reclaiming the pejorative

Call me crazy.

Or sensitive.

Or emotional.

And I’ll probably thank you.

Women who aren’t maternal, ladies who aren’t polite, girls who dare to voice their opinion without being asked, scare the pants off society.

So we dismiss them. Truth tellers, those who call it as it is, are crazy. 

Those who are offended by the offensive and point out when boundaries have been crossed, are sensitive.

Expressing feelings? Emotional.

There are a lot of previously neutral descriptors that have become pejoratives. That makes me feel sad for the English language and for us. Why are we so good at insulting each other at the expense of appreciating each other’s unique characteristics?

I made the mistake of describing my partner to someone as “special” a couple of weeks ago. Her 17 year old daughter laughed. I had forgotten that in high school that term is bandied around to describe people who are perceived as other. What a shame.

We do everything we can to silence those who hint at uncomfortable truths. Ignore them, insult them, threaten them, remove their independence and income and if necessary, institutionalise them. It’s a highly effective means of enforcing a power dynamic.

I’ve butted up against this many times in my life already. Often unintentionally. If I see something, I say something.

So call me crazy, but you’re not going to stop me. Call me emotional and I’ll thank you because vulnerability is strength. Call me sensitive and I’ll take it as the highest compliment because it means I am in tune with this beautiful planet and I can hear its cries.

By the way, I don’t throw like a girl; I throw like a woman.

Ronda Rousey punches like a lady. And Emily Seebohm swims like a boss.