman or a gorilla. The fear is not whether the act will be homosexual or not, the fear is in being violated.

    If someone is saying "I'm getting my shit pushed in over here" whilst bullets are whizzing by and the end seems near, they are not making an analogy about how their situation is making them feel like they are engaging in homosexual intercourse. They are stating that they are being violated into submission, much like someone being raped.

    I thought the industry was beyond this... I don't play Battlefield or any FPSs but this really explains why kids these days still think saying things like this are acceptable.

    Many kids and myself included looks up to and believe in the morals and virtues in games they play. I don't mean they believe in extremist action. But a kid who likes a game I believe is more likely to try and behave like the characters or persona's within that game.

    I mean... I can't be the only kid running around with a sword trying to save the world or protect the ones I care about. (Figuratively)

      but you're getting into appropriate games for kids and games classification...

    This is just an opinion -- no one has to agree with it, and we by all means encourage discussion. Let's just keep it diplomatic and reasonable -- there's no need to get angry/defensive and insult the writer or those who share his opinion because aside from being unpleasant, it's really unnecessary!

    Thanks. :)

    “Yes.

    It was a shocking thing to say, and I knew it was a shocking thing to say. But no one has the right to live without being shocked. No one has the right to spend their life without being offended.

    Nobody has to read this book. Nobody has to pick it up. Nobody has to open it. And if they open it and read it, they don’t have to like it. And if you read it and dislike it, you don’t have to remain silent about it. You can write to me — You can complain about it. You can write to the publisher. You can write to the paper. You can write your own book.

    You can do all those things, but there your rights stop.

    No one has the right to stop me from writing this book. No one has the right to stop it being published, or sold, or bought, or read.

    And that’s all I have to say on that subject.”
    -Philip Pullman

    TL;DR - If you don't like it, you have every ability to stop consuming the media that is offending you. Close the game, uninstall it, never think about it again.

      Given the tolerant tone of his work, I think Pullman would be rather annoyed with you using a quote relating to freedom of expression to tell people to ignore bigotry.

      The point of this article - and the original - is not that the author was personally offended and thus demands everything be changed to suit him. It's that this kind of language - whether you understand it or not - feeds a culture that sees gay youth being 4 times more likely to commit suicide than their straight peers.

      The right to offend is not the same as the right to harass. And while it could be argued that the game itself does not victimise, the dialogue does help create an environment where that harassment - even if it's not deliberate - is the norm.

      "I don't like what you're saying" is very different to "These words cause real harm". Pullman was talking about the former. This is the latter.

        Good grief this is a good reply.

        I only really want to reply to quote this part:

        "I don’t like what you’re saying” is very different to “These words cause real harm”. Pullman was talking about the former. This is the latter"

    It's these replies to controversial articles that remind me Kotaku journalists get paid by the pageview. But I digress.

    Cocksuckers. I think Dennis almost has a point about the roots of the word. It does inherently imply that sucking cocks is bad. But over time I think words stay the same while losing their meanings. Maybe it hasn't yet, but it will eventually. Look at fag. South Park tried to make it more acceptable as a general insult and maybe in a decade or less it will be.

    More on cocksuckers, surely you can call one a cocksucker while keeping in mind "sucking cocks isn't a bad thing, it doesn't make an individual a bad person". Use of language doesn't mean that the user is what the use may imply (ie, homophobic in this case).

      I don't know about the US but this does not apply to AU.

        B-b-but I make a point of reading all the aussie articles!

    This whole argument seem predicated upon the "fact" that anal sex is the sole domain of homosexual males. It isn't. It's just as rad for hetero couples, or lesbians with the correct aids.

    It's an activity we can all get behind if we want to. Therefore, need for drama and debate: null and void.

      7th paragraph bro

    Man your thesaurus must cop a hammering

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