Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What's In A Name?

“A rose by any other name…” One of the most famous lines by the great William Shakespeare, from “Romeo & Juliet”, poetically asking the question, what’s in a name? Something is what it is, regardless of what we call it, right? Or does the term make it so?

We as a society are incredibly hypocritical when it comes to name calling. We teach our children that it is wrong and impolite, but we seem to do it as adults at every turn. We’ve gone as far as to incorporate it into our daily dialogue, including even racial, gender, and homosexual slurs. To take it even a step further, we even refer to ourselves in such fashion.

This moment is brought to you by the good folks who call themselves the most disrespectful names but yet want to fight if someone else calls them that.

Rather than go down the road of racial or homophobic slurs, let’s keep this to a common and very well practiced violation…women calling themselves bitches. At one point in time, this was one of the most disrespectful ways to refer to a woman, but now it’s as acceptable as “hey you”. Men have verbally violated women to the point that many recognize and view themselves as such. As in most cases, when you objectify someone long enough they begin to identify with it. Women are now not only accepting the label, but proudly boasting and representing it.

I hear women saying things like, “I’m that bitch”, “me and my bitches”, even “I’m a REAL bitch”…really? So let me get this straight, there is pride in being associated and labeled as a dog, an animal? Ladies out there really feel that they are to be respected then in the same breath put themselves on the level of a creature that is leashed and fed from the ground?

I’m not the smartest man in the world, but I find a major confliction here. If you want to be respected, then you carry yourself in a manner and speak in a way that is in conjunction with what you want. If you call yourself a demeaning term, you forfeit the right to take anger against someone else following suit.

I get the fact that people play around and joke, even taking it to what may seem to be a disrespectful level, but if you go around calling and allowing yourself to be called something, on some level you identify with and accept it. You soak that into your brain and psyche, you corrupt yourself from the inside. Women who call themselves bitches in most cases deep down will say honestly that they feel they are one.

I’m just taking this “bitch” term on, but this carries over to all derogatory terms, especially racial ones. Just because someone tries to objectify and strip you of your true humanity and self, you don’t have to accept and especially glorify it. You’re not making it your own, or flipping it into a positive you are only reinforcing its true meaning and devaluing yourself.

A rose by any other name would still be a rose, but there is no substitute for self respect.

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