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Old 04-12-2004, 07:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've frequently seen pple on mdc using the term witch in lieu of bitch. I dont like it. I dont think it's cool to slam a religion to avoid swearing.

Any witches that i've known have been gentle people who treat others the way that they want to be treated. Historically, witches have been the community midwives and healers and have been persecuted beyond belief. Are we carrying on this persecution with our everyday language?

I'd like to discuss this further.

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Old 04-12-2004, 07:31 PM
 
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I hate it.
And I usually address it when it happens.

I think it is just a matter of raising consciousness, I know most people aren't thinking about Pagans when they say it. And most people are pretty receptive when I point it out.. MOST people anyway.. lol.
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Old 04-12-2004, 08:09 PM
 
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I don't like it either, and I started a thread about it in activism about a year ago that really didn't do much good.
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Old 04-12-2004, 08:24 PM
 
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I've pointed this out a few times too. Sometimes it does some good. All we can do is keep trying.

"What will you do once you know?"
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Old 04-12-2004, 08:26 PM
 
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I honestly think that people have no idea that they are offending anyone when they do this. In fact, they think they are avoiding offending anyone by saying 'w' instead of the 'b' word.

I don't use either phrase myself, but I had absolutely no idea that it was offensive until someone brought it up here. I truly believe that others who use it are equally as unaware. The vast majority of people would not understand it to be 'slamming a religion.'

I'd say, just point it out gently if anyone makes that mistake. That is imo all that is necessary.
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Old 04-12-2004, 09:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Britishmum


I'd say, just point it out gently if anyone makes that mistake. That is imo all that is necessary.
that's pretty much what i've been doing up until now, and i agree that most pple dont realize that what they are saying could be offensive.

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Old 04-12-2004, 09:37 PM
 
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I don't get why it's so offensive. : It has more than one meaning (#4 A woman considered to be spiteful or overbearing.). Whenever I see someone use the word witch I do not think of a Wiccan. I don't use it anymore because I now know it offends some people, but why is it so offensive? I know there has to be a reason and I'm just not seeing it.
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Old 04-12-2004, 09:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Is this what you were looking at AnnMarie?

Quote:
8 entries found for Witch.
witch ( P ) Pronunciation Key (wch)
n.
A woman claiming or popularly believed to possess magical powers and practice sorcery.
A believer or follower of Wicca; a Wiccan.
A hag.
A woman considered to be spiteful or overbearing.
Informal. A woman or girl considered bewitching.
One particularly skilled or competent at one's craft: “A witch of a writer, [she] is capable of developing an intensity that verges on ferocity” (Peter S. Prescott).
http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=Witch

I guess, what i'm asking is if there's room in our language for persecutory speech like this. Is it like other words that we Just dont use any longer because they're hurtful? : Why not just use a different term? I think it's important to discuss things like this and get them out in the open.

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Old 04-12-2004, 11:08 PM
 
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I don't like it either...


I havent come across it on this board yet...

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Old 04-12-2004, 11:10 PM
 
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It is offensive Ann Marie because it is the word they use for themselves in many cases. It is offensive because the derogetory meanings listed for the word almost certainly stem from periods in history when it was acceptable to persecute and even kill witches. Imagine for me we lived in a slightly different world and Jews had not achieved the level of respect they currently have. And in that world, in the dictionary one of the definitions of jew is "someone who is stingy with money". Can you see how THAT would be offensive? I think this is basically the same thing.
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Old 04-13-2004, 01:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by moss
Why not just use a different term?
I agree, and that's why I don't use it, but I'd still like to understand why it's offensive. KWIM?

kama'aina mama, I guess that makes sense. Thanks.
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Old 04-13-2004, 11:25 AM
 
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ok, but not all witches are Wiccan. So regardless if one is making the connection of witch-wiccan it is still offensive.

And I think the point is how did the word witch come to mean A woman considered to be spiteful or overbearing??

IMO there is a definate connection between this opinion of witches and using the word as a substitute for bitch.
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Old 04-13-2004, 03:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Arduinna

And I think the point is how did the word witch come to mean A woman considered to be spiteful or overbearing??
That's really what I was wondering.
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Old 04-13-2004, 04:12 PM
 
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well see I'm finding it a really far stretch (to the point of it not being plausable) that somebody just assigned the term witch to mean someone nasty, evel whatever.

I do think that there is an inference of prejudice.

so, hence I do not like the term being used as a slur.
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Old 04-13-2004, 07:39 PM
 
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Quote:
And I think the point is how did the word witch come to mean A woman considered to be spiteful or overbearing??
I certainly don't know about the origin, but think about the connotations at Halloween! It was really hard talking about Halloween "characters" w/my toddler this past year; ie. the witches just look so evil and scary. But, why?

So, I'm sure that storybook image is what people are referencing. Pretty sad.

I think it's awesome that you bring the issue up! Educate one person at a time and the effect ripples out.
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Old 04-13-2004, 10:53 PM
 
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T
but....

I wonder why "bitch" itself is a slur. Isn't it a term related to a mother dog? So, aside from the assumption that one slur is derived from people and another from an animal, why is one more acceptable than the other? Or is it only because one involves people (who could actually care about it one way or the other, because obviously the dog doesn't.)

Back to :
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Old 04-13-2004, 11:25 PM
 
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It doesn't bother me. He he he, I'm a witch AND a bitch!

I have this personal thing with the English language. I take no offense if none was meant. Lately I've been feeling like we have to invent another language in order to communicate freely. Seems like everything one says can be taken one way or the other. I ain't gonna be a part of that cycle. They're just words!
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Old 04-14-2004, 02:50 AM
 
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Esperanto!
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Old 04-14-2004, 06:30 AM
 
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The dominant culture in the Western world has led its aderents to believe witches are evil. Satan worshipers. Green skinned and riding around on brooms against the law of physics no less.

"Suffer not a poisoner to live" in the Bible has been incorrectly translated to "suffer not a witch to live." Just what would a witch have looked like in 1000 BCE I like to wonder?

We think of her in the black clothing and pointed hat of the 16-17th century Puritan goodwife.
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Old 04-14-2004, 06:44 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by DaryLLL
The dominant culture in the Western world has led its aderents to believe witches are evil. Satan worshipers. Green skinned and riding around on brooms against the law of physics no less.


Perhaps, mr. webster was turned-down by a witch....

Quote:
"Suffer not a poisoner to live" in the Bible has been incorrectly translated to "suffer not a witch to live." Just what would a witch have looked like in 1000 BCE I like to wonder?
where is the verse you are referring to?
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Old 04-14-2004, 06:47 AM
 
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You are asking me to do research at 4:47 AM, pre-coffee? You...witch!

heh.
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Old 04-14-2004, 06:53 AM
 
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Here you go:

KJV

Exodus 22:18
Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live

http://bible.gospelcom.net/cgi-bin/bible
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Old 04-14-2004, 04:40 PM
 
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Warning: here comes my offensive language speech.

Okay. When an oppressed group of people ask you not to use certain language because they find it offensive, you don't use that language. Period. I think the point is that people are finding this use of the word witch hurtful, and don't want to see people using it in this manner. What's wrong with being respectful of people's feelings?

When people use the word witch (or gay, or retarded, or crazy or whatever) in a derogatory manner, the implication is that the group of people who use that label is bad, regardless of the intent of the person using the word.

And, this is a slightly separate rant, but I think the word bitch is incredibly offensive, and shouldn't be used either. As a matter of fact, why do we need the feel to call names at all?


Okay. Putting away the soapbox. This is something I feel very strongly about, in case you hadn't noticed.

ETA: The "you" I'm using in this post is a general you, not directed to anyone in particular.
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Old 04-14-2004, 04:59 PM
 
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Old 04-14-2004, 05:09 PM
 
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Can't we all just get along


Edited to fix my stupid blonde spelling error...










:LOL

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Old 04-14-2004, 05:24 PM
 
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get alone???


ok just teasin, I'm sure you meant get along right?

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Old 04-14-2004, 05:31 PM
 
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ok im having too many blonde moments :LOL

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Old 04-14-2004, 05:33 PM
 
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my dog is offended when people use the word "bitch" in a negative way - to describe certain humans or circumstances.
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Old 04-14-2004, 05:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Spongie


And, this is a slightly separate rant, but I think the word bitch is incredibly offensive, and shouldn't be used either.
I think this is a really valid point. 'Bitch' has often been used to describe assertive women who stand up for themselves...not something that i would put a negative label onto.

Quote:
As a matter of fact, why do we need the feel to call names at all?

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Old 04-14-2004, 06:13 PM
 
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I think this is a really valid point. 'Bitch' has often been used to describe assertive women who stand up for themselves...not something that i would put a negative label onto.
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