Friday, December 30, 2016

You CAN'T reclaim slurs. Sorry.

I WILL NOT use the terms "slut shaming" or "whorephobia." No one should, especially not feminists. Feminists are big on language. We are the first ones to complain when someone uses language we don't like, such as racial slurs or gender slurs or homophobic slurs, etc. You would think when it comes to our own people, WOMEN, we'd be more careful. Yet, somehow, we insist on allowing society to degrade us by pretending we are OK with the degradation or by insisting that, somehow, that degradation empowers us, when nothing could be further from the truth!
There is no such thing as a slut. To call a woman a slut is to shame her. When you complain about "slut shaming," what you are actually saying is that the woman is, indeed, a slut, and someone has shamed her for it. This is what these words mean. It doesn't change just because you want it to or just because you think this or that is what the term is supposed to mean. You don't get to do that. You don't get to say that apple really means orange.
As for whorephobia, you SHOULD be very afraid of people who use the word "whore!" There is no such thing as a "whore." I am extremely phobic of men who call women "whores" or think of women as "whores." I am also afraid of women who call themselves "whores" because they have, for one reason or another, chosen to accept their own degradation. When you talk about whorephobia, again, you are saying that that woman is, indeed, a whore, but don't fear or hate her for it. To call her a "whore" is to fear her or hate her.
Put to bed this childish nonsense of "reclaiming" slurs. You can't. The only way you could reclaim slurs is if you could get the rest of society to go along with it. You may sit around and tell yourself you're proud feminist and that you're a slut or a whore and that you've reclaimed that word. You haven't. The rest of society is still going to use those words against you. It's still going to hurt when people call you that. It's still going to hurt all women when people call us that.
Why do we police other people's language and not our own? Why do we tell other people they need to really think about the words they use when we don't? Why did people freak the fuck out when Rush Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke a slut and a whore? Because it not only hurt Sandra Fluke, it hurt ALL women. It hurt us, it's shamed us, it degraded us. It showed us what men like him really think of women, not just what they think of Sandra Fluke. If anyone had really reclaimed those words we would have just laughed it off and said, "Teehee, yes, she is a slut and so are all women who want access to birth control and that's OK because we've reclaimed that word and you can't hurt us with it!"
Doesn't work that way.
There's no such thing as a slut or a whore (or ANY slurs). Regardless of what you call yourself, you're not allowed to actually BE a slut or a whore. I deny your agency. You are not allowed to be less than human. You're not allowed to be worthless. You are not allowed to be some object for other people to use and exploit. Even if you call yourself these words, say you've reclaimed them, say they don't hurt you (which is a lie), you still can't actually BE them. No one can. If that offends you, well....


Not sorry.

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