Thursday, October 20, 2005

Dirty words...not

I think I should start a campaign to reclaim ordinary words that people have turned into dirty words, so here's my list, partly inspired by the strenuous way Nigerian women often shrug off the tag of here goes:

"Feminist" - Usually any woman who tries to stand up or speak up for herself. In Nigeria often slandered as having been brainwashed to reject her culture by Western feminists

"Immigrant" - Thrown around especially at election time in Western countries, often code for non-white. I personally think "immigrant" should be a positive word- it takes a lot to leave your country and the familiar to venture out into the unknown and to get there in one piece requires being better than average, so deserves celebration!

"Liberal" Most of the things that make the world a better place came from liberals. I bet that when slavery was to be abolished, the more conservative said "But that's the natural way of things, that's how it always been...." Maintaining the status quo has never brought about positive change, so why should people be ashamed to stand up and be counted on the side of a movement that has been responsible for most of the positive change in the world....


Nneka's World said...

I dont consider feminist a dirty word, rather the tone in which its been said in, Like something poisonous and deadly! So i think its ok, but sometimes it conjures thoughts of unshaven armpits, legs and face, not using deodorant and underwear :) Lol!

sokari said...

Naijaman - agree with u on the Naija view of a "feminist" and of course immigrant.
Nneka - "conjures up thoughts of unshaven....." A somewhat outdated and sterotypical notion of a feminist! - and anyway should women shave their armpits and legs? Men dont do they? deodorant is bad for you - causes cancer and cloggs up your pores (we need to breatheeeee) not wearing underwear? thats a new one to me? :)

sophie nicholls said...

Thank you so much for you comments on LOBI (Lots of Big Ideas). I completely agree that we need to 'reclaim' words like 'immigrant' and 'refugee'. That's why I started LOBI. I wanted to counter some of the very negative stuff we see in the mainstream media about refugees and asylum-seekers. I believe that blogging can draw people's attention to the real voices and stories behind the headlines. It's great to find your blog and to read your thoughts. Please could I add you to the LOBI links?