Diary

Farewell Dr. Laura

I didn’t like your show, got annoyed with your comments more than a few times, but like anyone else I don’t like in the media, I respected your right to speak your mind. What is really bothering me right now is the fact that I’m finding myself in agreement with Michelle Malkin on your departure.

Bluntly, it is a matter of so much [redacted]. Admittedly, it’s not as bad as political correctness running amok, but it’s not far off. As far as hate language goes, the term “bitch” as applied to women was considered nearly as incendiary as the n-word, and has since been claimed from that infamy by women. Initially that transition typically allowed for only women to use the word without fear of being accused of using it with malicious intent. And that is theoretically where society is with the n-word. But I keep thinking that is just as much the fault of the editors of our dictionaries, as anyone else.

There used to be a point where the n-word had the potential to end up with one of the same meanings as the word bitch. The context is when referring to working environments, where the word bitch is equated with the word slave. I was actually raised in the family that used the n-word to describe the lowest level of laborers, regardless of race, because they had the hardest or dirtiest jobs for the lowest pay. But that use appears to have been lost to society today, since just about every reference I could find linked the term to race, as opposed to stature in the workplace. And bluntly, that makes absolutely no sense. The term was originally used to describe slaves, and was dropped from civil discourse shortly after slavery was abolished. The irony is that the attempt to grant some semblance of respect to newly freed slaves through language, opened the door to hate speech against them.

But Dr. Laura, in spite of generally being an annoying pain in my eyes over the years, was wrong to apologize. She pointed out a greater truth – we’re stuck in the middle of a verbal minefield, at the mercy of people that are clinging to separatist ideologies that demand special treatment as opposed to seeking true equality. Well, speaking as a female – another “minority group” that is theoretically granted that special treatment – I don’t give a damn what people call me. It would be a challenge for anyone to come up with terms that are worse than the ones that have flown so easily from the lips of men I’ve had romantic entanglements with in the past. It doesn’t bother me, because I learned a long time ago that in the end, it’s all just words. I give those words power – or I can choose to consider the source, and either outright ignore them or laugh them off. I’m guessing that’s what Dr. Laura was trying to say to her histrionic caller. The answer isn’t in finding a way to change others, it is in changing the way we react to the actions of others. And when it comes to derogatory terms, grown-ups ignore childish outbursts.