I’m a Helper

Now that Current.com has been wiped off the face of the Interwebs for a reason that still remains an utter mystery to me, all my “You’re Not Helping” columns have disappeared.  I, however, still have them and think they should be online and accessible in perpetuity – especially since they bring up some pretty important issues. With that said, here’s a “reprint” of the first:

From 6/5/2012:

I’m not sure how I feel about the term “War on Women,” but I do know that if there is one, we – as women – don’t need to be handing the enemy free ammo. It’s time to call out the women – and sometimes the men fighting alongside them – whose actions set us back. Welcome to “You’re Not Helping,” my contribution to the crusade.

you're not helpingRock the Slut Vote, you’re not helping.

I rock. I vote. But when I hear the word “slut,” I cringe. Why? Because it’s a horrible word, derogatory by definition, and you can’t change the actual meaning of a word by owning it. If the word starts off innocuous and somehow acquires an unfavorable tinge over time, it has potential. The word “liberal” comes to mind. There’s nothing wrong with being liberal or being a liberal, but over the years, the right wing has worked hard to hijack the term, and some liberals have come to prefer calling themselves progressive. Today, bold progressives are determined to take back ownership of the liberal label, and it’s doable because liberal didn’t start out as a slur. In fact, it started out as a good word, taking root from the Latin liberalis “of freedom.”

But slut? Not so much. It’s always been a negative. A dirty woman. A promiscuous woman. A slovenly woman. Declaring you want to own a word that inherently means something unflattering is absurd, ill-informed, and feeds right into the hands of the men you’re aiming to disempower. Branding yourself with an insult starts you at a disadvantage, and considering we already make less money and hold fewer positions of power, the last thing we need is another obstacle to equality – let alone a self-imposed one.

According to an ABC News interview with Susan McMillan Emry who founded “Rock the Slut Vote,”

“The site aims to ‘re-appropriate’ the word ‘slut’ so that Limbaugh and other Republicans cannot use it to ‘bully and silence women,’  Emry said. ‘It’s really about taking the power away from that word more than it is about Rush Limbaugh,’ she said. ‘He gave the word the notoriety but we are trying to take it back.”

Rush and his fellow conservative cronies didn’t make “slut” famous. It’s been used for far too long by many a man aiming to control and demean a woman. And frankly, I find Emry’s little “You Might Be A Slut” quiz offensive. I don’t want the word  “slut” anywhere near the life choices and values I believe in.

Emry can call herself whatever she wants. I’m liberal like that. But if she’s truly committed to getting women more politically engaged and inclined to vote – if she’s really as angry as she claims – then she should channel that rage into owning words and actions that intrinsically celebrate women, not disparage them.

Leave No Trace

Well, that was quick. Would have been nice to get a heads-up so we could have pulled some content before it all disappeared. Oh well. Onward and upward.

Current.com today

Current.com today



Update: Since this means all links to any content once housed on the Current website are now dead links, I’ll work on getting some of my columns and segments uploaded here shortly.

What’s Cookin’

jacki cookingAs many of you know by now, tomorrow – August 15th – is the last day for Current which means the last airing of Talking Liberally: The Stephanie Miller Show on this particular channel. Al Jazeera America bought Current in January, and it’s launching all new programming next Tuesday.

I feel so fortunate to have been recruited to join Steph’s show about 18 months ago and even luckier to have been so warmly welcomed into the fold of the Stephanie Miller community.

Of course, I’ll miss the daily broadcast banter, but I’m not really going anywhere. I’ll be as active as ever online, and you are more than welcome to connect with me on here or through Twitter or Facebook.

First up after the show is catching up on sleep. Mom’s coming to visit, and then I’m heading off on a long-overdue vacation. That rounds out August. After Labor Day, I should have a better idea of what’s on tap worth sharing on the work front.

Until then, a huge thank you to everyone who’s been so incredibly kind and supportive during my time w/ Current.

Definitely more to come!