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We need to think before we speak. Always. For what we say, can never be erased, and can shape us, our personalities, our destinies.
Language matters, words affect, discourse shapes lives. How often do we think before speaking? Oh, how we love to gossip! And what do we gossip about?
As we get busy with our monotonous adult lives and our minds are filled with meeting the next days’ deadlines, a sudden phone call from a bestie or a coffee date with a college oldie brings back the twinkle in our tired eyes. It is lovely to catch up with friends. It infuses us with energy and gives us a chance to relive the old days once again. We want to utilize whatever little time we have to know all the latest news and events taking place in each other’s lives and as soon as we have poured out our hearts to each other, we tend to shift to the long lost names from school or college days.
Clearing the cob webs that have settled in our minds we try to remember that girl who always roamed around with boys, or that one who dated a new guy every other month, or the one whose dressing sense made heads turn, oh and how can we forget the one who got married too soon! Our conversations are often animated and full of all the adjectives that one may not otherwise think right to describe a person.
We tend to think that: it’s all fine as long as we are only ‘gossiping’ with our best friend, it is not going to harm anyone, we don’t talk like this when we are with other people, we know that it is not appropriate to talk in such a manner, but sure, we can take a break as it is only our best friend with whom we are sharing stuff.
Unknowingly, unintentionally and more often than not deliberately, we are shaping the language every time we open our mouths to speak. Every word, every phrase that comes out is not only indicative of our own hypocrisy but also adds to the ever growing pool of insensitive expressions that are used to describe women in this world.
Yes, we are the open-minded young voices who respect each and every person’s life choices and decisions, yet falling into the trap of such ‘gossip’ we are losing our stand. Each and every word that is once spoken or written or printed hangs out in the air, it is not dissolved, and it does not get thrown in trash bins. It shapes our language. Word by word, phrase by phrase, the language that we use to give shape to our thoughts is being constructed.
The onus is on us and us alone. As and when we start exercising care and caution before letting the words leave our mind, we would be successful in our collective struggle for the respect and dignity that has been denied to the women for so long.
Image source: what we say by Shutterstock.
I am a law professor who aspires and dreams to make the world a safer and better place for women read more...
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