We recently revisited an old argument in my Guild Wars alliance: the subject of language. It was angering and tiring to me, because it was the second pages-long thread we've had in the officer forums that centers around the use of the word rape.
I really, truly do not get those who just casually toss that around. "lolololol we raped them lololol" Then someone complains and they're completely offended. Lighten up! We're all adults here! You know what I meant! It doesn't mean anything, and you know it.
Yes, we are all adults here, which means I expect you to be able to express yourself a little better than that. And yes, it DOES mean something. I am lucky -- I'm not a rape victim, and I've never even been in a situation where I felt threatened. But even the thought of it is enough to make me flinch, and it is really beyond me why *anyone* would find that appropriate to joke about.
Think about it. No, seriously. Take a second to think about the actual act -- someone being violated in that way and not being able to do a thing about it, no matter how hard they try. I don't care if it's never happened to you and you don't know anyone who has been a victim. The concept alone should bother you.
If you've ever used the word in that concept, I really, sincerely want to hear from you, because it seems like basic human compassion to avoid using that in a joking tone, for two reasons. One, it's simply not funny -- it's a completely unacceptable form of slang. Two, it's entirely likely that you will say that in guild chat, alliance chat, local chat, a forum, whatever, and it will be read by a rape victim. That person went through one of the most horrifying things you can go through, and now they're sitting there watching you mock the experience and turn it into a joke. Sure, you can make the standard excuses: that's his/her problem, not mine. Don't read it if you don't like it, blah blah blah.
Or you could, you know, show (again) basic human compassion and just find a better way to express yourself. Because it's not funny, and it should never ever ever ever be used in that context.
While I'm at it, the same goes for calling something "gay." I'm sorry, did you seriously just take someone's sexual orientation and turn it into a slur? NICE. I don't care whether you agree with it or not, using the word gay as a derogatory term for something you don't like just makes you look like a tool in dire need of a thesaurus. (If you still don't get where I'm coming from, substitute the phrase "sexual orientation" with "skin color," "nationality," or "religious affiliation." Still wanna tell me to lighten up and that it doesn't mean anything?)
Stop being cretins, people.