It’s time.Reclaiming words like “slut” is important, but reclaiming words like “morals”, “morality” “immorality” and “family values” is equally important.
Why? So people can’t hijack these words to gloss over their hate speech or anti-democratic agendas. Which people am I talking about? To name a few: Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, anti equal marriage campaigners in Britain, certain American legislators, Ann Widdecombe, Rush Limbaugh, certain UK bishops and cardinals…the list goes on, and the problem is global; I have chosen to name Western people because they are more known to me.
Why should we reclaim these words?
“moral” means the right thing to do; a good thing. Denying innocent people birth control, the right to marry, equality, the right to have a family, respect, the right not to carry a rapist’s baby to term when their life is endangered by the preganancy, denying validation of one’s sexuality, gender choice or partner, dividing communities by sexuality or marital status, dividing parents and children by the same divisions, et cetera, is not moral. It is not the right, good, or ethical thing to do.
Ditto for “morality”.
“immoral” is the opposite of moral (see above).
“Family values” means valuing and validating the family, putting the family (as opposed to the individual, community or society) as a priority. Does ridiculing and criticising polyamorous, same-sex, trans, or umarried peoples’ families help these families and value them? Does valuing the family mean preventing parents from ever starting a family by adoption, or encouraging young parents to give up their children for adoption, or denying welfare to female parents who have a second child while unmarried? Ummm…no.
So, as you can see, these words are not being used correctly at all – their meaning has been completely twisted to mean the opposite. But we can change them back! If we use the word “moral” as synonymous with “ethical”, “right”, “good”, and “honorable”, and “morality” as synonymous with “human rights”, then we will take their confusing language away from them. We can take the moral high ground and speak out for equal marriage, polyamorous marriage, an end to slut-shaming, rape culture and stigma of sex workers, lone mothers and “sluts” in the name of morality. We can condemn the sexual double standard and homophobia as immoral. We can advocate for family values to take precedence and legalise equal marriage in its name. Imagine the possibilities!
Come on, guys and girls! Let’s make “morality” OUR word, and our goal.