What Are We Doing to Ourselves?

Magic Men, © Victoria Pendragon, 2012 mixed media

When was the last time you used — or heard used — any of the following words in the context of an insult?



Dick (also Dick-head)


Penis (face, head, brain, etc.)


I‘m kind of hoping that your answer to that question was, “Never have; never will.” But countless folks do use one or more of those words on a regular basis and they do it frequently. I, personally, use “F’d up” a fair bit, but that’s not on the above list and it’s not there for a reason which I’ll be delighted to explain later. But first, here follow my thoughts on the words I have listed.

All of the above-mentioned words are slang for body parts… our body parts. And it seems to me that when they are used as the insults they purport to be, all we doing is tearing ourselves down. We are essentially saying that some of the organs we actually value quite a bit effectively represent idiocy, stupidity, annoying behavior, meanness, etc. and so on.

Surely this foul equating of some of the body parts we actually enjoy having quite a bit with qualities like idiocy, stupidity, annoying behavior, meanness, etc. has its roots in religion. Where else but a place where grown men have been known on a regular basis to sexually abuse young boys in private while preaching the evils of homosexuality in public could such a hideous form of verbal self-denigration for some of the very best things we have as human beings — the body parts that bring us pleasure — have been generated? (Touch of guilt, perhaps?)

Mind you, I’m not saying that religious folk invented this crass vocabulary; I’m saying that they vilified the human body and it’s functions to such a degree — the whole “sex is dirty” thing — that ‘nicknames’ simply became a more acceptable way to speak of that which should never be named and that, because sex was dirty, so, too, then, were the organs involved.

The biological terms for biological features of very human bodies had to be replaced with nicknames that would then carry all the disgust and revulsion that our organs of pleasure deserve.

Crazy? No?

But effective. The whole “sex is dirty” thing has been around for centuries, shored up by religious zealots around the globe because, when you’ve got your parishioners by the ‘nads, so to speak, you’ve really got ’em. They sin; they feel guilty; they repent; you get money. Good deal.

But think about it… by using these derogatory words to describe some of the most delightful aspects of ourselves, we’re practically giving these religious bozos the thumbs up while effectively making ourselves objects of our own derision.

So, no. Just no. Please stop using some of the most delicious aspects of our anatomies as terms of denigration.

PS: re: “F’d up” and why I feel comfortable using that term when referring to something that is kind of a mess… it’s because it refers not to the act of intercourse itself, but to the state of mind that is attained post intercourse which, if all has gone well, is usually at least a little blitzed and possibly somewhat less functional than usual.