Using "boys" to speak to everyone really needs to stop, and this is why.

Of course it would be different... but if astro wasn't a mainstay in their social circles, any request at moderation of language use would fall on deaf ears.

This is a discussion forum however, where many thousands of people are going to read and have an opinion that's not shaped by a personification of astro.



It's a gaming culture phenomena that isn't as much reflected in real life.
I fully understand why the term "boys" should not be used as much but again, it's just ingrained, I would say around 90 to 95% of the times this is used its used as a catch-all and not to undermine people. Also, this should not be in gaming, it should be in the etcetera section. While it's prevalent in gaming its also a bigger "society" discussion
 

marrec

Banned
Member
Oct 26, 2017
6,516
I think at it’s core, it began as an exclusionary tactic to reinforce the boys club mentality of gaming culture. And its proliferation and popularity seemed to be in the larger twitch streams that share a lot of similarities with the anti-SJW 4chan/KiA sect, like in Forsen’s stream.

Do I think every time Ninja uses it he’s making a conscious effort to buoy that line of thinking? Not really. Subconsciously? Absolutely.
Hmm... I guess I don't want to make and specific claims. I'll say that it seems like the spread of "boys" being used to address a mixed-gender group is driven more by meme culture rather than some driven exclusionary plan.

This is about the fact that male-centric language consistently excludes people who are not men.

If I can make small adjustments to help this not happen, I will do so. The effort it takes me to unlearn and simply swap in a new word here and there is tiny, but making a person feeling included can be a big step forward.
I do think you have an argument specifically about "boys". It feels odd still, it feels like you're quoting something rather than using casual conversation. I don't use it unless it's to specifically quote someone or as a adjective like "spikey-boi"

What lol?

While I can't even remember a game that uses it, I can assure you it is much more of a real life thing.
Even in other languages, like portuguese, the same problem happens.
You mean "boys" specifically? In American english that is certainly NOT a real life thing.
 

marrec

Banned
Member
Oct 26, 2017
6,516
I fully understand why the term "boys" should not be used as much but again, it's just ingrained, I would say around 90 to 95% of the times this is used its used as a catch-all and not to undermine people. Also, this should not be in gaming, it should be in the etcetera section. While it's prevalent in gaming its also a bigger "society" discussion
I really don't see "boys" being as ingrained as say "guys".

BUUUUT

I'm a 33 year old man. Slang starts with young people and moves up. So for a 12 y/o "boys" may be just as gender-neutral as "guys".
 

marrec

Banned
Member
Oct 26, 2017
6,516
This, but I totally understand the frustration. Tbh if I had a GNC friend. I'd stop saying a word if they didnt like it. But you can't expect random people online to do the same.
If any friend of mine asked me to stop using specific words I'l likely acquiesce. They're a friend after all.

I do think at a certain point however the expectation isn't on common parlance to adjust to meet the emotional needs of a small group of people.
 
Oct 28, 2017
253
Just use what people want and try not to use obviously loaded words. Boys is a bit silly anyway. But if someone didn’t like guys or mate or whatever just apologise and move on. It’s like if you misgendered someone on the phone, you don’t have to make a big deal just say sorry and use the right pronoun.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,986
Gaming culture doesn’t exist in a vacuum.
But the meaning changes depending on the venue and a word’s boom in popularity within a subsect absolutely can be viewed in a vacuum.

I mean, it’s no secret that the word “cuck” became a slur in the toolbelt of places like the_donald. It’s possible to discuss that and what the use entails specifically in that vacuum, regardless of the fact that cuckoldry isn’t something new.
 
Oct 26, 2017
265
I'm a 32 year old white male, I don't think I've ever used the term "boys" or that I ever would in reference to a group I play with. I can understand the frustrations you have with the term, even if others don't.

Games particularly aren't the most welcoming place for anyone that doesn't fit within the social norms of what a "gamer" sees as normal. Or what one thinks as normal. So it's very difficult to be out in a community where every single person will use a slight difference to attack you or demean you - we've seen it countless times in public voice chat. The term "boy" in and of itself has negative connotations, to ignore those too would be a bit of a silly thing to do I think.

People argue that we shouldn't let words be censored or be removed because they're not offensive... Words that were used years ago that today are extremely offensive? Do the same rules not apply? Things change, language is an ever changing fluid thing: words take on new meanings in different contexts.

It's not about offending one single person, but allowing more people to feel comfortable online. Not everyone is going to come online and make threads. If one person making a thread helps make others aware that words can and do effect others and helps a few then it's better for everyone.

It isn't about you using words, it's about making everyones online experience a more comfortable, enjoyable one. It's a shame that some people jump on the bandwagon of "but mah werds".
 
Oct 27, 2017
9,109
Of course it would be different... but if astro wasn't a mainstay in their social circles, any request at moderation of language use would fall on deaf ears.

This is a discussion forum however, where many thousands of people are going to read and have an opinion that's not shaped by a personification of astro.
I'm not sure about that. For example, I've seen enough of your posts to know that you'd at least consider such a request, not immediately discount it because you don't know a person particularly well. The idea that you have to know the person well to treat them with respect makes me sad :/.

But the meaning changes depending on the venue and a word’s boom in popularity within a subsect absolutely can be viewed in a vacuum.

I mean, it’s no secret that the word “cuck” became a slur in the toolbelt of places like the_donald. It’s possible to discuss that and what the use entails specifically in that vacuum, regardless of the fact that cuckoldry isn’t something new.
Besides Andy Bernard (and perhaps some Shakespeare where I believe the word originated), I've never heard the word 'cuck' or 'cuckold' being used as anything but a way to demean. It's similar to calling a man 'pussy' in that way.
 
Feb 21, 2018
84
You mean "boys" specifically? In American english that is certainly NOT a real life thing.
It is a wrong word rarely used, in english, and in portuguese.

It usually happens when someone talks to a gorup of kids, and they use "boys", or "garotos" in portuguese.
While it is wrong, some people use it because our languages induce us to this mistake, since many "male" words are used to define a gorup of both genders, like "man" or "homem" in portuguese.

So this is merely an induced wrong way to use the language.
I doubt the gaming community created it and exported to other countires.
I've seen non-gamer people from both contries making this mistake in real life.
 
Mar 13, 2019
43
I'm not sure about that. For example, I've seen enough of your posts to know that you'd at least consider such a request, not immediately discount it because you don't know a person particularly well. The idea that you have to know the person well to treat them with respect makes me sad :/.
I'm not sure that's what's being said. I think marrec and I have a similar contention, which is that you definitely can raise this kind of subject in a public forum, but you can't expect to contain the broader discussion it provokes the same way you might if you'd raised it in private.

That doesn't invalidate anyone's personal experience, of course, but it does, I hope, explain why I was so surprised that talking around the immediate subject was so frowned upon.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,704
But the meaning changes depending on the venue and a word’s boom in popularity within a subsect absolutely can be viewed in a vacuum.

I mean, it’s no secret that the word “cuck” became a slur in the toolbelt of places like the_donald. It’s possible to discuss that and what the use entails specifically in that vacuum, regardless of the fact that cuckoldry isn’t something new.
When we’re suggesting that a sub-culture is imbuing a different meaning to a word, specifically for malicious purposes, I think we probably do need to look at the wider context to identify what is it different from.

The phrase is very old (turn of the previous century, if not older) and arguably part of wider culture, so don’t you think we need to be able to demonstrate those differences and explain how the new context changes the meaning to make the point in the first place...?
 
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Oct 27, 2017
9,109
I'm not sure that's what's being said. I think marrec and I have a similar contention, which is that you definitely can raise this kind of subject in a public forum, but you can't expect to contain the broader discussion it provokes the same way you might if you'd raised it in private.

That doesn't invalidate anyone's personal experience, of course, but it does, I hope, explain why I was so surprised that talking around the immediate subject was so frowned upon.
I wasn't trying to shut down discussion. I was just accusing certain people of not being honest with themselves and others in the discussion. I don't call a random woman 'cunt' for obvious reasons. I don't need them to even ask me not to do so. I am just making the assumption for astro, that boys has a similar negative connotation for them and just shrugging and saying "ok". Going on and on about the context and slippery slope just seems exhausting to me.

So y'all are gonna refuse the obvious solution, huh?

"Where we dropping, y'all?"
My favorite thing when I moved to the South was hearing that there is a difference between "y'all" and "all y'all" as if the former doesn't actually refer to everyone for some weird reason.
 
Oct 27, 2017
172
Surely you have the awareness to realise that in most cases those speaking are not the only people listening or playing the game with you?
I don't feel its necessary to alter the way I speak to appease someone who may or may not be there, especially when I'm not out to offend. I think you're taking it to a whole new level of walking on eggshells when I need to choose my nouns carefully to appease people who can't or won't communicate.
 
Oct 26, 2017
7,825
Madrid
But you have to see that this is exactly what the OP is proposing, right? Yes, the blanket approach is wrong, and the status quo of language should absolutely evolve to keep up with social progress - and it sometimes does, whereas in other cases it lags behind and needs a kick. But I think where we disagree is that I don't necessarily see a new blanket approach as a good substitute for an old one. Because as I've said multiple times, I don't believe you can be objective about language.
What "blanket approach" is being proposed here? astro simply said "please don't use "boys" ", it's everyone else who piled on him making it about a hundred other terms.
 
What "blanket approach" is being proposed here? astro simply said "please don't use "boys" ", it's everyone else who piled on him making it about a hundred other terms.
I'd like to point out the irony of defending Astro's position, while simultaneously mis-gendering them. I mean... it's pretty much in the subject line that Astro isn't a him.

Not trying to start a fight about it, but this is a perfect example about how assumptions regarding the audience just chip away at the "different" folks in small ways.
 
Oct 26, 2017
1,989
But you have to see that this is exactly what the OP is proposing, right? Yes, the blanket approach is wrong, and the status quo of language should absolutely evolve to keep up with social progress - and it sometimes does, whereas in other cases it lags behind and needs a kick. But I think where we disagree is that I don't necessarily see a new blanket approach as a good substitute for an old one. Because as I've said multiple times, I don't believe you can be objective about language.

I've also acknowledged - and I'll do it again - that emotions run high when the language status quo has accentuated people's feelings of marginalisation or exclusion. If, as Astro has implied, they are non-binary and don't like being referred to in a collective as "boys" then obviously that's valid; I'd never have done that anyway, but if it's a common occurrence then it must feel awful. But as quite a few people, myself included, have pointed out, Astro is talking about subjectivity (and only their subjectivity) but proposing objectivity as the solution. That is where this thread should rightly hook into a broader conversation, but again, if this is not the place to have that conversation then I accept that I've overstepped the bounds of the original discussion.
Literally any respectable term is better than “boys” so it feels like a weird conversation. Like, I don’t feel like “dudes” is gender neutral and it really isn’t where I live. If someone references me that way I feel awkward. But it’s still better than a word that is interpreted as gendered 100% of the time pretty much everywhere.
 
Oct 26, 2017
6,516
I'm a 32 year old white male, I don't think I've ever used the term "boys" or that I ever would in reference to a group I play with. I can understand the frustrations you have with the term, even if others don't.

Games particularly aren't the most welcoming place for anyone that doesn't fit within the social norms of what a "gamer" sees as normal. Or what one thinks as normal. So it's very difficult to be out in a community where every single person will use a slight difference to attack you or demean you - we've seen it countless times in public voice chat. The term "boy" in and of itself has negative connotations, to ignore those too would be a bit of a silly thing to do I think.

People argue that we shouldn't let words be censored or be removed because they're not offensive... Words that were used years ago that today are extremely offensive? Do the same rules not apply? Things change, language is an ever changing fluid thing: words take on new meanings in different contexts.

It's not about offending one single person, but allowing more people to feel comfortable online. Not everyone is going to come online and make threads. If one person making a thread helps make others aware that words can and do effect others and helps a few then it's better for everyone.

It isn't about you using words, it's about making everyones online experience a more comfortable, enjoyable one. It's a shame that some people jump on the bandwagon of "but mah werds".
"Boy" does not have negative connotations.

I'm not sure about that. For example, I've seen enough of your posts to know that you'd at least consider such a request, not immediately discount it because you don't know a person particularly well. The idea that you have to know the person well to treat them with respect makes me sad :/.
Me personally? I have no problem adjusting my word use at the request of someone who may or may not run in my social circles. Especially if there are readily available alternatives. I'm just saying that not everyone is so willing.
 
Aug 25, 2018
269
From what I've noticed, the people that popularized saying 'boys' on Twitch were competitive esport gamers that had all-male teams and they all said boys when winning and so on. Seemed like a mostly harmless habit because that's just how people in competitive scenes sometimes speak, though personally I would never say it to an audience.

Honestly have thought it's seriously cringe though now that it has caught on and most streamers say it to their audience, even if they're just Let's Players that only play Mario or w/e.
 
I am definitely guilty of using "bois" a lot, but only when I know I am speaking exclusively with people I know are comfortable with it. I will typically use peeps if there's any ambiguity.

Thinking back to where I picked it up was from playing with my (all male) sports team. Then, thinking where the club picked it up I think it all leads back to Flavour Flav.

Every time we did something good...
 
Oct 26, 2017
6,516
It is a wrong word rarely used, in english, and in portuguese.

It usually happens when someone talks to a gorup of kids, and they use "boys", or "garotos" in portuguese.
While it is wrong, some people use it because our languages induce us to this mistake, since many "male" words are used to define a gorup of both genders, like "man" or "homem" in portuguese.

So this is merely an induced wrong way to use the language.
I doubt the gaming community created it and exported to other countires.
I've seen non-gamer people from both contries making this mistake in real life.
No one is saying the gaming community created it, only that it's most prevalent among the gaming community. This isn't a "mistake" in that the word is used unintentionally, but you are correct that it's induced wrong. Some use "boys" as a group identified despite knowing there are women in the group.

This slang emanating largely from gaming culture focused around streaming and YouTube is probably going to affect word use in younger generations.

I will say, however, "boy" as a word has for a long time had uses other than to describe "adolescent male". As in "oh boy!". So it's not surprising that a word that's already flexible in use would be bent elsewhere.
 
Jan 23, 2019
35
I've never met anyone offended by this, to be honest. If they were, then sure I would make the no-cost adjustment but I think it's taken on a neutral meaning now rather than a specific one and a lot of women who DO consider themselves "one of the guys" or consider themselves being "worked into the fold," usually in male-dominated spaces, don't mind this either, so I think the impact of saying this is overstated.

Just as we ascribe the objects in our lives that have value to us as feminine more likely than masculine, it's not to be taken literally. Women are less likely to have monuments erected in their honor, sure, but I believe being looked at as just "one of the guys" i.e. equal to men is a small monument in of itself.
 
Oct 26, 2017
7,825
Madrid
I'd like to point out the irony of defending Astro's position, while simultaneously mis-gendering them. I mean... it's pretty much in the subject line that Astro isn't a him.

Not trying to start a fight about it, but this is a perfect example about how assumptions regarding the audience just chip away at the "different" folks in small ways.
Fair enough and I apologize, but I've called astro "them" pretty much everywhere else. Spanish words are gendered in completely different ways (possessives and indirect object pronouns aren't gendered; subject pronouns are gendered but optional themselves), which has caused me to slip and even use "him" when I meant "her" on occassion (and in a few memorable cases, the opposite). Much like English speakers mess up Spanish adjective genders all the time. :)

(this might also be the reason I find people piling on people misgendering others, especially when it's obviously accidental, a bit shitty. It would be nice if English speakers used a bit common sense, context and charity before grabbing the pitchforks).

If they make a good case? A good case by who's judgement? The majority? I'm not sure I agree with the idea that people should make their cases, as you say, and then you/the majority get to decide if their reasons for being offended are justified. What i think is justified, you might not agree with.
So what's the alternative? Everyone uses the words they want even if the majority agrees they're offensive? Nobody is allowed to make a reasoned case that they are offended by a word? I'm not sure what exactly you're proposing here.
 
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Feb 21, 2018
84
No one is saying the gaming community created it, only that it's most prevalent among the gaming community. This isn't a "mistake" in that the word is used unintentionally, but you are correct that it's induced wrong. Some use "boys" as a group identified despite knowing there are women in the group.

This slang emanating largely from gaming culture focused around streaming and YouTube is probably going to affect word use in younger generations.

I will say, however, "boy" as a word has for a long time had uses other than to describe "adolescent male". As in "oh boy!". So it's not surprising that a word that's already flexible in use would be bent elsewhere.
Yes, I meant like the speaker thinks it is a valid usage but it is actually a grammar mistake.

EDIT: Sorry, I read it wrong. Yes, some people use it despite knowing it is wrong.
 
Oct 26, 2017
265
"Boy" does not have negative connotations.



Me personally? I have no problem adjusting my word use at the request of someone who may or may not run in my social circles. Especially if there are readily available alternatives. I'm just saying that not everyone is so willing.
Historically, in the US and South Africa, "boy" was not only a "neutral" term for domestics but also as a disparaging term towards men of color, implying their subservient status.

It certainly does have a history of negative connotations. That's one example, there are other out there (within the same context - racism).
 
Dec 12, 2017
587
Good luck in moderating language that's largely considered inoffensive and harmless, when we can't figure out ways to get gamers to stop saying racial slurs and threating to rape people.

It's a demographic comprised almost entirely of immature dudes from 10-25. Good luck policing the language of this demographic.
 
Good luck in moderating language that's largely considered inoffensive and harmless, when we can't figure out ways to get gamers to stop saying racial slurs and threating to rape people.

It's a demographic comprised almost entirely of immature dudes from 10-25. Good luck policing the language of this demographic.
Firstly. no it's not "almost entirely" men 10-25. Majority sure, but not "almost entirely" by a big margin.

Nobody is "policing" it is a request to be conscientious.

for instance, The director of FFXIV stated in 2017 that the M:F ratio of FFXIV (in japan at least) was 7:3, but in Korea it was 5:5 with the advantage going to women. https://www.reddit.com/r/ffxiv/comments/6orjni/ff14_player_bases_gender_ratio_according_to_yoship/

that's not "almost entirely"

fortnight is also almost 7:3
 
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Oct 26, 2017
6,516
Historically, in the US and South Africa, "boy" was not only a "neutral" term for domestics but also as a disparaging term towards men of color, implying their subservient status.

It certainly does have a history of negative connotations. That's one example, there are other out there (within the same context - racism).
Are you arguing that "boy" should not be used in general because of distant and rarely contemporary racial connotations?

Clearly if you are speaking to a person of color and call them "boy" that has negative connotations.

If you are speaking to a group of people and address them as "boys" that does NOT have negative connotations.

If you are talking to a child and call them "boy" that does not have negative connotations.

So, for the sake of THIS argument in THIS context, "boys" does not have negative connotations.
 
Oct 30, 2017
476
I don't really use "boys/bois" much at all. My go-to's are "guys", "lads" or "folks".

That said, I absolutely hate "y'all", can't stand it. Mostly because it sounds extremely strange coming from an Irish person (or any non-American for that matter). If you're actually from a southern US state, then you get a pass from me.
 
Oct 26, 2017
7,825
Madrid
Good luck in moderating language that's largely considered inoffensive and harmless, when we can't figure out ways to get gamers to stop saying racial slurs and threating to rape people.

It's a demographic comprised almost entirely of immature dudes from 10-25. Good luck policing the language of this demographic.
Wow, a textbook whataboutism. Never saw that before in this thread. /s
 
What the fuck?

How is "y'all" racist?
Essentially the black side of my family would use "y'all" when talking. Because of that, we had neighbors that would mock them for using that word, calling us "Niggers that can't even use proper wording" and the likes. I'm not saying y'all is racist, I'm saying the word brings up those memories so I am never using it. I have no issue with people who use it, but I am not using that word after what I experienced.
 
Nov 20, 2017
1,160
I was guilty of saying guys as gender neutral. The service industry broke me of that and started using "folks". Still sounds weird to say folks, simply because how archaic it sounds.

But yes, folks now. Or the word "everyone"
 
Oct 26, 2017
6,516
I was guilty of saying guys. The service industry broke me of that and started using "folks". Still sounds weird to say folks, simply because how archaic it sounds.

But yes, folks now. Or the word "everyone"
I keep having to point this out but nobody is "guilty" of saying "guys" to address a mixed group.

Guys is 100% a gender neutral term in casual conversation at this point. There is no need to feel guilty.