Call Me Girl, Call Me Gal, Call Me Filly… They Called Sarah Palin “Broad”

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If you’re my friend and I know you regard me, you can call me ‘broad’ in jest, you can call me ‘a girl,’ you can call me ‘lady,’ and …you can call me by my rightful title, “Queen of the Known Universe” or my other title: “Grandmother to the World.”

…. I hope you are laughing with me.

On a deadly serious note: during my missions in Federal penitentiaries teaching souls imprisoned there to write and read… there, the real Queen of the Cosmos, Our Lady, is called every appellation you can imagine for Sacred Mother: Mami, mama, motha, ma’am, inmigranta, vata, vata loca (crazy street girl… because she blew everyone away by saying I keep my baby, dont care what you say, I flee in the middle of the night to escape death… and more. )

Joe Gandelman brought the article just a few minutes ago about Sarah Palin being called, what sounds like a pun, by an Alaskan newspaper: A Broad in Asia, as in ‘abroad in Asia”…. thereby headlining Mrs. Palin’s speech in Asia.

I agree about that being a highly unprofessional headline, but dont agree about the word being off limits … Professional journo work, for certain doesn’t usually headline based on puns; that’s been more the province of the alternative press since the 1960s… but too, amongst friends, there are lighthearted uses of the word ‘broad.’ And other words connoting female, as well.

So much depends doesnt it, in informal settings when people use what I consider non-offensive words, like girl, gal, broad, filly, (I like filly), dame (I like dame too) — so much depends on the intent of the person using it?

Whether they are teasing a woman –or instead– trying to exclude her, put her down, trying to make others join in ridiculing her. Teasing is way different than weaklings puffing up like blowfish and bullying.

There are other words for women, vulgar ones, that too, depending who is saying them and why, can be dim or radiant, or somewhere in between. Certain words, you know them I’m sure, most congregated in the beginning of the alphabet– can be used to diminish, but in other private settings, can mean something else altogether. Something interesting and sometimes arresting.

Not sure the newspaper in Alaska needed to make any mea culpa about Palin headline. Compared to what some have done to name-call and denigrate the young Palin daughters, calling Mrs. Palin a ‘broad,’ to my mind, is a big knot of nothing… though maybe there are some women who would be offended, very few.

Perhaps this big moment of ‘nothing’ is only good for saying LOUDLY: if you’re a man or a woman, dont freeking believe what you read in MSM for the last 20 years about women (or men) being so offended so easily about every little thang. It is not true. Intent is the bottom line for assessing.

No woman I know worth her salt wants to be acting out the ‘flimsy fragile femmie’ unless it’s for show only, or it’s the real deal. Most women like myself would rather be with the Navy dames who have steered ships bigger than your house; ‘the girls’ who are shootists because they are peace officers walking the beat; ‘the broads’ who can dress the wound on a homeless man who stinks like a garbage pit just from the festered wound alone; ‘the ladies’ who can gentle a crazy stallion that can kick your car out of the ballpark and jump straight-legged through all the bases to home.

Call us women as you wish, and especially call us what we like to be called. You can find out by asking her pleasure. One of the many secrets of talking to women is dont be too careful, but lean a little bit more toward being charming–or humorous– those go a long way.

We’ll let you know what fits, what doesnt. I, like most women (and men) am a peace-lover, but… I can have my lapses. Just not likely over the word ‘broad.’

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Author: DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS, Managing Editor of TMV, and Columnist