ok. so I'm sure everyone that has a SEMI-PULSE on current affairs is aware of the recent hub-bub regarding the N-word discussion on the View lately.
so the SMART thing for me.. a white Christian woman living in the south... the SMART thing would probably be to not say anything at all... but I never claimed to be smart. so let's chat about this for a minute, shall we?
Whoopi says she uses the N-word as a way of taking back control of oppression that she and her ancestors have felt since coming to America.
Other chick (Sherri, is it?) says she grew up using the N-word, so she uses it as a term of endearment.
Both Whoopi and Sherri say that they as African-Americans may use the term, but anyone NOT of African American decent may not.
Crying chick (Elisabeth) got fired up and in my opinion did a POOR job of expressing whatever in hell she was trying to say.
I mean.. we ALL get the point. the N-word is historically a derogative term. But no, now it's ok and socially acceptable to use it as a term of endearment... that is if.. and ONLY IF you are an African American using the term. Webster's take can be found here if you really HAVE been under a rock for the past 20+ years.
Arguments can be made in the case FOR using the n-word as one chooses (provided that choice is only used exclusively by African Americans) because we as a society have allowed the term "bitch" to be used as a term of endearment... endearment, that is, when spoken by a woman. Because a MAN saying that someone is his bitch is bad. except sometimes when that man is gay... cause apparently gay men are allowed to be bitches, too.
And lest we forget the homosexuals!!! While it's apparently very allowable for one homosexual to call another a faggot... it's a bit low-brow for anyone else to do so. This makes me wonder if the mentally handicapped of America have a secret handshake or call each other 'retards' when in the presence of other mentally handicapped Americans. Do overweight people get to call each other 'Fatties'?
again.. I say hmmm.
Now don't get me wrong.. I have for SURE called my friends bitches and meant it in a good way. I've even called TROY my bitch a time or two. So I for sure am guilty of partaking in the double-standard. For my own participation in finding exclusivity of name calling, I can say that I do understand where Whoopi and Sherri are coming from.
but if I think about it.. and I mean REALLY think about it... what good has come of me calling anyone a slur? Do my girlfriends feel CLOSER to me because I call them my bitch? would calling them a bitch be better than just saying out loud how I love someone and value and understand them? Because really.. my girlfriends AREN'T bitches. sure, like anyone, each of us CAN be BITCHY... but they are not bitches. they are beautiful, complex, passionate, strong and intelligent WOMEN. all of them! in their own ways!
I even noticed that when I have USED the term 'my bitch' in the past, I say so with such a rough-and-tough demeanor and gusto... like I'm hardcore or some shit. uh... look in MY mirror lately, and I am anything BUT hardcore, folks. but yet... I call someone my bitch, and I'm all gangstah and shit. what is this facade, and why in hell do I need it?
I DO feel that EVERYONE in America (regardless of cultural background) has had to deal with some type of prejudice or hatred at some point in the history of the United States. Ask ANYONE, and I can pretty much bank on them being hated/ostracised/segregated for something at some point in their or their family's life. Religion, skin color, money, size, gender, sexual preference, physical limitations, or any category lacking thereof... there's ALWAYS going to be someone who has been left out or oppressed because of something they just are. Perhaps it is the fear of rejection that continually pushes many of us to try to be something we are not.
Anyways.. I'm not going to go down any road that would suggest what other people should or should not do. I can only speak for myself... and of course.. the ever-important example I will try to set for my children.
This week was a FINE (pun intended) exercise for me in exploring the use of words and how they can be interpreted many ways. I think that at the end of the day.. or at least here, now, and going forward for me... I'd like to make a better effort to choose my words more carefully. After all.. there ARE so many words out there TO USE to describe exactly what it is I think and feel... and if my intention IS to hurt? well.. there's always sticks and stones.