Pharyngula

Watch your language, young lady!

We often get remarks from people that the Pharyngula comments are a cesspool, that I ought to moderate more, that people use intemperate language and even profanity in their discussions…and, you know, I just roll my eyes and ignore these silly bluenoses and their prissy airs. We’re adults here. I am not a playground monitor. I’m more of a distracted barkeep.

But I also think those critics are all wrong. They tend to focus on a few four-letter words and an angry tone that some of us exhibit, and overlook the content. And it’s the content of the message that matters. I just ran across a discussion of real problematic language from the right wingers, and I think it puts everything in perspective.

Here’s one example, from the odious Ann Coulter. Now whenever Coulter is brought up here, there will always be a few pathetic jokes made about how she’s a man, she has an adam’s apple, stupid stuff like that, but I can also always rely on the commentariat here to slap those down promptly. She’s a woman, OK? A tall, slender woman, and physically she’s not unattractive (psychologically, though, she’s a horror), and it’s annoying to see her targeted for her sex. But guess what? Ann Coulter doesn’t mind doing a little stereotyping of her own.

My pretty-girl allies stick out like a sore thumb amongst the corn-fed, no make-up, natural fiber, no-bra needing, sandal-wearing, hirsute, somewhat fragrant hippie chick pie wagons they call “women” at the Democratic National Convention.

Notice that she used no profanity, and that you can scrutinize each word independently and find nothing that a good Christian could object to. Put them all together, though, and what you’ve got is an obscenity far nastier than anything said here.

I’m not going to impose censorship on Pharyngula as long as I can trust the commenters here to call out that kind of bigotry.