Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Hurtful Words

There is an expression “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” But it is not true, words do hurt.
The Psychology of Hateful Words
The Advocate
By Amanda Kerri
January 19, 2016

Remember as a kid when you got teased at school or by a sibling, maybe the neighborhood bully? They would say something only the dark and twisted mind of an 8-year-old could conjure, something like “You have doo-doo breath” or “You’re dumb.” Whenever we fell victim to such heartless comments, we would be told by harried adults, “Just remember, sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you.” This little poem worked once. And only once. After that, the more imaginative bullies learned to go for the throat. That’s when we learned that the real poem went like this: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can make me cry in the corner for hours.” It’s a lesson we learned the hard way, and we ourselves learned to utilize to full effect. Every last one of us learned how to use words with certain folks to essentially drive a stake through their heart and to twist any knife we dug into them.
Words can drive people to suicide, words can cause irreversible harm. When you stop and think why people use hurtful words it is to marginalize and belittle the person. They are not using hurtful words to make build up a person but rather to tear them down.
What Greer and Humphries are saying is that trans women are destroying their view of human gender expression. I know this sounds Freudian, but there is a psychology to words. In the case of Greer and Humphries and anyone else who feel that trans women (it’s never trans men, it seems) are mutilating themselves, they are implying that their view of gender and sexuality is reliant on anatomy — that anatomy defines who we are and nothing else. It’s especially telling in Humphries's case as he has made no small amount of money and fame on playing fast and loose with gender presentation. What it shows is a very narrow, very backward understanding of the human mind. It honestly is the definition of ignorance.
When I hear someone say the things that Greer and Humphries and many of the people who comment on trans article it makes me think that they have narrow minds and they don’t want to learn. It makes me think that people like Greer and Humphries would rather be ignorant than picking up a book and expanding their knowledge.

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