I never really thought about words being used to silence women, but the more I think about it, I can think of hundreds of examples in my lifetime. Most recently I was informed by a friend that someone said something inappropriate about me. It was a total stranger and I brushed it off, but it goes back to the idea of certain words having negative implications instead of uplifting ones. I was at a Star Trek convention being interviewed in the captain’s chair. I was flanked by my panelists on the bridge of the Enterprise, when someone leaned into the guy running the booth and said, “watch out, they’re feminists!” What exactly did she think was going to happen? What were we going to say that was so controversial? I’m baffled by the fact that a woman would have a problem with this term in the first place, let alone be warning others against giving us a platform.
Words are only powerful if you let them have weight. Today a friend sent me a link to a blog about the way words are used to silence us women. It was a fascinating read and the comments (literally, hundreds) were also equally enlightening. Oh, and watch out, there be feminists here!