The size debate: standards of beauty

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Presumably because men don't have to be worried about being insulted and belittled by being called cows. I'm not really clear on what's going on there, but that how it looks like from how the conversation went.

Seth wrote:

Yanked from a thread where the conversation was a derail, and the attitude among at least two posters here at GWJ is pretty confusing, imo. Maybe some more explaination is in order. Here's the two comments I found offensive worthy of discussion:

MilkmanDanimal wrote:
Seth wrote:
MilkmanDanimal wrote:

F*ck that woman and everything she stands for. Offensive, repulsive, disgusting, sh*t-eating, stupid cow. That's one of the singly most horrific speeches I've ever seen somebody give.

I agree she's a bigot and a nasty, nasty person, but don't take the cheap shot of a fat joke. We have a whole thread about that.

Say what? "Cow" is not necessarily a fat joke, it's also used in the "easily cowed" sense in that she's a moron.

But hey, way to focus on the really important stuff here.

Dysplastic wrote:

I've seen and heard skinny women like Ann Coulter referred to as a "cow" as well. I see it more as a general insult more than a comment on their weight. That being said, I've never heard a man referred to as a "cow", so perhaps that's not really any better.

The fact is that cow is a pretty damn universal insult for heavy people, often but not exclusively females. When Coulter is called a stupid cow it's because it's more insulting than calling her a stupid waif.

What I see here is a lot of rationalizing. Doubling down on the cow insult by saying "I mean she was easy to pursuade." My point is that language is often used lazily and insults can be mean a plethora of things.

btw I almost stuck this in the privilege thread because I am not aware of a more obvious recent example of male privilege than this one.

edited at 12:13 pm to soften the tone. Sorry - still pretty riled up at this.

I think the crossout on "offensive", as if to imply that you found it offensive but are kind of "taking it back", is offensive

Frankly, I don't get what in my comment you could find offensive. I simply state the general context I have heard that term used in my experience and what it has come to me, and then pointed out that the fact that it might not be related to weight is irrelevant as it's still a term used exclusively to demean women, which I think is a bad thing. Even you yourself say "when Coulter is called a stupid cow it's because it's more insulting than being called a stupid waif", which by definition means it's not being used to refer to her weight, but again, doesn't excuse the fact that it's being used in the first place. Frankly, I see "cow" much like I see the other "c" word that's used to insult women - totally unacceptable, but unrelated to weight. How is what I said an example of male privilege?

That's part of it, Larry.

You sort of hit the trifecta, Dysplastic - the problem with "cow" is three-fold. You imply stupid, but it's far more often used to imply fat and lazy/useless all at the same time.

Then add in the gender-bias or I should say predisposition - I've seen men called something bovine but cows are female and that tends to be how they're used. For men, I've mostly seen "whale" used. You can't just switch it to "bull" because that has another, often sort of positive, connotation of virility and being strong and forceful. And that's a whole 'nother study in and of itself.

If someone is sensitive to those issues, it's actually worse than "can't understand normal thinking" because that only hits gender.

The reason it's an example of male priveledge I'd guess is because of the way you've seen it used. Since you're male, it's not been used on you those other ways so you don't see how it's interpreted by the people who read it.

momgamer wrote:

That's part of it, Larry.

You sort of hit the trifecta, Dysplastic - the problem with "cow" is three-fold. You imply stupid, but it's far more often used to imply fat and lazy/useless all at the same time.

If someone is sensitive to those issues, it's actually worse than "can't understand normal thinking" because that only hits gender.

The reason it's an example of male priveledge I'd guess is because of the way you've seen it used. Since you're male, it's not been used on you those other ways so you don't see how it's interpreted by the people who read it.

More or less this. There's still about a page worth in the Gay Marriage thread of (male) posters viciously trying to deconstruct the insult cow, going through word exercises like looking at the biological nature of a cow's eating habits, comparing cows to other farm animals, or even trying to make the point that "fat cow" and "cow" are completely unrelated insults. All this shows to me is an adamant refusal to accept the reality that cow, at least in America, is a slur against heavy people, and usually directed at women. (I assume places like India are different). The rush to defense looks in many ways like other denials of privilege.

"Oreo" is a cookie, but it's also a slur against black people who "act white." "Douchebag" is a sanitary product, but it's also a slur against (typically) males who act in an arrogant and selfish manner. My friend's beautiful, caring, gentle Samoyed/Corgi mix is a bitch, but that's not what the slur refers to when used on women. And while I assume the next few pages will be a derail dedicated to what, exactly, "acting white" means, I wanted to point out that "cow" is not the only insult based on alternative definitions than the original. If someone calls my wife a cow, she is not going to thank them for the compliment on her digestive skills.

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