Esports Player's Use Of Homophobic Slur Sets Off Unexpectedly Long Debate

Screenshot: Streamable

This week, esports host Frankie Ward won “Presenter of the Year” at the UK Esports Awards, and she used her acceptance speech to make a pledge: "There is no room for homophobic or racist or misogynist language in the esports industry."

Her pledge follows on the heels of a week-long debate among esports stars and commentators about the word "faggot", sparked by former CS:GO pro Mohamad “m0E” Assad getting a temporary Twitch ban for using the slur.

Normally, the types of debates that consume the world of esports involve League of Legends team trades or tournament structures for battle royale games. But somehow we’re now one week into an ongoing discussion in the esports scene about when it is or is not ok to use slurs in the heat of anger. I wouldn’t think this would be that complicated.

The inciting incident happened at the end of June. After typing the word “faggot” in team chat during a CS:GO match on his stream, m0E sat back to opine about how, these days, “you’re not allowed to say faggot, apparently.” Within 24 hours, m0E’s channel — which has 686,540 subscribers — got slapped down with a 30-day ban for “hateful conduct.”

On July 1, m0E posted about his ban, theorizing that it was due to a “reddit witchhunt”.

A few minutes later, esports commentator and Dot Esports contributor Duncan “Thorin” Shields posted in m0E’s defence, writing, “the historical etymology of the word m0e used is not and has never been explicitly or solely homophobic in meaning,” adding that the word once meant “bundle of sticks” and “flighty woman.”

“It’s clearly a word you should avoid solely for the health of your own career,” he continued, “but the tyrants who try to tell you a word only has the meaning they decided, even if they’re making it up on the spot or ignoring cultural context and history, can still fuck off.”

Responses to the Twitch ban inspired YouTube and Twitch juggernaut Sky Williams to weigh in that evening with a thread of his own: “If a word evolves into a slur it’s unconditionally hurtful to most, no matter the history.”

The debate surged on into the next day when esports veteran Sean “Day9” Plott urged Thorin to “listen to more perspectives.”

Overwatch League commentator MonteCristo wrote, “there are many people attempting to enforce a tyranny of language based on their own definitions of words without looking into context/etymology.” Esports consultant Rod Breslau wrote back, “‘Enforcing tyranny of language’? Wtf? It’s homophobic,” and MonteCristo responded to note that use of this slur was “tiresome and childish.” Later, MonteCristo deleted his original “tyranny of language” tweet.

Back in 2012, when comedian Louis CK invited a “debate” about the word “faggot,” Slate talked to Stanford University linguist Arnold Zwicky about the slur’s history.

The story cited the origin that most people know: “faggot” once referred to a bundle of sticks to be burned, which calls to mind heretics getting burned at the stake. Zwicky has a less grim theory about the word’s development, though.

He theorises that it went from meaning “bundle of sticks,” which could mean “broom,” and eventually meant “woman” (sweeping is “women’s work”). Associating a man with femininity by calling him a “broom” was an insult back then, just as it could be now. So, even when the word meant “bundle of sticks,” it was still an insult rooted in denigrating femininity. That’s the context and history.

As for the spectre of language “tyrants,” they do exist, at least in the form of Overwatch League punishing pro players for using the word “faggot,” or Twitch slapping down its users with a temporary ban. How unfair that they can’t say whatever they want without consequence!

Linguist Arnold Zwicky is a gay man and self-identified “faggot.” He calls his own use of the term “defiant use,” which he believes could lead to “reclamation” of the term, with the eventual hope that “the word continues to be used without insult connotations anymore.”

Back in 2012, he said, “we’re not there yet.” In 2018, we aren’t there either; the word is still an insult, and the process of reclaiming it (along with other slurs, like “queer” and “dyke”) has been an ongoing conversation in the LGBT community for far longer than that.

But that’s just it, right? It’s a conversation the LGBT community gets to have, and we “tyrants” are banning other people from partaking in it. I get to use words like “queer” and “dyke” because people have used them to insult me, and I get the dubious honour of wrestling over whether it’s even possible to reclaim them, much as Zwicky does about “faggot.”

Any straight person can use those words as insults, if they want to, but that doesn’t help the process of “reclamation,” nor does it achieve the end goal for Zwicky (and me): for these words to become neutral, even positive, and so thoroughly lacking in insult power that no one would even think to scream them at someone who beat them in a video game.

It says a lot that “you shouldn’t use this word as an insult or in anger” has gotten interpreted as “you can’t use this word at all.” I would love to see a world where we just don’t use these terms as insults anymore. But we can’t even achieve that one simple step.

In his original stream, m0E explained that “I use the word ‘faggot’ to call people ‘retards,’” but in his apology, he justified, “My intent was never hate filled. If you know me at all you would know that homophobia is one word that has never been associated with me before."

Using the word “faggot” as an insult in the first place didn’t seem like a contradiction to him, but it should.

Even when “faggot” referred to a bundle of sticks, it could only become an insult because of femmephobia and homophobia.


    m0E’s channel — which has 686,540 subscribersNope - *followers - wasn't gonna bother but it's the second time this week.

    For good or ill, words mean what the majority agree that it means.

    It doesn't matter what a word meant 300 years ago. What it means now is what most people think it does and that's not a word you can use and not get a whole lot of noses out of joint.

      Yeah that's absolutely right.

      There's a couple of issues with the word itself now though that is the problem.
      The first is that the word faggot itself has changed meanings previously, from its original meaning of a bundle (which was only spelt with one g), to a slur against homosexuality, to now something different again (someone who is a great aggravation, nuisance or annoyance - some (not all) dictionaries are starting to define it as a Contemptible Person).

      This change has only been recent, with many more traditional dictionaries having not updated their definite to suit yet.

      This leads to the second issue. Due to the co-opting of the word for a different purpose, the word has two uses that remain relevant. Many people still use the word for the older meaning, or many people may use the word for both which leads to the third issue...

      That the word faggot has to be a) judged in the context of the insult it was used in and b) judged by the way the speaker intended the insult.

      Personally when I hear the word faggot used in game against someone, my brain goes more along the lines of what happened in South Park (specifically Season 13 Episode 12 - The F Word) which is actually a pretty decent analogue for what is happening here. Many people would not agree with my interpretation and reference it more in the slur term.

        That was duly appropriated & well articulated. I know the episode you are referring to here in context & I agree wholeheart.

        The historical and current meanings of the word are not particularly important - it was intended as an insult and universally interpreted as one. I can't imagine any convincing argument for the hurling of insults to not be considered hateful conduct.

          I like Southpark's take on it. Yes it's an insult but it's not specifically meant to target gay people it can be used to insult anyone who deserves insulting (in Southpark's case it was obnoxious Harley riders).

          Here's a problem with *any* insults - by their very definition they're offensive. The guy said he used "faggot" instead of "retard". Calling someone a retard is offensive too. So it calling someone a bitch or an idiot or a dick, or whatever. So either *all* insults are bad and banned, or they're all fair game.

            Why does he use faggot as an insult though? If you call someone and idiot, you're not doing that because you like sound, you're doing that because you think they lack intelligence and that is a negative trait. If you call someone a loser, it's because you think they are lazy and lack motivation. Yet if you call someone a faggot, for some reason it's in no way connected to the meaning of the word?

            I haven't seen the South Park episode but people keep bringing it up and it sounds as stupid as that one where they tried to say hate crimes aren't a thing and you should just look at what crime was committed and not the intention behind it, one of the dumbest misunderstandings of criminal justice I've ever seen.

              You're missing the point, and it'd help if you watched the episode before dismissing it.

              Anyway, (and this applies to any insult) often the person just has a mental store of "bad words" and they pull one out when they want to insult someone. It's not necessarily targeted, hell they don't even have to know what it means. Kids do it all the time, they don't know what "faggot" means only that someone said it to someone else as an insult. So obviously if they want to insult someone it's a good word to pick.

              There's no understanding of meaning or context or targeting it's just "hey rude word, I'm gonna use that". And it's not just kids that lack understanding, a lot of adults do too.

              I don't know in this particular case whether the guy was specifically targeting the person he was insulting, or whether he was doing what I just explained. I'm inclined to think though, that it was a heat of the moment insult rather than something specifically targeted. Especially giving that it was in a gaming platform, and we all know the amount of swearing and insults that happen on them.

      This is possibly the most pathetic argument I have seen on these boards. In the English language a single word can have in excess of 4 different and distinct meanings, depending on the context and target of its usage. Just because your mind jumps to a single usage because that is its most common one does not automatically mean your assumption on the context of the term's usage is accurate. Whilst the most common definition or usage of a word can change over time that does not automatically render the other definitions of the word null and void. Unless the word is used in the correct context, it is not automatically "hateful conduct" or discriminatory language or anything like that, and it is only people like you, who think it is automatically alright to assume the worst of someone for an out-of-context word, that have generated the culture of extreme political correctness that has led to the debate as it stands today.

      Just to clarify, I am not arguing that his usage in this case was appropriate. I am making this argument in a more general context.

      Last edited 12/07/18 8:45 pm

      disregarding the word used by the Youtuber and this scenario your comment about what a word means now is a bit short-sighted if you google "literally" and open the meanings to see the second associated meaning there is a newly added definition;

      used for emphasis while not being literally true.
      "I have received literally thousands of letters"

      People do take words meanings either out of context or completely wrong ways.

        Words change. Even when the change is stupid. The list of English words that now mean their own antonym is not short.

    Shocking how many streamers are still, like, surprised, when they trot out some heinous slur in whatever context and there's backlash about it.

    I wonder if the fact he’s a Mohammed added additional context to the use of the slur...
    Let’s be literal: if he is Islamic then he is significantly more likely to have convictions against the gay community (I once built an IT department mixed with Muslims, Hindus and five key gay specialists once as a government trial: It was rather confronting how dehumanising the majority of the Pakistani dudes treated our gay peeps— especially our two gay girls who quit).
    Those convictions run deep. His name definitely added weight to the backlash to my mind.

      You are not allowed to say that man, we are all allowed to take the piss out of one religion that originated from the middle east, but not the other ones and especially not the second highest religion in terms of population.

        Yep, spot on. Check that fuckin' privilege homie. And for GODS Sake, leave the Queeran alone!

    words are words. Sounds used to convey a concept. a word is meaningless unless you give it meaning. a word is powerless unless you give it power. This is why I always look at context. Are they intentionally insulting a group of people in a moment of lucidity? is it a fit of anger where they no longer keep there mouth in check and just say whatever hurtful word comes to mind? Are they trying to discuss the Term?

    This is important. Just saying a word and taking offence is childish at best. We need to understand the intent behind the incidents and make judgment not by the face value of what is said but, what they mean by it.

      Personally I think it's a bit myopic to say it's just the intention behind the statement that matters. Intention is entirely subjective, so that approach essentially gives everyone a free pass to insult people as much as they like, and then dodge any criticism coming their way by just saying they weren't intending to offend.

        I agree,but conversely ignoring intent or context gives people freedom to be offended by anything and leaving the other person open to attack, regardless of circumstance. That's not much better in my opinion than giving them a shield of "Lol jk".

        In this case the guy is just an arsehole, but still, when we ignire context and intent we end up with cases like a dev getting fired for accusing an entirely innocent fan of misogyny and harassment...

      Intent is only part of the picture, communication is necessarily a two-sided exchange and how something is received is often as important as how it was intended. You can call your mother and say "dad is dead", and maybe you intended it as a joke but the hurt you caused her off the bat is still very real. Lack of intent to insult may mitigate someone's choice of words, if (and only if) the speaker wasn't aware of the potential insult that accompanies those words.

      But let's not pretend that's the case here, he typed what was clearly intended as an insult into chat, he knew how it could be taken because he followed it up with "you can't say this word any more".

        I wasn't specifically talking of this instance really. in this case it's obvious intent and context was to insult people. sometimes though it's not so cut and dry. Intent is important. as is context. you can't have one without the other. if you're at a comedy club you expect people to say things that elsewhere may be misinterpreted rather than a phonecall out of nowhere. The comedy club can be based on how things lead up to it rather than just a sudden exclamation such as a phonecall.

        In your example the intent there was clearly to insight panic anyway, that's not an intent that can be considered innocent to begin with.

    When does a word become a derogatory slurs? Instead of calling someone "retarded" you can call them "simple" and suddenly it's ok. Tbh i'd much rather someone call me a faggot because I know it's just a impulse anger rather than hate speech, not that I'm gay, but I feel like the word has now gone beyond an insult and more into evolved aggressive slang at a situation rather than a person.

      more into evolved aggressive slang at a situation rather than a person evolved into aggressive situational exclamation because it was an aggressive slur. It’s used this way, just like n-word, because the speakers knows it’s transgressive. Which is what the YouTube idiot got in trouble for, rightfully so.

      If somebody turns to slurs in a moment of “impulse anger”, well then, we know what they are thinking and hiding the rest of the time. “Oh it was just anger, so it’s ok!” is nonsense. Nobody should be saying it ever (arguably with the exception of reclamation), and people should be called out for it when they do.

      Words get used for hate and oppression. Even if you’re “not gay” and the word is said “in impulse anger”, it’s still a symptom of the oppression. That’s why the word has a meaning in the first place. The word didn’t magically appear in a vacuum.

        I get offended by people who swear, and at times, I have had to actually ask people if they could tone it down.

        Being offended with subject to the person. On the receiving end. If we were to play that game. Then we shouldn't swear. At all. For any reason. Because we risk offending people.

        I mean really... What's the difference between calling someone a "retard" and calling someone a "fuckwit"? The implication is exactly the same. They are both used as a slur. Where you may be offended by one, I am offended by both. What makes you're interpretation more important than mine, or the next person's?

          Fuckwit isnt a slur, its a general insult

          Retarded is specifically about people with mental impairments, its a slur, its targetted

          Thats what a slur is its targetted insults against a particular vulnerable group, same with racial slurs or homophobic ones

          While anyone can be a fuckwit, its not even a real word its a mash up of the ever popular fuck and wit to imply you are an idiot, wich everyone can be

          It doesnt have decades of history as a targetted insult against a group of people, when people say faggot they want to say you are a gross gay person who is gross because you are gay

          When people say retarded they are saying you are mentally handicapped and thats bad because mentally handicapped people are bad so you are bad by being one

          Slurs, they carry more weight than just calling someone a fuckwit or fucknozzle or asshole

            I'd say it's a portmanteau of fucking halfwit. In which case it's similarly bad since it's accusing the person of being mentally handicapped (ie: the halfwit part).

            I think sometimes people read too much into insults. Probably 90% of the time the insulter is effectively saying "you're a person who is annoying me" they're not actually saying "you are a gay person (and that's bad)". This is why I believe there needs to be either a zero tolerance policy (no insults at all) or it's open slather.

        I don't think it should be 'reclaimed'. If it's bad enough that it shouldn't be used then it shouldn't be used at all. Why? Because if you use it you're sending a message that it's ok to use. Even if you're "reclaiming" it. The kid who hears it on TV or reads it on the internet or wherever doesn't think about the greater subtext behind it's use, they just hear it being used and assume it's ok to use it too. Then they get yelled at because "it's not ok for you to use it, only *we* can use it".

        I feel the same way about the "N" word and a bunch of other words where people claim that only a limited group can use. Either it's ok for everyone or it's ok for no one.

    We really need to get over this "anti-apology" culture we're in. My guess is that it's related to liability, but people seem to want to defend any action they do, simply because defending the indefensible is a better alternative to admit you were wrong.

    I think the toughest someone can be is when they admit their mistakes and vow to be better in the future.

      Hang on, you're asking straight white middle class males to admit that speech has power, and their defense of negative speech is simply them protecting their privilege? IT'S LIKE POLITICAL CORRECTNESS GONE MAD SOMEONE CALL JORDAN B PETERSON

      I think this is two edged though. Since it doesn't seem to matter these days even if you do apologise. Look at that "monkey" incident a couple months back. The guy apologised to the person he said it to, yet he was still raked over the coals by people who weren't even involved.

      Sometimes you just can't win.

      I know, right?
      Good to see someone else is thinking the same thing as me.
      It is actually starting to depress me, the sheer amount of vitriol and hate I hear online these days.
      Just an unstoppable deluge of angry, angry people defending other people's "rights" to be shitty to other people.
      I used to just assume it was trolls & I could kinda deal with that. But the last year or so, I am starting to see that it sure isnt just trolls any more. There are many, many people that really stand behind the awful ideas they espouse.
      And I find THAT terribly depressing.
      For my two cents, I don't think it would be very hard for everyone to just... NOT be arseholes to each other. And say "sorry" if they are. Kinda simple, really.
      I generally HATE posting online but I have been moved to quite often recently as I feel standing by and not contributing to some of the things I'm reading is worse.

    “I use the word ‘faggot’ to call people ‘retards,’”

    Wow, swapping out one derogatory term for another. Quality human right here.

      Coming from an up Bringing around cars retard always meant delay, retard ignition timing. It wasn't until my teens I realised the word had been hijacked.

        It means slow. In chemistry there are additives that can accelerate or retard a reaction.

        But for longer than you or I have been alive, the word has also been a slur aimed at people with mental disabilities. All the people saying that context matters are right, but not in the way they think they are. You can't just retrofit a context afterwards. If you call someone a slur in a moment of anger, you mean it as a slur. That's the context.

      Yeah I know right.
      He passes that off like it somehow makes it any better.
      That's a pretty dickish attitude.

    Being impartial here, I am curious to know how this human would feel if someone was to use the word "Muslim" to "insult" another player? I mean I completely understand that an eye for an eye will leave the world blind, but at the end of the day you gotta own what you do, and there are consequences for certain actions especially if your using a media platform for thousands of people to watch you. There is a reason they have a terms and conditions of use. Anyway this was a waste of time and anyone else who reads this post.

    There is allot of oppression towards gay people in general in the world still, some places killing them once revealed!

    So it's only natural for popular channels and services to have strict policies like this, its sad that it's still such a sensitive issue in today's world, but think about how saying the N word by a white person also elicits this type of social penalty!

    If your going to put yourself out there for the world to see, its probably not a bad idea to only show your good side or you'll be brutally punished otherwise. Price of being a celebrity of any kind really!

    Last edited 12/07/18 2:20 pm

    Just be nice. How hard is that?

      No we need to be perpetually angry because Internet.

        You don't need the internet to make people angry, TV current affairs programs run stories designed to get people angry enough to keep tuning in and politicians do the same to try and distract from real issues.

        Apparently a lot of people really enjoy having someone to hate.

    You only have to play any online game for 5 minutes and you see this type of behavior. The player is out to piss off the recipient and they'll use the most offensive term they can think of, whether it's 'faggot', 'c$%t', 'retard' etc. It's an extremely childish and pathetic behavior which, unfortunately, so many 'gamers' are guilty of.

    Well if you're actually talking about a bundle of sticks or meatballs in gravy, use the word in context. But if you're using it in a gaming chat then of course it's a slur. Sigh. I hate the "alternate dictionary" excuse, it's sophistry and a weak cover for lazy rudeness at best.

    Zero tolerance in the groups I play with regularly. Even when we're playing PVP. Quite a few people have been dropped over the years because of racism, homophobia or misogyny. Boom, unfriended and kicked.

    And that doesn't mean we don't take the piss when we play. It just means you're laughing at what people do, not who people are. A cock-up is a cock-up and deserves a laugh. But never, never make it personal.

    And it means we've got a group of people from all over the place, including men, women, older and younger, gay, trans, migrants and I presume different races too. Various skill levels too. And we have fun. It's very rare that there's not a party invite from someone or someone jumps into my party any night to hang out, even if we're playing different games.

    Amazing what not being an arsehole gets you.

      Got a slot in the group for an SJW loser like me? I don't need to hear from another couple of hundred kids who have fucked my mother.

        Usually playing Destiny 2 or MHW on PS4, but you're very welcome...

          I fell off the Destiny bandwagon, but I'd like to get back on at some point. My wife is heading overseas for a month in a few weeks, so I'm going to have plenty of time to sink into it.

          I'm GreatestPokedad on PSN

    Remember when it was all "Sticks and stones...."

    I've been called "retard" and "faggot" as an insult, but as my mental development is considered "normal" and I'm straight, so what does that mean for me? Hell I've been accused of being both a "coloniser" AND "bomb chucker". Can I reclaim those?

    Thing is, what people forget is that words only have the power you give them. I mean, if I tried hard enough, I could be offended at someone calling a dessert spoon, a soup spoon (come on guys, it's easy to tell the difference), best part is, you can't say anything against me being offended by that.

    People will always try to offend other people. Humans suck like that, it's an inevitability. It's up to you if you want to be offended or not.

      Well said but righteous indignation and rabble rabble rabble!

      It's funny how the 'you only CHOOSE to be offended, I once got called a bad name and was fine you need to HARDEN UP' are the conservative folks who regularly CHOOSE to be offended by 'political correctness gone mad'.

      1) Just because you're someone with low functioning emotional capacity it doesn't mean other people don't actually have feelings that can be hurt
      2) Context is a thing. Those slurs you didn't care about can affect other people with different experiences to you, or other kinds of slurs can carry more weight to people with different histories.
      3) Before you press downvote, please consider the delicious irony of you being offended by this post. You'll do it anyway because of your psychological compulsion, but savour the taste at least.

        Interesting, I only got the notification for this just now. I think Kotaku is sock of you're bull crap.

        Has absolutely nothing to do with "Hardening up", and everything to do with how one chooses to accept those words.

        The people who make it their mission to bring other people down are doing so because they themselves are broken in some way. Well really, in a sense everyone is. They get their jollies off by being a bully, they find validation in being feared.

        How do you beat that? Not by internalising it, but by giving no power to them, by not accepting what they are saying as truth.

        Interesting reading a lot of your comments though. You're obviously a very hurt person. you have obviously never been taught how to have a discussion of differing opinions and instead you try to dominate by putting others down. Hell, you you're a textbook bully. Puffing your chest out and trying to bring others down.

        I'm not offended at all by anything you've said. In fact, I feel very sorry for you. You seem to be a very sad and angry person. As evidenced by you comment.

        As for downvoting your post. I'm going to do it just because it deserves it. Plane and simple

      Just because it doesn't hurt you doesn't mean other people aren't allowed to be hurt by it.

      I was called a fat cunt every day for my entire childhood and I never cared. Doesn't mean that wouldn't crush someone else.

        Going a bit off track here, but that raises an interesting point. Why are you and nuffman not affected by the insults? What was different in your upbringing that you can shrug it off compared to someone who can't?

        I mean, we're living in a society where there is constant talk about bullying of kids and how their mental health is so fragile and they're constantly at risk. But kids are still kids, physically there's not a lot different from 20 years ago or 50 or 200. So what has changed in the mental, emotional and intellectual upbringing?

        Are there truly more kids who are "fragile" (and potentially grow up as fragile adults) or is it more that the media plays it up and the numbers haven't really changed in decades (or centuries)?

        Getting back to the point, it would be interesting to know what was done right to make kids from previous generations well adjusted and mentally robust in comparison to todays kids. Maybe instead of trying to protect the kids there should be better "toughening" (like the old "sticks and stones" discussions from parents).

          I was so used to being constantly physically assaulted that verbal ones stopped mattering so much.

          Besides, I was a heavy kid. If I put my weight behind it, I could punch hard.

          As an aside, I don't think anything was done better. Those people learned to internalise their abuse and it made them adults with all kinds of issues that required coping strategies. This push to stop bullying isn't because young people now can't handle it. It's because they shouldn't have to. And if they don't, they grow up to be better adjusted as a rule.

          We don't need kids to toughen up. we need the people around us to stop being shitty.

            Your parents didn't help you through it? I wasn't fat, but I was really short and copped the usual insults aimed at short kids. While I can't say I remember exactly what they said I do remember my parents talking with me about it and that made a huge difference in my attitude towards insults being directed at me.

              Sure, my parents helped. But parents can't be there all the time. They also can't wrap you in cotton wool and hide you from the world. That causes as many problems as being absent parents.

              Of course, all of that can be avoided if we treat the problem and not the symptom. Giving kids who are being shit on support is good. Stopping the shit is better. Being a kid can be bullshit as it is. Why add abuse to that and say "well that's how it is kid?" You wouldn't put up with that as an adult, why would you force a child to put up with it?

                No that's not the point. They *shouldn't* be there all the time or wrap the kid in cotton wool. They need to educate the kids and help them understand why people are mean and how to deal with that. I feel like the helicopter parenting that's so prevalent now is the reason so many kids struggle at the slightest bullying. Better to give kids the understanding and the (mental) tools to deal with it rather than trying to shield them.

                Don't get me wrong I don't like or agree with bullying, but I think it's two edged. We seem to be creating kids who are too delicate to deal with real life. And at the same time our methods for dealing with bullies are toothless. Teachers have bugger all power. And if you as a parent see a kid picking on someone in a playground you can't do anything about it for fear of being branded a monster.

    Personally, I think once the 'reclamation' of a word occurs, the offensiveness of the word is done, and its open for anyone to use the word in casual context without offense. If groups throw it around casually, they lose the right to get offended once someone who is only familiar with their usage, uses it as well. (I'm looking right at you, rappers)

    Dyke has been in common use for a couple of decades now, and I've had close female friends that have used it as an identifier since the 90s. Its pretty much inoffensive in common vernacular, otherwise how would anyone in news be able to report on the annual Dykes on Bikes runs?

      Might be an idea to ask someone who is on the receiving end of some of those and see how they feel about it. You might get someone who agrees, but a lot won't. Reclaiming a word doesn't instantly rob it of power. Power is societal and the inertia takes a long time to stop sometimes.

    Regarding the context & intent of Hatred I can honestly say with confidence there is no word in English or Other that I could take offence if referred to me. This is because I do not let a word define my identity, values, beliefs or existence. I actually consider it weak of character should an individual rely upon such a thing to signify, let alone vilify, their own identity.
    And as for those of whom take into matter being offended on behalf of someone else!?
    Perhaps if I were accosted, Knocked Out in public & awoke in pain to discover 'Faggot(or similar) engraved into my flesh by a sharp object I'd realise serious threat and true hatred. But for a sound uttered from a Stanger or letters I recognise as language directed to me personally via the internet, it's just empty, pointless & really doesn't mean anything.

      I am wondering whether this is not so much because you do not let a word define your identity, values, beliefs or existence, and more because you're a white hetrosexual male and historically loaded insults based on bigotry and discrimination against white hetrosexual males aren't actually a thing.

        I am glad you are 'wondering' and not passing assumptions, as in fact I am an Australian Aboriginal. Interesting that you are playing a race card here though, because I do in fact White friends (and other colours as well). Yeah, so peoples shit don't really bother me nor does their sex or race. Yet for some, it would seem this is all that matters.
        Thanks for the reply!

    "Intent" is a poorly informed excuse. Taking it upon yourself to decide for an entire group of marginalized people that a word attributed with their community has somehow expired in offensiveness is about as patronizing and clueless as you could be. I mean seriously, how many times are people called out for using that word, and you're still trying to defend it's casual use? The international community beats a sub culture of gaming every time.

    I think people need to grow up. There’s too much walking on eggshells in regards to what people say. I’m Australian but my background is Latino. I’ve been called wetback, Spick and any other number of things but I just don’t care. They’re just words. I got taught to disregard what comes out of people’s mouths if it’s negative and just live my life. We used to get taught “sticks and stones..” but everyone today is over-sensitive to the point where you can’t open your mouth.

    Having said that no one should use hurtful words on the internet and we should all get along as we sing heal the world by Michael Jackson.

    this has got to be the weakest fucking argument in History. every time someone gets called out on their bullshit they always try the "oh but the world really meant this hundreds of years ago so i can say it".

    No you called the dude a faggot as an insult. take your lumps.

    "take your lumps..."

    It sounds as though you are referring to this guy as a fa...

    You know what, never mind.

    Last edited 13/07/18 10:25 pm

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