DrP

'Stupid Woman'

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Jeremy Corbin's latest trouble has been caused by some lip readers claiming he called the prime minister a 'stupid woman' under his breath to the person sitting next to him during the PM question time after she failed to answer his questions adequately.  He claims he was talking about the whole front bench and said that they were stupid people. There has been outrage about it with claims of hypocrisy and sexism and arguments between differing lip readers as to if he said 'people' or 'woman'. The venomous fake moral outrage has been nauseating....  Putting aside the childishness of calling someone stupid just because they cannot or will not see your side of an argument, they were not complaining that he called her stupid, but that he said that she was a woman.  I don't get the fake outrage at all unless it is just a distraction from the rest of the debacle that has been going on over the last couple of years.

 

...although it leads me to question:-    When did it become sexist to call a woman.....  a woman?  Also - do any of the public really care or is it just his political enemies jumping in to try to discredit him as a hypocrite? 

 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

is it a secret? 

Is what a secret dim? I don't get you here.

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I can see where you are coming from, but I would counter that such a bland interpretation ignores a lot of the nuance around how the expression is used. In most common examples I can think of, the word proceeding “stupid,” is typically something to underscore the insult and really put across just how stupid someone it. Stupid boy, stupid girl, stupid idiot, etc etc. In my experience, you don’t really hear people use “stupid man,” as an insult all that much. You do hear, “stupid woman,”  quite a lot, relatively speaking. Within the context of an insult the use of, “woman,” is really not a statement of plain fact; it is used mockingly. That’s why it’s sexist. 

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10 minutes ago, hypervalent_iodine said:

you don’t really hear people use “stupid man,” as an insult all that much. You do hear, “stupid woman,”  quite a lot, relatively speaking. Within the context of an insult the use of, “woman,” is really not a statement of plain fact; it is used mockingly. That’s why it’s sexist. 

 

I do agree, but if a man, in context would he say “stupid idiot”. intent and culture are both barriers.

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1 minute ago, hypervalent_iodine said:

Within the context of an insult the use of, “woman,” is really not a statement of plain fact; it is used mockingly. That’s why it’s sexist. 

Is that what happened in parliament yesterday? Was he mocking her with a direct accusation of stupidity, emphasising the word 'woman' using it as if it was an insult?... or commenting to his friend in private (as sideways whisper for his ears only) that he thought the person was stupid?   Her gender has no bearing on her intellect at all...  as I said above I though what he said was childish...  to suggest a woman who has risen through the ranks to take the most powerful political position in the country is 'stupid' is 'stupid' in it's own right...  she would HAVE to be pretty good to reach the position and to be voted into that position by her peers.  I think he was probably just releasing some frustration at her lack of understanding or wilful dismissal of his argument.

 

6 minutes ago, hypervalent_iodine said:

In my experience, you don’t really hear people use “stupid man,” as an insult all that much.

That would be because you are a woman.  So if someone called you stupid they would call you a stupid woman. If they called ME stupid they would use the phrase 'stupid man'.  I regret to say that I have been on the receiving end of that statement and it was probably deserved. :D...  so in MY experience I don't really hear the phrase 'stupid woman'...  it's always 'stupid man'.  Is that sexist?  It is only sexist if you consider using gender in language to distinguish between the sexes sexist. Maybe that is - but that is the language we have and used correctly. If you want that changed then you have to change the language - not attack those that use it correctly.

I've said it before   -  you jump on people like this and you are preaching to the choir  -  this is why we have Brexit and Trump....  because we aren't allowed to discuss things for fear of upsetting the PC brigade - so they don't get discussed and peoples shit views come out at the polling stations. Better have the discussion in public and educate the people who hold their racist and misogynistic views to the fact that they are holding biases and prejudices or whatever - rather than jumping on them and shutting them up so they slink off and continue to keep their views private and vote accordingly in the ballot boxes. Now they have won (the brexit vote/trump pres) they are over the moon and feel justified in holding their views once again.  Keep shutting them up and scolding them school teacher style and they will go underground again, never to be seen until next polling day. :-( 

 

 

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59 minutes ago, DrP said:

When did it become sexist to call a woman.....  a woman?

When gender is brought up for no apparent reason, and gets slapped with a negative label, of course it's sexist. If I'm deriding a person's mental capabilities, I have LOTS of great aspects of intelligence to choose from, but gender isn't one that's even applicable. If it's used, why else would you use it if you didn't think adding "woman" made "stupid" stupider?

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Just now, dimreepr said:

I do agree, but if a man, in context would he say “stupid idiot”. intent and culture are both barriers.

the phrase 'stupid man' gets used all the time by women and men - I can't see this at all.  If you care about being called a 'stupid man' or a stupid woman' then imo you need to go rethink your values and toughen up. You wonder why there was a brexit....  it's because you heads are in the sand or in your own echo bubbles.  I was physically sickened by how blind many of my friends were when they were crying at the brexit result...  how they never saw it coming I do not know (well I do - they live their own bubbles of confirmation).

 

Just now, Phi for All said:

If it's used, why else would you use it if you didn't think adding "woman" made "stupid" stupider?

To donate he was talking about the woman and not the man sitting next to her? He actually denies it and claims he was talking about the whole bench though. lol - how is that not worse?    He 'said' (if you believe the press) 'woman' to denote the target of whom he was calling stupid.  If he meant the person sitting next to her then he would have said stupid man. That is how the English (and American) languages work  - we have gender in them.  In Germany it is worse as their are 3 genders (well 2 and a neutral).

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I don't think we can say if it was sexist or not, because we don't know his intent or history (at least I don't). I often comment 'that guy's an idiot', or 'that woman's an idiot'. It is just an identifier. For me, anyway. Was it just an identifier for him, or was he degrading women in general? How could we possibly know based on so little information?

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On 21/12/2018 at 1:11 AM, DrP said:

Is that what happened in parliament yesterday? Was he mocking her with a direct accusation of stupidity, emphasising the word 'woman' using it as if it was an insult?... or commenting to his friend in private (as sideways whisper for his ears only) that he thought the person was stupid?   Her gender has no bearing on her intellect at all...  as I said above I though what he said was childish...  to suggest a woman who has risen through the ranks to take the most powerful political position in the country is 'stupid' is 'stupid' in it's own right...  she would HAVE to be pretty good to reach the position and to be voted into that position by her peers.  I think he was probably just releasing some frustration at her lack of understanding or wilful dismissal of his argument.

 

That would be because you are a woman.  So if someone called you stupid they would call you a stupid woman. If they called ME stupid they would use the phrase 'stupid man'.  I regret to say that I have been on the receiving end of that statement and it was probably deserved. :D...  so in MY experience I don't really hear the phrase 'stupid woman'...  it's always 'stupid man'.  Is that sexist?  It is only sexist if you consider using gender in language to distinguish between the sexes sexist. Maybe that is - but that is the language we have and used correctly. If you want that changed then you have to change the language - not attack those that use it correctly.

I've said it before   -  you jump on people like this and you are preaching to the choir  -  this is why we have Brexit and Trump....  because we aren't allowed to discuss things for fear of upsetting the PC brigade - so they don't get discussed and peoples shit views come out at the polling stations. Better have the discussion in public and educate the people who hold their racist and misogynistic views to the fact that they are holding biases and prejudices or whatever - rather than jumping on them and shutting them up so they slink off and continue to keep their views private and vote accordingly in the ballot boxes. Now they have won (the brexit vote/trump pres) they are over the moon and feel justified in holding their views once again.  Keep shutting them up and scolding them school teacher style and they will go underground again, never to be seen until next polling day. :-( 

 

 

 

I am talking about the phrase generally, since that is where the bulk of your questions were aimed at. I don’t live in the UK, and I have not looked at anything surrounding the issue you are referring to specifically. My question is why use the word woman in the first place? If it isn’t used to emphasise the initial insult (as it almost always is when that phrase is used), why use it at all? 

By my experience, I wasn’t talking about the comments I have had levelled at me. I was talking about how I use the phrase, how people around me use the phrase, and how you might see it used in media, on TV, etc. I disagree that “stupid man,” is as commonly used as, “stupid woman,” based on that. 

I agree that it is not always helpful to immediately vilify someone as sexist or a misogynist in cases like these, but only if it was the result of a lack of awareness. I also believe firmly in the power of apology, and that no one should be held eternally and irreversibly accountable for their mistakes. The way we use language matters, and it’s consequences are pervasive. It is important to have these discussions so that people might learn, and so the issues become embedded in society’s comprehension of the world we live in. 

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On 21/12/2018 at 1:31 AM, hypervalent_iodine said:

I agree that it is not always helpful to immediately vilify someone as sexist or a misogynist in cases like these, but only if it was the result of a lack of awareness. I also believe firmly in the power of apology, and that no one should be held eternally and irreversibly accountable for their mistakes. The way we use language matters, and it’s consequences are pervasive. It is important to have these discussions so that people might learn, and so the issues become embedded in society’s comprehension of the world we live in. 

Couldn't agree more. A lesson I think Corbin is learning. Whether he was being sexist or not, he is being told the way we use language matters and he needs to think before speaking.

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5 minutes ago, zapatos said:

I don't think we can say if it was sexist or not, because we don't know his intent or history (at least I don't). I often comment 'that guy's an idiot', or 'that woman's an idiot'. It is just an identifier. For me, anyway. Was it just an identifier for him, or was he degrading women in general? How could we possibly know based on so little information?

I think that is a little different in the way it’s used, though. In that case it is simply an identifier, and I would class it as generally innocuous. You aren’t using identifiers to add to the insult, you are just identifying them. I don’t think the same is true here, but perhaps I am wrong. 

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2 minutes ago, hypervalent_iodine said:

I think that is a little different in the way it’s used, though. In that case it is simply an identifier, and I would class it as generally innocuous. You aren’t using identifiers to add to the insult, you are just identifying them. I don’t think the same is true here, but perhaps I am wrong. 

Although your later point about 'how we use language matters' is in my opinion what is important here. Corbin used language that was not particularly clear, as is shown by his many defenders and detractors. If what you say can easily be interpreted as sexist, then you are doing yourself and women an injustice.

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11 minutes ago, zapatos said:

Was it just an identifier for him, or was he degrading women in general? How could we possibly know based on so little information?

The man has campaigned for decades against sexism, racism, war and many things. He is as left wing as you can get and still be considered viable as an mp. To label him as as a racist or a misogynist is ridiculous. You'd call about 75% of the nation sexist ad racist if you used the same measuring stick.

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2 minutes ago, DrP said:

The man has campaigned for decades against sexism, racism, war and many things. He is as left wing as you can get and still be considered viable as an mp. To label him as as a racist or a misogynist is ridiculous. You'd call about 75% of the nation sexist ad racist if you used the same measuring stick.

So it's likely he just chose his words poorly (because he was misunderstood as saying something sexist), although one would think that when muttering under your breath you'd be given a little slack.

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I'm OK with it  -  if you want to remove gender from language then I don't care  -  but you have to let everyone know about it and get them all to agree.

13 minutes ago, hypervalent_iodine said:

My question is why use the word woman at all?

?  well as I said  -  if you want to remove gender from language then that's fine....  but it hasn't been removed, so the word 'woman' gets used to donate that you are talking about someone who is female. Why you would make the distinction between male and female I do not know  -  I am sure many have their own reasons. Sometimes for clarity - like in this sense when there is a man AND a woman before you the use of the word man or woman can distinguish which one you are referring too.  Is this sexist too now?

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16 minutes ago, DrP said:

To donate he was talking about the woman and not the man sitting next to her? He actually denies it and claims he was talking about the whole bench though. lol - how is that not worse?    He 'said' (if you believe the press) 'woman' to denote the target of whom he was calling stupid.  If he meant the person sitting next to her then he would have said stupid man. That is how the English (and American) languages work  - we have gender in them.  In Germany it is worse as their are 3 genders (well 2 and a neutral).

In the OP, Corbin is talking about Theresa May, right? Making an aside to an aide immediately after the PM had failed to address his question adequately? In this instance, adding that she was a woman was superfluous wrt identifying who was being derided. If Corbin was angry about her response, what did being a woman have to do with her perceived stupidity? Shouldn't he be more likely to pair "stupidity" with her being Conservative, or where she's from, or where she went to school, rather than with her gender?

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2 minutes ago, DrP said:

I'm OK with it  -  if you want to remove gender from language then I don't care  -  but you have to let everyone know about it and get them all to agree.

?  well as I said  -  if you want to remove gender from language then that's fine....  but it hasn't been removed, so the word 'woman' gets used to donate that you are talking about someone who is female. Why you would make the distinction between male and female I do not know  -  I am sure many have their own reasons. Sometimes for clarity - like in this sense when there is a man AND a woman before you the use of the word man or woman can distinguish which one you are referring too.  Is this sexist too now?

You misinterpreted what I was saying. I didn’t mean “at all,” in the sense of, don’t use the word woman ever. I meant why did he have to gender the insult that he used? 

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2 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

Shouldn't he be more likely to pair "stupidity" with her being Conservative, or where she's from, or where she went to school, rather than with her gender?

If he had, would we be having the same discussion but accusing him of being elitist instead of sexist? I'm not necessarily condoning him, but it is difficult to please everyone.

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2 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

In the OP, Corbin is talking about Theresa May, right? Making an aside to an aide immediately after the PM had failed to address his question adequately? In this instance, adding that she was a woman was superfluous

He 'claims' he was talking about the whole front bench and never even said it. He said 'stupid people' according to his claims, meaning the whole front bench of the Conservative party.

Just now, dimreepr said:

 kinda. yes

You are the only one claiming it then. The dictionary makes a distinction between men and women and gives us different words to refer to them in our language. It's drivel like this that alienates you from the people that vote brexit mate.  They here this and laugh at you and will never take you seriously again afterwards whatever the topic. They would think it's just PC gone mad and they will not listen to you when you have something important to say....  like 'the EU is beneficial to the UK'...  they would say, 'right, yea, this is the same bloke that thinks we should say fire person rather than fire man or woman, pah - ignore him he's talking bollocks again'.

Is it better to be right rather than effective?:-

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, zapatos said:

If he had, would we be having the same discussion but accusing him of being elitist instead of sexist? I'm not necessarily condoning him, but it is difficult to please everyone.

I wanted to point out how people normally disparage another person's intelligence, but you're right, it's all discriminatory since it assumes negative traits about a group of people. I still think it shows how a person is thinking about someone else when they put them down for being part of the opposition (different party, different school, different region, different religion, different lifestyle). And I still think men who look at women as the opposition when it's out of context are practising sexism. 

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Quote

Is it better to be right rather than effective?:-

which is which?

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Just now, Phi for All said:

And I still think men who look at women as the opposition when it's out of context are practising sexism. 

So do I (if I understood you correctly).  Using a persons gender in conversation about them though is normal English language and it seem ridiculous (to me any way and others I am sure) to paint this as sexism.  Even if he has lied and DID use the term 'stupid woman' to refer to the PM then I still think he is using the language correctly and without any spite - unless it meant it that because she is a woman she is even more stupid than she appears.... but why would any think he would mean that?   You could emphasise the word 'woman' for example and pull a face whilst saying it...  yea - I see that's sexist.  But a side comment like 'that woman is stupid' or what a stupid woman she is' or just plain 'stupid woman' or 'stupid man' in a passing comment between 2 friends? ....   and if you know anything about this man at all, lol...  he is a campaigner for human rights, equality, peace....  he has marched for decades against racism, unfair separation of rich and poor, war, sexism etc.. to even suggest he is sexist is kinda laughable....  it is the opposition clutching at straws to distract from their brexit disaster.

 

10 minutes ago, hypervalent_iodine said:

You misinterpreted what I was saying. I didn’t mean “at all,” in the sense of, don’t use the word woman ever. I meant why did he have to gender the insult that he used? 

Sorry - When/where do you draw the line though?  Dim above has just admitted he thinks having any gender distinction at all is sexist virtually.

 

They do it to Corbin all the time. Whatever he says they will try to pick on something they can blow out of proportion so they can discredit him in the eyes of the public. It is so transparent (unless you read The Sun or The Daily Mail apparently).

I liked Stephen Fry's comment in the video above.  'Is it better to be right than effective'....  meaning it would be better to debate and educate rather than dismiss and shut down a comment because of possible intent of sexism or racism.  Discuss and educate rather than ridicule, scold and poo poo.

 

 

 

Just now, dimreepr said:

which is which?

Winning the moral argument but loosing at the polling station is being right but ineffective maybe? Not being so offended about normal language and engaging people on their level and talking to them and turning them from their bigotry....  that's more effective imo.

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