I’ve been reading a lot lately about taking back the power of words. I believe the latest one was on Southern Vixen’s page where she discusses her use of the “c-word” during moments of passion, but she was inspired by Sexy Sadie & her HNT confession.
Words, and especially names, have power. I love reading about people taking back the power of the word. Turning it from a negative back into a positive.
For me, the word “bitch” sparks it. Maybe it is being surrounded by guys in the computer science program who hated being outdone by “a girl”, or maybe it goes back to my teenage years living with two brothers. Being called a “bitch” makes me laugh.
Garbanzo used to say he knew his day at school was good when he made one of his students cry. (He is really not that heartless, but, for him, it means his kids didn’t walk all over him.) I have a similar feeling about being called a “bitch”.
If someone at work were to call me that….let me not be naive, when someone at work calls me that, I know I’ve done my job right by valuing the company above the individual. Because being called a “bitch” really is the last resort someone has. They are trying to shift the balance of power by using a word to throw me off. By embracing the word, you take their last power play away.
When my first born DJ called me the “meanest mommy in the world”, I didn’t care. In fact, I thanked her for the honor, it meant I had done my job by not caving.
But some names are harder than others. Society has a stigma associated with those names. Stigmas that imply weakness or fault. Stigmas that are very hard to overcome sometimes. And, so it is natural to shun the name, to hide from it, to not admit it can be true.
I believe these names serve as an opportunity of sorts. An opportunity to show that the stigma is not true. To educate those around you that it can happen to anyone. That the stereotypes surrounding the name are simply stereotypes used by the uninformed.
Name aside, there is sometimes an issue around who is delivering the name calling or who is standing by watching as it happened.
I’m currently watching as a relationship dissinegrates over a name. The name was not delivered by anyone in the relationship, but it is a case where the person it was aimed at is upset about the fact the bystander doesn’t get it. Everyone watching gave that name power including the significant other.
When someone close to you issues you a name or stands by saying nothing as others do, it makes you question yourself. It makes you question them and their feelings for you. Do they have the respect for you that you thought they did? So, sometimes to reclaim the word, you have boot the person.
In the case I’m closely following, I’m hoping that.