Words Matter

Hey there, Brownies! It’s only been a little over a month since last we spoke. Well, I rambled, and you listened (or didn’t, I don’t really know one way or the other) and now I’m back. This is where you either cheer or run and hide. As you can probably tell, based on the post title, this might get a little heavy.

Once upon a time, a more respected and more published author told a bunch of us that there were three things you never spoke about on your blog: politics, religion, and sex. Basically the same things you’re not supposed to discuss at work. The reason for that, so we were told, was to avoid pissing off (and therefore alienating) readers (who are our consumers). They stop buying, they start talking, others stop buying… all because I have a contrary opinion to theirs and as we all know, we don’t play well together anymore.

Well, I said fuck that awhile ago and this post isn’t any different… well, not really. It’s less rant-y, I think. Or at least I’m intending it to be. We’ll see.

You may not know this, but I’m an ordained person, which means I’m able to join two humans in matrimony. This isn’t unusual as lots of people can do this, but you’ll notice (or not) I didn’t say “holy” matrimony. That’s because I’m not religious and, in my opinion, there isn’t anything truly holy about matrimony. Yes, I’m aware others will disagree. But, by leaving out a single word, I’ve presented a religious viewpoint. Because words fucking matter… both the words we say and those we don’t.

You may also not know this, but I traveled back to Ohio this past weekend and performed a wedding ceremony for a dear, dear friend of mine. She is a progressive liberal and her instructions to me for writing the ceremony were “be yourself” and so I was. But in doing so, and in crafting a ceremony for this couple, I chose specific words at specific points in the ceremony for specific reasons. For example, during the statement of intent, I specifically chose “partner” over husband and wife. Why? Read the definition of partner… go ahead, I’ll wait… just click that link. Now, let’s see what it says for husband and wife… yes, I’ll wait.

Okay, now that you’ve brushed up on those basic definitions, only partner actually describes how a marriage should work. None of this basic bitch role bullshit… he’s the husband, she’s the wife… again, you may not agree with that, you may be one of those assholes who thinks your wife belongs in the kitchen while you watch the game, she should be cleaning your piss off the toilet and bathroom floor, but by choosing the word partner, I made very clear that’s not what I believe.

Again, words fucking matter.

And for the record, he didn’t get to kiss the bride… they got to kiss each other. Why? Because women like sex, too, and they like to kiss and be kissed, and why should the man be called out to kiss his bride and not the other way around? Oh… oh… tradition, you say? I’ll get to that in a bit…

Now, you may be scratching your head at this point and wondering what I’m rambling on about, but along with officiating a beautiful wedding, I read this shitty article in the NY Times… This Is Bullshit.

I’m sure plenty of you read this article or another like it, where the federal government wants to define a whole bunch of folks by whether or not they have an innie or an outtie at birth. Like, for real, this is still a goddamn thing in Two Thousand and Eighteen. [See what I did there? I said goddamn… words matter, people]

I said I’d get back to tradition and here it is… a city I live near has the slogan “Tradition and Progress” and it’s bullshit, guys. Why? Because tradition and progress cannot go hand in hand, especially when tradition marginalizes an entire swath of the population. At that point, it’s time to fuck tradition off the track and just stick with progress. If we’re not growing, we’re dying.

So, sure, traditionally, at one point in time, we defined sex as male and female based on genitalia. Guess what? Not a thing anymore. This is where progress should overtake tradition and we all move on. But no, we can’t do that. We have to fight over this petty shit. Words matter, and if you support defining out 1.4 million Americans, you’re an asshole.

Like, all you heterosexuals who say being gay is a choice… what you’re basically saying is that you choose to like the opposite sex, but could just as easily choose the same sex. Like, I’m not gay, and I know that no matter what happens in my life, I’m never going to be gay. Like, ever;  it’s not a question for me.

I am not gay. It’s not a choice I make; it’s who I am. I’m not going to wake up tomorrow and want to sleep with a man.

But y’all out there screaming “it’s a choice” like someone can switch it up at will. If that’s the case, tomorrow you could wake up with a hankering for something unexpected… not unlike taking a stroll down the grocery aisle and suddenly finding a new flavor of your favorite beef jerky that you just gotta try. Sure, you may not like it, so you’ll go back to your regular old flavor… because it’s a choice.

If you know, like I do, you’re not gay, then it’s really not a choice and you understand that. You’re using the wrong word. In fact, there isn’t a right word for that situation. Find a better way to deal with your homophobia, your religious zealotry, or whatever it is that drives you to make excuses for hating someone else whose life choices have no impact upon your own.

Words matter, people, and that cannot be stressed enough. It’s anti-vaxxers screaming science doesn’t belong in civil rights, it’s our president saying white supremacists are really nice people, that it’s okay to grab a woman by her pussy, it’s Samantha Bee calling Ivanka a feckless cunt, it’s CNN and Fox News, it’s you and it’s me.

What we say, what we don’t say… it all matters to someone, and it should matter to you, too. We all need to do better, expect better, be better.

3 responses to “Words Matter

  1. 1.) It was an amazing ceremony, and I loved your words.

    2.) WORDS MATTER.

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