What Did She Say

My mind is always open

*You may very well get offended by the post, by either the ideas, content or vocabulary used. I hope to spur some discussion about this topic.

Our society has some deeply ingrained issues with women. Men and women are not equal (and quite frankly will never be the “same”)..

Girls and boys are still very much taught they are different – and not just boys and girls are different; it’s that we, as a society, still view boys as “better”.

Do you feel I’m off base with that statement?

The belief is so insidious and so pervasive we barely notice it – much of the time anyway.

First of all, when you don’t know the gender of an expected baby, where do you shop for clothes? The “boys” section, right? It’s ok to dress girls in “boy” attire or colours, but it is much more frowned upon or downright scorned to dress boys in “girl” attire. A mother would be damaging her son by dressing him in pink frills, no? She might even *gasp* turn him gay! (There is so much wrong with that sentence, I’m not even going to get into it here..)

It’s perfectly acceptable for my daughter to dress in dinosaur-themed shirts or tops adorned with Cars or Batman, but what if my son wears My Little Pony or Supergirl? Much different story.

We have our kids so pigeon-holed into neat little boxes, even McDonald’s still asks “boy or girl toy?” They don’t ask “truck or unicorn?” And who said unicorns were “girly” and “trucks” were boyish anyway?

Now getting back to our misogynistic society…

We know it’s much more frowned upon for a boy to want play with dolls than it is for a girl to play with machines. What I want to explore is WHY?

Why is it more acceptable for a lesbian couple to have a baby than it is for a gay couple? Or even more acceptable to BE a lesbian as opposed to a gay man? Look at porn (like you haven’t). Girl on girl is mainstream – it’s really hard (go ahead.. insert joke here..) to find a flick without it – and guy on guy action is on the fringe of acceptability. It’s much more acceptable for a woman to strap one on (and therefore “act like a man”) than it is for a man to be penetrated (and therefore “act like a woman”).

Even look at the words we use. A man can be a “stud” or a “stallion” and those are good things. A woman can be a “bitch” or a “cow” or a “sow” and those are negative things. The male of a species generally embodies positive attributes, whereas the female embodies negative. (This is, of course, oversimplifying.) And, of course, men and women can be promiscuous, but a man will be the “stud”. A women is the other end of the acceptable scale as a “slut”. Even “gigolo” doesn’t have the same venom in its meaning as “whore”.

When someone does a courageous thing he or she has balls. When they do the opposite they are called a pussy. When we want to call someone the most vile thing we can think of in our language we call them a cunt.

Why are “balls” – which are, of course, the male testes – positive; and “pussy” and “cunt” – the female vagina – the most negative the thing we can muster? Hell, even penis is more acceptable than vagina.



Really, they should have the same linguistic weight. It’s only a “tab A, slot B” difference.

To call a group of men “ladies” or “girls” is an insult – or for someone to call your male friend “your girlfriend”. To call a group of women “guys” is common and not really negative or positive – it’s not meant as an insult.

Look at how society views female acts such as breastfeeding, mothering or even rearing young. We don’t value those things, not as a whole. One of the worst things a woman can do for her perceived IQ is to stay at home and raise her children.

Even the term “hysterical” is rooted in the female.

Someone may be told to “stop acting like a girl and man up.”

Until we can shift our pervasive lexicon so that it’s more equal, there won’t truly be gender-equality – and in turn, those who don’t fit into society’s gender boxes will have a rough go as well.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Please weigh in. Do you agree? Do you feel I’m way off base?

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Categories: Home - Slideshow, Rant

26 Responses so far.

  1. Terre Chartrand says:

    Agree with you on all points, but lesbians are extremely prone to rape and gay bashing. Lesbianism is only ok when it serves the male fantasy, and not when it is a real act of love or togetherness in a gay couple. Patriarchal society sees it as an affront – an insult to their masculinity. Usually, at best, it is just seen as invalid, or something women became as a result of bad experiences with men. That it is reaction and not a valid way of just being.

    Lesbians are also more prone to economic violence and poverty. Their children are not really accepted either. They stand often outside of the law in most anti-gay laws because they just aren’t viewed as anything worth regulating (and outlawing lesbians also would impinge on male fantasy tropes) – which is also just another form of violence as well.

    • Terre Chartrand says:

      Let’s put it simply this way:

      Lesbians are target for all the usual violence against women, and then more so because they aren’t attracted to men. For whatever fucked up reason, this encourages violence against them even more. Often this violence is just counted in the violence against women part of criminal code by police, or seen as a random attack, and not seen as a hate crime or a targeted attack… but then violence against women ITSELF should be seen as a hate crime. Women are so far behind men in every facet, and when a female relationship is doubled and not inclusive of sexual relationships with men, the violence against them by outside forces increases too.

  2. […] have. I think knowing everyone else has feelings like that helps us through those times. My “c-word” post was a tough one to publish. That’s going to be a hard one for me when my parents […]

  3. […] and pushing oneself.  A lot of the posts on this blog are me doing just that. I talked about the c word. I fessed up about the ugly cry and getting beaten down by the bitch in the […]

  4. deb says:

    What’s so funny is that a vagina is way stronger than a penis or a set of balls. Why don’t we celebrate that? If a woman gets his in the crotch she doesn’t collapse on the floor moaning like a man does. Our sex organs can not only carry an ten pound baby but push it out through a vagina, that can stretch to accommodate that baby and then return to almost it’s original state. Men should be so lucky.

    Perhaps we should start a movement, calling strong, flexible people pussies or cunts because our lady bits rock.

  5. GREAT post. I recently called someone out on twitter for insulting a guy by calling him a woman. THAT makes me nuts.

  6. Ely K says:

    Totally relate with the boy and girl toy thing. I bought my son a toy vacuum and when I asked at the toy store where they would be I was told that vacuums were in the girl section…wtf?

  7. Stephanie says:

    Sadly this is reality and I couldn’t agree more with what you said! Every single human being should read this, reflect and consciously make daily efforts to change their perception of both genders and embrace our great attributes by loving ourselves and aspiring to follow in the steps of great people like the Oprahs and Dyre’s of today!

  8. Pam @writewrds says:

    Very well said. The vocabulary, the attitudes and the thinking are so ingrained and systemic, we barely notice.
    Balls is a compliment, cunt is an insult and misogyny is our cultural norm.
    And we — or at least I — tend to perpetuate it. Ugh. And for my 15-year-old son, everything negative is “gay”. Despite all our talk about tolerance and respect for others….
    Double Ugh.
    Thanks for having the cunt to use the c-word and to open the issue for discussion.

  9. hbm says:

    i’m laughing out loud at “barbies as ramps”!!

    and don’t forget there are always exceptions … being called a dink/dick/prick/wiener are definitely negative references. the one i can never figure out is douchebag. WHY is that a recent slang term and WHO thought it would be a good insult?! eeeeeew.

  10. Thestink says:

    I’ve bought my son dolls before. In fact he had TWO baby dolls before he was three. He wasn’t at all interested. Got him the little people doll house bc at 2 he was interested and actually obsessed with family. Here’s what he did with them; house was used as a garage for cars. Babies were used as ramps. I thought I would raise a “sensitive” boy and I got a destroying the house, loud and messy did i mention loud(?)”boy”. I think that it’s important to give people choices, and leave it like that. The problem with the above situations you mention are not the kids “cross dressing”, but more with the parents getting their knickers in a knot when their little boy wants a unicorn. Oh, btw, CUNT is one of my favorite words. I’m taking it back, along with bitch.

  11. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mary Henricksen, Niki, Rebecca Page, Christine Marie, HAROLD and others. HAROLD said: RT @JackiYo: The post in which I use the c-word http://bit.ly/hwpr7F […]

  12. hbm says:

    i see what you are saying… but DUDE (dudette?), we have come a LONG way. even from one decade to the next. i think more has shifted in the 1900’s than the entire 1800 years that preceded it combined.

    people are stubborn and set in their vocabularies. phrases are rooted in culture and often no one even stops to think where they came from (like “the rule of thumb” for example). i think asking “why” won’t solve the problem. the answer is simply because historically, most cultures valued men over women, and that’s not something that we can disentangle ourselves from in 1-2 generations. it’s not until certain generations die off that phrases become extinct with them, and enough distance stands between them and the newest members of culture-forming society. but you have to admit things are much better now than even 20-30 years ago! all we can do is teach our children a more appropriate way to speak.

    • jackiyo says:

      It’s interesting to see how language has evolved, where it came from and, hopefully, where it’s going.

      One of the hardest things to change is language. I hope more people think about the words they use. Myself included.

  13. Jen says:

    BOOM. All so true. These words and their usage are so deeply entrenched in society that we rarely stop to think about their meanings. Our words create the world we live in. We should be more careful.

    Great post. ; )

  14. Tamara says:

    Hell to the YAH! Badass post and i totally agree!! Well written, love the use of the slang, particularly the C-word. MOM approves!!

  15. I totally agree with all of this. And I am guilty of the language barrier myself. In many, many ways!

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