“The Dirty Word” shows us how to use language to support each other post-election
It feels like a huge and irresponsible understatement to say that since the election results were announced the past week has been full of words, many of which have been hate-filled or full of despair. But even still, the web series, The Dirty Word, shows us how to support each other through language. Especially now, during this tense time of a Donald Trump election fall out. For that, we are thankful. For this most recent episode, the host of The Dirty Word, Amanda Montell, started off the show by stopping to take a deep breath (something we should all remember to do), before going on to share her insight.
Centering her examples around the current protests and widespread political unrest, Montell focused this episode on what insults are, why they matter, and how we can use our words to spread positivity.
Even when it’s really, really hard.
She used the final debate, and Trump calling Hillary Clinton a nasty woman, as an example of the ways in which insults are meant to give negative value statements to other people’s personality or physical traits. In the case of Clinton, it meant Trump implied her assertiveness was “nasty” and undesirable, which Montell pointed out was also highly gendered.
She also shared her experience going to protests, in the last week, and the ways in which insults were used freely. However, rather than encouraging her viewers to sharpen their tongues with quips and comebacks for the coming weeks of political discourse, Montell has inspired us to focus on words that build up those we agree with.
She said that no matter your intent, insults used as a means of combat are ultimately meant to oppress and undermine people. So as hard as it may be, the best use of our words right now is uplifting the friends and politicians we love. You know, the ones we hope to see more of.
The ending was also sweet because she had her dad pop in to share a comforting call-to-action with her viewers.
You can watch the full episode here and think about ways to use your words for good.