Racism

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Re: Racism

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-10-04, 15:36

Prowler wrote:I guess it's similar to people in Europe calling anyone of East or South East Asian origin "Chinese".

People do that here, too. My parents might not do that quite as much as most people, in part because the lady who cuts our hair is Thai. I can't imagine my parents calling her "Chinese."
Or people assuming every Slavic person must be Russian.

Okay, it might be more like that. :P
Definitely, but you know how most people are. Notice how in a day and age where more people than ever are getting a higher education there still is a lot of ignorance in the world? And even among the supposedly well-educated.

Well, of course. Ignorance is always going to exist. That doesn't excuse racism, though.
It does seem to be the most offensive word in the English language overall, yes. I dunno what the most offensive word in my language is. As for the worst insult ever? Well to a man it's probably filho da puta. Nothing good awaits you if you call another man that. Btw, does English have an equivalent to that? Is motherfucker equivalent to it?

Son of a bitch?
Tbh, I guess even the people who aren't ignorant about the meaning behind the word will use it nonetheless and they're reasoning will be "well I'm not American, therefore that "rule" does not apply to me. And if Americans and other native English speakers don't like it, then that's their problem."

I could say, "Well, I'm not white, therefore that rule doesn't apply to me," and that would probably make even more sense because Indians never went to Africa and enslaved black people whereas Europeans did. The closest thing we have to that is Siddis, some of whom seem to have no history of being enslaved, many of whom actually became governors or even monarchs, and most of whom these days are apparently just ordinary Indians and Pakistanis who happen to have an unusual heritage. But I don't use that as an excuse to use the n-word because I know there's a history behind that word, I could never experience the impact through the generations of that history firsthand, and I realize it's an offensive term to refer to an entire race of people that's done nothing to deserve it from me.
That being said, generally speaking, it seems to me that the racial insults against black people are considered the most offensive ones in most European/White countries. Dunno how it is in countries that never took part in colonialism and have an extremely small Black population such as Poland, Bulgaria, Estonia, etc.

In those countries, I get the impression that people don't even think about ethnic minorities and often don't see any. The worst ethnic slurs are probably directed at Roma.
As for the rest of your post: fair enough. I guess I can see where you're coming from.

Thanks. :)

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Re: Racism

Postby Prowler » 2017-10-04, 17:26

Son of a bitch while not a very nice thing to call someone, calling someone's mother a bitch is still not as insulting as calling her a whore. Motherfucker sounds way worse to me since it seems to imply incest. That being said, Iv'e seen English speakers referring to themselves and others as "tough SOBs" and "cool mofos" before. Funny how it works.

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Re: Racism

Postby linguoboy » 2017-10-04, 17:35

Prowler wrote:Son of a bitch while not a very nice thing to call someone, calling someone's mother a bitch is still not as insulting as calling her a whore. Motherfucker sounds way worse to me since it seems to imply incest.

When I was a teenager I bought a British-American/American-British dictionary. In the definition of "motherfucker" it said something like "a term so vulgar that there is no British equivalent" and I was like "BOOYAH!!!"
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Re: Racism

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-10-04, 17:55

The most offensive word in Malayalam is the word for pubic hair, except apparently in northern Kerala. We have words for motherfucker, (literal) asshole, etc., but the word for pubic hair is worse than all of them for us!
Prowler wrote:Son of a bitch while not a very nice thing to call someone, calling someone's mother a bitch is still not as insulting as calling her a whore.

Well, it's closer to the literal meaning of filho da puta! :whistle: Nah, jk. I get what you mean.

I honestly never thought bitch could be less offensive than whore, though.

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Re: Racism

Postby Prowler » 2017-10-04, 18:03

linguoboy wrote:
Prowler wrote:Son of a bitch while not a very nice thing to call someone, calling someone's mother a bitch is still not as insulting as calling her a whore. Motherfucker sounds way worse to me since it seems to imply incest.

When I was a teenager I bought a British-American/American-British dictionary. In the definition of "motherfucker" it said something like "a term so vulgar that there is no British equivalent" and I was like "BOOYAH!!!"

Apparently, Americans find the word cunt pretty harsh, while the English and the Australians don't think it's a big deal. I mean, if calling someone a dick is acceptable why wouldn't calling someone a cunt be as well? :lol:

vijayjohn wrote:The most offensive word in Malayalam is the word for pubic hair, except apparently in northern Kerala. We have words for motherfucker, (literal) asshole, etc., but the word for pubic hair is worse than all of them for us!
Prowler wrote:Son of a bitch while not a very nice thing to call someone, calling someone's mother a bitch is still not as insulting as calling her a whore.

Well, it's closer to the literal meaning of filho da puta! :whistle: Nah, jk. I get what you mean.

I honestly never thought bitch could be less offensive than whore, though.

I'd compare son of a bitch more to filho da mãe. Filho da mãe doesn't look so bad in the literal sense, but it's basically a synonym for asshole or bastard.

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Re: Racism

Postby Aurinĭa » 2017-10-04, 18:14

Prowler wrote:Apparently, Americans find the word cunt pretty harsh, while the English and the Australians don't think it's a big deal. I mean, if calling someone a dick is acceptable why wouldn't calling someone a cunt be as well? :lol:

In Australia and New Zealand it can even be almost complimentary, depending on what words you use in combination with it. In the UK, on the other hand, 1994 research showed it to be (one of) the worst word(s) in the English language.

Edit: according to research from last year, cunt, fuck, and motherfucker are the worst general swearwords. Apparently this study used different categorisation for general versus discriminatory words, so you can't really compare the two.

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Re: Racism

Postby linguoboy » 2017-10-04, 18:22

Prowler wrote:Apparently, Americans find the word cunt pretty harsh, while the English and the Australians don't think it's a big deal. I mean, if calling someone a dick is acceptable why wouldn't calling someone a cunt be as well?

Because when I was growing up, I never heard cunt applied to men, only to women. So in addition to being an insulting comparison, it had the full force of misogyny behind it. I was 22 before I heard it applied to a man in an American English context (in a Hollywood film). It sounded odd to me at the time. Almost two decades went by before this was something I began to hear commonly IRL.

Now I've adjusted to hearing it applied to men (and occasionally use it that way myself--though only in jest) but it really gets my hackles up when it's used against women. Because again, the impact of reducing a woman to her genitalia is very different than the impact of doing this to a man.
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Re: Racism

Postby Dormouse559 » 2017-10-04, 18:27

Prowler wrote:Son of a bitch while not a very nice thing to call someone, calling someone's mother a bitch is still not as insulting as calling her a whore.
If you ever feel like hurling a Shakespearean insult, there's "whoreson". :P It's archaic; I've never heard it outside a Shakespeare play.
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Re: Racism

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-10-04, 18:32

Prowler wrote:Apparently, Americans find the word cunt pretty harsh, while the English and the Australians don't think it's a big deal. I mean, if calling someone a dick is acceptable why wouldn't calling someone a cunt be as well? :lol:

Russell Peters tries to answer that question (from 1:28 to 2:36). :P
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E53qBbsxNXs
I'd compare son of a bitch more to filho da mãe. Filho da mãe doesn't look so bad in the literal sense, but it's basically a synonym for asshole or bastard.

I might never remember that filho da mãe exists. :doggy: Wiktionary says it's a euphemism for filho da puta and translates it into English as 'son of a gun' (which is similarly a euphemism for son of a bitch), and son of a bitch definitely isn't a euphemism for motherfucker. :lol: But they're probably not taking degrees of offensiveness into account (or maybe that varies among Portuguese-speakers).

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Re: Racism

Postby Prowler » 2017-10-04, 19:03

linguoboy wrote:
Prowler wrote:Apparently, Americans find the word cunt pretty harsh, while the English and the Australians don't think it's a big deal. I mean, if calling someone a dick is acceptable why wouldn't calling someone a cunt be as well?

Because when I was growing up, I never heard cunt applied to men, only to women. So in addition to being an insulting comparison, it had the full force of misogyny behind it. I was 22 before I heard it applied to a man in an American English context (in a Hollywood film). It sounded odd to me at the time. Almost two decades went by before this was something I began to hear commonly IRL.

Now I've adjusted to hearing it applied to men (and occasionally use it that way myself--though only in jest) but it really gets my hackles up when it's used against women. Because again, the impact of reducing a woman to her genitalia is very different than the impact of doing this to a man.

Oh I've only seen cunt being used as an insult against men tbh. Hell, sometimes as a term of endearment even. It seems the preferred insult men use for women is bitch or slut.

...and I noticed I had 4 alerts. Never realised the word cunt was so powerful hohohoh

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Re: Racism

Postby linguoboy » 2017-10-04, 19:22

Prowler wrote:Oh I've only seen cunt being used as an insult against men tbh. Hell, sometimes as a term of endearment even. It seems the preferred insult men use for women is bitch or slut.

Yeah, that's a major difference between swearing culture in the USA and the Commonwealth. See also twat. It's much rarer in AE and, once again, used pretty much exclusively against women as a way of reminding them how a lot of men really see them.

Dick and cock are also used differently between the USA and the UK. For starters, IME cock isn't used as a term of abuse at all in the USA and the UK use of dick seems closer to that of jerk or dumbass (particularly in expressions such as "look like a dick").
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Re: Racism

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-10-04, 19:34

linguoboy wrote:See also twat. It's much rarer in AE and, once again, used pretty much exclusively against women as a way of reminding them how a lot of men really see them.

TIL twat is a slur against women in AE and that it has the same literal meaning as pussy or cunt. :o Also, I'm not sure I've ever seen anyone who isn't either Candian or English use the word twat (and only for men).

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Re: Racism

Postby Prowler » 2017-10-08, 17:40

Would you guys consider it racist if someone thinks most people of a certain race "all look alike"? When I was a kid I had trouble telling Black and Asian people apart, but the more I saw on the streets and tv, the lesser problem it became. So I haven't had that problem in years. Tbh, I don't see or hear many White people claiming that Black people all look the same, but lots seem to think Asians(as in East and South East Asians) do.

I must admit I was pretty flabbergasted when I've heard that lots of Asians had trouble telling White people apart. And when I told this to other people they were also very surprised. Our logic was basically that White people are the most diverse overall in terms of hair and eye colour, and thus it'd seem odd for a person of another race to think all of us looked the same. But then again, lots of Asians dye their hair red, brown, blonde, etc... and I assume many White people will still think their faces all look the same. Btw, notice how many people seem to think anime/manga characters look White? And it's not just White people who have that impression. Tbh, I don't think anime characters look human per se for the most part. I mean, human beings don't have natural green, purple or pink hair nor do they have giant eyes like the ones Anime characters usually have. Also, for those who watch anime regularly, when there are White characters in an Anime, they're drawn in a way that makes them easily recognisable as foreign and distinctive from the Japanese characters. Hair and eye colour in anime are more based on personality tropes.

That being said, FWIW, I don't recall people of other races ever taking me for someone else. Has this ever happened to anyone here?

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Re: Racism

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-10-08, 18:18

Prowler wrote:Would you guys consider it racist if someone thinks most people of a certain race "all look alike"?

Yes. Not necessarily harmful and definitely a common perception among people from all kinds of ethnic backgrounds, myself included, but yes, still racist.
I must admit I was pretty flabbergasted when I've heard that lots of Asians had trouble telling White people apart. And when I told this to other people they were also very surprised.

When we have stereotypes about other groups of people we're not part of, it's often the case that they also have stereotypes about our group. We humans/people are very often surprised to find this out.
Our logic was basically that White people are the most diverse overall in terms of hair and eye colour, and thus it'd seem odd for a person of another race to think all of us looked the same. But then again, lots of Asians dye their hair red, brown, blonde, etc...

Eye color yes, hair color not so much. Melanesians are apparently almost as diverse as white people as far as hair color goes, with natural brown, blond, and red hair all being common in Melanesia. Natural red hair in general is more common than you'd think; blond hair may be, too. Ironically, in Spain at least, it used to be specifically associated with Jews and apparently still is in Russia, for example. Brown hair is also pretty common in some parts of Asia and among Aboriginal Australians. Wikipedia claims that auburn hair is more common among Taiwanese aborigines than among Northwestern Europeans but without a citation.
Tbh, I don't think anime characters look human per se for the most part. I mean, human beings don't have natural green, purple or pink hair nor do they have giant eyes like the ones Anime characters usually have.

Yeah, the hair color thing may have something to do with the effort to not associate characters with a particular race. The eye size thing is deliberate and was originally inspired by the large eyes of early animation characters like Betty Boop.
That being said, FWIW, I don't recall people of other races ever taking me for someone else. Has this ever happened to anyone here?

Is this somehow different from what you asked in this thread? And I thought you said people did take you for something other than Portuguese.
Last edited by vijayjohn on 2017-10-08, 18:32, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Racism

Postby Prowler » 2017-10-08, 18:27

vijayjohn wrote:
Prowler wrote:Would you guys consider it racist if someone thinks most people of a certain race "all look alike"?

Yes. Not necessarily harmful and definitely a common perception among people from all kinds of ethnic backgrounds, myself included, but yes, still racist.
I must admit I was pretty flabbergasted when I've heard that lots of Asians had trouble telling White people apart. And when I told this to other people they were also very surprised.

When we have stereotypes about other groups of people we're not part of, it's often the case that they also have stereotypes about our group. We humans/people are very often surprised to find this out.
Our logic was basically that White people are the most diverse overall in terms of hair and eye colour, and thus it'd seem odd for a person of another race to think all of us looked the same. But then again, lots of Asians dye their hair red, brown, blonde, etc...

Eye color yes, hair color not necessarily. Melanesians are apparently almost as diverse as white people as far as hair color goes, with natural brown, blond, and red hair all being common in Melanesia. Natural red hair in general is more common than you'd think. Ironically, in Spain at least, it used to be specifically associated with Jews and apparently still is in Russia, for example.
Tbh, I don't think anime characters look human per se for the most part. I mean, human beings don't have natural green, purple or pink hair nor do they have giant eyes like the ones Anime characters usually have.

Yeah, the hair color thing may have something to do with the effort to not associate characters with a particular race. The eye size thing is deliberate and was originally inspired by the large eyes of early animation characters like Betty Boop.
That being said, FWIW, I don't recall people of other races ever taking me for someone else. Has this ever happened to anyone here?

Is this somehow different from what you asked in this thread? And I thought you said people did take you for something other than Portuguese.

You don't get what I mean. I'm not talking about nationality here. But someone of another race thinking I'm another White guy or something. As in someone looking out for my co-worker named Pedro and thinking I'm that guy and then telling me I look like him even if I really don't. Never had that happen to me. It's not the same thing as someone thinking I might be Serbian or Bulgarian. That's not what I'm talking about here.

Also, the only time I've been taken for a different nationality was abroad. I don't get that in my own country.

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Re: Racism

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-10-08, 18:43

Oh OK. How often do you encounter foreigners, though, especially resident foreigners? The less ethnically diverse a region/country/whatever is, the less likely it would seem to me for this to happen. (Of course, this can still happen to a foreigner in a relatively homogeneous part of the world; it might even be more likely that it would happen to them there than it would in more heterogeneous areas).

I can't remember this exact thing happening to me personally, but I'm pretty sure people have asked me whether I was related to some other South Asian person. I remember when we went to Croatia once for my cousin's wedding, a little girl from the bride's neighborhood gave him a flower or something along with some wedding wishes in Croatian. Then she walked away, my brother asked me what she said, I tried to explain, and he kind of laughed and told me people in Croatia kept confusing him with the groom. (I don't think he was joking, though).

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Re: Racism

Postby Prowler » 2017-10-08, 18:50

vijayjohn wrote:Oh OK. How often do you encounter foreigners, though, especially resident foreigners? The less ethnically diverse a region/country/whatever is, the less likely it would seem to me for this to happen. (Of course, this can still happen to a foreigner in a relatively homogeneous part of the world; it might even be more likely that it would happen to them there than it would in more heterogeneous areas).

I can't remember this exact thing happening to me personally, but I'm pretty sure people have asked me whether I was related to some other South Asian person. I remember when we went to Croatia once for my cousin's wedding, a little girl from the bride's neighborhood gave him a flower or something along with some wedding wishes in Croatian. Then she walked away, my brother asked me what she said, I tried to explain, and he kind of laughed and told me people in Croatia kept confusing him with the groom. (I don't think he was joking, though).

What do you mean by encounter? I mean I ses tourists everyday. But interacting with them? No. I only did that back when I had a job in the tourism sector... and obviously no one would think I was foreigner when they saw me working at a hotel or something. I mean if they see a person who is not acting like a tourist(taking pictures, pulling out maps in public, etc.) walking down the street alone without any suitcases or something, they're gonna logically assume you're a local.

Anyway, I was talking about Black, Asian, etc. people mistaking me for another White individual. As in someone telling me I look just like my brother(well we are brothers and look similar but w'ere easily distinguishable, trust me). That has never happened to me.

And afaik, when people are mistaken for different nationalities it's usually for bigger ones. I mean, how often do you hear someone saying "people in England thought I was Slovak!"? If a European tourist goes to Asia or Africa, I bet people are gonna think he is American, British, French or German usually. Or maybe Australian. Notice how every White person who moves to Asia gets taken for American often by the locals even if they aren't American at all?

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Re: Racism

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-10-08, 19:22

Prowler wrote:What do you mean by encounter? I mean I ses tourists everyday. But interacting with them? No.

Okay, but like I said, what about resident foreigners? How many foreigners actually live in your town? How often do you see any who do? How often do you talk to them?
Anyway, I was talking about Black, Asian, etc. people mistaking me for another White individual. As in someone telling me I look just like my brother(well we are brothers and look similar but w'ere easily distinguishable, trust me). That has never happened to me.

But how would you be able to notice that happening to you if you don't interact with them anyway? Or do you?
And afaik, when people are mistaken for different nationalities it's usually for bigger ones. I mean, how often do you hear someone saying "people in England thought I was Slovak!"? If a European tourist goes to Asia or Africa, I bet people are gonna think he is American, British, French or German usually. Or maybe Australian. Notice how every White person who moves to Asia gets taken for American often by the locals even if they aren't American at all?

Yes, I would guess that most people in most parts of the world have never heard of Slovakia and are way more likely to have heard of America/the US, Britain/England, France, and/or Germany. Most European countries just don't have as much as an impact on their lives as these particular countries might. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if most Asians these days had never heard of Portugal.

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Re: Racism

Postby Aurinĭa » 2017-10-08, 19:36

Prowler wrote:Would you guys consider it racist if someone thinks most people of a certain race "all look alike"? When I was a kid I had trouble telling Black and Asian people apart, but the more I saw on the streets and tv, the lesser problem it became.

Research has shown that a child will be best at recognising the kind of faces it sees most often. So a child that mainly sees white faces when growing up, will be good at telling apart white faces (barring face blindness and the like), but not very good at telling non-white faces apart, and a child that mainly sees East-Asian faces will be good at recognising those, but not really other faces. As you noticed yourself, exposure easily remedies that.

IMHO, it's not racist to have more trouble telling people of a certain ethnicity apart, it's simply lack of practice. It is racist, however, not to bother trying to tell them apart because "they all look alike". "I have trouble telling them apart" makes you responsible for trying; "They all look alike" puts the blame on them. This important shift in perspective makes the former OK (as long as you don't stop there), and the latter racist. Again, IMHO.

vijayjohn wrote:
Tbh, I don't think anime characters look human per se for the most part. I mean, human beings don't have natural green, purple or pink hair nor do they have giant eyes like the ones Anime characters usually have.

Yeah, the hair color thing may have something to do with the effort to not associate characters with a particular race.

It may not be that thought-out. Many common anime styles make faces look rather alike; eccentric hairstyles or colours serve as an aid to distinguish characters from each other.

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Re: Racism

Postby Prowler » 2017-10-08, 20:34

vijayjohn wrote:
Prowler wrote:What do you mean by encounter? I mean I ses tourists everyday. But interacting with them? No.

Okay, but like I said, what about resident foreigners? How many foreigners actually live in your town? How often do you see any who do? How often do you talk to them?
Anyway, I was talking about Black, Asian, etc. people mistaking me for another White individual. As in someone telling me I look just like my brother(well we are brothers and look similar but w'ere easily distinguishable, trust me). That has never happened to me.

But how would you be able to notice that happening to you if you don't interact with them anyway? Or do you?
And afaik, when people are mistaken for different nationalities it's usually for bigger ones. I mean, how often do you hear someone saying "people in England thought I was Slovak!"? If a European tourist goes to Asia or Africa, I bet people are gonna think he is American, British, French or German usually. Or maybe Australian. Notice how every White person who moves to Asia gets taken for American often by the locals even if they aren't American at all?

Yes, I would guess that most people in most parts of the world have never heard of Slovakia and are way more likely to have heard of America/the US, Britain/England, France, and/or Germany. Most European countries just don't have as much as an impact on their lives as these particular countries might. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if most Asians these days had never heard of Portugal.

I live in the capital city. I see them all the time.

Why would I talk to random tourists and immigrants out of the blue?

I don't really talk to people much more than necessary, pronto.

Being taken for an American sounds kinda annoying, tbh. Hope that never happens to me. I lack weight for that to ever happen! :twisted:. And I doubt I'll ever be able to afford going to Asia.


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