Monday, March 11, 2013

Evolution and the New F-Word

Joe Rogan had a comedy bit that the three most powerful words in the English language were nigger, cunt, and love. Love is a rather boring one, as ladies instantly melt when they hear that word. It means something, and I think it really does in most people's minds. It's rare that a person throws around the l-word when discussing their feelings for another person. On the other hand, I LOVE steaks. I also just generally LOVE free shit. But still, I think we understand the power of this word.

Cunt is a really interesting one, and I completely agree that this word has power. If you drop one of these around a lady, their jaw will drop, as they will be completely shocked that you went THERE. But it really lacks a true meaning. There really is no inherent difference between cunt and twat. Still, cunt just sounds worse. A lot of this has to do with its lack of use. If people walked around and replaced pussy with cunt more often, then it would lose its power. I really feel that within the next five years, the rap game is going to start making cunt more widely used, and it will lose a lot of its power based on use.

The last word is nigger, which from here on will be referred to as the n-word, because it makes me ill just typing it. In my mind, it stands on its own for power. It is an incredibly hate-filled word. I remember using it once as a joke when I didn't know that one of my black friends was around and just thinking about it makes me want to puke. I'm from Iowa, and yes, some of my friends have racist tendencies. I hate to call anyone a racist without a lot of evidence, but a lot of you may consider putting them in that category. They are fine with black people when they get to know them, but they almost always assume the worst when it is a black person they do not know. I'm not wise enough to draw the line on what constitutes a racist, so you can put them in either category. Still, this word will always make me ill when I hear it used by a white person. There is the shit argument that black people use it, so why can't white people? But if you don't understand the difference, you can probably stop reading now. I can jam out to rap music, but I will admit that when I'm singing along in my car, I do get quiet when they are dropping the n-word, as I don't have the social clout or necessity to be singing along with those lyrics. It's a powerful word, and the world would be a better place if it was never used again.

And that brings me to the new f-word, faggot. I have probably said faggot thousands of times, mostly calling my friends a faggot. It is an insensitive word that hurts people, yet it is still widely accepted in many parts of the country. In the past I have used it mostly referring to my friends. I usually didn't use it to imply that they had sex with men, but I basically used it to mean that they were a loser or a douchebag. I was recently trying to justify my past use of the word in this way, and I soon realized that it was a really shitty excuse. The real reasoning behind my choice of using that word is that I was ignorant and kind of a piece of shit. There's nothing inherently wrong with that, because all young people are ignorant pieces of shit. Shit, I'm going to probably look back at myself at this point in my life and realize that I was still an ignorant piece of shit. That's okay, because as long as we learn from our experience, we're doing things right.

But it did make me think whether there was much of a difference between the n-word and the f-word. The n-word makes me sick to my stomach, while I can use faggot pretty freely and openly and not have much feeling at all. But at the same time, words evolve. Using the n-word makes me sick, but two or three generations before me, people used it freely, because that's just what they did. It's partially that we were a much more racist society back then, but a lot of them just used the word, because that's what they always did. It's tough to change, but that's not an excuse for ignorant behavior. Honestly, I hope that in 2-3 generations, the f-word is as widely criticized as the n-word is. I hope that future generations look back at this time and try to figure up how people could actually fight for gay people to not have equal rights as straight people when it comes to marriage. A common argument is that a civil union is separate but equal to marriage, and separate but equal should ring a bell in people's minds.

We should not be using the f-word. I have seen our society moving in a positive direction when it comes to this in sports. Occasionally, a famous athlete will be seen saying it in a game, and they should be called out for it. I remember Joakim Noah ding this and getting called out for it (as well as a $50,000 fine). He apologized immediately, and as far as I know, he was not chastised for it. That's fair, because if I were still competing in something, I would probably let some stupid shit slip out of my mouth out of frustration, but it's good that we are addressing these things as opposed to defending those sort of actions.

We're moving in the right direction, but at the same time, I know that I am not the most informed person to be talking about this. The n-word, f-word, and cunt don't apply to me. I am a white male who has led a pretty incredibly easy life (Thanks Mom and Dad). My whole goal for writing this is to make one other person think critically about their use of the f-word. If not, it will still make me think twice before saying it. I am going to make a conscious effort to stop using it, and I hope you do the same. The world is constantly evolving, but there is no more important evolution than us as a society doing what we can to eliminate hate. The f-word is an awful thing to say, and I can't wait for the day when I am singing along with a gay rapper, and I have to go silent as he uses the f-word for his own intentions. Language evolves, and we need to do the same.

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