Saturday, July 19, 2008

Sticks and Stones


reminder!! you have until SUNDAY NIGHT to
submit a song for this week's mix!!


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.


Kelli said...

Well said, my bitch! I mean my friend. :)

Marianna said...

I have been thinking about this issue since I read about it on the news websites. I'm so glad you brought this up. You're right ~ everyone has faced prejudism... unless you live under a rock.

Thanks for talking about it.


Leslie said...

Hi Carrie!!

Thank you for the birthday wishes on my blog!!!! You are a sweetie to remember. I have no idea what I was doing last year....I'll have to check my blog and see.

This is a controversial topic you've got here. I applaud your bravery. I rarely use the N-word myself or the B-word either for that matter and I ABSOLUTELY HATE being called either by anyone of any race or sex for any reason. My question for white folks who ask why they can't use the N-word is, "why would you want to?"

Carrie said...

Thanks for the comments, ladies...

at first I thought I was just throwing a rock out there, but it was definitely a topic last week that made me take pause, so I wanted to talk about it here.

Leslie-- regarding the n-word... I hear what you're saying.. but I still maitain the idea of taking it a level further. while there is no reason for a white person to want to EVER be called that... why would ANYONE? Whoopi promotes that it gives back control of the word.. and to some extent I understand that.

however.. by creating yet ANOTHER exclusive use of the word, isn't it perpetuating the idea of seperation and difference?

regardless of today's widespread use of the word in music, pop culture, and as terms of 'endearment' among the African Americans... I find the word to be ugly, and choose not to use it... much less feel the desire to ever do so. but again.. that's just me.

Anonymous said...

I was about to respond to this one but Seamus has decided he isn't napping EVER again GODHELPME.

But mostly I would say thatI don't really get caught up in this argument. I call my friends bitches if I think they won't be offended. If they are, I use another word. Like hens. Or ghetto rock stars.

I think people have been using derogatory words for their friends for years and years. The intent is the same - just the words change. Kinda of a "friends in low places" mindset.

And if you don't want to be my bitch anymore, I understand.