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"Is the word Snowflake offensive" Topic


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Action Log

13 Aug 2019 9:09 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Removed from TMP Poll Suggestions boardCrossposted to TMP Talk board

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5,201 hits since 13 Aug 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian14 Aug 2019 11:36 a.m. PST

We are debating whether and insult is an insult? Bill why do you encourage stuff like this?

Did I start this topic? No.

I'm sure this will be followed by similar enthralling topics, such as "He called me an arse – should I be offended?" and "He said I'm overly sensitive – should I be offended" and "He said my rules suck – I'm offended."

No forum rules on earth will prevent all people from ever being offended.

Aethelflaeda was framed14 Aug 2019 12:21 p.m. PST

Yet your role as host and editor behooves you to make everyone feel welcome in a non-capricious way. Clamp down on the obvious boors or you will garner the reputation of tacitly supporting boors. You know as well as Robert what the codeword means. Why is this so hard? You've championed trans rights in the past. Why destroy that credibility pandering to the homophobic now?

Aethelflaeda was framed14 Aug 2019 12:37 p.m. PST

if I routinely used the word fa***t here despite it's archaic use to describe a wooden stick for burning (which is why it was chosen as a epithet as homosexuals were once burned at the stake), would many here not be offended?

Some here need to get off the high horse about censorship and just behave with the dignity and politeness of a gentleman.

Personal logo Dan Cyr Supporting Member of TMP14 Aug 2019 2:39 p.m. PST

+1 to Aethelflaeda and The Angry Piper

Dan

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP14 Aug 2019 3:51 p.m. PST

+1 to Dan Cyr

Teppsta14 Aug 2019 3:57 p.m. PST

Snowflake is a term used, usually by the political right, as a way of insulting people they see as "soft" liberals.

Bill, If you want to say people shouldn't insult each other on the boards you should include it in your list of banned words.

BTW Is that list published anywhere?

Why people would choose to insult each other on a hobby website beats me.

USAFpilot14 Aug 2019 3:57 p.m. PST

-1 to you snowflakes, ;-)

khanscom14 Aug 2019 5:03 p.m. PST

I just watched "Glory" again a couple of nights ago (fine movie, by the way). In it Denzel Washington's character used the term "snowflake" in reference to another soldier. It seems that it was referring to an individual who was well- educated, well- spoken, gainfully employed, and who had had no personal experience of violence. If it was intended as an insult, would you take it so?

Kevin C Supporting Member of TMP14 Aug 2019 7:25 p.m. PST

Some on the right throw out the term snowflake as a way of dismissing their opposition when they are too lazy to make an argument in support of their views. Similarly, some on the left throw out the term racist as a way of dismissing their opposition when they are unable to support their arguments. That said, as a conservative professor who teaches mostly left-leaning students, I have found that racist conservatives and snowflake college students are far rarer than mass media or pop culture would have us believe. Most conservatives, as well as most college students, are decent people.

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP14 Aug 2019 8:07 p.m. PST

…….as are most war gamers. However, Kevin, you leave out the group who use "snowflake" under the mistaken idea that they're amusing.

I'm assuming some doting grandfather(in his dotage) told them at Age Six that they were funny. Possibly they were but their ability to do comedy hasn't changed much since then.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian14 Aug 2019 9:08 p.m. PST

Yet your role as host and editor behooves you to make everyone feel welcome in a non-capricious way.

And as shown in the previous discussion, people do feel welcome here. Nobody agreed with the premise that this was a vitriolic, hostile environment.

You've championed trans rights in the past. Why destroy that credibility pandering to the homophobic now?

'Snowflake' is not a homophobic slur.

Some here need to get off the high horse about censorship and just behave with the dignity and politeness of a gentleman.

Did I say anything about censorship? What I've said is that I do not feel this word rises to a level that is worth Dawghousing somebody over.

Zephyr114 Aug 2019 9:36 p.m. PST

Could always put the word into the censor list and have it replaced by the Bleeped text icon. But then people would think they were being called something even worse… ;-)

coopman15 Aug 2019 5:39 a.m. PST

Everything is offensive to somebody these days. We're going to eventually get to the point where we can't even talk to each other anymore.

Aethelflaeda was framed15 Aug 2019 7:36 a.m. PST

Coopman,

People who refuse to recognize that politeness requires an awareness of what is offensive to some are the problem, not the victims. Shoving the responsibility of not being offended back on the offended is the very thing that prevents civil discourse.

The PC label is very much the sort of fig leaf that right wingers have used for years to shift their blame on to their victims. I have seen it intentionally done too often, to not call it what it is: a device to dehumanize, delegitize and denigrate a political and social view that the reactionary right considers personally repugnant and views rudeness and disingenuousness a valid means to do so.

Bill thinks this a tempest in the teapot. He has created his reputation of tacitly approving of this behavior. Nazi calling remains out but codeword dog whistle calls gainst liberals, progressives and democrats remain fair game.

When the alt-right speak of liberals and snowflakes and their agenda, they aren't bemoaning classical liberalism or even socialism. They are slagging homeosexuals, women, racial minorities and egalitarianism. The very concept of a safe space that is so disparaged came about as a place where gays could be themselves with out judgement. I am old enough to know when parrots in the window of the bar meant more than Jimmy Buffet fans were there. I also have seen the Klan seek to intimidate my lesbian mother's church (MCC) by marching through it during services. I have seen dog whistles used everyday in the deep south and during my travels all over the USA. It is intolerable to allow this behaviour to have a fig leaf put upon it. Like BrockLanders, I come here to get respite from the headlines and tribulations of these "interesting times", yet even here I can not find peace while ignorant, sometimes willfully so, people continue to allow their political, social and reactionary views stated in an attempt to drive me and my ilk out.

All that is required for evil men to prevail is for good men to do nothing.

138SquadronRAF Supporting Member of TMP15 Aug 2019 8:24 a.m. PST

According to Bill:

'Snowflake' is not a homophobic slur.

Checking "Urban Dictionary" a great source for understanding the contemporary vernacular.

It appears that "Snowflake" is used as an homophobic slur.

link

We also have this Slang Dictionary definition.

link

Plus we have the following:

link

link

link

Standing out from this is the fact that expression "Snowflake" is used primarily by members of the American political right when describing their liberal opponents and some of the related expressions are:

beta male
cuck
safe space
social justice warrior
special snowflake
soyboy

Granted the political bias that exists with TMP and the way it is moderated, I don't see 'Snowflake" or any of the above words being put onto any proscription list produce by Bill.

Marc at work15 Aug 2019 8:24 a.m. PST

Is banning someone from a forum not also in itself indications of a snowflake mentality?

I personally feel snowflake is intended to be derogatory, so am not sure why it is not on the banned list along with all the other Nazi words.

I am saddened to lose Dave Brown from this forum

Personal logo Flashman14 Supporting Member of TMP15 Aug 2019 11:14 a.m. PST

Regarding civility, I think we all want what we can't have.

What we do often have is good people who push back against nonconstructive and negative comments. That in the end is the best way to deal with this – allow community enforcement of standards through discussion, argument and debate instead of censorship.

If you see something legit but alienating, call it out rather than secretly emailing the authorities.

Aethelflaeda was framed15 Aug 2019 11:20 a.m. PST

Ah, but the "shut up" rule will get you DHd there.

Aethelflaeda was framed15 Aug 2019 11:37 a.m. PST

138RAF, That NYT article said it all.

Bill, you really ought to read it. It's the fourth link offered by 138.

Ps Sorry, I didn't get to Minnesota for some gaming like I hoped. Got pulled back home and missed the Irish fest.

Aethelflaeda was framed15 Aug 2019 11:44 a.m. PST

I'll make it easy:

Every age has its own preferred terms of political emasculation. Teddy Roosevelt called Woodrow Wilson a "white-handy Miss Nancy." Adlai Stevenson was dubbed "Adelaide." Michael Dukakis was called a "pansy," George H.W. Bush a "wimp" and John Kerry in a subtle feat of gendered rhetoric an effete "flip-flopper" who "looks French." It's not just individual politicians who are painted as deficient in their manhood, either. Ideas and coalitions get the same treatment: Irving Kristol observed in the 1990s that "the American welfare state has had a feminine coloration from the very beginning"; Orrin Hatch once called the Democrats "the party of homosexuals."

These days, the preferred insult is a new addition to the canon: "snowflake." It is simultaneously emasculating and infantilizing, suggesting fragility but also an inflated sense of a person's own specialness and a nave embrace of difference. It evokes the grade-school art classes in which children scissor up folded pieces of construction paper and learn that every snowflake is unique, and every person is, too. But in the Trump era, it feels as if the classroom bully has tipped over the craft table and is wielding the scissors triumphantly in the air…

138SquadronRAF Supporting Member of TMP15 Aug 2019 1:22 p.m. PST

Aethelflaeda,

Thanks for the quote.

BTW. If you do come up this way, let us know and we'll see what we can do to host you. We put on a game for Mike Whitaker last month. Plus, if you need a bed, we've a spare room.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian15 Aug 2019 6:11 p.m. PST

Is banning someone from a forum not also in itself indications of a snowflake mentality?

You made me laugh.

I am saddened to lose Dave Brown from this forum

Where have you been? He's back already. grin

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian15 Aug 2019 6:12 p.m. PST

Granted the political bias that exists with TMP and the way it is moderated, I don't see 'Snowflake" or any of the above words being put onto any proscription list produce by Bill.

If someone happens to use 'snowflake' here as a homophobic slur, I will toss them in the Dawghouse (or worse).

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian15 Aug 2019 6:14 p.m. PST

Could always put the word into the censor list and have it replaced by the Bleeped text icon.

We actually do have a snowflake icon. It could be made automatic.

Aethelflaeda was framed16 Aug 2019 4:42 a.m. PST

That would not be an improvement. And it is a a homophobic slur whether you believe it or not.

Seriously, Bill, did you read the article? Keeping your head in the sand about this is not the right thing to do.

siggian16 Aug 2019 4:52 p.m. PST

Using an icon instead of a word is no solution. The intent of the icon or word is key (that is, the context). If a word or symbol is meant to insult or denigrate, then it is an insult. A public place that is welcoming and wants meaningful discourse should try to minimize the insults.

It sucks that it would require judgment by moderators, but that's life. But instead of playing Wack-A-Mole banning words and images that are constantly changing, it's better to look at the intention and ask "Was that deliberately meant to be hurtful?"

The other side of this is if someone is insulting you, ask yourself whether it is deliberate or not. If you can't be sure, best assume that it wasn't and respond with respect and civility.

von Schwartz16 Aug 2019 6:44 p.m. PST

Y'know, all this kerfuffle reminds of the old children's rhyme that I'm sure we all know. About how sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me. Childish, yes, but it seems to apply to all this current BS that is going around, not just here but pretty much every where. It you don't like it, if it "offends" you, then DON'T listen. Hells Bells!!!! no one is holding a gun to your head.

JEEZUS!!!!

Now I went and got all excited, I'm gonna go get a drink.

siggian16 Aug 2019 9:32 p.m. PST

The problem is that words do hurt. They may not leave a physical mark, but they can have an impact.

The other thing is that people can't avoid hearing hurtful words or reading them. They happen and there's no way to unhear them or unsee them.

Why not be considerate and civil and not insult and denigrate people?

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian16 Aug 2019 10:04 p.m. PST

Why not be considerate and civil and not insult and denigrate people?

Yes, but where's the line? Do we get to the point where people are afraid to say anything for fear of offending someone?

It seems to me that in the case of a word such as 'snowflake', which can have different meaning depending on context, the moderators can handle it on a case-by-base basis. If the context is 'overly sensitive', then it doesn't rise to the level of anything that needs moderation. When it is used as a political insult or to denigrate gays, then we'll take action as that violates forum rules.

Benito Champley17 Aug 2019 6:14 a.m. PST

No, you bunch of big girls blouses…

Cerdic Supporting Member of TMP17 Aug 2019 6:29 a.m. PST

That nipper's a bit of a wazzock…

Aethelflaeda was framed17 Aug 2019 6:47 a.m. PST

"Draw the line". The context of snowflake and its intended meaning has been abundantly clear for the last three years.

von Schwartz17 Aug 2019 9:21 a.m. PST

No, you bunch of big girls blouses…

??????

von Schwartz17 Aug 2019 9:41 a.m. PST

@Teppsta


Bill, If you want to say people shouldn't insult each other on the boards you should include it in your list of banned words.

BTW Is that list published anywhere?

Why people would choose to insult each other on a hobby website beats me.

Yes, perhaps a list, I mean I tried to use the word bug-ger a few months back and it got "bleeped". I mean I even refer to my little grandkids as "the little Bleeped texts" occasionally. I was told that it is considered a crude and offensive term.

Now "Big Girls Blouses" I mean REALLY. I AM offended Oh my Gosh! How can he allowed to say that?!!! (smile) still having trouble with that stupid emoji!

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian17 Aug 2019 10:14 p.m. PST

There are an infinite number of ways that people can insult one another. As fast as you ban words, new words will be invented. grin

Laws will not change this; it can only be changed when men's hearts are changed.

von Schwartz18 Aug 2019 3:17 p.m. PST

Look, I've been assaulted verbally by many people over many issues over many years. Do I get offended? No sometimes I get pissed off but never offended. Lets all pull on our big boy pants and TRY to act a little like adults should act. So what if someone says something offensive to you, ignore them and move on. There are far too many jerks in the world to let one or two get to you, especially online.

Wolfhag18 Aug 2019 4:05 p.m. PST

My wife and I were walking the dog today along the beach. The wind was blowing and it was chilly. She wanted to go back to the car and get a sweater. With this discussion in mind, I wanted to run a test. I jokingly said, "you're such a snowflake". She smiled and said, "yes I am, so what's your point".

That's perfect! Two mature adults can joke and get along. Unfortunately, internet posts cannot pick up the intended meaning, facial expressions, and nuances in communication. By the way, I was not insinuating she was a lesbian.

Unfortunately, there are some people that prowl the internet just waiting to pounce on someone to show their moral and virtuous "outrage", is that is what's called "virtue signaling"?

link

Even if you don't like people that "virtue signal", they have every right to do so. If you can't defend speech you disagree with then you can't support Free Speech under the First Amendment. We just need to be civil, responsible and constructive in our criticism. In the US there is also the presumption of innocence so before condemning someone get the facts.

Wolfhag

von Schwartz18 Aug 2019 6:59 p.m. PST

Thank you Wolfhag

(applause) And the crowd goes wild!!!!

Marc at work19 Aug 2019 3:19 a.m. PST

But I don't get the moral of that story. When I accuse my wife of being a Nazi when she is chasing me to do something, she doesn't get hyper offended (she's more upset I haven't done the task). Yet on TMP it is a ban-able offence. So are we saying it is your wife that is now the arbitrator of what is and isn't offensive? When snowflake is used (generally by Americans it seems) it is intended to be a quite spiteful and nasty word. Not a playful jibe amongst married couples.

Aethelflaeda was framed19 Aug 2019 5:41 a.m. PST

The difference is that bantering in close proximity is tempered by body language and a personal history for context. Here it is only the exclusionary and intentionally denigrating meaning that is conveyed. Too I find the only apologists for the term come from the side of the aisle whose ox isn't being gored. I find your arguments to be disingenuous Deleted by Moderator

Aethelflaeda was framed19 Aug 2019 7:37 a.m. PST

Wolfhag typically ignores the other side of the term ,which is the "the dog whistle" , all the while concentrating on what he considers to be the protest against "free speech". Pretty one sided of him. Fig leafing the deplorable practice.

The Angry Piper19 Aug 2019 8:05 a.m. PST

From the FAQ, under Rules of Conduct:

Somebody just posted something stupid. Can I call them an idiot?
No name calling. You can disagree with their argument, but you can't "attack" another TMP member on the forum personally. [NAME CALLING RULE, PERSONAL ATTACK RULE]

Also:

How about calling them a troll?
No name calling. Even if you think they are trolling. [TROLL RULE]

And then,

I heard that the owner of such-and-such company belongs to a certain political party or movement. Can I bring that up for discussion on TMP?
No. This is not the place to discuss any wargamer's political beliefs or affiliations.

And finally,

Can I insult some group I don't like?
No. Your gaming group might enjoy your jokes about (fill in the race, ethnic group, nationality, political party, or faction here), but this is an international forum. You should not attack any group that applies to our members. You should also not attack the TMP community itself. [GROUP ATTACK RULE]


Seems to me that the "line" is clearly defined in the forum rules of conduct. This isn't a difficult concept. The title of this ridiculous thread is "is the term snowflake offensive". The answer is yes. It's name-calling, regardless of the intent (anti-liberal, anti-gay, whatever). And, based on the forum rules block-quoted above, it's not allowed.

Because, to make it perfectly clear: it's name-calling, and as shown above, name-calling is against the rules.

Unless, of course, it's ok for some people to ignore forum rules. Which seems the case, based on whether you're the type of person who would call someone a snowflake or not.

To reiterate my feeling: I don't give a crap if anyone calls ME a snowflake. It says more about you than about me, because I'm not someone who is easily offended or entitled, and you betray your ignorance by calling me something I'm not. It's not about whether the term offends you (or me) personally.

It's about the rules being the same for everyone. Are they?

siggian19 Aug 2019 1:27 p.m. PST

Why not be considerate and civil and not insult and denigrate people?

Yes, but where's the line? Do we get to the point where people are afraid to say anything for fear of offending someone?

The line is intent. If a word is intentionally meant as an insult, it crosses the line. If I don't intend to be insulting, I'm not afraid of insulting anyone. If I insult someone by accident and they let me know it, I have no problems apologizing for it because I intended no insult (in fact, I look at it as a learning opportunity). If you intend no insults, you should not fear posting.

It seems to me that in the case of a word such as 'snowflake', which can have different meaning depending on context, the moderators can handle it on a case-by-base basis.

Perfect, and that's how it should be handled.
If the context is 'overly sensitive', then it doesn't rise to the level of anything that needs moderation. When it is used as a political insult or to denigrate gays, then we'll take action as that violates forum rules.

I think it is much harder to spot someone being 'overly sensitive' than it is to spot someone being deliberately insulting. My advice is to stick with judging intent. I do agree that the target needs to consider whether an insult was intended or not, so maybe that's what you mean by being 'overly sensitive'. The onus is on any poster to not insult or demean someone and for any reader to not perceive insult when there is no intention.

Aethelflaeda was framed19 Aug 2019 2:03 p.m. PST

I have no doubt that every use of the term snowflake subsequent to now is uttered with the full intent to whistle call to Deleted by Moderator, overtly "own the liberal", insult him or her and attempt to drive them out of the conversation in order to Deleted by Moderator. It really is pretty clear to me that has been the usage for the last three years. "Case by case" judgement is just kicking the can down the road to appease the Deleted by Moderator. More likely it is tacit approval of its usage operating under the fig leaf of "mildness".

If anyone tries using it believing it is some milder form of insult, I think they haven't been paying any sort of attention to the division in society today. That level of detachment strikes me as impossible.

That said, I do find it a convenient marker, only Deleted by Moderator will continue to use it. Better to know who they are. I can stifle them but sadly that doesn't make their disinviting speech hidden to the audience at large, particularly newbies to the hobby. I am not sure that just turning off arseclowns so I don't have to listen to them is the correct answer.

Aethelflaeda was framed19 Aug 2019 2:51 p.m. PST

"There are an infinite number of ways that people can insult one another. As fast as you ban words, new words will be invented. grin"


Why stop?

von Schwartz19 Aug 2019 7:21 p.m. PST

Let me get this straight, if I call someone a "snowflake" I go to the dawghouse, but when they accuse me of being a "right winger" that's OK?

OK, I'm out

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian19 Aug 2019 7:29 p.m. PST

If anyone tries using it believing it is some milder form of insult, I think they haven't been paying any sort of attention to the division in society today.

I think you miss the point of the TooFatLardies incident. The usage of 'snowflake' in that discussion was entirely apolitical.

siggian19 Aug 2019 9:07 p.m. PST

Why is an apolitcal insult not as bad as a political one?

Also, 'snowflake', when used as an insult, certainly has political connotations.

The Angry Piper20 Aug 2019 7:34 a.m. PST

Let me get this straight, if I call someone a "snowflake" I go to the dawghouse, but when they accuse me of being a "right winger" that's OK?

Uh…no. No, von Shwartz. That's not what I said at all. I block quoted the official TMP rules of conduct that explicitly state that NAME-CALLING IS NOT ALLOWED, with the exception of "arseclown" and name-calling via the use of "Haddockisms".

Per the TMP rules in at least two specific locations:

No name calling.

Also, calling someone a name based on political leanings or perceived political beliefs seems to violate no less than 2 rules: (NAME-CALLING RULE, PERSONAL ATTACK RULE); and also this:

This is not the place to discuss any wargamer's political beliefs or affiliations

which is also stated verbatim in the rules of conduct.

I'm not making this up. It's right there for anyone to see, under the FAQ section, sub-board Rules of Conduct.

So no, I shouldn't be able to call you anything at all, other than your TMP name, or an :arseclown" or some "Haddockism" I don't have the energy to generate. But I'm not calling you anything, nor would I expect you to call me anything other than the aforementioned exceptions (should you wish) UNDER THE TMP RULES AS THEY ARE PUBLISHED.

For the record, I've never called anyone on TMP a name. Why bother? I come here for miniatures news. Not to start an argument or to discuss my political beliefs or criticize yours.

To beat a dead horse: I'm not asking for "MORE banned words" or "MORE censorship". The rules already cover what's allowed and what isn't. I'm stating that the rules should apply to everyone. IT DOESN'T MATTER WHETHER I AM OFFENDED IF YOU CALL ME A NAME OR NOT. Name-calling is not allowed under the current TMP rules, and if those rules are enforced, they should be enforced equally. In other words, they should apply to everyone.

Do they?

dapeters20 Aug 2019 9:18 a.m. PST

LOL, as Bill decides.

I work in education and there a phrase that get used and that is there is "no such thing as a stupid question." That's blatantly wrong, if you ask a question for which you know the answer, then that's probably a stupid question. Even if you delude yourself in thinking your not sure.

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