Words

Recently I was introduced to a talented and witty comedian. A group of us watched his comedy act and yes, he was funny. For a few minutes. When he started talking about genitalia, the room got quiet…except for some nervous laughter (probably mine). Although the comedian used the anatomically correct term for a man’s genitals, he used a pejorative expression for a woman’s. Hint: it began with P.

Every woman should be offended by that derogatory label. It reduces the essence of a female to her sexual use. Nothing more. She has no heart. No mind. No soul. Yes ladies, it implies, that is all you are good for. Even more tragic is that same word/idea was recently promoted by a women’s march to inform the world that they are more than just that reduction. Uh, excuse me? Why would anyone stoop to use a phrase that degrades womanhood to supposedly elevate the gender? Isn’t that counterintuitive?*

I imagine someone responding with, “Don’t you realize that meanings of words change? What that term used to imply is different now.”

Thank you for your two cents. And I agree. However I would venture to say we should avoid volatile words that slander one’s race, value, gender, etc. as much today as yesteryear. Ask the Jews what the Nazis (and other “ethnic cleansers”) labeled them to justify genocide (their words diminished the Jews to subhuman). Or ask African Americans what society called them two hundred years ago to excuse slavery…and why some people today use the term when insulting them. What would happen if a United Nations interpreter chose that comedian’s word to describe a woman because they thought the two words were interchangeable?

Words—and labels—matter. I will grieve the day my granddaughter comes home from school crying because someone insulted her with that derogatory name. But I shudder to imagine that she herself would use that atrocious terminology to describe her gender because it is “normal” and “everyone says it.”

Women—wake up. Don’t tolerate debasing labels for the sake of so-called humor. And definitely don’t embrace defamation of your own gender to try to make a point.

Can a woman carry fire next to her chest and her clothes not be burned? (paraphrased from Proverbs 6:27 ESV)

*I almost used the word “crazy” or “schizophrenic” but I am being conscientious of my word choices!

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