Monday, October 14, 2013

What I teach my daughter about the "B" word

I'm not exactly what most people would call a feminist. You won't catch me protesting about glass ceilings or demanding my daughter have to sign up for selective service. I have never intentionally lit my undergarments on fire. I'm proud to be a stay-at-home mom, which was my dream job starting when I was very young. Having said all that, I do have my moments of fierce feminism.
Women were the last group of people to have their right to vote established by law in this country. People tend to brush that off without looking at the deeper meaning. It isn't just that we were viewed as weaker and without the intelligence to make informed voting choices. We were viewed as a possession. We were the property of our father until we married and then became a possession of our husband. Sometimes that meant being treasured beyond all riches, and sometimes that mean being treated no better than a stray dog.
It is that last part that I want to drive home. What do we call a stray female dog? It is the kind of dog that has been hurt by people so it cowers and growls and snaps at everyone. Some people respond by beating the dog down further. It is the most despised off all dogs. When you equate a woman to this animal you do more than insult her. You dehumanize her. You put her on the level of discarded property. When you look at it that way, does any man have the right to do that to a woman? Should any woman do that to another?
Just pointing all this out gets me called this word I despise. Why? Because I don't back down. I will not accept it. Words have meanings. Just because you don't think of that meaning when you use it, doesn't change that.
Today my daughter stopped a friend from calling another girl this name. The part that I'm most proud of is that Nix didn't even know the girl being talked about. She took a stand against the casual use of that word.
I have always taught my children that words like that are for people with small vocabularies. With that in mind, I made this handy word cloud of adjectives you can use in place of the "B" word.

Remember, when you resort to common name calling it means you have already lost the argument.

No comments: