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Seen on a public message board

Poster #1 argues that the phrase "sticks and stones may break my bones, but names can never hurt me" is absolutely true. Words can only hurt you if you allow them to because words cannot cause offense in and of themselves as it is all in the attitude of the speaker which determines whether they are offensive or not. Poster #1 stated this is true across the board, no exceptions, and people who believe otherwise have been "brainwashed" to be offended by certain words and the words are not offensive. (He includes name calling, racism, sexism, etc.) This started because he posted a bunch of sexist and racist jokes to a forum he knew would not find them funny, then proceeded to tell everyone to (in essence) STFU because they are only words.

You can imagine the replies in a diverse fairly liberal forum, yes? The responses have wandered across 2 threads, but the finest response by far to the brainwashing assertion was this: 

That's not "brainwashing", it's human communication.
If you remove the human ability to be hurt by words, you remove the human ability to be comforted, uplifted, and sated by words.

If words cannot make you feel hated, neither can they make you feel loved.

Vulnerability is the complement to strength, compassion, integrity, hope, and all manner of other things generally considered "Good".

You cannot remove the capacity for the first without removing the capacity for the others.


I am reposting it here (permission granted by the author) for use by those who wish to use them when they encounter this age old pearl of wisdom about words never being hurtful.

And I'm not even getting into how as Witch words have enormous power and that power is not diminished based on how the "receiver" views  magical words as this wee rant is not that wee rant. :P~

This entry was originally posted at http://pj.dreamwidth.org/269684.html. Please comment here or there there using your LJ ID or OpenID.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 6th, 2010 11:58 am (UTC)
Thank you for posting this! I don't belong to those message boards, but just love when you copy over here. I loved her response.

Words DO have so much power...and on so many levels.
Sep. 6th, 2010 11:21 pm (UTC)
Yep yep yep! And you're welcome. I thought her answer was awesome. :-)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )