I expect simple behaviours here. Friendship, and love. Any advice should be from the perspective of the person asking, not the person giving! We have had to make new membership moderated to combat the huge number of spammers who register
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
I amuse myself with playing in Wikipedia. It's a challenging, nasty, perplexing place to work out how to interact with many decent folk and a good few weirdos. In the past couple of days there has been a farce where a shortcut, labelled 'WP:CUM' has been either deleted or not deleted and people are up in arms over the decision to delete (or not). As a spillover there are two other shortcuts WP:Fag and WP:QUEER tat are now being discussed for deletion. The relevant discussions are Fag, QUEER. I'm not posting them to invite you to take up the cudgels one way or the other. Indeed, please do not unless you are used to editing Wikipedia.
The reason for showing them to you is to let you see the peculiar differences between the two discussions. Fag is being defended stoutly whereas QUEER is being treated entirely differently. So I wondered what the difference was between the way Wikipedians hold these two terms. Is it that one remains an insult, so it should be kept, and the other is no longer an insult so they don't care much either way?
To be honest, a lot on those links seems a bit technical to me... shortcuts, tags, redirects, etc.
Words are tools and like any tool they can be used for good or ill. A screwdriver can be used to fix something or to poke out someone's eye. So I think that what matters when any word is used is the intent. This also applies when it's proposed that a word be banned. i.e. what is the intention behind a proposal to ban it.
The tone and intent with which someone might call me a fag or queer is what might hurt me, not the word itself. It is understand that some people take the point of view that banning words that are used to hurt people will reduce the probability of people being hurt, I'm not sure I believe that. We can ban knives with blades longer than a certain length, but a lot of damage can be done with shorter knives or other implements.
It may be argued that the word itself can affect the way people think and maybe even make them hate. I'm not convinced of that, either. Other words can be used... shirtlifter, fudgepacker, pansy, etc, etc. Hate can be attached to any word. Even the word cocksucker, which describes someone who enjoys giving great pleasure to others, can be used with hate.
The word 'gingernut' can be used by me to describe the type of person I find very cute. Another person might use the word with hatred to hurt someone. Should I be banned from using the word because others abuse it? Should I be banned from having a screwdriver because someone has stabbed his enemy with one?
So from what little I understand of the discussions on the two linked topics, it all seems to be a lot of fuss a bout not very much. If people are hurt by the use of a word they have every right to complain and maybe get something done about it. Those who merely think that a word might possibly hurt someone else should mind their own business.