Words mean things, people.
When we say things like ‘she-male,’ not only are we continuing to normalize oppressive language, but we are refreshing misconceptions. For example, until about a year ago, I didn’t realize that b*tch was technically a slur. and I didn’t know it was a slur because it is so normal in our culture to call people out of their name that we don’t even realize that it’s offensive anymore. I had the misconception that calling someone that negatively was okay… not polite, of course, but not as bad as some other names you could call them. It’s so normal to oppress women, that we don’t even realize when we further our own oppression.
So… this is why using slurs are a problem. It is different if you want to reclaim the slur- I, personally, refer to myself as a b*tch because in my mind it is a positive thing (I’ll go more in depth about this on another post), but that doesn’t make it okay to call other people that because of the above paragraph. And I am a woman, so I can reclaim that slur. But I’m not trans* so I can’t use trans* slurs, because then I am further oppressing trans* people.
And sometimes people are like, lighten up, you take things too seriously! It frustrates me because, damn right people take it seriously. That’s how you get stuff done.
If we don’t acknowledge that there is a problem we can’t fix it. It’s like when people say things such as, “Feminism isn’t relevant anymore- women can vote!” But I’m not going to be paid the same amount of money as a man does. If I get angry at a certain time of the month, my feelings are going to be trivialized. I’m still more likely to be raped, abused, and trafficked. And this goes not just for women but for trans*, non-binaries, genderqueer… pretty much if you are not a white cis male, you fall under this category, more or less.
This is why feminism is still relevant. This is why being politically correct is important. BECAUSE WE ARE STILL OPPRESSED. And part of the reason why, is because of words.