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Can you reclaim defamatory words to make them strong and proud? Eg slut?

(12 Posts)
nkf Thu 04-Oct-12 19:42:19

Just read - prompted by another thread - quirkyalone.net. Quirkyslut came up.

Of the phrase, quirkySlut, the website wrote, " Now, it’s tricky to call someone a slut. Some people don’t respond well to this bold language, but the point is that we can reinvent words to take the sting out of them."

I'm not convinced. It still sounds nasty to my ears. So does "bitch" and I cannot use the C word.

What do you think?

LRDtheFeministDragon Thu 04-Oct-12 19:52:19

Depends.

I like reclaiming 'cunt', because the original meaning is quite nice ('quaint, pretty'), and because it is only a term for female anatomy, and the fact it's so rude says a lot about misogyny.

I am not sure 'slut' and 'bitch' would be so easy to reclaim, because they don't have a good etymology to 'reclaim'.

But that's my personal view.

ecclesvet Thu 04-Oct-12 19:53:39

Has there ever been a successfully reclaimed word? Obviously "nigg[a/er]" comes to mind, but I don't think anyone would say the sting's been taken out of that one yet.

LRDtheFeministDragon Thu 04-Oct-12 19:55:13

Queer?

You get 'Queer theory' as a recognized term.

kim147 Thu 04-Oct-12 19:56:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

nkf Thu 04-Oct-12 20:01:14

To me, it often smacks of if you can't beat them join them. Rather than subverting it's joning in.

nkf Thu 04-Oct-12 20:01:25

joining

LRDtheFeministDragon Thu 04-Oct-12 20:03:17

Yes, I think that's true.

My dad used to talk about how Jewish lads in his school would be very vocal in telling anti-Semitic jokes, and how he only realize how uncomfortable this was quite late on. I think women talking about 'bitches' and 'sluts' can be the same sort of thing.

nkf Thu 04-Oct-12 20:06:06

And all the N word rap talk. Glamorising the ghettho. And the ghetto just means black poverty. I find it depressing. Though I do like The Wire while hating some of the lingo.

Uppercut Thu 04-Oct-12 20:17:35

Black people tried that with 'nigga'. It hasn't worked, nor will it.

If I think you are X, and you say you are X, then that simply reinforces my belief that you are X and that it is acceptable for me to say so.

After I'm only agreeing with you!

Uppercut Thu 04-Oct-12 20:17:53

After all...

nkf Thu 04-Oct-12 20:30:35

I agree.

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