Monday, January 17, 2005

Reclaiming words

I'm reading a fascinating and amusing book by Aisha Tyler, called Swerve: Reckless Observations of a Post-Modern Girl.

The chapter I just finished reading contained a rant about her dislike for the word "sassy." It made me think about the way that we claim language and how we allow others to define who we are by the words they use.

I've tried to learn to reclaim the words that have been used to denigrate who I on-line name of spinsterwitch is a prime example. I am a spinster and I am a witch. These two things have been used perjoratively and, sometimes, interchangeably to describe a women in the past. They were dangerous words meant to keep single women, who might have some power, down. Well, they are now mine and here's what they mean to me:

Spinster is a woman who takes raw material and creates a useful product. Witch is anyone who believes in the power of magic to transform the world.

Take back those words that you don't like. Words are the richest medium we have and to let others take them away from you is a damn shame.

No comments: