gotta fight for your right… to be a woman and get some respect.

slut

–noun
1. a dirty, slovenly woman.
2. an immoral or dissolute woman; prostitute.

whore

–noun
1. a woman who engages in promiscuous sexual intercourse, usually for money; prostitute; harlot; strumpet.
–verb
2. to act as a whore.
3. to consort with whores.

are you cringing already?  odds are, if you are, you’re probably a woman.  and not a girl, mind you, because to the younger generation now, these terms have become completely acceptable.  if people want to say we’re making progress in civil rights, they should examine the language that kids use in our highschools.  “gay” is a pseudonym for “stupid or lame”, a “fag” is “someone who is stupid or lame” and the words “slut” and “whore” are thrown around like nothing, especially among teenage girls.

and this isn’t a take-back-the-night kind of thing, like how gay people have adopted the word “queer” so as to no longer be a burn, or when Inga Muscio wrote Cunt, saying that the word “vagina” is based off a greek word for “sheath for a sword”.  ain’t got no vagina.

when someone calls a girl a slut or a whore, even in teasing, it is in no way a positive term.  it’s still an insult.  it’s just an insult that doesn’t even raise an eyebrow.  in shock-value terms, it’s pretty much the equivalent of calling someone a “sillyhead”.

now, granted, I am not a fan of excessive P.C.ness.  however, these terms are not gentle little teasings.  these are terms that even while we laugh them off, are etching scars on our souls.  these are not words that critisize our behavior.  words that critisize our behavior, while they can be painful, do not leave these scars.  it’s the words that critisize who we are, these defining words like, “slut”, “whore”, “fag”, “bitch”, et cettera, that linger.  when someone uses these terms repeatedly, we begin to believe they’re true.

a housewife whose cooking is condemned, mode of dress is criticized, and parenting is put down, is likely to blame herself, examine herself, and seek to better herself, her attitude, and her behaviors.  when there is no improvement in the criticism, or no appreciation, she begins to see these as character faults, and her self-worth begins to suffer.  however, when it is not our behavior, but our CHARACTER that is insulted, mocked and demeaned, this goes right to the source.  it skips over that in-between stage.  when it happens in front of others, it is not only our image of ourselves as people that is injured, it is our ability to stand up for ourselves, and the result is shame, and a feeling of weakness and inadequacy.  when we don’t feel we can defend ourselves, we feel weak and pathetic.  when we feel disrespected by those closest to us, whether friends or family, we feel undeserving of respect.  we feel worthless.

I believe the casual treatment of these words comes as an overreaction to the attempts at excessively p.c. language.  extreme feminism often calls for a break away from any terms denoting gender.  the classic joke “how many feminists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?” “that’s not funny!”   is a poke at a lack of sense of humor among the politically correct.  sometimes we feel like if we don’t tolerate abusive language, it means we’re stuck up, too serious or sensitive.  however, abusive language in the guise of humor is still abusive language, and it is still damaging.

The Husband is a good man, a good husband, and a good father.  he is also a man, who in his humor, avoids anything along the lines of political correctness.  he is not sexist, racist or homophobic, but will make cracks in all of these veins.  he too, has been desensitized to the pain that words can cause.

a couple nights ago I tattooed the word “FREE” across the knuckles of my left hand.  it is a statement of freedom, of being possessed by no one, and of living my own life.

when our friends Juan, Tim and Katie were over, I showed them, and Juan asked for an explanation.  The Husband laughed it off, and said, “Oh, she’s a whore.”  my immediate comeback was not “that’s disrespectful,” but instead “that doesn’t make sense.”  to which he replied, “okay, a slut then.”  to which I had no response.

when I confronted him, his response was “it was a joke.  no one took it literally, and it’s not true.”  but once I explained that it was hurtful, regardless of truth, he apologized.  even while joking and teasing, we MUST have respect for eachother.  words hurt.  language is a powerful tool.  if the pen is more powerful than the sword, how much more powerful are the words we speak to eachother?  (The Husbands input: “Or how much more powerful is a sword with WORDS on it?”  LOL)

don’t tolerate abusive language, no matter what sense it’s meant in.  if it hurts, it hurts, and you have the right to say so.  when we don’t stand up for ourselves, it damages us far worse than when other people don’t stand up for us.  and when we don’t speak out, we’re telling people that their behavior is okay, and giving them permission to do it again.

-Domestic Anarchist

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One comment on “gotta fight for your right… to be a woman and get some respect.

  1. i absolutely agree about the power of language. getting offended when people throw these words arounc carelessly (and callously) is not about being PC–it’s about respect and how language creates reality.

    gay, ghetto, and retard burn me….

    thoughtful blog!

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