Today’s Feminist Friday comes from Caroline, the woman some of us know. She’s a real spitfire and all around awesome person. Enjoy!
As a graduate with a B.S. in English, words are really important to me. More than a form of communication, their nuances and intonations weave more than our accents or speech patterns; they tell a story of how we feel about ourselves and about those whom we’re relating to. In a world where the English language is becoming butchered, abbreviated and wholly bastardized on an alarming basis (Thanks YOLO!), I find though we may not be able to control the world of words around us, but we can certainly keep in check the way that we speak to or about the people we surround ourselves with.
This brings me to my biggest pet peeve and total turn off when meeting new lady-friends: Referring to each other as “bitches” (or any other derogatory term). Just typing the word spikes my blood pressure and hearing it out of someone’s mouth whom I respect, or am just meeting for the first time, is a total turn off, three strikes and you’re out offense. My only way to understand the flippant use of this totally disrespectful word when referring to someone who’s your friend, your sister, or just another lady like you trying to do her best, is that those who rely on vocabulary like this don’t hold themselves in high esteem.
Using terms like this tear us all down. In a society where the chips have always been stacked against us and it’s hard enough to receive equality from the world at large, why would we sabotage our own team by creating dissention in our own ranks with this sort of language? We’re surrounded by stereotypes that make us feel less than awesome, or jealous and catty of each other in a Mean Girls sort of way, but rather than perpetuate this kind of behavior, we should treat each better and stop using terms that hurt. (This should also include: gossip, shit talking and other unsavory or petty traditional conventions of female conversation).
Words and the way we use them are important. Once uttered, and let out of Pandora’s Mouth Box, you can’t put them back. I want to make every word out of my mouth count. I like to tell my friends that they’re awesome and that they’re loved and that they’re capable of doing anything- because that’s how I want to be treated. I spew this same positive vibe to strangers I meet, or the 7-11 clerk who knows exactly what I want when I walk in, or the student I’m talking to at work who’s having a bad day. Use your words to improve those around you instead of to gossip or to “throw shade” on someone. Whether they’re a friend or a complete stranger you see on the street, I promise it will make a difference for people around you and you’ll feel a lot better for leaving the drama and negativity out of your vocabulary.