There are things about us that we can't change and things we never want to--but it hurts to have those things singled out and stomped on. You're a bitch if you don't let people push you around, a whore if you have sex, a prude if you don't. If you're blonde, you must be stupid. If you're intelligent, you must be awkward, thus a geek. Fat people are lazy. If you have a physical deformity, God help you, plus you must be retarded. And if you really are retarded, then it stands to reason you can never be happy. Nothing is safe, your religion, your skin color, you sexual preference. Nothing.
But who isn't either sexually active or not sexually active? You can't be neither and you can't be both. There isn't anywhere to hide from being different. We're ALL different.
I read The Duff last night by Kody Keplinger and it really got me to thinking about why derogatory labels hurt so much, and what makes it better.
Words, as we all know, can be hurtful. If you step back and look at them, they are just a bunch of random letters formed into a sound--but I know I have more scars from words than I do sticks and stones. There seems to be something empowering about "taking back" the negative stereotypical slurs society foists on us. The gay community has done it with "queer" and to a certain extent "fag", though that one sticks in my craw. Who hasn't seen the bumper sticker that proclaims, "You call me a bitch like it's a bad thing" or "Babe In Total Control of Herself"? Nerds and Geeks proudly assert their awkwardness these days.
The Young Adult genre is an excellent platform to take apart even more. On one hand, teenagers seem to be the most adept at totally decimating each other with insulting slurs.On the other hand, I also think that they are smarter than adults in a lot of ways because they aren't jaded yet--and I think it's within their power to see what isn't working out so well in the adult world, mock us old fuddy duddies, and change it.
Do you think claiming slurs as a badge of honor is helpful or hurtful?