the word fag

  • kinetic

    Posts: 1125

    Jan 27, 2008 6:18 AM GMT
    I'm curious to peoples' opinions on this word.
    I find it strange that it seems so much more acceptable to say than the N word.
    I mean I guess it all depends on the meaning behind it when it is said or written. Or maybe its the association one makes when it is heard/seen.
    Kind of like that Waking Life bit where they talk about words being dead
    ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6Ee9mW9IG8 ). I dunno...
    How do others on this site feel about iticon_question.gif
  • art_smass

    Posts: 960

    Jan 27, 2008 6:59 AM GMT
    It doesn't bug me so much, but I guess it depends on the context in which it is used.

    Discouraging others from using a word that I find offensive means that I should probably stop using words that they find offensive. That ain't gonna happen! Even though I usually just mutter the word "cunt" under my breath, the world seems so much richer when I'm able to use it.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Jan 27, 2008 10:02 AM GMT
    I cannot think of any context where it is acceptable to say it
    It's very derogatory
    When str8 people use it they are homophobic assholes
    and when gay men use it they're just an asshole
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    Jan 27, 2008 11:09 AM GMT
    i only use the word when i'm talking about cigarettes but i don't have a problem with it when i know the person who says it (it's like a free pass to use the word when you're a friend of "one"), though with strangers i gauge the context of it and question their use of the word if it's directed at me or others. i think striking out at someone is just as naive.
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    Jan 27, 2008 11:09 AM GMT
    i only use the word when i'm talking about cigarettes but i don't have a problem with it when i know the person who says it (it's like a free pass to use the word when you're a friend of "one"), though with strangers i gauge the context of it and question their use of the word if it's directed at me or others. i think striking out at someone is just as naive.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Jan 27, 2008 1:15 PM GMT
    Its a derogatory name to most here because it was used negatively or we heard it that way as children.
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    Jan 27, 2008 2:38 PM GMT
    Im not a fan of it but I am more against the way the word Gay is used now to describe all things negative
  • ShawnTX

    Posts: 2484

    Jan 27, 2008 3:50 PM GMT
    Like I saidn in another topic, I don't really mind the word fag. If we take the power from the word, it becomes useless and meaningless.

    When I was coming out of the closet as a teenager, I heard it all in highschool from all the 'cool' straight guys that thought they were so funny. I started wearing a necklace that said faggot. The theory behind that was if I can call myself faggot, be comfortable with my sexuality, and not give a rats ass what people thought of me, there was hardly any point for them to continue calling me names. For the most part it worked.

    Many times in highschool during class those same groups of guys would be goofing off in class, calling each other names, one of the more popular ones being fag. Not once did any teacher punish them for using the word. One day one of them called another nigger, and he was sent to the principals office straight away and given detention for a month.

    It made me realize that homophobia was the only socially acceptable form of discrimination left. Kinetic's post kind of shows this. He has no problem typing the word fag, but won't type nigger. I don't mean to put you down kinetic, that's not the purpose for mentioning it.

    fag·ot also fag·got (fāg'ət) n.
    1. A bundle of twigs, sticks, or branches bound together.
    2. A bundle of pieces of iron or steel to be welded or hammered into bars.

    Hmm, I may be thin, but in no way does the definition of faggot have anything to do with me. So why would I get all worked up over it? Anyone who uses faggot and nigger to degrade someone else is sub-human anyways, and not worth my time.

    To be honest, what I find more offensive than being called fag is being asked if I have a girlfriend. You'd be surprised how many times I've been asked that in my lifetime (are you blind!?!?!). At least the person calling me fag acknowledges the fact that I'm gay. The person that asks if I have a girlfriend lives in this little bubble where men date women.

    I can probably say I'm pretty lucky. I live in a very liberal city with a huge gay community. I haven't heard the word fag, or any other term, used negatively in years.

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    Jan 27, 2008 4:30 PM GMT
    Nigger is such a big deal where fag isn't because racism is clearly not acceptable but homophobia is acceptable to large segments of society. But fags using fag is a different issue.

    Black people have largely reclaimed the word nigger. They can now use it amongst each other without a negative connotation. The word bitch can be used as a positive among women. Anyone outside these groups cannot use it any other way than in the pejorative sense. They have reclaimed the word and made it their own.

    So fags using fag is dandy. But god help the straight boy who uses it in the wrong crowd.
  • mcwclewis

    Posts: 1701

    Jan 27, 2008 4:40 PM GMT
    I think its derogatory in any context.

    A brief history:

    I cant remember the exact words but in a section of the bible there is a statement that gay men are "as faggots, burning in a living hell. They shall be pulled as faggots from the fire." meaning we're basically living tortured lives and should be saved.

    I don't see anyone using the word trying to save anyone. Not that I think my life is that bad anyways.

    Part 2:

    During the Spanish inquisition, witches were burned at the stake, thats not news to anyone. However, it wasnt just witches, it was anyone known as a "heretic." Meaning everyone who shared different religious beliefs, other races, and homosexuals. When they would pile the wood onto the fire, the bundles of sticks, or "faggots" if you will, were thrown on after the initial kindling was lit. The person to be torched was reffered to as the last "faggot," meaning they had no more worth than the wood used to burn them.


    People sometimes say that a word is just a word.... but if there was no meaning behind a word, the word wouldn't exist. The existence of a word gives it power.

    I think that trying to desensitize ourselves to it by using it towards each other is just giving in. Its an apathetic way of accepting the stigma placed on homosexuals by the straight community.

    If you try fighting the stereotypes placed on you, you'd be amazed at how much you can achieve. Don't let people think its ok to downtalk someone based on their sexuality.
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    Jan 27, 2008 4:55 PM GMT
    The etymology of the word implies that the person being called a faggot should be burned. It's a threatening term, and had been used to intimidate gay people for years.

    The last time someone called me that in public, in a harassing situation, I confronted them aggressively by saying something like "I'm gay, do you have fucking problem with that?" At the urging of their friends, they quickly backed down and apologized.

    Whenever someone uses that word, people offended should loudly and aggressively express their displeasure.
  • irishkcguy

    Posts: 780

    Jan 27, 2008 4:59 PM GMT
    I don't use it. I think when we do we are saying to the rest of the world that it's okay for them to use it too. If it's offensive we should set the example for its use.
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    Jan 27, 2008 5:14 PM GMT
    This is really interesting to read everyone's opinions and comments. The use of the words 'fag' and 'gay' have been carried so far away from their real meaning and context. Before I came out I was guilty of using 'gay' to describe anything that was stupid or weird...and that was out of ignorance and fear of what I didn't know.

    Anyone, whether gay or straight, that uses either of these words in a derogatory manner is making it acceptable for anyone else to use it. I don't think that just because you are gay you should use these words so loosely because in my mind it doesn't seem right to be able to challenge another persons character for using them the same way you do. Hypocracy is quite possibly one of the most unattractive qualities in a person. You can't be mad at someone else for doing the same thing you do.
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    Jan 27, 2008 5:24 PM GMT
    I stopped using fag on a regular basis years ago after being lectured repeatedly on the subject by one of my friends. I find the words bitch and cunt and workable substitutes even if they really piss off my feminist friends, and just about everyone else for that mattericon_lol.gif
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    Jan 27, 2008 6:52 PM GMT
    I find it very offensive. There are a few cases where it is not used in a derogatory context, but those are definitely a minority. Most of the time it is used in a negative context.

    When people are "just kidding" about it, that almost makes it worse, because then it gives some people the impression that it is fine, just so long as the person using it is "joking"

    That being said, change is a slow process, and I'm prepared to wait this one out icon_cool.gif
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    Jan 27, 2008 6:56 PM GMT
    For me the bottom line is "are you hurting people in whatever you say, whether it is fag or something else" So I would abstain from using it for that reason.

    However, I think, as with the N-Word, sometimes people use it out of anger not to necessarily because they hate a group of people. The fact that we take such offense at words is what gives them power. Some people use those words because they really do have a deep-seated hatred of a group of people. I think it is important to consider these things before getting caught up in escalation of anger.

    I think if we can re-learn the "sticks and stones" saying it could give us "power" back. As far as dealing with people that use hurtful words, I think transforming yourself is the most important thing you can do. You can't control what other people think and I don't think creating laws and legislation can really ever change people's hearts either.
  • kinetic

    Posts: 1125

    Jan 27, 2008 7:14 PM GMT
    ShawnTO said, "Kinetic's post kind of shows this. He has no problem typing the word fag, but won't type nigger. I don't mean to put you down kinetic, that's not the purpose for mentioning it."

    I'm not offended at all! I'm actually glad that you pointed that out to me >_< !
    I've never really used that word mostly cuz I'm not black. Although, I did live in ATl, GA for almost a year w/ 3 black roommates and it was quite common to hear the N word (duh).
    Although, I barely used the word compared to my roommates- like only when they called me one! (they all knew I was gay too so words didn't mean much in that apt.)
    I guess I feel like I can use words like fag, queer, poof etc., cuz I myself am gay. Rarely do I use those words in a negative context (I rarely use them at all really!). If I ever use it in a negative context I'm probably talking to myself about an ex who burnt me or some sketchball who happens to be gay.
  • imperator

    Posts: 626

    Jan 27, 2008 8:36 PM GMT
    I refer to myself as a fag all the time, partly as word reclaimation- charging it with pride instead of shame- and partly because given the choice between gay, homo, queer or fag as a monicker, gay seems so common and 'happy,' homo's too reminiscient of a medical diagnosis, queer is so broad that any old softcore person who's willing to confess to a homoerotic dream can use it, but fag has a directness and an aggression to it (even 'reclaimed') that feels fitting to me. I've got a couple of t-shirts with it in huge block letters across the chest and when I wear them I feel like I'm slapping every complacent heterosexist that walks by.

    As for calling others fag, I sometimes call a couple of my straight roommates/friends fags for comic effect (considering the source), and I mostly only call gay friends fag when they're being hysterical and stupid, whining and carrying on about how the latest fling that everyone warned them about cheated on them or how their erratic, borderline-retarded behaviour has landed them in some situation they don't like. Then I use it in the fine tradition of Larry Kramer, a la "god, shut up, faggot" or "wake up, faggot" because all *too* often they'll blame their hardships on being gay and therefore so disadvantaged instead of taking responsibility for their behaviour. And mostly, those are the friends who are so used to *everything* being 'gay' this and 'gay' that, gay being the bricks and mortar that make up their whole world and so ubiquitous that it acts like a smokescreen or a shield they hide behind and blame everything on, so when you smack them across the face with "faggot" it gets their attention. Maybe because a lot of them haven't reclaimed it, and still find it offensive, but despite all their belly-aching about their 'hard' gay lives, they've never even been called a nasty gay-word to their faces.

    And then there's other people calling me fag, and that's very context-sensitive. If it's a friend they usually say it like "he's our angry fag" which sits fine with me. On the other hand, if someone calls me a fag thinking that it'll hurt my feelings or give them some power over me, I disabuse them of that illusion pretty quickly. A favourite is "that's MISTER Fag to you."
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    Jan 27, 2008 8:54 PM GMT
    i think also, that nigger is a term that had the same meaning, pretty much everywhere. unless i'm mistaken. but fag is a word that was already around before it became slang and has changed over time to mean something negative. Nigger on the other hand, was created for the purpose it was used for.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigger#In_the_United_Kingdom

    the word fag to me can be used in many ways. it completely depends on context. i know people who pull the whole "don't be such a fag" comment. but say it in order to make fun of it's being used as a negative connotation. i do get angry when someone walks by and someone says "that guy has to be a fag". this is because there are "nicer" ways to point that out if your eally feel the need to do so.

    fag has lost alot of meaning. it doesnt seem to mean ANY gay man, nowadays it tends to refer to the more effeminate guys.

    on a side note. this weekend i heard kids using the word "Dyke" in their sentences. i didnt pick up on how they were using it. cuz it wasn't to talk about their grade 2 phys ed teacher. has anyone heard anything about this?
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    Jan 27, 2008 8:57 PM GMT
    It's just WRONG! I never use the word and I get even more upset when we use it!
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    Jan 27, 2008 8:59 PM GMT
    i just wanna add one more thing to this. in Quebecois french, majority of the swears used, are simply objects found in church. i'm not gonna list 'em off cuz i'll just fuck them up, i can say them, but i sure can't spell em for the life of me. but seriously, tabernacle is a bad word in french.

    the church, trying to get rid of these words as swears made an ad campaign which was is bus stops mainly. basically they put the word up, and then the dictionary definition including noun and whatever. the public got pissed off and the ads had to be taken down because people were offended by the words.

    if i'm wrong about any of this, Aero i'm sure will come and put me in my place.
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    Jan 27, 2008 10:43 PM GMT
    F - fine,

    A - am

    G - great,...how about u?

    no bother,...icon_lol.gif

    Life is to short,...brush urself off and move on. ur not the problem they are. Keep smiling, it pisses them even more....icon_biggrin.gif

    Don't worry about it we all love u. icon_smile.gif
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    Jan 27, 2008 11:11 PM GMT
    mcwclewis saidI think its derogatory in any context.

    A brief history:

    I cant remember the exact words but in a section of the bible there is a statement that gay men are "as faggots, burning in a living hell. They shall be pulled as faggots from the fire." meaning we're basically living tortured lives and should be saved.


    I guarantee you 100% without a doubt that that is not in the Bible anywhere in reference to gay people. I will bet my entire tax return on it.
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    Jan 27, 2008 11:14 PM GMT
    Any and all words ONLY have/hold power if the individual allows them to.

    It does not bother me either way, it's just a word at the end of the day.
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    Jan 27, 2008 11:24 PM GMT
    a1972guy saidAny and all words ONLY have/hold power if the individual allows them to.

    It does not bother me either way, it's just a word at the end of the day.


    I agree whole heartedly.