I’ll be the first to admit that the world is getting too PC. I firmly believe people need to chill the hell out and quit feeling offended over every little thing. That being said, I do think there are things, such as phrases or questions, that cause unintentional issues and problems, but we keep them in our ‘go-to bag of stupid things to say’ simply because we’ve always done so, and we use them without giving a second thought. So, I present to you:

Common phrases we should reconsider:

“Like a girl”

Image from mariecurie-usa.org

This is never used to imply something awesome or positive. Running like, throwing like, acting like, etc. are all disses to someone. By saying this to kids you’re either letting boys know they’re lucky to not be a girl, and letting girls know they’re less than boys. Then this fuckery transfers to adults, and what do we get? More of the same. Also, using this phrase to deter a boy from crying is harmful. As a society we must quit encouraging our boys to deny their emotions.

I’d love to suggest we flip the script and start using the phrase for something positive, such as, “you got the killer promotion like such a girl.” But that seems more difficult than to just quit saying it. So, please – stop.

 

“Man up” or “Be a man”

This is sad.

This is basically a grown up version of “like a girl.” These are code for some combination of “don’t show emotions,” “don’t show weakness” and “act within the confines of a narrow definition of macho, ‘me man – me make fire’ strength.” Some could argue this is used in a “quit being childish” type of manner, but I’d guess that’s not the typical.

 

“Grow some balls”

betty white

Preach, Betty, preach

I’m just going to refer to this Betty White quote and leave it at that, “Why do people say “grow some balls”? Balls are weak and sensitive. If you wanna be tough, grow a vagina. Those things can take a pounding.”

 

“He’s gonna be a heartbreaker”

Need I say more?

This is always meant as a compliment, but it shouldn’t. Typically, heartbreakers lead people on, get their affection and admiration and then cut the individual loose. They hurt people. ‘Heartbreaker’ is not a title for which one should strive.

 

“If he’s mean to you, it just means he likes you”

This is wrong.

STOP TELLING THIS TO YOUNG GIRLS! Yes, I’m yelling at you because it is that important. Abuse is not something to be confused with affection and love. In reality, the saying should go more along the lines of, “If he’s mean to you, that is wrong.” Do not encourage young girls to tolerate abuse – physically or emotionally.

 

“Nice guys finish last”

This is only true if you believe it to be so. Being a jerk shouldn’t get anyone ahead, so cut it out. Quit saying this. It’s amazing what kindness can do, partially because people will actually like you.

 

“That’s so gay”

Image from flickr

You wouldn’t say “that’s so black” or “that’s so jewish” without knowing you were being an asshole. So, this is no different. Cut it out.

 

“That’s retarded”

Nope, not this one either. Image from quickmeme

Saying this is wrong because it hurts people. It’s exclusive, offensive and derogatory. Some people are so serious about ridding the word, they’ve started a campaign.

 

“Indian giver”

This phrase is total crap. At this point in history, we should all realize it’s absurd to say that American Indians reneged on a promise to give European settlers land that they never agreed to give in the first place. The Europeans were the assholes. Case closed.

 

“Gypped”

I’m guilty of using the word when I felt defrauded, swindled or cheated. I used to say this, while never giving thought to its origins, until the topic was discussed on an episode of “House” that dealt with a Romani family, aka, gypsies. I’m not alone in my ignorance of this word, this NPR article discusses the origins of the word, and events in history and pieces of literature that used the word without giving thought to the origins or who it was hurting. If you’re still using this word without thinking of its origins, maybe you’ll take to heart the words of University of Texas professor Ian Hanchock, who was born in Britain to Romani parents: “That’s okay. You didn’t know but now you do. So stop using it. It may mean nothing to you, but when we hear it, it still hurts.”

Think it’s stupid I included any of these? Leave a comment and let’s all have some discourse. Think I left off some important ones? Leave a comment and I’ll try to add it.

 

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Kinda Kind

Kinda Kind

It’s become my mission to show the world that not only is kindness fun and easy to do, but also that small actions can have giant impacts. That’s why I started Kinda Kind. I’m glad that your path has led you here and I’m glad we’re on the journey together to make kindness badass.