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10:02 am: Girl

Hey Folks,

Easier to say this once, than to each post.

Like a few other folks who said something similar, I use the word "girl" for eveyrone...especially for myself. (My editor as yelled at me about this several times.)  I call my friends girls, my mom and her friends "girls"...in the circle I live in, people are old enough to be flattered by the term.

No disrespect was meant by referring to the lovely lady I spoke about in the last post as a girl...If you wish to say that I am provincial enough that I was unaware that it would offend, you are entirely right...and for any offense given, I apologize.

But no disrespect was meant.




[User Picture]
Date:August 12th, 2009 03:09 pm (UTC)
When one had absolutely no idea that what was said would be offensive, what else is one supposed to do? I have heard similar habits, where someone called everyone "Kid," including 93 yr old men.

As for "girl" used as an epithet, I don't know anyone north of the Mason-Dixon line that uses it except in film and fiction. Call me provincial as well.
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(no subject) - (Anonymous) Expand
[User Picture]
Date:August 12th, 2009 03:22 pm (UTC)
I just want you to know that when I refer to you as an undiapered infant, I don't mean any disrespect... I'm trying to convey a compliment about the youthful innocence with which you are able to greet the world.


Seriously, you're still calling her a girl as the post still uses that language, which means that this apology is "I'm sorry you're offended but I'm going to keep doing it all the same." You really ought to do yourself a favor and edit the post anyway if only to get rid of the hideous greengrocer's apostrophe on "one of the girl's", and since you'll be editing the post anyway, you might as well take the time to fix your other mistake.

I'm not going to call you provincial. I'm going to call you what you are: colorblind.
[User Picture]
Date:August 12th, 2009 03:50 pm (UTC)
>I just want you to know that when I refer to you as an undiapered infant,

If you regularly call yourself an undiapered infant, too, that's okay with me.

Yeah, you're absolutely right about the ' on girl's.
Date:August 12th, 2009 04:06 pm (UTC)
Here's what I take from this post and your previous idiotic comments about racial issues:

You're a spoiled brat who keeps working for her rich father, in between jetting off to Europe and so on. Must be nice to live like that.

You claim to be color blind and don't see race in people, which makes you a damn liar.

You are a poor writer.

I won't be reading your new book and will encourage others to also avoid it.
[User Picture]
Date:August 12th, 2009 04:24 pm (UTC)
>You're a spoiled brat who keeps working for her rich father, in between jetting off to Europe and so on. Must be nice to live like that.

Ha, ha, ha...oh,God! That would have been a nice life. I'm so amuse to hear that I lived it. ;-)

Other than that, I don't have anything to say to this post except you're probably right about me being a poor writer..though I do my best.
[User Picture]
Date:August 12th, 2009 04:29 pm (UTC)
"Provincial white girl" here.

Whn I apologize for unintended offense, I do not qualify my apology with a "but" under any circumstances.

It nullifies the apology completely.

I'm in the south, where I talk about "my girls" or have "girl's night out."

I do NOT refer to adult strangers as girl, because doing so belittles them as adults. With friends, it's familiarity, it's cute, it's a nickname, and acknowledgment of our relationship.

"for any offense given" does not acknowledge the fact you did actually offend someone.

Crap apology. Seriously. It's a non-apology.

You excuse your offense, you pretend you don't know that offense was given, and you use serious passive voice. Come on, you're supposed to be a writer, correct? Passive voice is a BAD thing.

An appropriate apology is "I am sorry that I offended you." If you have to throw in a qualifier, try "I will endeavour not to do this in the future." Not "If I gave anyone offense, I'm sorry, but I didn't mean anything."

Quit hiding behind the "provincial" nonsense. That's just code for "doesn't bother to look outside my own privilege."
[User Picture]
Date:August 13th, 2009 12:12 am (UTC)
AHA! You said the one thing here that I think clarifies a bunch of separate arguments:

"I do NOT refer to adult *strangers* as girl" (emphasis mine)

One of the keys here is relationship. If you have a relationship with someone, the rules are different, based on mutual trust and respect. Without that pre-existing relationship -- or with a pre-established combative relationship -- you don't have the same leeway.
[User Picture]
Date:August 12th, 2009 04:53 pm (UTC)

Girls v. Women

I am a woman.
Because in our society "girl" is often used to refer to women when men (or other women who have bought into patriarchy) want to reduce the credibility of women, it would be wise in your public-facing writings to stick to the term "woman" or "lady".
Also, because the term "girl" is racially charged, whether or not you MEAN offense, does not mean your are not offensive. Your intent does not matter. The feelings of the person who you have hurt matter.

If you find women or WOC asking to be called "woman" instead of girl in a majority of cases, it is only good manners to refer to them how they wish to be referred. You are, in fact, being disrespectful by 1) calling women girl and 2) ignoring the advice being given to you about the preference of many WOC to NOT be called "girl".

I suggest you cease your (unintentional BUT STILL HURTFUL) disrespect, and instead focus on being (intentionally) respectful. This is of course your blog and you may do what you like, but you may find that adhering to standards of politeness and respect imposed upon you by others in turn gains YOU more respect, and avoids long threads about vocabulary. Especially when you attempt to represent yourself professionally.
You do not gain a pass for apologizing and continuing disrespectful behavior.

Finally, I understand that you don't see a problem here. But others do.
[User Picture]
Date:August 13th, 2009 05:49 pm (UTC)

Re: Girls v. Women

Yes. Words have meanings independent of our intentions. Something that any of us who have ever made an offhand comment and watched, uncomprehending, while our lover's face goes hard and icy, should know to our marrow.

And those of us who write know that the reader's understanding of what we write is more true than what we'd intended to write, and that sometimes we have to change the way we say things to make our intentions clearer.

It's strangely difficult to remember that when we're called out on something we've said or done, isn't it?

Edited at 2009-08-13 05:50 pm (UTC)
Date:August 12th, 2009 05:29 pm (UTC)
As an author, you are promoting an intellectual product, your writings.

When I read comments like the ones you have made all over your journal, I have no choice but to wonder what is wrong with your intellect. Hence, why would I read a book based on that intellect.

Unbelievable how many racist writers like yourself there are in the spec fic genres.
[User Picture]
Date:August 12th, 2009 06:58 pm (UTC)
No problem, dude ;)
[User Picture]
Date:August 12th, 2009 09:45 pm (UTC)
[After running through babelfish.altavista.com, JAGI-LANGUAGE to ENGLISH]:

Hey Folks,

I'm a douche on a regular basis, and I call everyone else douches too. So when I called that other person a douche and all of you jumped on me about it, I thought that was totally unfair because I call myself a douche too! I'm fine with that term so obviously everyone else should be too, and the weight of history is completely irrelevant here. Anyway, I didn't intend for her and you to be all oversensitive to a term that she should obviously know is totally okay, because I say it's okay.

So, um, sorry, if you got offended.

But go reread that first paragraph again, because the way I see it, it totally excuses me from culpability in being and continuing to be an asshat.

[User Picture]
Date:August 12th, 2009 10:37 pm (UTC)

The Last Battle

"And this is the marvel of marvels, that he called me Beloved, me who am but as a dog — "

"Eh? What's that?" said one of the Dogs.

"Sir," said Emeth. "It is but a fashion of speech which we have in Calormen."

"Well, I can't say it's one I like very much," said the Dog.

"He doesn't mean any harm," said an older Dog. "After all, we call our puppies boys when they don't behave properly."

"So we do," said the first Dog. "Or girls."

"S-s-sh!" said the Old Dog. "That's not a nice word to use. Remember where you are."

[User Picture]
Date:August 13th, 2009 01:46 am (UTC)

Re: The Last Battle

[User Picture]
Date:August 13th, 2009 01:16 am (UTC)
Apparently, nobody offered "grace" lessons with their Humpty-Dumpty language guide.
[User Picture]
Date:August 13th, 2009 02:01 am (UTC)
You don't have anything to apologize for. You have no obligation to "modify your context" to suits the whims of those people, any more than they have an obligation to modify theirs. Clearly, as so many of them got hysterically offended, they chose not to do so.

The only obligation you have is to be polite and courteous, and you have always been so.

Don't pay attention to all those rants about how you're in denial, or showing "unconscious racism", or how using the world "girl" is somehow racist or about how you were making them "act white". None of these things are true, the responders just saw something they could get themselves worked up over, and something they could use as an excuse to self-righteously lecture you about. I'm sure they all gave themselves big pats on the back afterwards, and thought to themselves that they had help to educate somebody they believed to be ignorant or bigoted or whatever other sort of label they choose to apply to somebody who doesn't have exactly the same kind of progressive, culturally relativistic views that they do.

You didn't do anything wrong here. Most of your critics in the last few posts failed to show the same level of tolerance to your upbringing, use of language, and attitudes that they show to those of minorities, so if anything, they should apologize for carrying their ridiculous attitudes over to your journal. Of course, I don't expect or think that they'd ever apologize for it.

Edited at 2009-08-13 02:01 am (UTC)
[User Picture]
Date:August 14th, 2009 03:14 am (UTC)
[User Picture]
Date:August 13th, 2009 12:04 pm (UTC)
Ah, Jagi?

Apologizing when being flamed by the politically correctly empowered is like blood in the water - once weakness is sensed, you'll only get attacked worse for every other "fault" and "flaw" that disagrees with the attackers. (Witness the rest of the comments here.)
[User Picture]
Date:August 13th, 2009 08:33 pm (UTC)

You poor thing...

These people are angry trolls who are searching very hard for things to be offended about. Nothing you say will appease most of them. By all accounts, you are a wonderful person who actually understands that the only way not to be racist is to stop thinking about race.
Your kids sound lovely too.

Seriously, as someone who has dealt with this before, I advise you to put the account on friend-only mode for a couple weeks until these people go away and leave you alone. Then the rest of us can go back to discussing writing and Prospero Lost.

Also, calling an adult "girl" here has connotations that the person is beautiful and youthful.
[User Picture]
Date:August 13th, 2009 09:54 pm (UTC)

Re: You poor thing...

You are so cool. ;-)
Date:August 14th, 2009 02:41 pm (UTC)
I would like to congratulate you on your patience and humility.

Many folks wouldn't have put up with all this abuse for a second. Instead, you good-humoredly engage it. You also waved off your husband, who was naturally furious at the disrespect and contempt shown his beloved.

You are a brave woman (girl? :^) and I just wanted to encourage you.

BTW. Anyone who knows anything about St. John's College knows that the last thing you are is lacking in intelligence and education.

God bless you and your family.
[User Picture]
Date:August 19th, 2009 06:32 pm (UTC)
Many folks wouldn't have put up with all this abuse for a second.

Interestingly, many people don't have a choice about getting abusive language used at them. Those people include people of color and LGBT people. Do you swoop in to praise POC who get abusive comments when they discuss race? How do you feel about her husband showing disrespect and contempt for LGBT people and then contempt for being asked to refer to people by the names they prefer (such as Inuit instead of Eskimo)?
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