Saturday, December 03, 2005

Whinge of the day

When did the word 'whore', used as a gender-neutral all-purpose term of abuse, make its way into the daily vocabulary of younger Australians? Has it oozed into the general consciousness (as I dolefully assume) from rap?

And am I alone in finding it really, really, really off?

6 comments:

whitebait said...

If it was rap Whitebait thinks we would be talking about 'ho' or 'hoes' entering the language. W blame's bloggers personally - he himself once used the term from memory.

Terrific blog P'sC! Friend 'Aunty Elsewhere' as you delightfully refer to her one post, sent me in your direction and W. hopes you don't mind if he lurks frequently.

Yes, W. likes to avoid difficult questions when surfing on a seedy Saturday.

Pavlov's Cat said...

Yo, Whitebait!

Glad you like the blog -- you are obviously an expert blogger of long experience yourself and therefore a judge of these matters. I am still at the Blogging for Morons stage -- how to do basic HTML stuff, how to not embarrass myself on other people's blogs, etc.

You're right, of course - 'ho' (skanky or otherwise) would be the epithet of choice. I just can't work out where else it would have come from.

whitebait said...

You are so keepin’ it real P'sC!

Yes, Whitebait is a terrific judge of good blogs if doesn't say so himself. One day, perhaps, he will start his very own branded awards ceremony ...

Oh, one way in which W. is sure you are extremely unlikely to embarrass yourself in blog comments is by, erm, not proofreading and putting possessive apostrophe's in the oddest of places.

Re the original post. Think it was a self-description of W as a ‘consumer whore’ where I may have done the dirty so to speak. Truly I am, but maybe not the most appropriate language. Ultimately I do suspect the usage of ho/whore it is from rap as you say (and maybe back to the rise of the blaxpoitation film in the 70s?). Also potentially troubling to me is the broadening increase of the use of 'gay'as a pejorative - someone from England W. met at a Melbourne partly a while back mentioned her 9 year old son constantly deriding stuff by saying 'that is so gay' (which he couldn't explain when asked).

Pavlov's Cat said...

Funny you should mention that. Just yesterday I was reading some trash mag, possibly New Idea -- consumer slut, moi (I think that's actually kind of worse. Oh well) -- where Paris Hilton used 'gay' in that sense. Scary in someone that old and that high profile, even if she is a repellent moron of whom one would expect no better. 'Gay' is worse, I reckon.

Zoe said...

I think the cool kidz spell it "ghey" when they're being ironic, Ms Cat.

Pavlov's Cat said...

Good Lord, so they do. How bizarre of them.

I am slightly relieved to report that I am middle-aged with no offspring and therefore know no cool kidz. I do have one good 18 yo friend but she is a self-confessed nerd who goes to an all-girls' school so she may not be up with this.

I was so intrigued by your post that I Googled 'ghey' and found a lot of suicidal-making bullshit plus this (thank God) intelligent and interesting gloss at Terra Nova:

'What's interesting in this sense is that the very same player who may mock a homophobe critic of male players who choose female avatars often turns around and uses "homo" or "ghey" as a common term. This is what makes me wonder whether these words have effectively undergone a local mutation in gamer discourse so that they no longer have any particularly direct or intense referent to real-world homosexuality. It's not that a virtual world inevitably removes that referent by fact of being virtual, it's just that the words have been used in this way so casually and for so long that they're just local slang. The fact that many gamers are men, and that quite a few of them are young men, and that male culture in general has some pretty complicatedly ambiguous ways of traversing the distance between homophobia and homosociality in the blink of an eye, makes it even harder to untangle. Add to that the widely distributed hostility of almost all gamers for anything that seems to be "politically correct"--an attitude that's sometimes been termed "South Park Republicanism".

I'll buy all of that up to a point, especially since it explains The Footy Show, but it still looks a bit over-rationalised to me, and I've never yet seen any reason why I should respect either the behaviour or the intellects of gamers as a group. And I sure as hell bet Paris Hilton couldn't follow it.