Thursday, October 13, 2011

Going Back to Original Meanings

It's one of the oldest tricks in the book. Take a word that your opposition identifies with, twist it's meaning so that it becomes an insult, watch the other side scamper away and try to find another term to define them and even use that old word to fling at each other in insult. What's more pathetic than people who do that is people who let it work by running away from the new meaning they have found attached to that word.

Words are words, we can decide that they mean whatever we want them to mean. That is why, whenever engaging in any kind of debate with someone, I get very fiscal about defining the words we are going to use before we get started. It may sound like arguing semantics, but it can put a pin in the squirming worms of apologist talking points before you allow them to waste a half hour of your time.

Here I am not trying to say that one word has one absolute meaning and that they can never be redefined. I am saying that, in protest of this sneaky tactic we should not run away from these new meanings that have cropped up for perfectly fine words. We should embrace those old words that define us, and to have a little fun we can invent new words to take on the false meaning that have since been attached to them. Here are some examples:

1. Feminist
Original Meaning: A person who argues for or defends equal rights for women
It Has Become: Hairy-armpitted hippie lesbian know-it-all who wants to castrate every man who dares even look at a woman's ass in passing.

Pfft please. I may piss off a few of the "new" feminists by saying I don't give two shits if a man looks at a woman's ass, any more than I think men should care if I take a gander at a particularly fine man-ass that happens to cross my path. It's only natural. Of course that does not mean that a man should treat a woman differently because of the fineness of her ass, or think it appropriate to grope her regardless of what she's wearing, but that is a completely different story. I want a respectful environment for my fellow vagina-bearers, not the fucking thought police.

However I have been called a feminist as an insult quite a few times. I have to admit that even I started to say "ugh I'm NOT a feminist, just because I think you're a moron when you tell me to get back in the kitchen!" Sexism is something that people don't think exists anymore, so they take equal opportunities for granted and think that if there are still "feminists" around then they must just be here to break our balls. Screw that. Be proud to be a real feminist, and to the women that do fit the above-mentioned description here's a new word for you:
                                                                Female Supremacist

2. Animal Rights Activist
Original Meaning: A person who advocates for better living conditions and against the needless causing of suffering towards animals
It Has Become: PETA-loving vegan vandal who advocates for the bombing of medical research centers

As a researcher AND an animal lover, I find this one quite upsetting. As I said before in my post on veganism, vegetarianism and animal rights, I think that this new definition does a great disservice to those who want reasonable legislation to be passed on behalf of animals. I want to ban puppy farms, not pet ownership. I want cows, pigs, sheep and chickens to have good living conditions, not to ban the sale of meat. It is also the members of the last category that fuel this separation as well, saying that you cant really be an animal lover unless you are firmly on their side. Let's face it, a vegan world is never going to exist. So let's compromise: we will keep the term animal rights activist, since we might actually be able to acheive some changes on the legislative level, and you can have:
                                                                   Vegan Fundamentalist

3. Liberal - In the US
Original Meaning: A person who advocates for the freedom of the individual and their rights
It Has Become: 1. God-hating atheist communist who is also secretly a totalitarian nazi sympathizer
                         2. Pussy

OK (1) the most extreme case scenario, but not too far off if you put together all of the ways that Fox News has used the term. What's worse is that this one has worked wonders, and now you have the left scampering over to the term "progressive", which is slowly put surely going down the same sad road as liberal is. Stop running people. Say it proudly! You are standing up for  LIBERTY and EQUAL RIGHTS for every citizen, things that are undeniably patriotic and American. And for all of you who ran for the hills at the potential of criticism from the other side, you all can keep:

Any more words I've forgotten? Let me know


  1. 2. Animal Rights Activist
    Original Meaning: A person who advocates for better living conditions and against the needless causing of suffering towards animals

    I would say animal welfare activist. Can you be an animal welfare ACTIVIST? I don't know. I always thought people who fought for animal rights, wanted animals to have the same rights as people.

    1. Well I think that that is very much what the term has become rather than what it started out as. The first animal rights activists didn't want animals to be gruesomely tortured in the name of scientific curiosity, which I can totally respect, but now there are many that have taken it into the realm of the ridiculous.