10 words to retire in 2017: a response

As is totally unsurprising for someone calling themselves a feminist, we’re back at censorship, as Feminist Current – an online publication – tells you which words you should and shouldn’t use in 2017. Their article caused a bit of buzz on Twitter and I decided I’d give a response to each of the words you think should be retired. Just for a bit of fun, and because it’ll be an excuse to use them all in one blog post. Which might ruffle your feathers a tad, yay bonuses.

10. Full Stop

The article argues its a way of shutting people up and proves you don’t have a strong argument. However, I’m hecka British, and uhh.. no it isn’t? It literally means the same thing as “period” in American. A full stop is this > . <. See the dot? That’s all it is.

In British we use it exactly the same way an American would put period at the end of a sentence. Its purely for emphasis of the point you’re making and isn’t in any way inherently indicative of either trying to shut people up or of not having a strong argument. Full stop.

9. Policing

This is in response to things like Tone-policing, body-policing etc. I honestly can’t say I totally disagree with this one, “muh policing” is often used to derail discussion. Its happened to me a lot.

Though I do use policing myself; I use the word retard a lot online and people don’t like that. It is policing of language to call me out for that and doesn’t actually address core points being made. So this term still has its uses in the right contexts and probably shouldn’t be retired.

8. This

Yet another one that I’m totally guilty of using. THIS, SO MUCH THIS: – you’ll definitely see it on my Twitter feed and unashamedly so. Why bother re-writing something when someone has already written what I wanted to write? This is really a non issue.

7. Menstruators 

The article argues that this makes them feel weird because it sounds like a future dystopia where we’ve become over-sanitised. I mean really? That’s your argument against it? You can’t just retire a word because you personally feel like its a bad word. That’s where I come in though, filling in the gaps of your perspective.

See menstruators is a pretty useful word – it describes people who menstruate. “Oh but why not use women instead?” Because #NotAllWomen menstruate. No, I’m not just talking about trans women. I’m talking about the majority of all women, considering that menstruation begins at puberty and ends at menopause and we have an aging population. Not to mention the fact there there are plenty of women born with complications which prevent them menstruating, also women who have had hysterectomies too. All in all, saying “women” isn’t very accurate when it comes to discussing menstruation, whereas menstruators? Yeah that’s pretty accurate.

Plus what sanitised about it? The word itself is like “moist”, it doesn’t sound good at all. Just the mere sound of the word alone lets you know what you’re getting yourself in for. Plus a lot of people are aware of what menstruation means – periods n shit – which considering the huge social stigma around it, really debunks your idea of sanitisation.

6. Cisgender/Cis

Despite the last one, this person now goes on to argue that this word sounds like a tumour and that’s why its so horrible. Then goes on to spew feminist ideology at you to justify it.

Cis as a suffix existed long before it was attached to gender to make cisgender. No, nobody is saying that you choose to be cis – like how you don’t choose to be trans – its just a fact of your reality. The word is important because we need terms that are specific and allow for comparison. You cannot have light without dark – because what do you compare light to in order to say it is in fact light? Cis and trans are two sides of the same gender coin and in discussion where there is a need for distinction between trans and cis women – especially online – then a term for each is specifically necessary.

5. all genders 

The whole point of contention here is that they think this word is to include men. When it really isn’t. Not that I think the phrase is useful. There are only two genders, everything else is gender expression.

However this word isn’t used the way they think it is, because those who believe in multiple genders are using it to be inclusive of all genders. This includes biological females who believe in alternative identities too. So how can this at all be about the inclusion of men – unless…. you’re cherry picking examples and ignoring the bigger picture?

4. Marginalised

tldr their argument is that oppression is more important than marginalisation – to which I say both are important and require our attention. Its not either/or. We can do both. There is no oppression/marginalisation olympics here, it really isn’t difficult to devote your attention to multiple things.

And yes, you’re right – some people and their ideas should be marginalised,  but people don’t tend to use marginalisation when its justified. You won’t really see paedophiles arguing they’re marginalised, but you will see people with legitimate problems, such as trans women, arguing they are.

3. Matters 

Can’t say I disagree with the points made on this one. #_________Matters is pretty rife on Twitter, from Blue to Black to whatever lives matters and a bunch of others. You’d think #AllLivesMatters would be the logical end point of it – but apparently that was just further contention.

2. Bodies

This is one I hadn’t actually seen. In short people are replacing the word “people” with “bodies”. So instead of queer people, it would be queer bodies etc. Its a non-issue to argue it should be retired, but it is a stupid use of the word all the same. Live and let live though I suppose.

1. Folks

The author argues folks is used to depoliticise women and erase their disempowerment as a class or some shit. Folks is used a lot in a lot of different contexts, it really isn’t about women at all. Such as “gay folk” or whatever. Basically its not an issue and even if it was, it wouldn’t be a women’s issue. Probably shouldn’t have saved this for last.

I like this word, its homely and friendly and I think discussion needs a lot more friendliness.

So that’s it folks. A nice simple blog post from this trans body on a fairly hateful and belligerent cisgender menstruator’s article. Which spends the whole time policing which words we’re allowed to use in 2017. I hope you, people of all genders, understand that we shouldn’t allow marginalisation of our lexicon. #AllWordsMatter, full stop.

^ So much this

Have a super day!



3 thoughts on “10 words to retire in 2017: a response

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