Posts Tagged Language

Do as I say, not as I do: On language for SOME of us

From Paula Dean to athletes Riley Cooper and Roy Hibbert, 2013 has been the year of the celebs getting caught using discriminatory language. While all of the aforementioned have received their respective slaps on the wrist by way of fines, firings, and contract cuts, they did not go down without some finger wagging of their own.

Apparently many people still do not seem to understand the importance of context or the significance of self-definition (including the ownership of certain terms). In the case of the Deen and Cooper, who were both exposed for using the N-word, we’ve noticed the dialogue blame shift from the white people using words that are rooted in hatred and/or don’t belong to ...

From Paula Dean to athletes Riley Cooper and Roy Hibbert, 2013 has been the year of the celebs getting caught using discriminatory language. While all of the aforementioned have received their ...

You’ve come a long way, lady

Ann has a great piece in the (newly launched and very beautiful) New Republic about ladies who call each other, well, ladies. Sifting through the intergenerational interpretations, rap lyrics and colloquialisms, she writes,

….the word “lady” has become core vocabulary of feminism in the age of irony. With its slippery meaning—associations range from grandma’s lavender-scented powder to the raunchiest of rap lyrics—it encapsulates the fundamental mutability of modern feminism.

And goes further,

…..“lady” splits the difference between the infantilizing “girl” and the stuffy, Census-bureau cold “woman.” (Both still have their place—just not in the witty conversation that young feminists want to be having.) It’s a way to stylishly signal your gender-awareness, without the stone-faced trappings of the second-wave. It’s a casual synonym ...

Ann has a great piece in the (newly launched and very beautiful) New Republic about ladies who call each other, well, ladies. Sifting through the intergenerational interpretations, rap lyrics and colloquialisms, she writes,

….the word “lady” has ...

FBI to vote on changing archaic rape definition (Updated)

Exciting news! Word around town is that the FBI is considering changing their terribly outdated definition of rape, with a key vote on the the term scheduled during an FBI subcommittee meeting tomorrow.

You’ll remember that the FBI currently defines rape as “the carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will”, which, as Vanessa explained back in April, excludes statutory rape, same-sex rape, forced anal or oral sex, rape with an object and victims who are male or transgender or have disabilities, not to mention those who have taken drugs or alcohol and therefore had their ability to consent  “diminished”.

The scheduled vote is already being hailed as a ...

Exciting news! Word around town is that the FBI is considering changing their terribly outdated definition of rape, with a key vote on the the term scheduled during an FBI subcommittee meeting tomorrow.

Obama Racism Watch: GOP Rep says associating with him is like touching a “tar baby”

The latest dispatch from a post-racial society. Via Think Progress:

Appearing on the Caplis and Silverman radio show last Friday, Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) said, “Now I don’t even want to have to be associated with [Obama], it’s like touching a tar baby and you’re stuck, you’re part of the problem now. You can’t get away.”

A spokesperson for Lamborn said, “Congressman Lamborn regrets any misunderstanding. He simply meant to refer to a sticky situation or quagmire.” Look, I think your everyday Joe Shmoe could perhaps reasonably claim they didn’t know the derogatory history of the term.

But a politician? When the Oxford American Dictionary makes note of its racist connotations? When not one, not two, but three ...

The latest dispatch from a post-racial society. Via Think Progress:

Appearing on the Caplis and Silverman radio show last Friday, Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) said, “Now I don’t even want to have to be associated with [Obama], ...

Overheard in the men’s room

“So, I was just in the men’s room, and I overheard a conversation that made me think of you.”

When you’re a feminist blogger, a lot of conversations with your friends begin this way.

In this case, my friend Charles was right: the conversation he had overheard did interest me. We were at a wedding reception, and Charles had found himself in the men’s room with a few members of the wedding party. One of them turned to another and asked something along the lines of, “Hey, dude, are you going for bridesmaids tonight?” to which the other replied something along the lines of, “Yeah, the one with the big tits.”

Charles didn’t join in the discussion, but he did come right back ...

“So, I was just in the men’s room, and I overheard a conversation that made me think of you.”

When you’re a feminist blogger, a lot of conversations with your friends begin this way.

In this case, my friend ...

What google teaches us about our views on the sexes

Chris Harrison, a Ph.D. student in Human-Computer Interaction at Carnegie Mellon, created an infographic of how “he” and “she” are used in Google’s digital books archive, which contains  200 years worth of published material. The graph shows the 120 most common words used after “he” and “she,” ordered in decreasing frequency.

When I asked Harrison what he found most interesting or surprising about the data, he responded (spoken like a true engineer): “Not any one thing was most interesting.  As with many large data sets, there are many fascinating patterns.  It is analogous to a single thread being rather unremarkable.  From from many threads one can weave a tapestry.”

Chris Harrison, a Ph.D. student in Human-Computer Interaction at Carnegie Mellon, created an infographic of how “he” and “she” are used in Google’s digital books archive, which contains  200 years worth of published material. The graph ...

vageuphemisms

A Pocket Guide to Vaginal Euphemisms

Yesterday I noticed this fact sheet about vaginas circulating on Tumblr. It includes a list of common euphemisms, most of them pretty negative. I’ve taken the liberty of categorizing the list so you can draw your own feminist conclusions:


Click to view full size.

Yesterday I noticed this fact sheet about vaginas circulating on Tumblr. It includes a list of common euphemisms, most of them pretty negative. I’ve taken the liberty of categorizing the list so you can draw your ...

Drop the i-word

Colorlines has just launched this really important campaign to get folks to stop calling people, and particularly immigrants, “illegal.” I wrote not too long ago about how the AP style book promotes this language.

Watch the video (transcript after the jump) and you’ll be convinced. Then go sign the pledge and do what you can to eliminate anti-immigrant sentiment.

Feministing has signed the pledge. Will you?

Colorlines has just launched this really important campaign to get folks to stop calling people, and particularly immigrants, “illegal.” I wrote not too long ago about how the AP style book promotes this language.

Watch the video ...

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