Why is this the insult of choice amongst feminists? It’s everywhere.
If it’s unthinkable to liken a woman to a female dog, or even to tell her to calm down, why is it okay to use male insults like this? I mean, you’re…
I obviously live in a weird society. I’ve only ever seen it used as an extremely derogatory term for a man, implying that he is useless and harmful to women. Obviously these connotations don’t exist in other societies, so blame the people around me for making this word so violent. That’s honestly what I’ve been taught it to mean. Do I need to be attacked for that?
I didn’t realize making a post on my blog constituted “attack”, but sure okay. I’m just sayin’, it seems from the responses you’ve gotten — not solely mine, mind you — you’re incorrect about the common connotations of the word.
I know your blog well, and I’m sure you’re no stranger to saying that people have an irritating habit of altering the meanings of words so it looks like they’re being oppressed when in actuality that’s not the case at all. Should you be free of that criticism yourself?
Yeah, that wasn’t directed at you, you weren’t one of the attacking ones. You’re absolutely right, and it seems like the meaning I’ve been taught is out of touch with the meaning other people have been taught. But I know that I wasn’t the one who altered it, and it’s probably just evolved over time, so it’s pretty uncalled for to attack me for speaking the language which I have been taught. You’re right about correcting too: I have had my mind open. I’ll thank you for the correction, but I’m not about to thank people for the unjustified attacks.
oh, wow, I just looked at the notes on this post and yeah, people are being jerks. Sorry, it was a knee-jerk response. You’re right too, I’m not gonna call you out for speaking the language you’re taught — as a linguist, that’d be ridiculously hypocritical of me.
I could say that the insult jerk comes from the phrase ‘to jerk off’, and therefore is a substitute for wanker, and that it’s part of a large and frequently used group of insults used to virgin-shame men, as it is implied that only those who can’t get sex would have to masturbate, and telling a man that they don’t get a lot of sex is one of the biggest insults you can make, and that this is a parallel for the group of slut-shaming insults which women recieve, because their gender role is the opposite and says that real women don’t have a lot of sex, just as real men do have a lot of sex.
But, in the interests of diplomacy and not having another hoard of people misunderstanding it and trying to hurt me for understanding the term wrongly, I won’t :)
Haha, good, especially since that’s not where “jerk” comes from!
Etymology time! Jerk actually comes from “soda jerk”, the guys who used to pour fountain drinks at the “soda shop”, back in the fifties or sixties. Called “soda jerks” because of the jerking motion they made to get soda water out of the faucet. Evidently they were somewhat disliked among the populace. “Jerk off” as in the euphemism for masturbation actually came after, again because of the motion.
Etymology isn’t everything, and I’m sure your point is valid, but honestly I don’t care. I am a linguist and I care about words. That’s it.
I’m not North American, nor was I alive in the fifties and sixties, so that means nothing to me. I’m not familiar with the word ‘soda’, let alone ‘soda jerk’. So yeah, thanks for the education!
You might like to tell that to these people: http://kavitiya.tumblr.com/post/13698294912, because even I don’t know where they’re coming from.
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