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Woman Is The N----r Of The World
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25 December 2013
2.58pm
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meanmistermustard
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Did someone offended by the N word cut off the video before it finished or did they just not like the song very much? There's censorship for you.a-hard-days-night-john-6 

"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris)

25 December 2013
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Billy Rhythm
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Sorry about that, this one contains the full song

but not quite as much dialogue at the beginning...:-)

4 July 2014
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parlance said

Expert Textpert said

We think he should have chosen a different word only because we have become sensitized to it.  Actually, I think it is a well-chosen word for the song.  It gets the point across which he is trying to make.  Women are hated, treated as objects, etc. just the same as those who are called N.

Those on the receiving end of the word were already sensitized to it.

And again, the song erases the existence of Black women.

parlance

I don't think it erases black women. It shows that they are treated worse than white women because they suffer both racism and misogyny.

And some black people say the N word about a million times a day.

"This Beatles talk bores me to death.” —John Lennon 

4 July 2014
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I've also seen black people be racist toward other black people, especially ones whose skin is darker.

"This Beatles talk bores me to death.” —John Lennon 

28 July 2014
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Love that performance of Woman is the N.. on the Cavett show. One of his great performances. He seemed really on, like he did when the Beatles were playing live regularly.

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28 July 2014
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Zig
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While the true meaning of the word hits the mark in what John/Yoko were laying down, I do wish they had chosen a different term. Even as a white male, the song makes me a tad uncomfortable to this day. It's a shame, because I really like the song - one of my favorites on a much maligned album.

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28 July 2014
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Expert Textpert said

I've also seen black people be racist toward other black people, especially ones whose skin is darker.

I've been hearing a lot of this lately. "Light skin/dark skin." I wish people would just stop creating more distinctions and like (or dislike) people for who they are on a person by person basis, rather than outward appearance.
The only place race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation should matter would be the positive cultural aspects. You should be proud of who you are but not feel better or worse than anyone else.

As for the song, I love it. It has a lot of meaning, but the music is what I really enjoy about it. It isn't something I'd play out loud though, which is a shame like Zig said, but what can you do? People have to learn to just accept everyone the way they are.

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28 July 2014
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I clicked the "Thanked" icon many times, Kite, but it only shows once.

I consider myself fortunate to have met so many people from varying races, creeds, religions, sexual preferences, what have you. The thing that I have learned most of all, however, is this. You're either a nice person or you are not - none of the above has anything to do with it. I forget to whom I PM'd this, but I always give everyone the benefit of the doubt until they prove themselves unworthy.

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29 July 2014
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OK…….I understand that you will probably delete this but I've come to the discussion late and just wanted to add my 2 pennies-worth ……….I'm thinking John chose the title, 'Woman is the N—r of the world' to shock, to illustrate and to impact. In the context the sentiments are wholly PC. I don't think he would appreciate any revisionist sanitizing or the delicate pussy-footing around that we are seeing.

Words change meaning and their impact ebbs and wanes.  'Gee whizz' is an American substitution for that awful exclamation…. 'Jesus!'  'Awful' incidentally used to mean, 'filled with awe'……..'Wicked' can nowadays mean, 'good' and so can 'Bad'

John's choice of the word, 'N—r' was not meant to hurt, or demean. Take it in it's context and of it's time. Those with scruples over, who can use a word and who can never use it are on a slippery slope. Our language is the richest and most expressive ever devised it should not be divided on racial lines…….Most particularly when it comes to artistic expression.

 

By-the-way it may interest you to know that…….A 'scruple' used to mean a bothersome stone in your shoe…….. I suggest we stop, remove the nagging scruple and move on.  

30 July 2014
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As I've noted before, itunes has like hundreds of song titles using the N word; but apparently, according to the PC perspective, it's okay when a certain group of people uses it, but not when one of the greatest musicians in modern history used it. 

That said, I don't find Lennon's song to be that great musically speaking.  Silly me, I tend to like music for musical reasons, not for sociopolitical propaganda purposes.

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9 January 2019
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@parlance said

Zig said
The song has a powerful message, which is why they probably used such a powerful word in the title. Too bad not everyone got to hear it.

I think it could have had a powerful message (had the lyrics been better) and should have been executed differently. It's extremely problematic for a person of privilege to evoke a brutal word as if he actually understood what it was like to be on the receiving end of it. And the fact his wife who isn't Black suggested it doesn't make it better.
It also erases the existence of Black women. There was a quote made at the time of the song's release from Black playwright Pearl Cleage: “If Woman is the “N” of the World, what does that make Black Women, the “N, N” of the World?”
Last time this discussion came up here (I didn't participate), I found a couple of articles on the subject people might find interesting/helpful, as the song came up when a White woman made a sign during the first Slutwalk in 2011 with the title: Ms. Magazine and Racialicious.
parlance  

Just a heads-up that I've put a filter in place to censor all instances of the word to N—r. I spent some time reflecting on this recently, and came to agree with what parlance had to say.

I understand that some people have tried to reclaim the word, and that's their decision. My choice, as the overlord of this forum, is that I'd rather not have it appear here.

I'm generally not a fan of censorship, and this is currently the only instance. I'd appreciate it if people didn't try to circumvent the filter by using alternative spellings etc. Thank you.

@Ahhh Girl @meanmistermustard @Zig 

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9 January 2019
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If you’re going to run an automatic censorship then the N-word you definitely be censored. I understand using other swear words here especially when quoting songs like Working Class Hero or perhaps the infamous Hey Jude or Day In The Life profanity. But nobody should be posting the N-Word online. Way too jarring. 

On the topic of this song, I love the melody and the saxophone playing is fantastic. 

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9 January 2019
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Is there any other word that is censored apart from the aforementioned one @Joe?

 

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9 January 2019
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AppleScruffJunior said
Is there any other word that is censored apart from the aforementioned one @Joe?  

There isn't a list and it hasn't been discussed but there will be some words and phrases that if posted would be deemed necessary to remove due to the offensive nature conveyed, I'm obviously not going to start listing them. The forum is very loosely moderated but we would step in and edit posts in specific circumstances, but hopefully, we never arrive at such a point.

As for the song, I love the live version that was on the 1998 Lennon Anthology box but there is not a chance I would have it playing in work or anywhere others would hear it as the 'n' word is so offensive to many. Censoring it on here makes sense, therefore, regardless of what John meant back when he wrote it.

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9 January 2019
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I think the use of the word is quite effective in this case, since the shock factor makes you realise the sad reality behind its message. Still, it does make me uncomfortable to hear, and it was definitely a questionable creative decision. 

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9 January 2019
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Yeah, it's a decision he almost certainly would've never made today. 

I think @parlance 's take on the topic was important, coming as it was from a black female perspective.

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9 January 2019
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Apologies. I said in my last post I was new to this thread and hadn't read through it.......I see now I'd posted in 2014!!

I'd forgotten......And it was sloppy not reading  through........I'd assumed it was pages of stuff!

Anyway something learned.

Regards to all and keep up the good work.

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9 January 2019
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Joe said

I'd appreciate it if people didn't try to circumvent the filter by using alternative spellings etc. Thank you.

Seems as though that this has fallen upon deaf ears...:-)

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9 January 2019
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Free speech is free speech, but this is Joe’s forum in the end. Arguing for your right to say the n word is a bad look

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Speaking to the song, I know the word is controversial, but the actual messages John sings about (women in a man’s world) would still be embraced by modern audiences as relevant. His intent was pure and he really belts this one out. I really enjoy the vocal.  “Better screeeeeeam about it!” 

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