At a recent meeting, I was introduced to the term rematriation. Hearing the word sparked the further realization of how steeped in patriarchal terms our language is. The backlash resonates. Only fairly recently we’ve seen the inclusion of a gender designation after name on various online platforms. However that may solve somebody’s issues, I don’t need to know – and why would anyone insist I do?
We’ve accepted a culture of aggressive winning, with attendant violent words and phrases: conquer, annihilate, slap down, beat, vanquish. Sports in particular relish this vocabulary. There are no friendly competitions. Too much money and power at stake.
Also consider the rampant use of negatives, from the quotidian “Don’t forget”, “Don’t be late” to the more chastising: “Don’t quit” or “Never Leave a Fallen Comrade Behind”. Our brains withdraw from warnings and shaming but tend to hold on to positive input like “Stay Safe” and “I know you’ll do your best” and “Bring everyone home.” See Woman Warrior Code.
It’s a life practice to examine our words. They have enormous power. Wielding that power for better or for worse is our choice.