Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Naming of Things

NPR's series This I Believe allows people to share their ideas and their beliefs. Eve Ensler (yes, she of The Vagina Monologues) says it's the naming of things that leads us to a healthier life.
Language has the capacity to transform our cells, rearrange our learned patterns of behavior and redirect our thinking. I believe in naming what's right in front of us because that is often what is most invisible.
By naming vagina repeatedly in her show, a world movement to end violence against women began.
Naming things, breaking through taboos and denial is the most dangerous, terrifying and crucial work. This has to happen in spite of political climates or coercions, in spite of careers being won or lost, in spite of the fear of being criticized, outcast or disliked. I believe freedom begins with naming things. Humanity is preserved by it.
Here is my list of things that need to be named:
  • incest
  • sexual molestation of children
  • sexual abuse
  • rape
  • anti-choice
  • No Child Left Behind
  • low literacy and numeracy rates among the poor
  • racism
  • ageism
  • sexism
  • discrimination based on body size or shape
  • discrimination based on religion
  • homophobia
  • arguments based on guesswork not facts
  • The Emperor Has No Clothes
  • Anne Coulter et al. - Cite Your Sources! (This goes for Jason Leopold at truthout as well)
  • war for oil
  • Where is Osama bin Laden?
  • Global warming
  • the ozone layer
  • gas guzzling SUV's
  • Rick Santorum
  • Rwanda
  • Darfur
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Plan B
  • FDA
  • EPA
  • North Korea
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Afghanistan
  • The 1st Amendment
  • Really, The Emperor Has No Clothes! Neither does any of his staff
I know I have left out many things that need to be named ... what are your things to be named?

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