As writers, we know that words are always changing and evolving, sometimes for the better, often for the worse. And we know that in the age of the Internet it's happening faster than you and bae can take a selfie that's on fleek.
Today we want to talk to you about a word that's been taking angry Internet amoebas by storm lately: "shaming." A word that's changed so much and been beaten to death so much over the past year or two that it's almost lost all meaning. Now, most of you probably know it as 'to cause someone to feel ashamed', but for those of you wondering what it means now, we have the actual dictionary definition pasted below.
See, once upon a time ago, shaming meant bullying. But now it's being used everywhere for everything, as a way of inserting politically correct bullshit where it doesn't belong. And since the word itself apparently just wasn't specific enough, there are now subsects of shaming. Like, there's "fat-shaming." Which initially started as a term for rudely and needlessly bullying heavyset people... but now just means that you can't say anything about an overweight person at all. Even if it's a medical fact.
That term evolved (devolved?) into "body-shaming." Now, no one can say anything about anyone's body at all without someone getting wildly offended, no matter what size or shape you are. And it doesn't matter if you aren't even a part of the goddamned conversation to begin with.
Now even just being proud of your own body makes you an asshole. You have the discipline to work out every day? You eat healthy, even when everyone else around you is eating a greasy burger? And after 5 years of hard work you want to show off a picture of your body via social media with an inspiring message?
Well, now that makes you a huge douchebag, because clearly your underlying message was that fat people are disgusting lumps of human excrement and you should spit on them. How dare you, you condescending, fat-shaming prick.
Oh, but wait, there's more!
There's also "slut-shaming", which once meant unjustly criticizing a woman for being sexual, but now means that no one can poke fun at or criticize any aspect of a woman's sex life, even jokingly, without being labeled a chauvinistic, sexist asshole. There's "gender-shaming", which means that if you give a boy a G.I. Joe you also have to give him a Barbie doll so you don't "force" him to act like a boy against his will (which also makes you an asshole), and there's even "kid-shaming", where parents can no longer take any disciplinary action toward their child whatsoever without getting called cruel and heartless and implying that the kid is going to end up some psychologically damaged, emotional trainwreck.
Don't get us wrong, we don't think it's acceptable to bully someone or be a dick to certain groups of people, but how about we stop using the word "shame" to describe any slight form of criticism or opinion that conflicts with our own? Or do we all want to live in a world where we have to constantly walk on eggshells over the slightest thing?
I mean, surely this is just the beginning. Maybe in the near future dietitians and nutritionists will be known as "calorie-shamers." Perhaps fashion designers will be known as "style-shamers" and psychologists will be known as "mental health-shamers." Hell, maybe the judicial system and the media will even be criticized for "crime-shaming."
Cheers and stay classy, friends,
Music: The Knocks
Beer: Blue Moon Summer Honey Wheat
(Stay tuned for next week when we answer more of your questions. In case you haven't noticed, we're alternating each week with answers and regular posts so you don't get sick of them. Or us)