Saturday, December 22, 2018

Would You Want To Be Called A Bookworm?

Image result for bookworm images

We live in a world of labels, some of which we place upon ourselves, some of which get placed upon us.  Racist, sexist, or homophobe are certainly not positive monikers, but what about names that used to be seen as deeply negative that are now deemed, in certain circles, to be cool, accepted, or something other than their original meaning? How do some terms go from being offensive to complimentary?

It used to be a nerd was seen as a social outcast and an undesirable.  Now people think a tech geek is cool, that nerds are endearing and that bookworms are savvy.

Who would think that during the protest march led by women at around the time President Trump was inaugurated that some women, as a show of confidence and defiance, would march bare-chested or don what they called a "pussy hat"? Women are taking control of their bodies as well as the terminology and dialogue used to talk about them.

Bitch seems to be a term that some women have co-opted and taken ownership of, reducing the sting the word used to have.  Bitch used to be a nasty word. Period. No one wanted to be called one -- especially by a guy.  It sounded so demeaning, crude and disparaging.  But a bitch now is seen by many as a campy term, depending on how it’s used -- and by whom. Women refer to one another as a bitch -- or some self-identify themselves this way -- and hold the term in an endearing or proud way. Times have changed!

Now, don't get me wrong, many people still throw around "slut" and "bitch" and mean it in a derisive, hurtful, negative way, but it does seem that pop-culture and the new generation have chosen to also use these words in a joking and less serious way.

In a recent visit to a bookstore I was amazed to see so many newly featured books with the F-word in the title of the book. I counted no less than three such books out of about 50 or 60 that were shelved together. What is going on that words are becoming meaningless or turning from undesirable terms to instead connote a seemingly preferable name. Someone from 1960 would hear bitch, slut or the F-word and run the other way. Now we seem to open our arms to such words. 

Pop culture is largely to blame for this change of how we process such words. Popular television shows and movies have eroded the harshness that used to be associated with some terms. Shows like Girls and Sex and the City made it commonplace for friends to refer to each other as sluts or bitches. Musical lyrics also desensitize us to such labels when these words are used repeatedly and at times fondly. Social media is littered with the use of these terms.

So which term would one have the least issue with if he or she was to be called a bitch, slut, or bookworm?  Which term is the one likely to ascribe to their lifestyle or personality, almost proudly and with confidence?

A bookworm, to me, seems the most innocent of the three.  If there’s a negative connotation it is that one is so book smart but not so people smart.  We may assume a book nerd is not the most attractive or physically capable person, but that seems like an old stereotype.  Today the bookworm is seen as someone who is unapologetically bright, even witty and insightful.

I’m sure, depending on who says it and with what kind of intent, the shouting of “bitch” or “slut” to another can still sting and feel like an insult.  But I hear more and more girls, women and even guys call themselves those things – jokingly.

Language is a funny thing.  As a kid growing up in Brooklyn, 1970s, I remember hearing a lot of terms being thrown around and it was not endearing to hear one called a bitch, slut, or any other racial, sexual, or religious slur.  It seems like these terms are used less often, in some cases, and in other cases, they are being used in a far different way than they used to be used.

A bookworm, on the positive side, is a label one should be honored to have.  Book nerds are:

·         Vociferous readers and knowledgeable about many things.
·         Interesting people who can converse on numerous topics.
·         People you want on your side when you need to solve a problem.

·         The backbone of a literate society.

Bookworms can be:

·         Beautiful
·         Sexy
·         Funny
·         Loving
·         Friendly

I don’t exactly know how great it is to be labeled a slut or bitch, even if it is done affectionately by a friend, but a bookworm has little negative backlash to it.  Only bullies or morons will try to dirty the tag of a bookworm. They are jealous, fearful, and insecure dolts who deep down know they are inferior to bookworms.

It is an upside down world, where the bookworm or nerd is cool, a woman can proudly declare herself a bitch, and a slut can be seen as someone who is desirable and sexually empowered.

You can call me a bitch or slut if you like, though the names don’t seem to fit me. But call me a bookworm or nerd and you’ve just made a friend.

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.”
--Albert Einstein

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
--Wayne Gretzky

“The way to get started is to stop talking and start doing.”
--Walt Disney

“Confidence sells – people believe in those who believe in themselves.”
--Simon Black

“We don’t need more to be thankful for, we just need to be more thankful.”
--Carlos Castaneda

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. 

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