Again I find myself drawn into the periphery of an argument I don’t want to be part of. It’s not like I have no horse in this race – I do. We all do – it’s just that the core of the argument is better addressed by more learned people than me. That said, I’m getting fucking shouty at my twitter feed as I watch people I love and respect embrace the stupid.
My complaint? The PM misused a word in a well overdue but somewhat overrated speech that has become famous globally. The guardian of the sacred key of Australian language at Macquarie decided to expand the definition of the misused word to encompass the PM’s meaning. Because, you know, language evolves. I’ll get back to that in a minute. Now the word is bandied about like some sort of wildcard bailout of every lazy argument ever. It is wrong, and fuck you all for raping the language I love.
Some context: I’ve just spent three months in Vietnam, attempting to learn the language. It is a concise, ordered dialect that is poetic and beautiful because it is imprecise. Ca phe sua is white coffee. Sua ca phe is also white coffee, but it is also iced yoghurt with coffee flavouring. I’m convinced that Vietnam is still poor because of all the returned drinks at coffee shops – not from tourists, but natives. I could cite countless other examples but I’m lazy. My point is that English is arguably the best and most beautiful language on Earth because its ungainly growth has fostered a precision that doesn’t exist in most other languages.
I’m a fan of evolution insofar as one can be a fan of a scientific reality. It sounds kind of stupid really. How many people are a fan of gravity? I’ll rephrase. I’m a fan of the theory of evolution, which explains evolution eloquently through precision of language. What I am not a fan of is devolution, the homogenization of thought and the homeopathic distillation of words to the point where they become meaningless. Equating misogyny with sexism is a fucking travesty and undermines no cause greater than that of feminism.
Before everyone gets their depend in a twist that a man dared to mention the ‘F’ word, let’s have a think about what we’re trying to achieve. Are we striving of a truly egalitarian society or are we looking to germinate some fuckwitted gender war? I don’t really care either way. I’m a middle-aged white guy who pulls a healthy six-figure income. If I’m the enemy then knock yourselves the fuck out. Nobody I know is lifting a finger to stop you.
What I’m talking about is the abuse of language. Misogyny is shooting a girl for wanting to be educated. It is spitting on an eight year old for dressing like a ‘slut’. It is ‘honour’ killings by fathers that hate their daughters for not being as stupid as they are. It is killing babies because a girl isn’t worth as much as a boy. It is throwing acid in the face of a woman who rejected the advances of a human-shaped turd. It is bombing an abortion clinic. It is denying condoms to women most likely to be infected with HIV. It is hatred of women.
I have many words to describe how loathsome Tony Abbott or Alan Jones is. They are beneath contempt. They are sexist sacks of shit. The public record speaks for itself. They are not misogynists. They’re just idiots. Classing them with true misogynists is offensive to those that have genuinely suffered. It’s saying the person who threw acid in a woman’s face is no worse than Tony Abbott. That’s wrong.
Misusing words damages one’s ability to utilize language for good. I feel embarrassed for you who seek to debase our shared vocabulary through repetition and misuse. Get the fuck out of my language and take your fight up using semaphore or Kermit arms. If all else fails put a fucking #hashtag on it. Just get off my lawn.