In collegial exchanges, close friends refer to each other using the most vile terms imaginable, and in context, it is clear there is no malcontent. Quite the opposite, it is a sign of intimate affection. "We are so close that we can call each other such things and we both know it means nothing but that we re-affirming that we are close."
One of my very best friends in HS signed my yearbook "Once a cock, always a cock. Eat me."
It is for sure the basis of those who direct the word nigger at each other, with affection, not malice.
Said another way; if men truly treated women as close equals, if heteros and homos truly were beyond all the nonsense, it would be common for men to refer to women as cunts, for women to refer to men as dicks, for folks of all types to refer to each other as faggots and breeders, niggers and honkies, and for the only emotion to be realized in any of that is harmless collegial mirth; the certain knowledge that none of that means anything at all, in fact, the opposite of malcontent.
Maybe not publicly so. But certainly in private. And there are those two spheres again. Because when we are in public, it may not be clear to all who see the exchange what the close nature of the participants are. And so, maybe sometimes discretion is the better part of valor, when it comes to bravely hurling words into the public sphere that clearly can have two meanings.
The source of their power to inflict pain is the malcontent, not the words. What is inexplicable about the anger directed at Luke in that story is that he was directing the attribute towards the idea of a fictional character, and some other actual human being stepped in line and took offense...to the word! As if she were taking one for the team, or fancied herself Kevin Costner in 'The Bodyguard", protecting the female species from the .308 that is 'bitch.' It couldn't possibly have been to the malcontent, becuase that wasn't directed at her or anybody but the fictional character Lillian. And personally, I'd have said 'cunt,' but that is just me.
And for the last remaining truly crippled human beings who must rush into such discussions and declare certain words their special province of privelege, I can only look away and be thankful that I have not been so crippled as to cling to something like that. I am not about to elevate a word to the status of demi-deity. There are certain religions where it is a sin to use the written word God. At most, G*d. So it is becoming with ni**er, as if we can't see what's underneath the two **s. Seriously? We are making a demi-god out of that word? Only ho**ies would do that.