After reading Žižek

by ennejoy

The world is made from words.

Many people believe that words are something referring to an “objective” “reality”. I believe it is not so. I believe words refer to another words, which refer to yet another words, and back, making a web of words leading from one to another. I believe words are all we have, and words have power – they are power.

Every word we say is a political act of rewriting reality. Either we write the new reality to be the same as the old one, or we change something. And because the web of words that reality is, is constantly changing because of what other people write, even choosing “same as before” is shaping the world into something new.

As genderqueer, I experience the power of words every day, beginning with the morning newspaper. On its pages, my gender identity is constantly being made non-existent: in a gallup analysis “both men and women think…” In a clothes shop advert, “for women, men and children”, every possibility is thought to have been covered. The list of little words and sentences denying my existence goes on and on, and I haven’t even finished my Earl Grey…

So please, take care of what you’re saying. By including somebody in your use of any concept, you automatically exclude others. That can’t be helped, it’s just the way language works. Just be aware of it: there are no objective sentences, and everything you say is being used against somebody else.