Misogyny has mingled with language

Once upon a time, I was a nutritionist.

One of my clients, whom I’ll call Karen, was having the day from hell. We had our usual appointment to review her diet and weight loss goals. But one day, her eight year old son had a meltdown.

Whether it was the heat, or a blood sugar crash, (they’re a real thing), her son screamed up a storm that drowned out our voices. While struggling to subdue him, Karen said:

“Sorry Sara. My son’s bein’ a little GIRL right now.”

I never forgot her remark. Because amidst the screams and the broken conversation, my stomach did a spasm when I heard those words the same way it would if I were going to throw up.

And I nearly did.

Language is everything. Our way of speaking can create and perpetuate cultural norms and codes of conduct. We cast spells every time we open our mouths. Whether they’re spells to heal or to harm depend on what we say, and how aware we are (or aren’t) of the meaning and impact of our words.

One of the ways that Lennan & Smallsy Comics deals with misogyny is by exploring the subtleties of language, and how it shapes our beliefs and choices. I also like to use language to expose characters’ attitudes.

For instance, take Derek. Apparently this number one dad didn’t come from a number one dad himself. Watch Derek reminisce about some advice that his dad gave him on dealing with a bully when Derek was a child…

Every family that experiences domestic violence is an island. Our culture is the ocean that surrounds it. Language is the currency of our culture, and misogyny has a firm foothold in it.

So if misogyny is interwoven in our language, then what does that say about our culture?

Want to know what I think it says about our culture?

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