i was trying to remember the first time i got catcalled and i think it was this
i was about twelve, in the city with my sister and grandmother, and we walked past a man sitting on the sidewalk near where we were and he said something very obscene to us that i can’t exactly remember now
i was twelve
with my grandmother
now we’re pulling out the dictionary.com definition. sweet lord.
listen, anon, because i’m gonna drop a truth bomb here: dictionaries suck. they can only capture a small snapshot of an ever-changing language and have to do it in like, twenty words or less per definition. not to mention the fact that they are almost always written by crusty old white men, and if not, they’re targeted on the conservative side for the sake of relative language permanence. dictionary.com, for example, gets most of its definitions from random house unabridged, which is known as a middle-of-the-road dictionary in terms of progressiveness. so you’re not even pulling out the most socially conscious dictionary definition here. anyway, tip: if you want to be taken seriously in a discussion about language, do not pull out the dictionary definition of shit unless you’re pointing out how much it sucks.
i never said shit about you or your heritage, so idk what you’re talking about. i never once pretended to know your background and it doesn’t matter. your attitude sucks.
don’t tone-police me. if your “opinion” causes you to think it’s okay to use a pejorative slur casually then i am not going to be nice to you. you are a racist asshole and i don’t feel any obligation to accommodate your feelings while i am telling you that
the reason i brought up the fact that people get hurt when words like these are used by people who have no right to use them is because you’re talking as if we should just let this happen and ignore the fact that despite its reappropriation, it continues to harm people. speakers have agency within their language and can choose whether or not they’re going to let a harmful change happen by participating in its misuse
also, you are missing my point about the “gay” thing. it was used pejoratively AFTER it began to be used to refer to homosexual people, but was not historically a pejorative term before the meaning changed. that’s why it’s not usually considered a slur now and why, despite the fact that the definition changed, it’s generally considered ok to use by people who are not in the process of reclaiming it