4 Phrases To Let Go Of in 2015

"BAE", "ON FLEEK", and "SQUAD" are fun words/phrases that will forever capture the essence of the 2015. These fun sayings are here to stay and I wouldn't want it any other way! However, with the welcoming of these new words, it is time to let go of phrases that have hung around for decades that are misogynistic, homophobic, and racist. The following statements may have been stated without any intent of harm or offense, however, it is important to know that these statements are, in fact, forms of microaggression. Here are 4 Phrases To Let Go Of in 2015.

1. "That's so gay"

 

It may come as a shock to you that this phrase is still being thrown around in 2015, however, the sad truth is, I still hear this phrase around campus and in the general San Diego community. This statement is usually stated when someone acts in a way that is considered lame, unconventional, or unaccepted by society. In general, it is a phrase that follows a negatively viewed action or statement. The actual term defines one's sexual orientation, something that cannot be changed and constitutes a large portion of one's identity. To put this word's offensive component into perspective, try substituting your own sexual orientation or other components of your identity (race, religion, gender) for the term "gay" when someone does something that is not socially accepted. Now you see the offense right?

Instead of stating "That's so gay", substitute the term "gay" for a term like "ridiculous", "wierd", "absurd" to get your actual point across. Along with the phrase "That's so gay", leave behind other derogatory terms like "faggot" and "fruity". Also, "no homo" is "no necessary".

2. "Like a girl"/ "Like a man" 

My parents always told me to "behave like a girl" and I heard other boys being told to "act like a man". 

  1. Like a Girl: Most of the time, this phrase is used when describing a submissive personality or a weak attribute. Girls are told to be quiet, calm, and smile all of the time. Why do girls have to live submissively. We have amazing personalities and ideas and we should be able to express our concerns and thoughts. People often state "You are a [insert derogatory term for a vagina here]" as a substitute for "You are weak". Women are not weak. In fact, women have higher pain thresholds than men (another reason why women can give birth). Instead of using "Like a girl" as a derogatory term, we need to change the term to be one of power and strength...or we can just get rid of the phrase overall.
  2. Like a Man: Just as women are oppressed by stereotypes, men are as well. The phrase "like a man" entails a strong and aggressive person who does not express his/her emotions. In fact, men who openly share their emotions are told that they are "like a girl" and that they need to "man up". Men should be able to express their emotions, for humans are emotional beings, and not be ashamed to do so. We need to empower men to be themselves and let their emotions out. 

 

3. Jokes about "Getting Raped"

I hear phrases like "That test raped me" or "It's not like she got raped or something". The term "rape" has been desensitized in our society and people throw it around like it is not an offensive term. In Rick Ross's U.O.E.N.O., he states "Put molly all in her champagne, she ain't even know it. I took her home and I enjoyed that, she ain't even know it". This song gets played on the radio and gets repeatedly played at parties, in the car, and in public places. People sing this song without realizing the weight of rape culture and the ways in which we are being desensitized to it. If you look at the statistics, rape is actually a common form of abuse. The term that we are so desensitized to is a powerful word that brings up traumatic experiences in many women. In our college context, 1 in 4 collegiettes get raped. Let's leave this term alone and only use it when we are actually discussing the disgusting act of sexual assault.

 

4. "B*tches"

  1. The term "bitch" gets passed around to describe women, not only in songs, but in real life. Terms like "I f*cked a b*tch" and "I got so many b*tches" are used. These terms are degrading because they take away the human value of women; it objectifies women. Like Jay-Z said, "Before I got in the game, made a change, I didn't think hard about using the word bitch. I rapped it. I flipped it. I sold it. I lived it. Now with my daughter in this world, I curse those that give it. No man will degrade her or call her name". The term is derogatory and insulting to women. Imagine somebody calling a woman who is special to you a b*tch. Instead of using this term, which poses women as a reclyclable objects, use phrases that treat women with respect.
  2. The term "b*tch" also gets used to describe a powerful, assertive woman. For example, Glenn Beck called Hillary Clinton "a stereotypical b*tch" and explained that she was "unintelligible and nagging". This was not the first time Hillary was called a b*tch by a celebrity on national television. When a woman is put in a powerful position, they are called b*tches and bossy. When men are put in the same position of power, they are called charismatic and confident. See the difference? Instead of praising powerful women, we degrade them. Rather, we should empower other women and call them terms that are respectful, like "women". 

 

In general, advancements are being made and our world is pacing towards equality. Let's help the movement by leaving offensive terms behinds, and empowering each other instead.