"A dumbell-obsessed being (usually human) with homosexual tendancies, takes pride in cleaning mating partners' abodes rather than mating with them....
That lad could've got laid again last night, but he cleaned his/her room instead. What a gay rich!"
When I talk to my women's studies classes about the origin and meaning of these gender-based insults, many of them are stunned. (You'd be amazed how few understand that "suck" is derived from "cocksucker", and thus to say something or someone "sucks" is to use anti-gay/anti-woman language. They are also stunned that "asshole" is also anti-gay, misogynistic speak; "asshole" is invariably only used for men, despite the fact that women also possess this part of the anatomy -- it is used to refer to men who allow themselves to be penetrated like women.) What they want to know, of course, is when and how one can continue to use these words without perpetuating gender violence. Do we have to stop swearing altogether, they ask?. . . I tell my students that they will have to find their own way through this complex issue.
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