Monday, April 16, 2012

Watch Your Language

Let's all get it out of our system. I will give you 5 minutes to pause and laugh your head off at the title. I do realize the hilarity of me telling people to watch their language since I have been having an obvious love affair with the words fuck, asswipe, bitch nugget and douche nozzle for a long, long time. I'm not talking about that language, though. If you want to go make yourself a fuck sandwich, that's fine with me. I'm not a stickler about those naughty words.

I do have an issue with being called a Nazi.

I have been called the following in the past decade.

Breastfeeding Nazi
Birth Nazi
Car seat Nazi
Foreskin Nazi
Sleep Nazi
Parenting Nazi
Food Nazi

You get the picture, I'm sure. The word "Nazi" has become a popular part of lexicon to denote someone who is immensely strict about something. It won pop culture cred in the 90's with the show Seinfeld and the character, The Soup Nazi. I'm a very easygoing person and I'm not one to get a bug up my butt about language most times. I have my issues - such a the "N word" or the "faggot" word. And Nazi. Why? Because I'm not called those names above as a compliment. It's not like someone is saying, "Oh Jenn is super hardcore into something and she wants to make sure it's 100% right blah blah blah." No, it's said as an insult. It's said to imply that you are a hardcore nasty judgmental bitch about these issues. Personally, I think that's a bit fucked up.

I understand that the American education system has left a lot to be desired recently, what with the fetish-like obsession with standardized tests and all the cuts to school programs, teacher salaries, textbooks and the like. Still, have the budget cuts been so severe that our history books have gotten thinner? Have we stopped teaching about a little slice of historical events known as World War II and the wingnuts that we were fighting, including Adolph Hitler? If so, I'll give a refresher. The guy was an evil, evil, evil being. He wanted to have one superior race and he decided it was up to him and his friends - his Nazi party - to take on the job of ridding the world of undesirable characteristics. Some of the folks he decided to wipe of the planet were Jews (about 6 million of them), Catholics and Gays. He put people in prison. Starved them to death. Put them in ovens and gassed them. He bombed cities throughout Europe. Hitler and his Nazis were Satan's douchebags. You mean to tell me that I'm comparable to one of those people because I want to see breastfeeding rates increase and c-section rates decrease? What the fuck you talking about, Willis?

I don't share information about breastfeeding, circumcision, child birth, car seats, traditional foods, etc because I want to hold you down and force you to follow me. I believe there is a ton of misinformation out there and that women and their babies have been sold down the river in the name of profit and control. I believe the "but it's the way everyone else does it" attitude can harm mamas and their families...and the planet. I seek to educate people. I don't condemn people for the choices they make. We have all made choices that may not have been for the greater good because we weren't armed with the correct information at the time. It bothers me to see mamas struggling with things that I have knowledge about. So, I share information. I am coming from a place of love. I want people and parents to be empowered and to have all of the possible information in front of them. I don't shame people (well, I shame some politicians and corporations) for making different choices. I'm not out to judge people in order to build myself up and feel superior. I already know I'm awesome and have no need to put others down in order to raise myself up. I understand that people can feel like crap when presented with information that says they may have been doing something that's not ideal. I've been there. You're talking to someone who was happy to babywear yet carried her baby forward-facing in her pouch sling. I didn't know better. When I found the correct information (it's not good for the spine for babies to ride forward-facing in any carrier), I stopped doing it. I was glad to learn so that I didn't do any damage to my baby. I get that people don't like to be told that there was a better option out there. I think people either embrace the opportunity to learn, or they get angry and they feel attacked so they attack back. Calling people Nazis is one way they attack back.

I'm sorry, but I cannot recall the last time I barged into someones house, wearing a natural fiber brown shirt, and held a gun to their head because they were feeding formula. I don't recall kidnapping anyone and putting them in a prison work camp with no food or water because they circumcised their son. I can't remember the last time I stopped a woman on her way to the hospital for her scheduled elective c-section and forced her to go back home to give birth there with a midwife. I seem to have misplaced the memories of me walking into a McDonald's and opening fire on folks who were eating processed factory farm burgers. Those were the types of things real Nazis would have done. Not me and not the folks like me. I completely agree that there are people in the natural living and natural parenting community who are overly judgmental and nasty towards those who do things differently. They still aren't Nazis. They are merely assholes.

And, as the wife of a Jew and the mother of children with Jewish heritage, and the granddaughter of a real Nazi sympathizer, I don't take that term lightly. I know people, real human beings, with serial numbers tattooed on their arms. How dare you lump me into the same category as the people who put those marks on people?

So, please, can we stop that language? Instead of immediately brushing someone off and calling them a Nazi, why not open a dialogue. Ask them why they feel that way. You may learn something. Bonus, you may teach them something.


Xaka said...

I think it all started when women began fighting for the right to call ourselves "bitch". I have to roll my eyes when people try to make me feel badly about being educated and progressive and *gasp* liberal. And, then I bite my tongue so I don't call the offender an idiot. But, we all know that's what folks like that are. ^-^

Manic Mrs. Stone said...

THANK YOU for this. I hve been called a "nazi" so many damn times - simply for raising a vegan daughter who has a great bedtime routine around the same time every evening.

It drives me NUTS - especially when it comes from people who are supposed to be your support group.

Thanks for this. Sharing.

Anonymous said...

a few characters on Six Feet Under used the term "Nazi Fuck" brilliantly

Cheryl said...

Along with Nazi, I hate the words "Retard/ed" "gay" and "rape" in the context that they seem to be used lately. I am pretty certain you did not just forcibly sodomize that video game character....

As I have been known to tell people, it's a BIG language, pick a different word.

Mummy Nutrition said...

Well said!!! Thank you for sharing!!!

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