Words CAN Hurt

Words CAN Hurt

This writing is now available as a podcast episode!

Someone commented on one of my writings that:

women are conditioned from birth to not be “whores” or “sluts” or whatever other derogatory term is used to shame you into suppressing your sexuality as much as possible.

Let me state for the record:

I don’t fucking care about this, for the most part. You (general you—anyone) could call me any of those things, and I would laugh.

While this might not be true of all ladies, people who spout this as THE reason women aren’t more sexual—or at least open about it in public—are missing the point nearly entirely in every other area.

It’s usually not at all about what you think of us.

Frankly, if you think that we are less-than because we enjoy sex, it’s likely we don’t think that much of you to begin with, either.

It’s about making sure that we don’t take a fucking ticking time bomb of rage and violence and potential death to our homes or our beds. Or worse, marry them.

And yes, that might seem extreme. I know this.

The key is “seem.”

For those of us who have been sexually assaulted or worse, who have been or know those who’ve been violently victimized because of what someone THINKS of us…

It matters.

Not because of the words.

Because of the actual physical harm that those words can incite.

Because words can control sticks and stones.

People can use WORDS to work themselves into a frenzy. They can get others to join them using WORDS. They can get away with it regardless of the facts or reality because of WORDS.

People who are strangers, friends, lovers, bosses, authority figures… the list goes on and on, as does the potential for harm.

It’s not just women. Of course it’s not. What one human has to deal with, so do others, regardless of gender.

Men who are not “manly enough” are bullied all the time. Some are killed. Transfolk are harrassed and hurt and murdered for not being whatever enough. Gay people, people of color, people who are different.

So, call me whatever you want. I’m OK with that.

However, I will NEVER EVER pretend that your words can’t hurt me—or worse, hurt others.

So, I will continue to say that the words—words that we use when referring to one another, words that we use to think and shape our own thoughts, and words that we use in love and in anger—matter.

And those who say that it’s about just not wanting to be called a slut…miss the point entirely.

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