The other day I wrote a post about the power of words, and how words are used to define and control people. Well cats and dolls, I witnessed this in action just a few moments ago. The Facebook group “Women’s Rights” often shares opinion articles, and today they shared one that was something to the effect of “10 reasons why having a c-section isn’t really giving birth.” Before anyone read the article, about three quarters of the followers of this page were infuriated. How dare anyone tell them whether or not they gave birth, no matter how said baby arrived? Do you know such and such, so and so, this and that, yada yada.
I know that things aren’t always what they seem, especially in this age of sensationalized headlines intended to get clicks. Well, it wasn’t click bait, even though it had a click baity title. It was a satire article, oozing with sarcasm and clearly written to tell those who actually think negatively about mothers who have had c-sections exactly how foolish they appear with their “reasoning.”
But the title, much like other titles (what white people don’t understand about piercing my Latina child’s ears, why white girls should never belly dance, etc.) gets the blood boiling. Why is that? Because words have power. So much power in fact they can make or break you in the social media world. So much power, that riots will start in the streets over “wording choices.” So much power that we, even myself the ever loving wordsmith, find ourselves, and our emotions, under the control of the writers.
How do we break free from these chains? We need words to communicate, to explain ourselves, to find others who think like us. We need words to label everything, to assign meaning to everything, or else all would be meaningless. Even before words we used pictures, and those pictures held powers as well. I mean, for real, in ancient Egypt if you saw certain warning pics above a doorway or a tomb, you heeded that warning. If you saw vicious animals depicted in cave paintings in some random cave your caveman ass was roaming around, you would know there were vicious animals nearby, or at least at one point they were nearby.
Words are important, and now, more than ever before, they are being used as a means to control you. You are too old, too young, too white, too rich, too whatever to do whatever. Why do we hang onto the words thrown at us with every fiber of our being? Understanding the meaning behind the words, or the use of the words, doesn’t lessen the powers at all. It may make you more immune to their power, but for every one of you who are not affected by the words of others, there are at least 100 more people who are.
The best way to build your word immunity is through critical thinking and non reaction. Investigate. If there is a headline that instantly boils your blood, figure out why. Read the article, it may have a deceptive headline. Don’t react. Because people have opinions, and with the onslaught of vlogs and blogs, there are so many opinions out there being shared. Waging a keyboard war because someone has a different opinion than you do is exactly one of the ways you are being controlled. It’s up to you to end it. Build your immunity. Strengthen your own constitute. Stop being part of such a reactive culture.
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