Pardon me while I go on a bit of a tirade this morning. Earlier I read a post about the term 'stay at home mom' no longer being politically correct - and wondering what we should all call ourselves now.
And it got me to wondering... What the hell should we care what other people think we should be called and whether it's 'right' in their eyes?
A long time ago I realized that the only way for anyone to get offended by what someone else says is if they allow it. Words hurt - but only because we ascribe some kind of special value to the person saying them.
Someone wants to call me a bitch, more power to them. Does that make me a bitch? Not really. Maybe in their eyes, I am. But what do I care - unless they're someone I actually care about? If my husband thinks I'm a bitch, then yeah, that would hurt me. (He doesn't. We don't call each other names.) If Joe Blow on the street thinks I'm a bitch, screw him.
I used to be a secretary. I liked being a secretary - even when the world wanted to call me an Administrative Assistant. Six of one, half dozen of the other. It's the SAME JOB. Now, if they wanted to make be an Executive Assistant (and pay me the larger amount that goes with it) that would be different. Executive Assistants generally do more managerial stuff. I typed. I filed. I took notes. Okay, so yeah, I did some stuff that could've qualified me for the EA title, but that's neither here nor there. What secretary hasn't at some point in their career?
I'm gimpy. Not crippled - which is a higher level of gimpy. Not 'handicapped' - whatever that actually means (who comes up with these terms?). Not disabled. Definitely not differently-abled. And oh hell no about 'handicapable'.
In head injury therapy, they trained me to get upset about the word 'retarded' and the word 'gimpy'. :shrug: My bad leg wasn't really my 'bad' leg - it was my 'affected' leg. Seriously? Yeah. Don't want that leg to feel bad about itself, now do we? It's a leg. It's not as good as the other one. That makes it my BAD leg. And it's cool with that.
As for 'retarded'? Well, since the accident retarded my mental abilities to a certain extent, then yeah, I guess I'm that, too. Oh well. It's not like attaching a word to it makes it any different one way or the other.
They're words, people. We ascribe to them the emotion and the meaning in our lives. Society tells us which words are good and which are bad, but sometimes society has its head up its ass. Then we just have to think for ourselves.
But don't worry. I won't be calling myself a Stay At Home Mom anymore. Since my kid is on her own now, I'm just a HOUSEWIFE again. And if you don't like that word, you need to look at yourself and wonder why - when it doesn't bother me at all - it bothers you.