Saturday, October 15, 2016

The power of words

If you have read this blog for any amount of time, and/or if you know me in real life, then you know that I am a flaming liberal.

I have mostly not used this blog to talk about the upcoming Presidential election because that is not really what this blog is about and there are plenty of places to get your political fix if that’s what you are looking for.

But I have been thinking so much about recent developments I am going to talk politics for a minute.  If you aren’t interested, stop reading.  If you think it might piss you off, you might want to stop reading.

You have been warned.

I used to work at the county jail.  One time, early on, it was near the end of a shift for the CO’s when we couldn’t interact with inmates and I was hanging out and talking with some CO’s.  They were joking around and then one of them proceeded to tell a joke and it started off “What did the nigger say…”  I immediately stood up and said “Ok, that’s my cue to leave,” and started back towards my office.  “Geez!” the CO yelled “It’s just a JOKE!”

But it’s NOT just a joke.  Words have meaning and power.  Some great speeches – mere words – have, in my opinion, changed the course of history.  (I have a DREAM, anyone?)

Which is what bothers me SO MUCH about the release of the Donald Trump recording where he talked so horribly about women.  And then he – and his supporters – want to defend that hate speech by saying “It’s just WORDS!”

No – it not “just words”.  It is someone degrading a whole group of people.  Making them less than.  Asserting a position of power over someone more vulnerable. 

That, my friends, is WRONG.  And to excuse this talk as a type of “boys will be boys” behavior – and let’s be real, we’re talking about an ADULT here, not some 15 year old – is shameful.

To hear a grown man laughing about using his position of power to grab someone’s “pussy” against her will literally makes me sick to my stomach. 

Then to follow that up by calling women “fat pigs”, to be accused of sexual assault and to give a statement saying that he wouldn’t have assaulted his accusers because they are so ugly???  It’s more than offensive. 

It’s as offensive as joking about beating up “fags”.  As telling “nigger” jokes.  It’s about hate speech that effects the culture in this country.

I have been the victim of a sexual assault, and, if statistics are true, so have many of you reading this now.  And it was not about me being beautiful and sexy.  It was about someone who had power over me and who clearly didn’t see me as a person but instead as an object hurting me.

To have someone who is trying to be President of this country attempting to justify and condone offensive and hateful words should terrify all of us. 

Because WORDS have MEANING.  Words can and do inspire ways of thinking which leads to action.  The thought of a 12 year old boy hearing the President of the United States laughing as he calls a woman a “fat pig” or brags about grabbing pussy?  What effect will that have on that boy??

I personally try to be mindful of not using degrading and hateful terms.  I’m not going to say that I always achieve that goal.  But I don’t try to justify it.  And I walk away from anyone else who is doing it.

In this case, I can’t walk away, but I can exercise my right to vote… 

No comments:

Post a Comment