360: Reclaiming Words

WORDS. They are not always fun. They are not always clear. How wonderful that one of our major forms of communication is often so difficult to understand and define. Yay. Here is a round up of some of our favorite Internet bites on the subject of words, intent and “empowerment”.

When “slut” doesn’t quite do the job. Join Dominique Stewart in reclaiming a word that has barely even hit puberty, and turn it into a positive self-label for women.

Empowered”. Makes you feel good just hearing that word, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, it probably won’t after reading this systematic deconstruction of the word. The concept is still real and meaningful, but Jia Tolentino reveals how brands have been using the term not to somehow impart power to those who need it, but to sell products to those who don’t. Ok, so that’s a little dark but this it totally worth a read.

Hannah mentioned “emotional correctness” on this week’s episode, but we didn’t have time to unpack that loaded term. Enter Sally Kohn. She doesn’t care if you call her a “dyke”. She cares why you’re using that word and what you intend to communicate. In this TEDTalk, Kohn dives into the idea that even if you are using the right words — even if you are “politically correct” — you might not be emotionally correct.

Remember our Troll Tea Party on this week’s episode? We’ve been one-upped big time. Heather Dockray, a writer for Mashable, took her troll’s comments to the next level. Read about and watch her journey here…

Words can’t hurt if they’re small ones. Right? Amanda Hess wonders that and more in this thought-provoking piece about our evolving use of pronouns in the NYT Magazine.

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