Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names can never hurt me. As kids, whether we were boys or girls, our parents would always tell us words could never hurt us. No matter what those pesky kids were saying to you in the playground, they were just words. But when it comes to gender, there are some significant differences.
Being a girl I can think of hundreds of insults that would make me wince. However, if I ever found myself in an argument with a man, I would need a few tactical minutes, as well as access to a thesaurus before I could come up with any insults that would be deemed actually offensive.
‘Bitch’, ‘whore’, ‘slut’ and even a personal favourite of mine ‘tart’ are just to name a few derogatory terms for women. Obviously the running theme here is a woman’s sexual behaviours. Whether they are or are not any of the latter, these insults are still deemed highly offensive to all types of women. However, strangely, if I were to recycle these same insults on a man, it would more likely be deemed a compliment as oppose to an insult. In fact if anything it would probably be an ego boost rather than anything else. So why is this? Why is labelling a woman based on her sexual behaviour deemed offensive but when it comes to men it has the complete opposite affect?
After having a long hard think about what words I would use to insult a man, these are the ones a came up with ‘girl’, ‘pussy’ ‘son of a bitch’ and ‘grow some balls’. Are we all seeing this theme? All of these emasculating words are reducing a man to being compared to a woman. So does this mean I have I cracked the code? It appears that in order to really get men where it hurts, we must compare them to a women, which seems to make them really cry like a little girl.