I have had a particularly bumpy week in terms of plans and life goals. At times I felt pretty defeated. Last night I realized that I hadn’t done something I had been meaning to do for the past couple of years, a very necessary something. I spent the evening berating myself for being a “stupid, fucking idiot”.
After some necessary cuddles with my kittens (a picture of whom I have provided for your viewing pleasure) and some stern words of reality from my boyfriend I was able to snap out of it. Then today, as I spilled half my mug of tea all over my papers at work I splurt forth some requisite expletives, along with a comment about my own stupidity.
It got me thinking, I don’t really think I’m stupid. I’m not saying I think I’m a genius either, but I know I have some level of intelligence. The slight lack of truth aside, why is stupid an insult? Stupid tends to refer to someone with “a lack of intelligence”. It could be more of a descriptor that anything; a “stupid” person is someone who falls below a certain intelligence threshold, the same way that retarded was originally just a word meaning “less advanced in mental, physical, or social development than is usual for one’s age”.
Stupid has become an insult because it is seen as a bad thing to not have intelligence. Contrary to popular belief, this is not an objective fact. This is our current way of thinking. Can anyone see where I am going with this?
Fat is also another word that is just a descriptor for a person who is above the medically defined norm for weight. Fat is, in and of itself, not a bad thing, and it most certainly does not equal bad.
We frequently use words like stupid, fat, and ugly (another subjective value) to describe bad people or bad situations. I know I am guilty of doing it to myself and those around me with words that are not image words. Originally this allowed me to feel like I wasn’t doing anything wrong, I wasn’t falling into society’s trap that thin and pretty = good and fat and ugly = bad therefore I was behaving well and considerately. This was not the case.
Think about the words you use and how you use them. Do you think that your use of certain terms in certain contexts shows any sort of value judgement on your part (like me calling myself stupid like it’s a bad thing because I messed up)?
Maybe you disagree with me, maybe you think these type of value judgments are correct.
Either way, I think that it’s important that we are a little more aware of what we are saying and what our use of certain words in certain contexts means about our values.