Rant · Thinky Thoughts

Three terms we need to stop using to excuse horrible behaviour.

As I’m doing NaBloPoMo this month my inspiration started running thin and I started thinking about different topics I could write about. I decided to monitor what I talked about in general to The Boy, my friends and my colleagues. This was a topic The Boy and I ranted on for a while and one that annoys me so much that I wanted to try and condense those thoughts down. Language may occasionally be explicit.

Excusing shitty behaviour. That’s the crux of this matter. Rationalisation happens all the time “I didn’t get that job, but I didn’t want it anyway.” is a favourite of mine, personally. When these rationalisations start to condone certain actions, though, we have a problem, and I’m going to call it out.

These are three terms I personally think we, as a public, need to stop using to essentially condone shitty behaviour.

  1. ‘Lad’ (or ‘Ladette’ although I’ve seen girls usually just called ‘lads’ too)

I seriously hate this term. It seems to have moved from describing a ‘bit of a joker’ to completely disregarding people just being shitheads. I’ve seen it mostly associated with drinking culture, “nah, they’re not drunken twats, they’re just being lads.


Throwing up, and then drinking it is not lad, it’s disgusting. Repeatedly pinching someone’s bum, even though they’ve told you to go away, is not lad, it’s harassment. Sending your partner’s/ someone else’s intimate photos to your mates is not lad, it’s a violation. Drinking live fish (do not get me started on neknominate, seriously, what?) is not lad, it’s cruelty to animals.

Acting like a complete tosser is not cool or funny because you are being a lad. You are a moron. Stop it.

  1. ‘Player’ (Also ‘playa’ but if you use that term, please learn to spell)

In a conversation with someone I thought I knew reasonably well about how awful cheating on a partner is, I was told “Don’t hate the player, hate the game.” For real. They were entirely serious and said that maybe the ‘cheater’ is just a ‘player’, and “you can’t blame the player for playing the game.”

Erm yes. Yes you can.

Cheating on your partner is not justified or okay if you consider yourself to be a player. You are not at the mercy of the all-encompassing game. It is not okay to plainly abuse someone’s trust like that because you think you can call yourself a player and that excuses you.

If you are a lying, cheating, untrustworthy sod, calling yourself a player doesn’t change that. It doesn’t make it magically okay to continue. It just makes you look like a tool.

  1. ‘Banter’ (or ‘bants’ or any variation thereof)

This is one I actually use myself, although I am careful not to use it in the way I’m going to describe. Which is: Being deliberately offensive or insulting and then using ‘banter’ to wave it all away.

I am all for jokes. I’m not a fun-sucking harpy. I tease and joke with my friends as much as the next person, but in instances I’ve seen, the term banter is being used to be outright mean to people.

This is the one that I think is most-used as an excuse. “Whatever, you’re so desperate, you’d f*** anything. Banter!” I’ve actually heard that in a club before. The girl on the receiving end was visibly upset, as would I be.

It’s not okay to be offensive or horrible to someone and then wave the banter word about to prevent them from getting upset about it. “Don’t be sensitive, it was just banter / Take a bit of banter you pansy / God, chill out, it was only banter.” No it wasn’t. You’ve verbally abused someone. It wasn’t funny, it was an outright insult that you’ve excused by calling it banter.

You’re not funny, you’re mean. It’s not banter, it’s insulting. It’s not okay, but it is excused. It shouldn’t be.

Apologies for the rant, it’s a topic that really grates on me!

What do you think? Are these terms being used wrongly? Are there any more you’d want to add to the list?


9 thoughts on “Three terms we need to stop using to excuse horrible behaviour.

  1. Oooohhh, shitty people making excuses for their shitty behaviour, I could write a book about that. And then when you retaliate in kind they get all up in arms. For some reason, I usually see men doing this, trying to rationalise their dickheadedness away. Lad culture isn’t really a thing around here, thankfully. Our standard excuse is “It’s just kids” (even when referring to people in their twenties). Yeah, no, if those ‘kids’ are old enough to vote and drive a car, they’re old enough to receive a smacking.

    And ‘playas’, they’re usually playas until you decide to start a game of “How many kicks to the nuts does it take before you sing soprano”. What? Don’t hate the player!

    That banter thing must be the new “It’s just a joke, don’t take it seriously”. If it’s a joke, why am I not laughing? I mean, there’s banter and then there’s just being a douchecanoe. My friends (hell, my dad even) and I like to engage in ritual insult when we meet, but we all know where to stop. How hard is it to say, “Sorry, I crossed a line there”? Either that or just own up to your shittyness.

    Another favourite of mine “That’s just how he/she is”, when a person is being a gigantic fuckwad on the regular and everyone has somehow gotten used to it. And it’s usually the kind of person who can dish it but can’t take it. Oh, they said a really mean thing and I snapped and said a mean thing back and now they’re all offended? Well, sorry, that’s just how I am! If they’re allowed to be how they are, sure I am allowed to be me.

    In case it wasn’t obvious, that topic kind of hit a nerve. If anyone needs me, I’ll be in the Angry Dome.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha! Excellent rant. I completely agree with you on all points. Not having Lad Culture sounds like a right treat, although “just kids” sounds just as bad an excuse!
      Oh I’ve definitely got some experience with “That’s just how they are”, that’s a brilliant one to add, and so true. I’m sorry, if I kick off about how much of a knobber someone’s being I don’t expect other friends to turn around and acknowledge it with “Yeah but that’s just how she is, calm down.”
      I think I’ll join you in your Angry Dome.


  2. I agree with all of these!!

    The excusing of shitty behavior is a serious problem. It validates the people who are doing the behavior, and dismisses the victim of the behavior by making her/him look like she/he is overreacting to something that is no big deal. But these things ARE big deals.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely agree with you. It’s the same playing down as is done to victims of bullying which can be extremely distressing and upsetting long term, to completely invalidate their feelings as exaggerated. Not cool!


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