I really must get into the habit of posting my Feminist Friday posts on a Friday – I hope Transatlantic Blonde, who runs the series, doesn’t get too annoyed with me.
This week’s topic is language in general and the use of the word “c***” in particular. It’s not a word I like, or use and I find it highly offensive that a word for female genitalia comes at the top of the hierarchy of sweary words. While you would never find a woman being called, for example, a p***k or a d******d, presumably because comparison with such symbols of masculinity is seen as well above our station, men will happily use terms for intimate female body parts to insult each other. The clear implication is that women are subordinate to men.
Some people think that reclaiming these words is the way to go. I disagree. I think they deserve to be consigned to the scrap heap of history, just like some terms to describe race which are, rightly, no longer considered acceptable to use in any sort of company.
I will, however, admit to a double standard on this. I am much more tolerant of feminist women using that word than anyone else, because I understand what they are trying to do even if it makes me feel a bit squeamish.
But there’s one word doing the rounds at the moment which is guaranteed to make me incandescent with rage whenever I see it.
My Facebook status at the moment is:
“Caron Lindsay is a duck. Quack quack.”
Grand. And, of course, I didn’t write it. My daughter got hold of my iPhone. She tried to blame a smurf, but I know the truth.
The first time it occurred to me to put a passcode on my iPhone was not out of fear of it being accessed by some random stranger, but to protect it from my family. My sister and her kids were having some juvenile fun with Facebook statuses which made us all laugh. However, what stopped me in tracks was the use of the word “frape” to describe this process. That would be short for Facebook rape.
Yes, that’s right. The horrendous violation of a person, which traumatises for life, is being equated to putting out some lavatorial humour on someone else’s facebook status which is easily wiped out with the delete key.
I can’t stand to see one of the most serious crimes imaginable trivialised in this way. It’s wrong, and frape is another word whose use needs to be challenged. It’s probably more dangerous because its use is completely mainstream and isn’t considered rude at all.