Why is “Milking” a Bad Word???
Why is “milking”an issue a pejorative? Because men only know this word in the context of masturbation.
– Jennifer Ball
Bias is so thorough as to take the pleasant “made in the shade” into the violent “throw some shade.” We really have to ask, why is shade bad when it protects us? Is the color black so offensive these days that even something that protects us is now suspect simply because of its color? This reminds me of the fact that semen is elevated (seminal, seminar, seminary) and women’s fluid is devalued: “You’re milking that.” “You suck!” I ask, why is sucking bad if we all sucked? Because it’s in the province of females. In both of these cases, something that we know is good—shade and milk—is besmirched because of the color and the source. When we find congruences like this, we know it is not accidental. Until we change language, nothing will change. Until we change language, we will be fighting for equity over and over again. We need to rewire brains.