Words About Words

Knowing the danger of choosing words that could inadvertently cause disrespect, where does one start writing when one doesn’t know which words will cause pain, because when using descriptive words, many of those words used have become stereotypes, and often times these stereotypes create images that are not flattering or nice, and thus the word creates an image and the image does not reflect the actual person or thing.

Recently I’ve become hyper-aware of disparaging words being used synonymously with stereotypes, or meant as insults, and how prevalent these words are. Like all women are bi*ches: on tv and in songs, rather than refer to women or lady, all women are referred to as bi*ch or ho. Ya know, swearing is fine in context and even saying nig*er if yer black, or even bi*ch if yer a woman is owning it. Yet it’s gotten past the point where Kanye commented on it years ago, “Stevie Wonder never had to use the word bi*ch to get his point across”.

The origins of using the word as an insult comes from referring to women as female dogs, and comparing women to dogs and in the use of this word, stating that all women are dogs. Unless one is actually referring to a female dog it shouldnt be used. It’s disparaging and insulting, like the use of nig*er and redsk*n. The words were historical insults, when people they were referring to were thought of as the everyday farm animal because of the colour of their skin or where they came from or what they had between their legs.

In any case, it came to the point that I had to start deleting songs from my playlist, because every time I heard the word it felt like the people who were saying it were physically slapping me across the face. And while I don’t think they mean for it to feel that way, it hurt enough to have to delete it. I’ve had to delete 9 of my top 50 fav songs, I miss Death Around The Corner by Tupac the most. It was like saying goodbye to a friend. I feel like if I didn’t delete it though, would be like saying that it was ok for any man to ever refer to any woman as a bi*ch, and I don’t believe it is. If someone is being referred to specifically, that doesn’t need to be aired publicly.

One area where men and women are questioning and defying the stereotypes and, challenging them, is on Social Media. Gil Scott-Heron was right, the revolution isn’t being televised, it’s being social-media-eyezed. All over the world, people are posting what words and truth mean to them with their emojis, images, songs, books and people, and their words. The way they use words, it’s as if the word was  a sqaure peg that is now being made round by showing us a different perspective.  They’re changing the face of the world, creating a universal language, forcing us to look at the good, bad and ugly of ourselves, and i like to think we’re changing for the better because of it.

Words are powerful things and need to be handled with care and respect. Because like stones dropped in a lake, they create ripples that cause waves to hit beaches on the other side – who knows what damage will be done. Words are sounds that are ultimately felt and sensed with the whole body, not just the ears or the eyes. Thus, all this to say, that in choosing my words, I hope you dig le shit meme si tu get pas tous les lyrics. And I mean no disrespect and apologize in advance if I choose a word that inadvertently causes pain.

 

Future posts include racism and feminism.

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