A Rose By Any Other Name…What Exactly Makes a Woman a “Garden Tool”?

August 29, 2011  |  

Want a quick way to really touch a woman’s nerve and make her see red?  Tell her that her shoes look cheap and call her a “hoe”.  At least that’s what shows like Bad Girls Club and Basketball Wives would lead you to believe when these terms are often thrown around as much as martinis.  Search any message board for tags associated with Rihanna and Kim Kardashian and I’ll give you my first-born if you  come across the word “hoe” less than five times.  It really started to make me think, what’s in a name?  Why do women feel like their primary weapon of choice in a girl fight is to scorn your enemy’s sexual behavior and fashion choices? And while we’re on the subject, what exactly makes a woman a “hoe”?

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned as a writer is that words can be as powerful or as weak as you make them.  For example, while women of past generations would be offended by being referred to as a “Beyotch” or the god-forbidden N-word, with time many have come to accept these words as terms of endearment and defend the casual use of words like these by saying that when the people who these terms were initially meant to offend then take those words and manipulate their definitions, the words are then stripped of their power.  Nonetheless, there are people who stand on both sides of the debate and will most likely never come to a compromise.  To be honest, I am not even sure which side I stand on, but as a writer I’m uncomfortable with the idea of making language ineffective and stripping words of their power.

In the past a hoe was a derogatory term for a promiscuous female.  And while some would argue that term could be used to describe male promiscuity as well, for some reason the word doesn’t carry the same savage sting when it’s used for that gender.  Damn you double standards.  The problem is that there are as many different opinions about promiscuity and sexual values as there are people.  I’ll never forget the confusion I experienced when Kim Kardashian was automatically labeled a hoe after her infamous sex tape was released.  I wondered was she having sex with multiple men on film?  And if so, how does that make her a hoe and not someone who enjoys sex with multiple partners?  In the end Kim K. was only having sex with her boyfriend at the time on a film seen by millions around the globe.  Instead of crying in a corner, she turned it into a business opportunity, capitalized and used that notoriety to build a brand.  It’s not exactly a fairytale story of fame and fortune, but you can’t knock the girl’s hustle.  I wouldn’t call myself a Kim K. stan, but I can’t help but notice instead of giving the girl the smallest amount of respect for her business sense, some women still choose to use what goes on in her bedroom to discredit her.  And time and time again, when a woman doesn’t approve of another for whatever reason, she immediately attacks her sexuality and appearance.

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