The Language we use IS important

As always, I will use examples from online gaming experiences, but I’m certain that they can apply to every day life.

How many times have you been in a game and someone says, “Wow, they raped us” or “We’re going to get raped” or “Lets rape them”?

I have many pet peeves, but I’ll have to say it – this is really one of my top 3.  The use of the word “rape” in a casual sense.  Maybe it’s because I’m female (but it really shouldn’t matter should it?), but the use of a strong word such as “rape” in a casual way needs to stop.  It’s a strong word, it’s a word that while I can overlook someone saying, “Lets go rape and pillage their city!” I cannot overlook in general conversation.  Why?

The problem as I see it is that there are just some words that have no reason to be used in general conversation.  Rape is one of them.  To me, the word rape brings up imagery of things that I hope will never happen to me or anyone else.  It is something that happens to men, women, boys and girls by predators and sickos taking virginities, purities and self worth with their vile disgusting behavior.  It ruins lives, it is a dirty little secret that no one seems to talk about or they regress in their memories.  My main issue is simply the fact that we can’t de-sensitize ourselves with the association of the word.  We need to take it seriously – damned seriously. That word should never be considered aloof, or neglected. If someone says, “They raped me” then some sort of action needs to be taken.  I figure that the more we say things in a manner which does not really associate it with the actual crime itself, that we won’t consider rape the atrocity it is. The more we say it in a context that makes it seem commonplace, the harder it will be on those who have had that happened to them and need assistance.

For example – Years ago, I remember a story about the Lucille Ball show in which the television network would not allow her to say she was pregnant on air.  As that was considered too telling?  Another example would be swearing.  When I was a kid, you would never hear the word “ass” on TV, unless it was specifically about a jackass but generally that would result in the word donkey instead.  Now, there are whole shows dedicated to saying “ass” whenever they can and by the laugh meter, I would say that people think saying “ass” at least 10 times per 30 minute sitcom (AKA That 70’s Show) is now the norm. (Now, ass isn’t a word that bothers me, I can swear like a sailor when I feel like it – just sayin’)

I could go on about swearing, but then I would go on about freedom of speech which inevitably someone will write to me and say it’s their right to say rape as many times they want in any context they want.  So before you e-mail me, I know. I’m not trying to take away any freedoms of speech, I am saying that we need to THINK about what we say.

Am I saying that we all need to be politically correct until we are grey matter? (Who gets that reference?) :)  No, not at all. I’ve never been politically correct, I don’t have those filters in me.  However I do have respect for others and understand that there are all sorts of people around me and I don’t know their stories or history.

Another example would be using the word “retard.”  Sigh, do I really need to get into this?  I was just playing a game and in the public chat, someone said, “Did you retards put up the ram before the cannon?”  Seriously?  There wasn’t a better word to use?  What about idiots, numbskulls, nincompoops, jerks, dunces, etc?  The way I see it, while there are some folks who do have a real diagnosed disability (Autism, Dyslexia, etc) and I don’t think being called a retard (even if it isn’t aimed directly at them) is very nice.  Of course I realize the person saying that wasn’t trying to be nice, but at the same time using certain words can hurt.  That’s something that people just don’t realize. Words can hurt.  In games and in real life.  The old saying of “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” Is the biggest bullshit (no offense to any bulls who are proud of the poop intended) I’ve ever been taught.

Words hurt – they really hurt.  They echo in your heart and being for your life. Especially when you are younger.

Abbreviations annoy me, but using language that can be hurtful to others or that makes you numb/immune to them is just disgusting.

So in closing from this impromptu rant – Please think about the words you use, whether it is rape or retard or any variation of such.  While your life might be perfect and these things never happen to you (and lucky you!) the words you choose to use can decide the emotions that are evoked from others – or not.

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