I'm one of those people that can't help but tap into other people's conversations. We've all done it. A lot of times we hear chatter on the bus or train, about work, sports and relationships. Oh my ears are burning, intruding into a private conversation that becomes a public platform of misogyny. How many times have I sat there and wanted to angrily respond before I make a defiant exit. Why must my thoughts be intruded by other people's hateful language? I was appalled to hear two teenagers discussing their girlfriends. They both referred to them as 'bitch'. Since when has this demeaning term become acceptable? See the word for what it is, intolerable and doesn't contribute in any positive way. Where did it all start?
The origins of misogynist terms may stem from the ancient Greeks. With the exception of Socrates, who argued equal rights for women, Plato, Aristotle et al saw women as naturally inferior, their sole purpose in life to procreate. Judaic and Christian religions have adopted these ideas and appropriated misogynistic language through the bible. Consequently, we have a plethora of offensive terms where women are deemed as 'whores', 'wicked temptresses' and 'unclean'. And as for the non-west religions, they do not fare any better. Confucius saw women as comparable to 'small people'. Oh these andocentric assumptions… Women, who must bow down, comply and obey the Omnipotent Father. Because we are natural born sinners, hmm…
Undoubtedly, it's not just religion that perpetuates misogynist language. Music and culture encourages/ perpetuates misogyny. In the UK, we have a history of derogatory female terms. Words such as 'bird', 'skirt' and 'slag' were used until the eighties. Undoubtedly, these terms have been superseded or 'upgraded' by 'bitch' and the Americanisation of the English language with 'ho'. What is equally abysmal is that I've heard young girls refer to each other as 'my bitch'. It's hardly a term of endearment. Refuse to accept it as a form of address.
And as for that rap music with its plethora of distasteful words that encourages violence and domination over woman… Why do these records sell? Are their listeners deep-rooted misogynists who can't think beyond their penis? Why support self-aggrandising, multimillionaire rappers such as Eminem, or Tyler, the Creator? Music should be a form of emancipation for men and women not subordinating women to violent conditions and abuses. Reject the words of these multimillionaires that make false claims of empowering you with a fist, verbal abuse or hate. They are a prescription to your demise. Think about it. They capitalise on your misery, your anxiety, as you contribute to their vast fortunes. They KEEP you in your place. Anger and hate is a huge commodity, it's a chain around your neck that imprisons you from exploring other relationships. Misogynistic language is a worldwide disease; it's time for a cure.
|Tyler, The Creator's response to Tegan and Sara's criticism of his misogynistic lyrics. source:stereogum.com|
|Eminem's tattoo tribute to his ex-wife, Kim. source: tvsmacktalk.com|
Men, you are more radical if you appreciate and respect women. Imagine the possibilities… Don't let misogynistic language define your actions or women's identities. Consider that we are not subordinates or appendages, here solely for procreation, your amusement, your physical or verbal abuse. You do not own us. Cherish us instead. As an alternative, challenge the dimwit morons that have the idiocy to refer to women in such a deprecating way. You will grow as a person. Being hateful has its cost. It means there's no ROOM TO LOVE YOURSELVES. Don't address us as your subordinates, demean and devalue any shred of us because we are female. Don't think it's okay to refer to us as your bitch. We won't crawl but we can bark…