Stop Using Sexist Language

dont be a pussy man up

Stop using sexist language that perpetuates myths about strengths and weaknesses stemming from genitalia. Examples:

  • don’t be such a pussy
  • man-up
  • that took balls
  • grow a pair
  • be a man
  • ballsy
  • doing anything (throwing, running, fighting) “like a girl”
  • calling women “girls” (infantilizing them, shifting the balance of power)

What can we do right now?

Sherryl Kleinman clarifies below that “Language is one (thing) we can work on right now, if we’re willing. It’s easier to start saying “you all” instead of “you guys” than to change the wage gap tomorrow.”

no h8…/48856/why_sexist_language_matters


Feminist New Year Resolutions


This year and from now on, I will challenge ridicule. When an offensive remark is made that marginalizes an oppressed group, I will use my voice to draw attention. When a “joke” covertly or overtly expresses violence against a group of discriminated people (those of a different gender, race, orientation, or ability) I will hold up a mirror to make the invisible visible. I will ask if this is really the intended reflection because *this reflection* from this *one joke* is how our culture continues to be consciously cocreated by each of us.

This one situation, this moment, matters. It is a creative moment so let’s make it a conscious moment!

Each one of us is individually responsible for the reflection we’re making in the ripples of our collective ocean. Let us hold each other accountable. Let us, in this moment, make an impact.

I will not, in this moment, be dismissed. I will no longer choose silence when marginalized or unheard groups are mocked. I will speak up. And when I’m told to “lighten up”, “it’s just a joke”, or “don’t be so literal”, I will remind us all that *words are powerful*. Real people are behind them, reflecting real world beliefs and discrimination that really does affect real people from marginalized groups. I will not allow this to be trivialized. I will speak out when necessary and I will call attention to a lack of awareness and empathy when I see it, even if it is present in a family member. Because micro aggressions are the bedrock of our subtle oppressive culture and ridiculing is a suppression technique that diminishes and belittles its victims.

We must speak up when we hear jokes in poor taste, or we will never rise above our stereotypes masked as satire.