"Words only have as much power as you give them."
Can I please see this claim die in a Mystic Cage, too?
Linguistically, yes, this is true. Words are artificial human constructs with arbitrarily assigned meanings (...is that redundant?). The reason that certain words are "bad" or "forbidden" are because humans imposed some sort of negative cultural connotation on those words.
Socially, however, this claim doesn't hold up in the same way, for a number of reasons. If individuals decide, on their own, to make this claim a personal mantra that they live by, that's fine. It can be a liberating way of dealing with life.
But. An offender should never say this to someone they've offended. Because if they do, then it merely becomes an excuse for the offender's bad behavior. It's one of the most passive-aggressive ways of saying "you're just too sensitive (so get a thicker skin and put up with it, you weakling)", and thus is another way of just blaming the victim for their own misfortunes.
Relatedly, being asked not to use a certain word that is commonly accepted as being offensive in someone's presence is not "censorship", you fucking failbag of failscum. It's called "basic human decency". Learn it. No, I don't care that you're [insert member of oppressed group here] too and the word doesn't offend you. Your experience =/= everyone else's. How fucking hard is that to understand?
Aaaand I actually had a huge semi-academic screed written up here about the history and nature of insults and swears and how they tie into each other, but it's getting late and the post isn't saying what I want it to say, so it's staying offline until I can edit it into something understandable and readable. Until then, I have to sleep because I have another Borders performance tomorrow - my last one for the next two months. Lauren and Melissa are tagging along and sleeping over at my house, and lysis_to_kill will be attending the performance, so hopefully I won't be rageyragerage by then.
if you knew it was wrong, why did you do it?