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.
- ‘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.
- ‘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.
- ‘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?