Recently, the Amherst Campus has been abuzz about language. Whether in Kaake’s article in The Student, JuJubean’s article in response, the campus-wide email exchange this weekend, Rick Santorum’s stupid comment of the week, or Rush Limbaugh’s assault against women-kind, it seems that we are getting pretty picky about the ways that people express themselves (in most cases rightfully so). What is becoming increasingly clear is how word choice and sentence structure have the power to transcend a message or slogan. There are different ways to say things, and there are different mediums to say such things.
Sometimes I think this type of argument can get a little absurd. In the case of Kaake’s article, I think that it was right for reader’s to jump upon his comparison of women seeking abortion to murderers and unborn children (not even yet exposed to things like love, ice cream, or Buffy the Vampire Slayer) to Holocaust victims. It is generally a bad idea to call someone a murderer. If there was some woman out there that said, “Hey, I’m going to have a baby and then ABORT IT HAHAHAHA,” I would be with Kaake in the murder charge, but not in the case of every one else. My argument is not about his generalization (I in the reverse generalize by saying that all women deserve the right to choose whether or not to abort mission), but about the vitriolic language.
As for Santorum, he is just practicing bad politics. I don’t think its really cool to say that JFK, an idolized American icon if there ever was one, makes you want to vomit. It’s not even okay to say that his extra-marital relationship makes you want to throw up, and this is coming from me, remember. Vomit + TV = bad. It is also not okay to call someone a “slut” on the radio, unless it is teaching us a lesson about bad words and how bad they are on the Disney Channel.
If you aren’t going to use specific language to hype up your readership, or to stun them into action (not your opponents into action), it is just a bad idea. It seems that over a period of several months the readership here at SheBomb has changed quite a bit, from a close-knit group of us writers and our parents/friends––a group of people that understand my humor––to a new and loving group of readers who go to Amherst, all of whom we do not know. Welcome! I value your intellectual integrity, and I promise not to insult anyone because, as explained above, sometimes it isn’t a good idea. I apologize for the previous laziness of my integrity. I stand with my opinions, as always, but if my word choice has been offensive to anyone, I am sorry.