- son of a bitch
On April 6th America was treated to a video of a thirty-nine year old employee of Starbucks screaming at Florida governor, Republican Rick Scott because of his refusal as governor to expand Medicaid, and his cutting of funding to female reproductive clinics. As a result of his actions, the barista, and many other low wage women in Florida are not able to purchase health care insurance through President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare.”
What struck me about this video more than anything else was how many times she called the governor an asshole. When and why did this become our favorite pejorative? I found the wonderful list above just by looking at a thesaurus site and searching for asshole synonyms. If you ask me, she should have called him a pilgarlic¹. That would have shown him!!!
Of course, his response showed the depth and maturity of the statesman Governor truly is; he made a video attacking her. Keep it classy, Governor. (Sarcasm.)
After I looked at the synonyms for asshole (which I truly expected would bring up anatomical terms) I searched “anus,” for which there are apparently no synonyms other than ‘asshole.’ Then I did a search for lists of pejoratives. This is an adventure that I chose not to undertake since the first lists had over two-hundred pages each. With all these choices of mean things to call each other, can we not be a little more creative? Especially with all the studies that have come out the last two or three years saying that we salty tongued folks tend to be smarter than average…is this the best we can do.
While we are at it, why do we take words that really mean something good and make them mean something bad? Why is ‘tool’ now a bad thing? If homo-sapiens had not learned to use tools we never would have survived, or come to both dominate and destroy the earth. Dick? This nickname for a penis? This is a male body part that is not only useful and necessary for a man, but can also bring great pleasure to a woman. Why is it now a nasty name to call a guy? There are others, but I’ll let go of the use of curses in the U.S.
I don’t really like talking about the 2016 presidential election, it has already been the most disgusting display of idiocy on the republican side that I have ever seen. My problem is that I see so many pluses and minuses for the two remaining democratic candidates that I’m not sure which way to go between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. In the beginning it was a slam-dunk for me, Bernie Sanders. Secretary Clinton² has much baggage from a few decades in public service, she’s too hawkish and not near as progressive as I. Sanders calls himself a “democratic socialist,” and is always at least a little, but sometimes a great lot, to the left of Secretary Clinton. But as a woman, and a feminist, her record of working to improve the lot of women and girls all over the world is stellar, as is her position on women’s reproductive rights, which is very important to me. But so is income inequality, which I am fairly sure that Bernie can be better trusted to address. I also have an impossible amount of student debt, which Bernie also promises to address. I don’t like Hillary’s hawkishness, but we do have a terrible threat, worldwide, from violent extremists, and her experience as Secretary of State may give her more insight how to deal with this threat.
So you see, this has to be the most consequential election of my lifetime. I never thought any election would matter as much as electing President Obama in 2008. But it isn’t just the presidential election that matters. If democrats don’t take back the senate and lots of state legislatures women will very soon, especially in the “Red” south, need to kiss reproductive choice, health and safety goodbye.
¹ “Pilgarlic” is an archaic word making fun of bald men.
² Hillary Clinton was President Obama’s Secretary of State during his first presidential term, 2009 to 2012,