Words have power so it’s time to choose the right ones.

This page is about equality and my desire for the world to be a more equal and tolerant place. I believe that the language we use has an impact on our lives and of those around us. So through this blog I aim to heighten my own, and hopefully others’, awareness of the language we use and the impact it has.

Feminism has been used as a judgemental label for too long. I believe that true feminists want equality for all. I want equality for everyone, no matter your hair, eye or skin colour, choice of lover, music or food, whether you pray, meditate or nothing at all. Equal and free to live our lives in a positive manner.

I have plenty of friends who have told me that it’s ‘just a joke’ to say, ‘he throws like a girl / screamed like a bitch / is so gay / have some balls / man-up’… and so many more. My question is what’s funny about being female or homosexual? I don’t get it. How are these characteristics humorous? …and when did testicles become the measure of anything?

I truly feel that if we equalise how we speak to each other, even how we refer to each other negatively, this is the first step to equality. It’s so simple: think about what you say.

If your boss thought carefully about the words they used, would they be so quick to treat you differently? What about the policeman or teacher? How would they treat you? Your partner or parents; would they treat you differently?

I once debated the use of swear words against a lady who felt that swearing showed a limited vocabulary. I argued that I know many words for moron but when needed ‘shithead’ was the only appropriate word. When I fell down the stairs, swearing like a trooper, my very well-spoken mother told me it was quite acceptable given the circumstances. I am waffling, my point isn’t about swearing but it’s not irrelevant; there is a time and place for swearing, but not for the types of phrases quoted above! Swearing (when done correctly) shows an emotion or point of view but using derogatory language, in reference to a group of people, only shows ingrained patriarchy, prejudice and fear.

I do not and cannot claim to know-it-all or be the perfect example, but what I can claim is that I am giving it my best to use language that can improve and further my development and understanding of the world. This is simply a log of my journey so far.

In the words of Maya Angelou: Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.

This is me trying to do better and using language to do so. My greatest hope is that someone will read this and change their point of view or feel the strength to use their voice too.

 

A post about the negative impact the female word can have: Negative distribution

A post about a mini victory for female body image: Planting seeds

Advertisements