*That* word… and why I hate it.

That word.

You know the one I mean.  See you next Tuesday. Yes. That one.

I hate it. There. I’ve said it.

I don’t say and I don’t write it. Ever. I don’t like to hear it, and I don’t like to see it written anywhere. Instinctively, I find it abhorrent. I change channels on TV when I hear it and I generally unfollow people on Twitter who use it (where I see it most often, unfortunately). And while most followers agree with me, I have received some criticism from tweeps for this stand, including:

  • women should reclaim the word and use if in a positive way (how? It is only ever used in a negative context)
  • That understanding the history of the word is important (why? See point above)
  • That men’s body parts aren’t always used in a positive way (true, but you can call someone a dick and say it in an affectionate way. Is anyone ever been called the c word affectionately? No. I didn’t think so)
  • It’s just a word (no word is ever “just a word”)
  • It’s sad that the body part of a woman is considered the most repugnant word in the English language and we should try and change this (see all points above).

From my perspective, I believe that society’s use of *that* word is subtext for how it really feels about women. And as a woman, I refuse to validate this less-than-flattering opinion of women by using it myself, or tolerating its use by others. I am saddened in particular by Gen Y’s increased use of the word, particularly by young girls, although it is just as disturbing to hear it from young boys.

And call me old-fashioned, but if this is one of the “benefits” of feminism, you can have it.

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