So I’m sitting here today reading this story about Naomi Campbell once again getting off with a slap on the wrist for assaulting more people (that bitch is crazy) and at one point she mentions that she was actually already angered because she overheard someone call her a golliwog. Now I may seem like a know-it-all sometimes, but I really didn’t know what a golliwog was. So I did some research and found out. (Check out this link.)
So I began to think, “Hell, I’d be offended too”, but then I thought a little more. I didn’t know what this word meant until five minutes ago. Would I really have been offended? This lead me to think about whether certain words are still offensive if the person that they’re geared towards doesn’t know what the word means.
*eats another gummi worm*
I began to think about it as being offensive regardless as the person who used it meant for it to offend, so it is. But, then I thought about the situation in which the person who used it may be ignorant to the actual meaning of the word. I know it sounds silly, but it happens. An example of this (as silly as this may seem, I still think it’s a good one) is in the movie Clerks II when Randal uses the term “Porch Monkey”. He wasn’t aware until they told him that the term was racist as he’d apparently been raised to hearing the term being used constantly. So what then? Is it still technically offensive? What if neither party involved knows that the term is an offensive term, would it still be offensive then?
*bites the head off another gummi worm*
What are your thoughts?