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I was surfing the side-links today and came across an answer that had been edited to replace a word with another which, according to the comments relating to the edit, was intended to be a less problematic equivalent. The comments indicated that the word violated the "no bigotry" rule:

Bigotry of any kind. Language likely to offend or alienate individuals or groups based on race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc. will not be tolerated. At all. (Those are just a few examples; when in doubt, just don't.)

The word in question (obscured to preserve delicate sensibilities) was:

twat

The sense of the usage was: a foolish or despicable person

I tried to discuss this with the moderator who had made the change, with a nod towards the fact that it is quite likely that my perception of the word is quite different. He sent me here.

From my view there is nothing about the word which contravenes the "no bigotry" rule. The specific usage of the word is gender neutral and does not touch on race, sexual orientation, religion or any other individual or group designation. Obviously this is not true of whichever culture the mod is from.

To further complicate things, the word was replaced with "Jerk" which - in the culture I was raised in - is a term applied exclusively to males and is generally considered to be a crude abbreviation for a particularly male activity. By definition then it is gendered and in contravention of the rule in question.

Not that I have a problem with either word, I honestly don't. But since the given reason for the change was to correct a violation of a rule, I find it a little concerning that the replacement is a much more apparent violation of that rule by the definitions of my culture. If we're going to moderate away one, why not both?

Or better yet: neither.

I am not advocating for a complete lack of manners in questions, answers or comments. I'm not asking to be able to use the common abbreviation of pusillanimous in my descriptions, since that one is mistaken as gendered fairly universally. Nor am I insisting that all discussion be carried out in carefully neutered words to ensure that no possibly offense can be taken from any of them.

What I'm concerned about is that petty words of neither impact nor importance are being treated as bigotry, regardless of intent or cultural considerations. I'm hoping that I'm not the only one that finds this to be concerning.

Do we need better definitions as to what words are bad and banned, or could we perhaps put out a few of the fires on the censor ship?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Pertinent for the discussion's consideration: the Be Nice policy itself uses the word "jerk". Specifically, "Don't be a jerk" is the bolded first words of rule 3, which contains the no bigotry rule. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Feb 17 '16 at 15:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Ahriman It was the moderator's intervention that I was specifically addressing, as it seemed either unnecessary or vaguely hypocritcal depending on your view on the words. \$\endgroup\$ – Corey Feb 17 '16 at 22:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ You may find it helpful to know that the Stack in general (not just this RPG.SE iteration of it) has struggled with these ideas for a long time. There are discussions about exactly what should be permitted and whether such guidelines are necessary at all. These policies aren't specific to the RPG.SE; as a member of the Stack we must enforce them. You can argue your case more effectively on Meta Stack Exchange. \$\endgroup\$ – BESW Feb 18 '16 at 0:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ In That's Not English E. Moore writes, "[S]ome words the English use casually... are considered more offensive or insulting by Americans. As [BBC America's Ruth] Margolis notes, for example, in England, one might plausibly tease a friend of either sex by calling them a twat (rhymes with cat) or the four-letter c-word, which is all but unsayable in the United States—and which linguist John McWhorter (while not at all against swearing in principle) has lumped in with the n-word as one of Americans' most taboo. Americans find it really shocking to hear it used carelessly" (146-7). \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Feb 18 '16 at 1:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ Sounds from the comment-discussion like you really intend this to be a duplicate of meta.rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/3573/… , and you are more concerned about preserving your word choice 'twat' rather than eliminating the alleged offensive word 'jerk.' You may want to go read that question. There's plenty of other dissenting opinions in answers on it you may like, but in the end here on RPG.SE we have enough "not nice" problems without allowing slurs and insults. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk Feb 18 '16 at 1:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ @mxyzplk No, I have no interest in the specific use of the word, I am concerned that the characterization of that specific usage of the word was incorrect, and the replacement word was just as much in violation of the rule as the word it replaced. And if what you got from my question is that I want to swear all I like in here then you didn't read the question. \$\endgroup\$ – Corey Feb 18 '16 at 4:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Corey Let me echo that back in my own words to see if I understand you: Your purpose for this meta question is to hear us say that we're wrong about “twat” being inappropriate and that “jerk” is also inappropriate, and you have no other concerns. Is that an accurate restatement? \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Feb 18 '16 at 5:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ The bottom line here is this. I understand it may not be so in your context, but around here calling a woman a "twat" is the kind of thing that gets you hit or fired from your job. It's well past the grey area of acceptable, professional speech and therefore was edited out. No one is calling you a bigot or demanding your head or anything - we realize cultures differ, no harm no foul. But now you know, so don't do it again. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk Feb 18 '16 at 21:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie Not quite. My point is that both words are potentially offensive, but that they are evaluated inconsistently. Ideally I would have neither of them forbidden when used in context and with intent that does not breach the code of conduct. What I don't want is for us to have to censor ever word, just in case some Russian-speaker happens to see the word "yep" or something. \$\endgroup\$ – Corey Feb 19 '16 at 3:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Corey If they're evaluated inconsistently, which I'm not longer convinced is the case, then you've already brought that up. Okay. As for your ideal, you're barking up the wrong tree; you've read the Be Nice policy so you know there's no room for what you're hoping for. (Aside, normal English words used as normal words that accidentally resemble foreign-language vulgarities aren't relevant, only using actual vulgarities.) \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Feb 19 '16 at 5:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie Vulgarities like "dick" for instance? It is the literal male equivalent of "twat" is it not? \$\endgroup\$ – Corey Feb 19 '16 at 6:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Corey Go flag them then? I kind of feel like you're assuming we're omniscient, and any example you can find proves something… but I'm not sure what you think it proves. There's no conspiracy: the policy plainly outlines the rules, and if we're failing it anywhere, be part of the solution and flag 'em. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Feb 19 '16 at 6:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Corey You still haven't addressed actual harm and offense caused. This is the elephant in the room. People (in this case, particularly Americans) have a problem with "twat." No one yet, including yourself, has communicated that they have a problem with "dick" that is worthy of editing it out. So, sure, they're both anatomical terms, but they haven't been demonstrated to be equivalent in the area most relevant to this question: the bigotry/offense portion of the "be nice" rule. That one anatomical term doesn't appear to offend people doesn't mean that no such words offend people. \$\endgroup\$ – Pixie Feb 19 '16 at 7:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Pixie Indeed. I suspect the problem is that Corey doesn't believe the analysis of “twat” is valid, and is point-making by rules lawyering that the same “invalid” analysis be applied to any dimorphic part of the anatomy, else we're hypocrites. I hope I'm wrong in that suspicion though, because it would be a really shallow understanding of the purpose of the policy, and be mistaking us for legalist robots, to boot. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Feb 19 '16 at 7:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie That's why I ask (as I did on Korvin's answer). Without more information, the argument seems to imply that offense to "twat" doesn't exist or is invalid due to lack of offense at "dick." Maybe Corey can clarify otherwise. Either way, the rule isn't about removing references to dimorphic parts, so operating on that alone is fallacious. We remove offensive words. How is it hypocritical that we remove a word people have expressed offense to but leave words if nobody has? That's my question. \$\endgroup\$ – Pixie Feb 19 '16 at 8:08
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Keeping loaded language to a minimum is part of our ongoing work to cultivate a welcoming and patient environment, so thank you for letting us know we've been ignorant of a word's loaded implications!

I agree with the answers already posted dealing with policies; I'm posting to suggest an action for posters and editors to keep in mind going forward.

Replace generic "not behaving nice" phrases with more specific and constructive words.

We really shouldn't be putting "petty words of neither impact nor importance" into our answers, whether they're rude or not. In this case, I suggest:

What happens in the real world when it becomes known that someone is greedy?

and

It's known that "Chaotic Greedy" gets more than her share of loot?

Not only is this hopefully less offensive, it's often more clear what specific problem is being talked about. Meaning is not lost, and is instead often gained, by using context-accurate descriptions in place of generic "misbehaviour" words, whether they're insulting or not. This change helps us Be Nice and be more helpful by shifting away from blaming people and toward solving problems.

That said, in cases where I can't take the time to understand the original poster enough to find better words for them, I use [snip]: "What happens in the real world when it becomes known that someone is a greedy [snip]?" and "It's known that "Chaotic [Snip]" gets more than her share of loot?" are still clearly meant to deride and don't add anything useful to the post, but they aren't using specific loaded language anymore.

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    \$\begingroup\$ +many if I could: the offensive word is always--in my observation--a shortcut that avoids describing the actual objection to the target's behavior/actions. \$\endgroup\$ – nitsua60 Feb 17 '16 at 13:52
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On the "t***": The word in the OP is definitely offensive in some cultures. In the US, there's a good chance that it will ring misogynistic. If one culture considers a word offensive, it doesn't belong on an international site like this, even if other cultures do not.

In this situation, those who experience discomfort take precedence over those who don't. One person perceiving a word as okay doesn't make it less hurtful to others. On the flip side, there is no harm in not using the handful of words this policy applies to. There are plenty of other ways to express oneself that don't carry unfortunate connotations (which exist regardless of the author's intent).

On "jerk": If it's really that bad in your (or any) culture, we should look at alternatives, as above. We don't want anyone harmed or put off by the language here. It's common on this site because it's one of the most innocuous American insults. It's so clean that even American children might use it without protest -- it's not on the default list of "bad words." I've also never encountered a less innocuous reading of it, even online. That's why it's important to talk about it, though.

If this word is a problem, it won't be easy to fix, but we should try. This is what we need to consider: if someone from your culture saw that word being used here, would they be harmed or put off from the site? If the answer is "yes," we should avoid it. If the answer is "no," it may not be worth the effort. I would ask this of any potentially problematic word.

On being nice: The rule against bigoted language is just one part of the "Be nice." policy. Even if we hold that "jerk" is okay (not arguing either way myself), it's still an insult. Users should not be insulting other users. Directly insulting others is antithetical to to "Be nice." We should discourage this.

Talking about non-users gets a little hazier. Sometimes askers come to the site for advice about people who are rude, mean, manipulative, and so forth. In those cases, it's useful to emphasize to the asker that the behavior they're describing is truly not okay and should be dealt with. Of course, we can say exactly that: "[The behavior in question] isn't okay. Don't tolerate it." As BESW notes in his answer, specificity is often both less offensive and more informative than vague insults. I think this is ideal.

But people communicate in different ways, and when responding to destructive or malicious behavior, sometimes they reach for mild insults. Is this something that is worth an edit by itself (assuming the words used are otherwise inoffensive)? I'm not certain.

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An update note: I'm no longer sure that “jerk” is actually offending anyone. The meta's asker has stated in comments that they don't believe anyone should be offended by any of these words, and nobody else has said anything that makes me believe that “jerk” is, in some locales, naturally offensive on actionable grounds. The original claim that it is appears to have been a false equivalence, made only to make a rhetorical point.

The discussion is still well worth having, and I think this post still stands since it was already full of “ifs” regarding that point anyway.

Well, removing neither isn't an option if they're both inappropriate for civil discourse. If they're both inappropriate, then they both go — they don't cancel out with a shrug. Intent is also a distraction we can dispense with — our code of conduct doesn't allow for intent to excuse a term and let it stand.

But the point is worth examining: we are an international site (apart from being strictly English-speaking), so North American standards of civility aren't the only ones relevant. In practice, what is probably the most sensible result is taking the union of inappropriate name-calling terms and tossing those out as “not constructive in civil international discourse.”

I've never been particularly happy with “jerk” as the boilerplate replacement for various nastier terms, anyway. It's still name-calling rather than describing the objectionable behaviours. It's pretty inoffensive where I and other mods come from though, so it got chosen more-or-less by default.

(Aside, “twat” is probably more offensive here in the same way “jerk” is more offensive there: its slang meaning is highly visible and it can't be used casually without that other meaning being an inherent part of the insult. The effect here is to not only insult the person name-called, but also to insult female genitals as a category, by suggesting they're so bad that anyone should be insulted to be associated with them. As gendered insults go North America certainly offers worse options, but it still crosses the bright line laid out in the Be Nice policy by a fair margin. Here “jerk” doesn't have that gendered connection at all (maybe it once did?), so we appear to have two terms that are perfect inversions in use, here and there.)

Anyway. Being a thoughtless default doesn't make it sacrosanct, so it's worth considering…

How can we clean up posts that contravene our Be Nice policy?

So far, replacing the inappropriate word has been the course of action, and “jerk” has been used because it has the virtue of being a drop-in replacement for most more vulgar terms, both for grammatically fitting into the sentences we're cleaning up, and for being (at least in North America) mild yet carrying a distinct meaning of opprobrium for someone's selfish, mean, or insensitive behaviour.

  1. Finding a different word that doesn't raise eyebrows anywhere in the English-speaking world is an option. What I doubt is that there's one that carries a meaning that can work as an inoffensive drop-in replacement. If anyone can think of a good alternative, that would be useful to hear.

  2. More extensive rewrites of the sentences that step over the line is a possibility. This has the drawback of taking an order of magnitude more careful thought and time than just dropping in a word replacement, but it has the significant advantage of completely avoiding calling people names, even mild ones. I like that. Being slower and hard means that cleaning up such messes gains a barrier to actually doing it consistently and punctually though; I don't like that aspect so much.

    Another significant downside to this approach is that a minimal edit that retains their intent but changes their particular word choice is much less likely to get pushback from the original poster and turn into a big blowup. A more extensive edit that changes phrasing and tone entirely is more likely to inspire edit warring and other unfortunate dynamics. This downside may be the much more relevant one, now that I've thought on it more.

  3. There's always the possibility of just removing the inappropriate post entirely and instructing the poster to fix the problem. The difficulty here is that this remedy is only available easily to diamond mods, and is much more disruptive besides — and much less likely to result in the poster wanting to cooperate.

For possibility (1) I can't personally think of words that are better — that is, a mild name for someone that still expresses that they have earned opprobrium. Signing on to (2), due to its more significant commitment of editing time for the edit-privileged users and diamond moderators, probably requires buy-in from the community to be effective. (3) is always there as a fallback, but is rather a nuclear option, as it would be more disruptive in general.

So this answer is far from a full and final answer that I wish I could give you, and is more attempting to lay out the practical dilemma, as I see it, and inviting further feedback and ideas from the community at large.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ So the fact that a word derived from exclusively male masturbatory practice is acceptable in some other usage - which derives ultimately from the same original meaning - makes it OK, just as a synonymous word for that usage which also means male genitals appears to be considering the lack of moderation of that word... and yet another synonym which happens to also be slang for female genitalia is somehow not OK. This appears to be a massive double standard. We can use male-derogative but not female-derogative words? \$\endgroup\$ – Corey Feb 17 '16 at 22:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Corey I'm pretty sure SSD is saying the replacement word was used out of ignorance of its loaded implications, not defending its future use: he's hoping to find a better solution but can't think of an obviously better one right now so he's inviting further feedback from the community. \$\endgroup\$ – BESW Feb 17 '16 at 22:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ @BESW I recognize that, but I still think that the inherent double standard should be acknowledged. Regardless, my issue isn't with the specific words - other than as they highlight the double standard, which itself violates the - it's the safe-space attitude that says that we need to protect people from such trivial offense. \$\endgroup\$ – Corey Feb 17 '16 at 23:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Corey Then please place more focus on what you're most concerned about and less on what you consider tangential? It's really kinda difficult to figure out what action you're hoping will be taken, or what problem you're hoping will be solved. Using words like "hypocrisy" is going to put a lot of focus on that part of the issue at the expense of the other bits. \$\endgroup\$ – BESW Feb 17 '16 at 23:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BESW I think this is a more complex issue than that. Perhaps my rhetorical style is clouding the issue, and if so I apologize. By highlighting the inconsistency I'm trying to convey that this sort of word substitution is... well, silly. I'm also trying to do this with words that aren't my first choice, because apparently my first choices might be cause for moderation. \$\endgroup\$ – Corey Feb 17 '16 at 23:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Corey I get the impression that there is a particular outcome that you'd like to see? If so, you might consider writing an answer of your own—self-answering questions is fine at RPG.se, doubly so on the Meta side of the site. You'd have much more room for a clear message in the space an answer post provides. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Feb 17 '16 at 23:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie I'd really like it if your comments didn't disappear. I was going to reply when I noted other pending updates and refreshed the page... and couldn't find your comment. I get that we occasionally write things that on reflection we wish we hadn't, but I'd rather you write a retraction than simply pull the comment. All I have now is a sense that you were telling me not to bother trying to get people to lighten up on censorship here... and no way to re-read to confirm. Was it something along those lines? \$\endgroup\$ – Corey Feb 17 '16 at 23:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Corey Ah, yes. In that case: don't bother asking people to lighten up on our code of conduct. It's a non-negotiable policy. How to best implement it is up for discussion, but not implementing it at all isn't. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Feb 18 '16 at 0:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Corey in re: "attitude that says we need to protect people from such trivial offense." Please don't trivialize others' feelings. Someone expressed feeling offended. Please Assume Good Faith and believe that they are actually offended, rather than trivially offended. \$\endgroup\$ – nitsua60 Feb 18 '16 at 0:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nitsua60 OK, so if I claim to be offended by something then that thing should automatically be censored from the site? Wow. I find censorship of words that are neither intended for nor commonly used to give offense when that censorship is based on the meaning of other usages of said words to be highly offensive. Now does that mean that the entire moderation team needs to cater to my feeling of being offended? And if not, why not? \$\endgroup\$ – Corey Feb 18 '16 at 1:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie Thanks for reinstating that. I am not demanding that the "be nice" policy not be enforced, I'm asking that the interpretation of that policy be reviewed to prevent it from being applied to such trivia. Having a code of conduct is a necessary part of the site, as is enforcing it. But I question the necessity of a code so strict that trivial matters are given excessive weight. \$\endgroup\$ – Corey Feb 18 '16 at 1:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Corey: your comment goes a step further than what I said. What I say is "if you claim to be offended I'll believe you." I ask that you do the same for anyone else. I didn't prescribe anything about writing, editing, or moderation actions. How Assuming Good Faith effects your writing or editing is up to you. Same for me and for the mods. Specifically: "does that mean that the entire moderation team needs to cater to my feeling of being offended?" I say "no." I do say they need to respect it, and they should believe you when you express it. (And I say the same is true for each citizen.) \$\endgroup\$ – nitsua60 Feb 18 '16 at 1:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't believe that "jerk" as an insult ever came from a vulgar slang term for manual stimulation. Several sources cite the term as a term for "jerks" who lived in "jerkwater towns." "Jerkwater town" was American slang for a water stop on a railroad, back when most trains were running stem engines (which ran on water). The boilerman would stop at the water tower and "jerk" the chain to dump the water into the tank, hence "jerkwater." People who lived in these towns were known as "jerks." \$\endgroup\$ – LegendaryDude Feb 19 '16 at 2:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @LegendaryDude Nice sanitary etymologies are nice, but not always accurate. Sadly there were no jerk-water towns in my country that could have been the origin of such a term, but even if there were the usage remains clear: one who jerks off. As the Brits would say, a wanker. Language evolves, and clean etymology doesn't defend the common abbreviated form of pusillanimous. \$\endgroup\$ – Corey Feb 23 '16 at 1:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nitsua60 So if offense is not a reason to moderate, of what utility is it to acknowledge offense? If I say something that is unpopular and "causes offense" but the statement was actually true, should I be required to restate it or apologize for saying it? In most discussions I find offense to be an irrelevancy, since it doesn't have any bearing on the truth of a matter. \$\endgroup\$ – Corey Feb 23 '16 at 1:53
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The Be Nice policy applies to the entire Stack Exchange, not just this site, so lobbying for a change to it will have to go to the Stack Exchange meta rather than this particular iteration of it. But there is some variation in enforcement of Be Nice from Stack to Stack, so let's look at that.

The Be Nice policy is deliberately vague, because the longer a list of what's not allowed gets the more it leaves off. This means that enforcement of the policy usually takes this form: Someone sees something that they don't think is Nice, and either edits it themselves or flags it for a moderator to look at. Moderators usually feel that if someone's taken the trouble to flag something, it's legitimately giving off Not Nice vibes whether the moderator sees it or not. Edits are, of course, expected to also be Nice, which means not changing the content of the answer.

This isn't perfect, obviously. As you've noticed, a lot of Not Nice words get left lying around and sometimes things get a bit overzealous. But it allows a certain amount of leeway per site; exactly what Be Nice means for a particular group changes over time as our active user base shifts, and there's no universal solution for all time. It'd be unreasonable for me to say what others should or shouldn't find objectionable. This "edit/flag it when you see it" approach is a compromise that usually works pretty well by only kicking in when something's actually going wrong.

The approach does, however, assume good will on the part of the users. Some sections of the Internet (and society at large) indulge in "manufactured outrage" and this isn't welcome in the Stack either. It's harder to detect though. Until a pattern indicates otherwise, we assume good will on the part of both poster and editor/flagger but err toward removing questionable material.

Does this make the Stack seem oversensitive sometimes? Yes, of course. When someone goes on a word-changing spree it may get kinda ridiculous. But much more often people don't react to things which really should be addressed, and the Stack (in general and this one in particular) gets noticeably more complaints that we're too rude than that we're too sensitive. So I don't think there's a big need to relax our already very laid-back approach to policing Not Nice behaviour. Nobody is asked to go looking for things to take offence at.

For more discussions on this topic, I recommend the Meta SE tags for [behavior] and [etiquette].

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As a point of reference I (British, and somewhat given to formality) find jerk very much more offensive than twat. I am aware of the various shades of meaning of both, and since Stack Exchange is fond of American slang I appreciate that 'Don't be a jerk' is only unintentionally foul-mouthed. But if one of my posts uses the t-word (improbable) and some well-intentioned Yank substitutes the j-word, there will at best be an edit war and at worst an action for defamation.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I couldn't find a more recent list of the BSC's rude words list than this from 2000. Has the last 15 or so years has seen jerk move up the rudeness scale? I really am sincerely curious. I've been trying to research this since the meta question was posted. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Feb 20 '16 at 23:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ The BSC got rolled into another body which no longer bothers to perform such research. Now they just tell broadcasters to not use the 3 or 4 most horrible without damned good reason, and never before 9pm. Offensiveness of words is judged on a case-by-case basis when complaints are received. Broadcasters have their own lists of words but have actively refused to reveal those when asked. \$\endgroup\$ – Corey Feb 23 '16 at 1:55
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I read through the edit history and discovered that the T word was being used as a pejorative term for a female player. That combination was inappropriate for this site, and would have been even if the T word not by itself on an auto-censor list. .

I question the need for any of us who participate here to use name calling as a method of presenting a question or an answer. Under the premise of the above noted "Be Nice" rule at SE/SO family of sites, there are a lot of ways to characterize a difficult player that does not involve name calling.

As to feeling stuck between T-word and J-word, that argues for whomever is crafting the answer or question to expand their vocabulary.

Bottom Line: this isn't a problem. The policy is sound, and the intent behind it sounder.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I disagree that "name calling" is correct, and that the word used was worse because it was used to describe a female. Do you object as strongly when a male is called a dick on the site? I see numerous instances of this behavior, none of which appear to have been flagged for moderation or otherwise interfered with. Where is the difference? Are we constrained to only allowing insulting language that references male characteristics and activity, never female? Is that not hypocritical? \$\endgroup\$ – Corey Feb 17 '16 at 22:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Corey Historically the Stack's response to "We can do X but not Y, isn't that a double standard?" is "Oh, you're right! We shouldn't be doing X either." This is true in matters of topicality or formatting as well as matters of language or anything else. I would expect the result of this discussion to be consistent with that history. \$\endgroup\$ – BESW Feb 17 '16 at 23:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BESW Oh, wonderful. So what you're saying is that by trying to reduce silly censorship what I'm actually achieving is more silly censorship. Well, don't I feel foolish. \$\endgroup\$ – Corey Feb 17 '16 at 23:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Corey This isn't really the place to get into how gendered insults and slurs disproportionately affect women, but that's a thing. We also have plenty of male users -- are they actually feeling uncomfortable when that word is used? Are you? That's an important factor. That said, I don't feel it's appropriate to call people "dicks" on site, myself. I just haven't noticed it. If you see it and think it should be flagged, flag it. \$\endgroup\$ – Pixie Feb 17 '16 at 23:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ Ok, if you're just making this point to call the discomfort of women into question, stop. \$\endgroup\$ – Pixie Feb 17 '16 at 23:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Pixie is that directed a me or at Corey? Corey, I do not think it right to, in a response here, to call a guy a dick. That's my position. If I need to do a word search for dick and set flags, maybe I'll do that. It just isn't necessary here. PS, as soon as you used "so what you're saying" in your comment, I realized that I am dealing with deliberate dishonesty. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Feb 18 '16 at 0:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast Search the site for "Don't be a dick." It's a common statement used to advise people to not engage in certain types of negative behavior. And it's a perfectly acceptable statement in the gaming community, especially as it has a history of geek cred. Are we going to slash that history to ribbons just to satisfy some narrow interpretation of bigoted language? Or are we going to admit that there are times when that definition is too narrowly applied? \$\endgroup\$ – Corey Feb 18 '16 at 0:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ I am aware of that. My answer has to do with someone using twat for a female character as the point about name calling. Go and read the question and the links that were censored, instead of talking out of your backside. Insofar as a general rule, "don't be a dick" isn't bad advice, and "don't be a twat" may not work as well since that isn't a term that has arrived in modern slang ... but it's good advice as well. If a British friend said "don't act like such a c*** I'd get exactly what his point was. If he called me a c*** I'd take it a lot differently. Do You See The Difference or NOT? \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Feb 18 '16 at 0:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast Sorry, that last one was directed at Corey. Meant to @ and didn't. \$\endgroup\$ – Pixie Feb 18 '16 at 0:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Pixie At least you didn't tell me "don't be a dick" or I might have gotten offended and gone off on a rant. Actually, I wouldn't have. I am still able to read things in context. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Feb 18 '16 at 0:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Corey Hey, MRA stuff of the red-pill variety is going to be poorly received here. You might not want to flirt with that cliff edge here. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Feb 18 '16 at 0:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie I wasn't. I was agreeing that those things should not be brought in here, and that this is not the site for that kind of discussion. \$\endgroup\$ – Corey Feb 18 '16 at 1:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Corey Just beware that pursuit of a just society in how we manage the site and community is a topic of conversation here. Your comment about what is and isn't an appropriate subject here doesn't accurately reflect the community's standards. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Feb 18 '16 at 2:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Corey Here is the core of this for me: a not insignificant number of people are made uncomfortable by certain words, including the one you want okayed. Several have told you this and explained why. That discomfort exists, and it will not go away because of intent. It will also not go away because (as far as I can tell) no men here have expressed an issue with the term "dick." Okay, if no one is made uncomfortable by that term, there's no need to crack down on it (at least based on offensiveness alone). But that doesn't negate anybody else's discomfort at other words. \$\endgroup\$ – Pixie Feb 18 '16 at 6:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Pixie Do you think the comfort level is related to the general breakdown of gamer demographics, RPG demographics, or a general breakdown in civility over the last generation or so? I ask that because in the 1970's, don't be a dick would come off as a heck of a lot ruder than it does now. I context changes, as do norms. A sense of humor failure by some high rep users here took me by surprise, until I remembered the sub culture that I am dealing with in the SE family of sites. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Feb 19 '16 at 13:32

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