Tired of Political Correctness

Gravey wrote:

I would've been interested to have read what he might've offered for well-reasoned counter-arguments in a meaningful dialogue.

Did anyone seriously expect any kind of meaningful dialogue back from that guy?

KaterinLHC wrote:

The right thing to do is to be self-aware. Understand the groups you are part of; acknowledge and accept both the privileges you have and privileges you don't. Then modify your behavior accordingly so that you don't hurt people. If a minority tells you that the language you use offends them, you don't tell them to suck it up and that you have a right to express yourself, no matter who it hurts. You listen. Because I guarantee you, for that one minority brave enough to speak up, there are 100 others thinking the same thing, but who are too tired, scared or angry to express the same thought.

It seems a genuine challenge for some people to understand that it's less about intent and more about consequences. When you've hurt someone or made them feel marginalized and/or unwelcome, your intent doesn't change that. Your actions caused harm.

KaterinLHC wrote:

I have also come a long way in identifying and examining my own internalized misogyny since I first started participating in the podcast. I no longer use the term "bitch" casually, or at all, really. People learn. They grow. I can't un-say what has already been said, but I can make sure that in the future, I don't repeat my mistakes.

This is what we all need to step back and be able to do. Acknowledging that your words and actions have consequences regardless of your intent, and making the conscious decision that your right to say anything you like doesn't trump someone else's right to not feel persecuted, threatened, marginalized, dismissed, or ignored. It's hard for me to think of anything that would make me admire a member of this forum more than to hear them say, "I didn't realize what I said made you feel like sh*t. I apologize, and won't say that kind of thing again." But instead, we scramble to justify what we "meant" or dismiss others' concerns because of some vague and bullsh!t explanation that participating in a debate thread excuses someone from taking responsibility for the effect their words have.

For what it's worth, I genuinely believe that every time someone like Lara pushes back from the community and says, "I'm done. I won't be part of this environment anymore," the foundation that makes Gamers With Jobs unique and remarkable compared to the cesspool that makes up the rest of the internet gets eroded away. We, as a community, are weakened and lessened for the absence of people like her. Each time someone leaves because they are unwelcome, it's a genuine loss, and speaks to what we're all willing to ignore and tolerate. I want Lara and all the others that have turned away to come back. I understand completely why they don't, and it makes me sad.

Stengah wrote:
NormanTheIntern wrote:

Also, I'm not trying to minimize your and Brennil's asserions that gaming communities are generally horrible to women (I agree!), but this is a debate forum. No one is expressing these ideas to you at a party or on the street, and if this was a random Zelda or Skyrim thread, that would be a different story too. This isn't carte blanche for hate speech of course, but if reading positions about sexism and politicial correctness that don't mesh with your worldview cause such a strong reaction, perhaps just pass threads clearly labeled as such by? Obviously this isn't my sandbox, but I feel like people coming into this particular corner of GWJ shouldn't do so with the expectation of never reading an opinion that offends. To be honest, I don't view the fact that a fairly weak and borderline post resulted in a pretty good debate is a negative. I see it as a positive and I think it reflects well on us as a community.

So what, P&C is now the "boys-only" section of GWJ where derogatory terms are allowed because they're opinions? The fact that it has "controversy" in the name does not mean offensive opinions are magically okay and are immune to criticism.

I was thinking exactly that when this came up in an earlier thread, about a P&C and a P-but-not-C forum.

However, it's not saying they're immune to criticism. It's saying they need to be criticized just like any other opinion. There's a difference between showing someone why their opinion is wrong, and telling them their opinion is offensive so you don't have to give it any attention.

I can understand why people would want to talk about these issues in a safe space. I also think there's value in discussions that allow in opinions that may be offensive to some if, like Norman said, they don't become hate speech and are presented as respectfully as possible. And not even because I particularly want to hear them--let's face it, they're almost always really dumb--but because there's something valuable about allowing people to speak without the discussion having a "your opinion offends me" killswitch.

I post a lot less because it seems more and more like if one side thinks they're on the 'noble' side of things, anyone that disagrees with them about anything must therefore be on the other side that's not just intellectually wrong, but morally wrong. I think most discussions are more complex than that. I think there's more than one way to read a situation, even for people who generally agree. Just because someone thinks they are an angel, that doesn't mean everyone who disagrees with them are the devil or even his advocate.

I think, well, I guess I think two things. I think we've got two different types of people on here, who like to have discussions in two different sorts of ways. I also think when it comes to some of these issues, some people want a sorta safe space discussion along the lines of the police state/atheist/child-free/etc. threads.

trichy wrote:

For what it's worth, I genuinely believe that every time someone like Lara pushes back from the community and says, "I'm done. I won't be part of this environment anymore," the foundation that makes Gamers With Jobs unique and remarkable compared to the cesspool that makes up the rest of the internet gets eroded away. We, as a community, are weakened and lessened for the absence of people like her. Each time someone leaves because they are unwelcome, it's a genuine loss, and speaks to what we're all willing to ignore and tolerate. I want Lara and all the others that have turned away to come back. I understand completely why they don't, and it makes me sad.

Same here, dammit. And I can't even argue against it (their decision) as much as I want to, because that's totally self-serving.

Farscry wrote:
Gravey wrote:

I would've been interested to have read what he might've offered for well-reasoned counter-arguments in a meaningful dialogue.

Did anyone seriously expect any kind of meaningful dialogue back from that guy?

I suspect that there was just a smidgen of sarcasm in that particular sentence.

I wouldn't even be surprised if he's not been back to check out the responses.

NormanTheIntern wrote:

To be honest, I don't view the fact that a fairly weak and borderline post resulted in a pretty good debate is a negative. I see it as a positive and I think it reflects well on us as a community.

CheezePavilion wrote:

However, it's not saying they're immune to criticism. It's saying they need to be criticized just like any other opinion. There's a difference between showing someone why their opinion is wrong, and telling them their opinion is offensive so you don't have to give it any attention.

The problem is, you're still looking at this conversation like it's some sort of abstract philosophical debate, one in which the words that are exchanged have no lasting bearing on anyone who participates. You feel this way because for you, it is true: As a man, you are in a position of relative power and privilege in society, particularly the gaming community. I, however, am not.

So this abstract debate of yours impacts MY reality. Every time there's one of these "debates" over whether you as a person of privilege have a right to express your harmful opinion, I feel less welcome. I feel less safe. Eventually, I stop participating, and the community becomes less diverse as a result.

because there's something valuable about allowing people to speak without the discussion having a "your opinion offends me" killswitch.

If someone says that to you, the problem is not with the offended party. The problem is with you, because you've dismissed a reasonable objection -- "your opinion offends me" -- as a "killswitch" to an otherwise friendly debate. But the moment you caused offense, the debate stopped being friendly. It became an act of aggression, of you causing harm on another person. Maybe that's not what you intended. Maybe you don't even see how what you said hurt somebody. That's okay. As long as you listen to the objection, learn what was harmful, and amend your behavior as a result, all can be mended. Mistakes happen. Everybody f*cks up occasionally. Maturity is about trying not to f*ck up in the future.

Think of it like, I dunno, gripping somebody's hand too tightly in a handshake. If someone says to you, "Ow, you hurt me!", you don't come back with, "Well, it's your fault your hand is bruised". You don't argue with them about your god-given right to squeeze hands however roughly you want, or tell them that if they're going to be shaking hands, they need to learn how to just shake off or ignore people like you. No, the polite, mature response is to apologize for squeezing their hand too hard and then lighten your grip. This is just what people who aren't assholes do. How is this so hard to understand?

So the next time you hear someone say something like that, you might consider listening to what's actually being said, which is this: What you are saying is hurting me. Please stop.

Trachalio wrote:

I wouldn't even be surprised if he's not been back to check out the responses.

Why would he? Some substantial percentage of the last two pages has been dedicated to sh*tting all over him. It seems to me to be well justified, but still.

Stengah wrote:

So what, P&C is now the "boys-only" section of GWJ where derogatory terms are allowed because they're opinions?

Be reasonable, that's not what I said at all - and in fact I went out of my way to explicity state that wasn't true.

The fact that it has "controversy" in the name does not mean offensive opinions are magically okay and are immune to criticism.

The problem with this statement is when you consider it alongside the idea previously stated that intent is meaningless and offense is strictly in the eye of the beholder. I'm not sure it's possible under those givens to have a debate about abortion, religion, gay marriage, gun control, or anything at all interesting. It feels good to say "it's about offense, not intent", but when you consider the fact that some people are offended by gendered pronouns, you can see that's not really a workable tenet. The bottom line for me is that there's nothing wrong with a group of reasonable people setting reasonable limits on what's said, but trying to apply a necessarily subjective "no offense" standard to a debate forum is a really bad idea.

To clarify, an offensive idea isn't above criticism here, but it should be above flip dismissal.

Podunk wrote:
Trachalio wrote:

I wouldn't even be surprised if he's not been back to check out the responses.

Why would he? Some substantial percentage of the last two pages has been dedicated to sh*tting all over him. It seems to me to be well justified, but still.

He should toughen up! He doesn't have the right to not be offended! Etc.

SpacePPoliceman wrote:
Podunk wrote:
Trachalio wrote:

I wouldn't even be surprised if he's not been back to check out the responses.

Why would he? Some substantial percentage of the last two pages has been dedicated to sh*tting all over him. It seems to me to be well justified, but still.

He should toughen up! He doesn't have the right to not be offended! Etc.

I don't know that anyone's said he doesn't have the right to feel offended; he's got the right to feel however he wants. But we also have the right to say "ya know what, you don't get to throw a tantrum because someone you like has decided to be nice to people and you don't want to be"

I believe people were mirroring his argument for ironic purposes.

KaterinLHC wrote:
NormanTheIntern wrote:

To be honest, I don't view the fact that a fairly weak and borderline post resulted in a pretty good debate is a negative. I see it as a positive and I think it reflects well on us as a community.

CheezePavilion wrote:

However, it's not saying they're immune to criticism. It's saying they need to be criticized just like any other opinion. There's a difference between showing someone why their opinion is wrong, and telling them their opinion is offensive so you don't have to give it any attention.

The problem is, you're still looking at this conversation like it's some sort of abstract philosophical debate, one in which the words that are exchanged have no lasting bearing on anyone who participates.

No, I'm not, and that's not the problem. I said: "I can understand why people would want to talk about these issues in a safe space." I get it, I get you when you phrased is over in the other thread as something like 'your hypothetical is my reality' is the way I think you put it.

because there's something valuable about allowing people to speak without the discussion having a "your opinion offends me" killswitch.

If someone says that to you, the problem is not with the offended party. The problem is with you, because you've dismissed a reasonable objection -- "your opinion offends me" -- as a "killswitch" to an otherwise friendly debate. But the moment you caused offense, the debate stopped being friendly.

That's my point: I think there's a place for and a value in non-friendly debate, and I'd say the majority of what goes on in P&C is non-friendly debate. Not in the sense of people going out of their way to be mean to each other--that's not what I'm talking about at all--but in the sense that stuff like an offensive opinion isn't a reasonable objection.

Don't get me wrong, because like I keep saying, I see the value in a friendly debate where that would be a reasonable objection. I understand that non-friendly debate when it comes to certain topics will make a lot of people feel uncomfortable and make them feel less welcome and less safe. That's why I said what I did about a safe space.

I agree with you about everything you say about how this is what needs to happen for us not to lose voices like yours. What I'm saying is that the solution means we're not going to have some of the conversations that we can have right now. Which is why I said in this thread and the last that maybe the solution here is to split P&C into two sub-forums. So we don't lose voices OR conversations.

I think that society could actually benefit from both points of view. I think we need to learn to become thicker skinned people while also acknowledging that not everyone feels the same about certain words/phrases. I know I'm kinda taking the middle ground here but I look at both sides of the matter (granted that both sides are presented in a mature fashion) and I get it. I understand that people can say mean and cruel things and get offended, and I also understand that people can get offended at the drop of the hat. Like stated before I usually just make myself aware of my environment and adjust accordingly.

I'll mention another thing that makes this whole thing tough. There is, in fact, one specific way that people need to adjust their reactions a bit: they need to stop getting instantly defensive when told that they've said something offensive.

Saying something bigoted doesn't make you a terrible bad horrible awful person. It makes you a product of the same cultural pressures that produce all of us. I mean, one of the most horrible insidious things about this sort of language is what KaterinLHC mentioned earlier:

KaterinLHC wrote:

I have also come a long way in identifying and examining my own internalized misogyny...

We don't just turn these things on other people, we turn these kinds of viewpoints and language on ourselves. We're all so often oblivious to things that it's totally understandable that we'll say things that hurt people without realizing it.

So, no, saying these sorts of things really really doesn't make you a bad person.

And that's the really really annoying and upsetting thing about the whole "political correctness is curbing our speech! We must fight back!" meme. It encourages people to feel offended by being told they [em]have[/em] offended. It makes them resist the idea that they should even spend a [em]little[/em] bit of time thinking about why what they've said might be upsetting to people. (Because if you think about it at all instead of just blurting whatever you want, that's giving in!)

And that's super awful because, well, the paragraph below this one? You have to make extra allowance in it for people who have to be de-programmed before you can even get them to start thinking about things in the first place. And sometimes, it's hard not to feel [em]bad[/em] for the people who've been force-fed these ideas and just can't dig themselves out.

(I [em]would[/em] argue, though, that if you're told repeatedly that what you're doing is hurting people and you out-right refuse to even think about why, that [em]does[/em] make you a bad person. Not a hard and fast rule, and there's some up-front thinking that everybody needs some time to do to understand why it's important and what's going on... but if you keep hearing the arguments and dismissing them, that does in fact make you a jerk.)

The Conformist wrote:

I think that society could actually benefit from both points of view. I think we need to learn to become thicker skinned people while also acknowledging that not everyone feels the same about certain words/phrases. I know I'm kinda taking the middle ground here but I look at both sides of the matter (granted that both sides are presented in a mature fashion) and I get it. I understand that people can say mean and cruel things and get offended, and I also understand that people can get offended at the drop of the hat. Like stated before I usually just make myself aware of my environment and adjust accordingly.

Ooo. Careful, though. How many times a day do people say things around you that are indirectly demeaning of you? How many times a day do people say things [em]directly to your face[/em] that are demeaning? How much bigger do you imagine those numbers are for people who are in a position of less privilege?

Because of that, well, this argument more-or-less amounts to "everybody except the privileged folks who already don't have a problem has to become thicker skinned, while the privileged folks have to nod sagely and promise to try to do better." And that has been the constant state of things for a really really long time.

Hypatian wrote:

Ooo. Careful, though. How many times a day do people say things around you that are indirectly demeaning of you? How many times a day do people say things [em]directly to your face[/em] that are demeaning? How much bigger do you imagine those numbers are for people who are in a position of less privilege?

Because of that, well, this argument more-or-less amounts to "everybody except the privileged folks who already don't have a problem has to become thicker skinned, while the privileged folks have to nod sagely and promise to try to do better." And that has been the constant state of things for a really really long time.

Granted I am a 31 year old, 6 foot, White/Irish, male. So I'm definitely not in the minority, unless you consider 6 foot Irishmen a minority ;-). I've been called many things, bad, good, horrible, and as long as you aren't insulting my mother then you're pretty much good. I just don't have enough care about what someone says to me or calls me to really get worked up about. That's something I've learned with age. But there are groups of people out there who aren't as privileged as myself who are taken advantage of and brought down because of their sex/race/sexual preference and so forth. I don't really have much of a say in the matter because well, I really don't fall into any of those lesser privileged categories.

But I can say that I have had my own VERY hard struggles in my life. And I've had in the past people demean me and my condition, and as a result it would anger me and get me incredibly down. But over the years I've learned to take what they say and chalk it off as ignorance while at the same time voicing my opinion on the matter. And I've developed a thicker skin in the terms that I don't let it bring me down and fill me full of hatred and bitterness or sadness for that matter. It's something that as an outsider to sexism, racism, homophobia I can only suggest to try and adopt, while acknowledging that what they have to go through sometimes is awful. Don't ever give up or think that it's ok, but also don't let it change the core of who you are. This is how I feel on the matter and I'm sure that I'll have people who will disagree or think that somehow I'm taking others struggles lightly, and they are entitled to think that. But it has worked wonders for me IRL, and those who know me personally know me to be a kindhearted and forgiving person. And I can't stress this enough, I'm not making light on anyone's struggles. My heart goes out to all those who on a daily basis live in fear because of their way of life. I'm simply offering a perspective, nothing more.

Hypatian wrote:

Ooo. Careful, though. How many times a day do people say things around you that are indirectly demeaning of you? How many times a day do people say things [em]directly to your face[/em] that are demeaning? How much bigger do you imagine those numbers are for people who are in a position of less privilege?

Hell, go one further - in my mind, the non/less-privileged already have thick skin, which is why they haven't just given up completely after having been actively discouraged and insulted for a fair portion of their lives.

I know you guys are trying here, but it doesn't work. No matter how kindly you phrase it, that still comes across as "man up."

I know you've had struggles. Everyone does. And sometimes you can just tuck your chin and keep checking until you get to clear ice. I already do that. Every bloody day of all my years. That's why I'm not on top of a water tower. Though this day is making me think about taking a nice long bath with my toaster.

I'm guessing from your post here your struggles are due to some sort of outside circumstance (poverty, family circumstances, etc). That whole "shut up and soldier, soldier" tactic doesn't work very well when the things that make you a target are inborn. It's not a way of life to have breasts and a vagina.

Just how thick does my skin have to get? How many times a day do I have to put up with being told directly and indirectly that what I am born as and have no control over is bad? That my opinion has no worth, that my experience isn't worth taking into account. My input in every realm is devalued - it hits me personally and professionally. I cleared that whole 70 times 7 bar a long time ago.

It starts out in earliest childhood. You don't get a chance to build a core before it gets bombarded with messages from all sides that most of the meaning of being a girl is "you can't do X". How can you possibly imagine it doesn't shape a person? How can think that sucking that up is even possible?

I think part of the issue with the treatment of minorities is that there's often some level of implied threat present, while in my experience the same isn't typically true of white males.

ianunderhill wrote:
Hypatian wrote:

Ooo. Careful, though. How many times a day do people say things around you that are indirectly demeaning of you? How many times a day do people say things [em]directly to your face[/em] that are demeaning? How much bigger do you imagine those numbers are for people who are in a position of less privilege?

Hell, go one further - in my mind, the non/less-privileged already have thick skin, which is why they haven't just given up completely after having been actively discouraged and insulted for a fair portion of their lives.

Yep. And we understand better than anyone why this sh*t sucks. We're not whining because we don't have thick skin. We understand what it takes to develop it. And you know what? It really sucks. We don't want to see people go through that. If anyone's skin-thickness (or the presence of their testicles, or the proximity to maleness of their gender, or whatever other comfortable euphemism you want to use to paste over it) is being tested, it's those who object to curbing harmful language. Because for once, someone is pointing out that you're doing something wrong, and you don't want to dare to take a moment to be introspective and realize you've hurt people in your life. You can't deal with it, so you bury your head in the sand. Owning up to mistakes and realizing that you've hurt someone is not cowardly, it's courageous, and a learning experience, and never lost anyone respect except in the eyes of the wrong people. People whose respect should not be sought.

complexmath wrote:

I think part of the issue with the treatment of minorities is that there's often some level of implied threat present, while in my experience the same isn't typically true of white males.

Can you clarify who/where the threat is you're referring to? Because I've felt and been threatened by plenty of white males.

Yellek wrote:
complexmath wrote:

I think part of the issue with the treatment of minorities is that there's often some level of implied threat present, while in my experience the same isn't typically true of white males.

Can you clarify who/where the threat is you're referring to? Because I've felt and been threatened by plenty of white males.

I think you're mis-reading Yellek - I read it as if you're a minority, there's often a threat present, whereas if you're a white male, there isn't. Which lines up with your response neatly.

Jonman wrote:
Yellek wrote:
complexmath wrote:

I think part of the issue with the treatment of minorities is that there's often some level of implied threat present, while in my experience the same isn't typically true of white males.

Can you clarify who/where the threat is you're referring to? Because I've felt and been threatened by plenty of white males.

I think you're mis-reading Yellek - I read it as if you're a minority, there's often a threat present, whereas if you're a white male, there isn't. Which lines up with your response neatly.

Ok, makes sense then. My brain is too tired to parse correctly.

KaterinLHC wrote:

A) Some black people use the n-word all the time. Doesn't mean white people get to. Some gay people refer to themselves as "f****ts". Again, doesn't mean straight people get to. Some women use the word "b*tches". Doesn't mean men get to.

When you are part of a privileged majority, there is an inherent power imbalance that weights your words, giving them a different context than when a minority uses them. Communication is as much about context as it is about the message, and the context of words change depending on the social power of the speaker. So what is an expression of identity, resistance, reclamation or positivity when uttered by a minority becomes exactly the opposite when uttered by a majority.

I agree with personal growth as you describe in the rest of your post (and as I, to my surprise, experienced with my son).

However, I don't think the quote above (your option A) ever works out well. If a group wants a word or phrase to stop being used, everyone has to stop using it. I don't think people can "reclaim" a word and expect it to disapear from the vernacular. If someone is out there using it, others will too. There are many examples of disparaging words or phrases that have disappeared from regular usage. Sadly, there are also plenty of examples of words that have been "reclaimed" that have not disappeared. I think the first step, as has been outlined here, is to say "That offends us!". Over time, as attention is focused on the negative aspects of the word, society will (on the surface at least) look down on that word's use. Then it should disappear (one would hope).

Jonman wrote:

I think you're mis-reading Yellek - I read it as if you're a minority, there's often a threat present, whereas if you're a white male, there isn't. Which lines up with your response neatly.

Yep. Sorry if I was unclear.

Nevin73 wrote:
KaterinLHC wrote:

A) Some black people use the n-word all the time. Doesn't mean white people get to. Some gay people refer to themselves as "f****ts". Again, doesn't mean straight people get to. Some women use the word "b*tches". Doesn't mean men get to.

When you are part of a privileged majority, there is an inherent power imbalance that weights your words, giving them a different context than when a minority uses them. Communication is as much about context as it is about the message, and the context of words change depending on the social power of the speaker. So what is an expression of identity, resistance, reclamation or positivity when uttered by a minority becomes exactly the opposite when uttered by a majority.

I agree with personal growth as you describe in the rest of your post (and as I, to my surprise, experienced with my son).

However, I don't think the quote above (your option A) ever works out well. If a group wants a word or phrase to stop being used, everyone has to stop using it. I don't think people can "reclaim" a word and expect it to disapear from the vernacular. If someone is out there using it, others will too. There are many examples of disparaging words or phrases that have disappeared from regular usage. Sadly, there are also plenty of examples of words that have been "reclaimed" that have not disappeared. I think the first step, as has been outlined here, is to say "That offends us!". Over time, as attention is focused on the negative aspects of the word, society will (on the surface at least) look down on that word's use. Then it should disappear (one would hope).

I completely agree with the above. Hate speech is hate speech, regardless of who is speaking.

"Taking it back" should really be it's own thread. It's an entirely separate and complicated issue.

Edit: By that, I mean it's also an interesting topic that deserves it's own thread, not "stop talking about that, it's not relevant."

KaterinLHC wrote:
because there's something valuable about allowing people to speak without the discussion having a "your opinion offends me" killswitch.

If someone says that to you, the problem is not with the offended party. The problem is with you, because you've dismissed a reasonable objection -- "your opinion offends me" -- as a "killswitch" to an otherwise friendly debate. But the moment you caused offense, the debate stopped being friendly. It became an act of aggression, of you causing harm on another person. Maybe that's not what you intended. Maybe you don't even see how what you said hurt somebody. That's okay. As long as you listen to the objection, learn what was harmful, and amend your behavior as a result, all can be mended

I don't agree that "your opinion offends me" is always by definition "reasonable". If someone is offended by use of he/she/him/her instead of artificial gender neutral pronouns, are we callously harming them by not changing our ways, building word filters, etc? Are we promoting sexist views and creating a hostile atmosphere? If there is a difference between that case and "man up", what is it? Look, as a fellow person (and one that shares a bunch of similar interests) I don't want my opinions to cause you pain or anger. The stories of the day to day issues women face are horrible and I appreciate the frustration behind sharing them. That doesn't make you automatically right or justified.

NormanTheIntern wrote:
KaterinLHC wrote:
because there's something valuable about allowing people to speak without the discussion having a "your opinion offends me" killswitch.

If someone says that to you, the problem is not with the offended party. The problem is with you, because you've dismissed a reasonable objection -- "your opinion offends me" -- as a "killswitch" to an otherwise friendly debate. But the moment you caused offense, the debate stopped being friendly. It became an act of aggression, of you causing harm on another person. Maybe that's not what you intended. Maybe you don't even see how what you said hurt somebody. That's okay. As long as you listen to the objection, learn what was harmful, and amend your behavior as a result, all can be mended

I don't agree that "your opinion offends me" is always by definition "reasonable". If someone is offended by use of he/she/him/her instead of the gender neutral pronouns, are we callously harming them by not changing our ways, building word filters, etc? Are we promoting sexist views and creating a hostile atmosphere? If there is a difference between that case and "man up", what is it? Look, as a fellow person (and one that shares a bunch of similar interests) I don't want my opinions to cause you pain or anger. The stories of the day to day issues women face are horrible and I appreciate the frustration behind sharing them. That doesn't make you automatically right or justified.

So.. who decides when someone's pain is unreasonable, Norman?

I've seen this community self-moderate away from the cliff of hurt feelings and flames several times - I've been on both sides of that process, to be honest. I think we're generally good actors here. Barring that, Certis