Overanalyzing 'Basic' Is the Most Basic Move of All

Let us begin, as we so often do, by acknowledging that the term "basic bitch" has been expertly Columbused by white people. In 1984, the R&B group Klymaxx had a hit Billboard single with "Meeting In The Ladies Room," where one of the ladies sings about a basic woman who is trying to get up on her man. But rapper… » 10/22/14 11:30am 10/22/14 11:30am

Every Single Time Samuel L. Jackson Has Said 'Motherfucker' on Film

Everyone knows Samuel L. Jackson loves to say "motherfucker" in his films. It's a beautiful, glorious word when it rolls off his tongue. Jackson saying "motherfucker" is like Laurence Olivier reciting lines from Hamlet. It's like the sound of unicorns tickling puppies and then calling them "motherfuckers." » 7/30/14 1:20pm 7/30/14 1:20pm

​You Don't Need to Ban 'Bossy' — You Need to Take Away Its Power

The word bossy is not a bad word as words go. It can even be kinda great. It's when someone is aggressive to get shit done. Anyone can be bossy — go ahead and tell me you've never met a bossy guy without a title in sight. But you don't need a study to tell you this is a word usually reserved for women who give orders,… » 3/13/14 2:50pm 3/13/14 2:50pm

Sheryl Sandberg Bossily Insists that We Ban the Word 'Bossy'

Sheryl Sandberg! is speaking out about the gendered nature of the word "bossy"—the way that men get to be the boss (competent, powerful, in control), while women are coded as bossy (nagging, domineering, stepping out of their place). Sandberg, along with Condoleezza Rice and Girl Scouts CEO Anna Maria Chávez, is… » 3/08/14 3:45pm 3/08/14 3:45pm

Ladies on Twitter Love Calling Other Ladies Bitches and Sluts

If an alien species tried to assess human social interaction based solely on what we say to and about each other on Twitter, they'd think we were a pretty foul-mouthed, hostile bunch. And they'd likely be inclined to believe that women on Twitter, with their fondness for "bitch" and "slut" when talking to other women,… » 2/24/14 11:30am 2/24/14 11:30am

A Love Letter to My Favorite Word: DUDE

Dude. DUDE. Dude, I love the word "dude" so much. It's so versatile. It's so casual yet punchy. It can convey, "I really mean business here!" and "I am a fun type of person who doesn't take life too seriously" in the same syllable. WHILE SKATEBOARDING. It is far superior to "guy," which implies a kind of distance, an… » 10/25/13 4:45pm 10/25/13 4:45pm

Let's Talk about the History of Gender and Pronouns (And Gender-Neutral…

Hey there. I'm going to make a useful and informative post of sorts for once. It's about pronouns. Since my field is English and particularly Old English literature, I have a good deal of insight into the history of the pronoun situation of the English language. And it's a pretty neat history, which I'm going to walk… » 9/22/13 8:31pm 9/22/13 8:31pm

Skirt Chaser 5K Might Be the Most Poorly-Named Race Ever

The sonorous Irish comedian Ardal O’Hanlon once did a bit in which, and I’m paraphrasing (but I could have just as easily ripped this off because the internet is Thunderdome, so YOU’RE WELCOME), he explained very soberly that the words “fun” and run” should never be used next to each other in a sentence because… » 9/22/13 3:00pm 9/22/13 3:00pm

Ladies, What's Up With the 'I Feel Like' Verbal Tic?

When I search my Gmail inbox for the phrase "I feel like," infinity results come up. "I feel like this particular story's very up your alley," a professional acquaintance wrote. "I feel like this might be the transitional stage to Federici's utopia," a woman in my book group joked. "I feel like I look too meek in my… » 8/23/13 5:00pm 8/23/13 5:00pm