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Just now, Luna Bliss said:

The marginalized group reclaimed the word and brought it back to the time when it was not an insult though, so it is not insulting and offensive when they are using it among themselves.

I may need to do some reading...has there ever been a time when the N word was not insulting?

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Look, I'm going to put an alternative, unpopular and brutally harsh spin on this because for goodness sakes, somebody has to; if I was Big Spender, I'd be infuriated by - and highly suspicious of - th

I think "with a learning disability/disabilities" is respectful, inclusive and accurate.  Words do matter, as we all know when we get a label we don't like.

Were there a WTF button, I'd only click it on a post in which the poster was clearly offering up an example to invite it and shared the opinion, as Rhonda did earlier with that adorable video of Clove

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11 minutes ago, Syo Emerald said:
37 minutes ago, Luna Bliss said:

and "white knights" who believe it's a virtue to help others less powerful while receiving such an accusation thrown their way say, "yeah, thanks for calling me that, I love it!" lol  

...interesting to put them in a line with people who get discriminated for their apperance, abilities or sexuality. Especially, since white knights aren't what you describe. They are not the good guys. If anything, in most cases they are actually closer to being "nice guys". They are people participating in online discussions and traditionally take the side of any female user, that finds herself getting critic for their behavior. Thats why they are called "white knights", because they come for a poor damsel in distress! The prettier the damsel, the more (usually male) knights you get. Ultimately white knights don't act like this from a place of pure goodness and their opponents aren't all dragons, worthy to be slain.

In the past "white knights" were the good guys. By using the term for myself, and reclaiming it, I am bringing it back to where it was in the past. I'm not accepting what some disturbed internet people decided to do with it. 

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Just now, Luna Bliss said:

In the past "white knights" were the good guys. By using the term for myself, and reclaiming it, I am bringing it back to where it was in the past. I'm not accepting what some disturbed internet people decided to do with it. 

When was that past? And regarding internet people: As far as I'm aware, white knight is an internet term itself.

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11 minutes ago, Amina Sopwith said:
13 minutes ago, Luna Bliss said:

The marginalized group reclaimed the word and brought it back to the time when it was not an insult though, so it is not insulting and offensive when they are using it among themselves.

I may need to do some reading...has there ever been a time when the N word was not insulting?

You bring up a good point -- not all reclaimed words denoted something positive in the past. The important point I think is that any word used in an insulting way toward a marginalized group can be altered in order to regain the power taken from them via using the term in a derogatory manner against them.

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4 minutes ago, Syo Emerald said:

When was that past? And regarding internet people: As far as I'm aware, white knight is an internet term itself.

Looong time ago....white knight/black knight.   I would have to do some serious research to discover accurate details, but I do remember reading History and seeing those terms.

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2 minutes ago, Syo Emerald said:

When was that past? And regarding internet people: As far as I'm aware, white knight is an internet term itself.

Going strictly by a dictionary definition the term is meant to be little more than neutrally descriptive. Dictionaries however do not often list forum/message board usage for White Knight.

Unfortunately those that suffer from White Knight or rescuer syndrome - to the degree our lovely forum example seems to at any rate - refuse to see anything wrong whatsoever.

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8 minutes ago, Solar Legion said:

The sarcastic point was that if we wish to never harm anyone, no one should ever speak, write or type.

If a person is generally obsessed with winning and has a tendency to offend others it's probably a good idea not to speak much, I agree.

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An interesting word to evaluate is the word 'schizophrenic'.  I remember someone blasting onto the forum here condemning someone for using the word to define someone who was 'of two minds', proclaiming how offensive this was to mentally ill people everywhere.

Well, she's partially right. This usage is not correct -- 'schizophrenic' does not mean someone is 'of two minds'.  The thing is, it's used so much this way that I see people who should know better using it in this way all the time, and at some time in the future it just might be an accurate term to say someone is 'of two minds'.

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12 hours ago, Annabell Wandsworth said:

Hello

I'm not sure where to go with this. I have been talking to a person who I think is retarded (yes, I know, I'm not supposed to use that word). He is spending a lot of money in sl on land, and giving other people money. 

I don't want to get him booted from sl, but I have no other idea how to protect him. Any advise is appreciated.

Maybe spending his money makes him happy. Leave him alone. 

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12 hours ago, Annabell Wandsworth said:

I don't want to get him booted from sl, but I have no other idea how to protect him. Any advise is appreciated.

I've encountered many who are self-destructive in SL. The best thing you can do, if you are indeed his friend, is to gently try to persuade him not to engage in self-destructive behaviors.  Sometimes that works, other times not.  

Most authorities will not intervene unless a person is severely self-destructive or indications are strong they'll harm others.

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23 minutes ago, Syo Emerald said:

When was that past? And regarding internet people: As far as I'm aware, white knight is an internet term itself.

First usage we still have record of predates the internet by 800 years :)

It's Lancelot, of Arthurian legend. In that story cycle, he was fostered and didn't know his identity or parentage. Le blanc chevalier was used to designate him until he found out and claimed a name.

It was also used as a hereditary title in medieval Ireland.

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30 minutes ago, Luna Bliss said:

You bring up a good point -- not all reclaimed words denoted something positive in the past. The important point I think is that any word used in an insulting way toward a marginalized group can be altered in order to regain the power taken from them via using the term in a derogatory manner against them.

But that's just what I question...given that the word is still harmful and offensive from outside that community, have they really regained the power?
 

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40 minutes ago, Amina Sopwith said:

And a bastard is someone whose parents aren't married, but we don't use the word outside of Game of Thrones (at least I hope we don't) because it's offensive and unnecessary. There are plenty of other ways to put it if you need to refer to it.

At the risk of inserting unwarranted levity, I routinely use "bastard" to describe noxious pests in my yard. As far as I know, bugs and li'l mammals, though they may exhibit behavior akin to human pairing, don't have the institution of "marriage" shielding them from my use of that coarse term.

Regarding the "N-word", I do see some peril in attempting to reclaim it. The late Maya Angelou railed against the use of the word, particularly in pop black culture. She had discussions with Dave Chapelle, Common, and others about it. I don't think she had much impact. When he was in college, Mac lived across the dorm hall from a black student who routinely used the n-word, even using it on Mac. This left him confused. It was as if his friend was challenging him to say it. Rather than walking away from that memory feeling some appreciation for a suppressed group trying to reclaim the word, Mac still sees it as a giant F-U he'd done nothing to deserve. The long-term effect of this may just be as Angelou feared, if not exactly in the way she feared.

Regarding the OP, I'm reminded of a friend I had during my first year in SL. She was, I thought, in a lopsided, if not abusive relationship with a fella. She had very little self esteem, so I tried to work on that, hoping she would grow to want something better for herself. I can't count the hours I spent with her, making absolutely no progress. Eventually another friend witnessed a little of our interaction in public chat. She later IMed me to say that I was not only losing the battle, but was inadvertently fighting for the other side.

As Mollymews described, I'd been "mothering" self destructive behavior. I changed course, our friendship cooled and she eventually left SL, which I had recommended from the very start. I still feel the desire to help when I think it's needed, but now that's tinged with wariness over whether I understand the problem and/or have the tools to address it.

 

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11 minutes ago, Amina Sopwith said:
47 minutes ago, Luna Bliss said:

You bring up a good point -- not all reclaimed words denoted something positive in the past. The important point I think is that any word used in an insulting way toward a marginalized group can be altered in order to regain the power taken from them via using the term in a derogatory manner against them.

But that's just what I question...given that the word is still harmful and offensive from outside that community, have they really regained the power?

Maybe it depends on the people involved --  on the individual situations.

I knew a woman who encountered a lot of prejudice for being a lesbian in her past and didn't seem to have a strong, positive identity due to it.  Sometimes when first meeting I'd say "so how's my ***** friend today", and she'd laugh up a storm.  It made her feel better about herself.

** wow that word was censored....well it's just one of the many derogatory words used to define lesbians.

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1 minute ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

At the risk of inserting unwarranted levity, I routinely use "bastard" to describe noxious pests in my yard. As far as I know, bugs and li'l mammals, though they may exhibit behavior akin to human pairing, don't have the institution of "marriage" shielding them from my use of that coarse term.

I'm pretty sure they don't mind. The point was simply that a word can be used correctly as per its dictionary definition, but still be entirely offensive and unnecessary when directed at a person. 

 

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6 minutes ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

Regarding the OP, I'm reminded of a friend I had during my first year in SL. She was, I thought, in a lopsided, if not abusive relationship with a fella. She had very little self esteem, so I tried to work on that, hoping she would grow to want something better for herself.

....I was not only losing the battle, but was inadvertently fighting for the other side.

So true, if you decide to help another (depending on what one is trying to assist another with) you have to be very, very careful.  I've certainly gotten into some messes. It's easy to encourage dependence instead of independence. And really, it often requires a trained therapist to determine the difference.

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5 minutes ago, Luna Bliss said:

Maybe it depends on the people , on the individual situations.

I knew a woman who encountered a lot of prejudice for being a lesbian in her past and didn't seem to have a strong, positive identity due to it.  Sometimes when first meeting I'd say "so how's my ***** friend today", and she'd laugh up a storm.  It made her feel better about herself.

** wow that word was censored....well it's just one of the many derogatory words used to define lesbians.

But again, that's within a specific consensual context. There are a few words that I don't mind my sexual partners using towards me, within a consensual sexual context. I'd still take extreme offence if someone used them towards me outside of that context. I'm not convinced I'm reclaiming them. 

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1 minute ago, Amina Sopwith said:

But again, that's within a specific consensual context. There are a few words that I don't mind my sexual partners using towards me, within a consensual sexual context. I'd still take extreme offence if someone used them towards me outside of that context. I'm not convinced I'm reclaiming them. 

I suppose 'reclaiming' is only for the person (or 2 people) deciding to participate in it, and know they are reclaiming their power via that behavior.

Many don't understand the behavior, as evidenced by those who are upset that THEY (the 'reclaimers') can use certain words while the outsider is restricted.  They experience this as unfair.

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1 minute ago, Luna Bliss said:

I suppose 'reclaiming' is only for the person (or 2 people) deciding to participate in it, and know they are reclaiming their power via that behavior.

Many don't understand the behavior, as evidenced by those who are upset that THEY (the 'reclaimers') can use certain words while the outsider is restricted.  They experience this as unfair.

I definitely don't see it as unfair (I don't want to be the kind of person who whines about not being able to use racial slurs), but I guess I just don't see how it regains them any power, when an outsider can still harm them with it.

Just my thoughts. I remain respectful of other people's right to feel differently, but I'm just not convinced.

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