Monday, September 20, 2010
What's Up With "Females"???
You know how you hear somebody trying to say something smart/profound and they use certain words to let you know how profound they are trying to sound? But then the use of that very same word tells you that they are actually not very smart at all? Like the way a convict will use the term "incarcerated," for example. Well in my NappyHeaded opinion, the same goes for the use of the word "female" when referring to a woman.
"Why do females be acting like that?"
"You know, as a female, I believe that it's important to __________________"
"See the problem with females these days is ________________"
Pardon my French, but WHAT THE FUCK IS A FEMALE?!?!?!?!?!
A female what?
A female race car driver?
Female jet pilot?
The female reproductive parts of a flower?
WTF are you referring to when you say female?!?!?!
How old is this female? Is she a girl or a woman? Is she human? You see how non-specific this term is? You could be talking about anything. It's just an adjective. It's an incomplete thought. And this troubles me because we in the black community readily accept this terminology as legitimate, mostly because the alternative is too often to finish off the description with a five-letter word for a female dog.
But for my money's worth, I'd prefer one go ahead and say "bitch" instead of female, because at least it's specific, if not also dehumanizing. I feel like when we use the term "female" to describe our women, we are implicitly denying their humanity as women, and the weight that must be given to the term "woman." For you see "bitch" can it least be flipped and become empowering for those who wear the name proudly.
"Female" is like a rice cake. It's plain, inferior, and has no potential to be anything great.
And it's not just men saying it. Women often refer to themselves as females in serious discussions, something they wouldn't do with the word "bitch," for example. I feel that in doing so these women, often black and latino, are selling themselves short, and if nothing else reinforcing a subliminal belief of inferiority.
Now don't get me wrong. I'm no saint or college professor. I talk about bitches all the time. Bitches I see, bitches I meet, bitches I knew in college. But I recognize a difference in meaning and connotation that exists between "bitch" and "woman." A different but equally important distinction between "woman" and "female," except it goes unnoticed far too often, and it's not okay to ignore it.
This has been a Nappy Headed Public Service Announcement, courtesy of C4.