It’s more recently come to my attention, that words are used a lot more synonymously. Majority of us use synonyms to either replace a word or to simply make ourselves seem smarter. Although synonyms are now more frequently attached to either gender or religion. By way of ‘pussy’ and ‘dick’ being synonymous for strength/weakness and Islam likened to terrorism.
The gender association has been in more recent debate. The ‘pussy = weakness’ argument is completely arbitrary. As the strength that a woman has simply in her reproductive organ should not be regarded as weak, likewise, having a dick does not mean you are stronger (cue Merkle, who as a woman is stronger than most all male politicians ‘I think that a woman as chancellor can also serve as a good example’.) By attaching strength symbol to men simply reproduces a patriarchal society run on BULLSHIT! Furthermore, why are we even associating the words with gender? Rather than synonyms the words ‘pussy’ and ‘dick’ should standalone. Rather the basis of strength and weakness is formed by sexism.
The aspect of religion is a touchy subject, as it commonly has negative connotations. As time progressed less people have either given up on religion or perceive it as a form of state control. The most commonly associated religion there is is Islam. As the growth in extremism and terror attacks the followers of the religion have been subjugated and ostracised.
The Islam synonym grew out of the September ‘11 attacks when terrorism was no longer attached to the likes of Che Guevara. The bombs that occurred were created out of these bombings and the unrestrained involvement of America on foreign soil. The fundamental basis of these attacks was formed on extremism which people fail to realise. The generalisation occurs when outlets such as local news stations and papers do not make the distinction between believers and extremists (I’m looking at you Fox and CNN.) This negativity has been extended insofar that the oppression of Muslim women is presented as another reason why everyone should hate Islam. With organisations such as FEMEN claiming that all Muslim women are oppressed and need to be liberated (I never thought I needed to be ‘liberated’.) Lila abu Lughod’s piece named ‘Do Muslim Women Really Need Saving?’ addresses the issue of liberation/oppression better than I could. The entire problem with this synonym is that the distinction that NOT ALL MUSLIMS ARE TERRORISTS is not properly portrayed to the public; people still undermine Obama’s presidency because he had an ‘Islamic’ background.
In essence, synonyms seem to have dual purposes. Whether it is due to a gendered association, or making a generalisation, they present detrimental consequences. The point of this was to address that individuals should use synonyms correctly.