drawingscarlett, scarlettamore, reclaiming words, reclaim

The Taboo Word

Whore, she calls herself. The word is rich and plump in her mouth, and I’ve never heard it used like that before.

From most people it sounds like knife, a sharp word intended to cut where it hurts. It sounds like trash, a rotten, putrid word intended to shame.

But from her, a ruler reclining on a sticky pleather throne, it becomes a new word. She calls herself whore like Queen. Like goddess. In her mouth, the word is triumphant.

A drawing of a pink speech bubble with the word “Whore” in it. The H, O, and R have been replaced by a hashtag, question mark and division symbol respectively.

I tentatively use the word to myself later in the darkness of my own room. I can’t take pride in it yet. It has too much to it. There’s history and wealth and responsibility to that word, and it’s not quite mine. Not yet.

I use it a year later, without meaning to. It slips out, and I let it hang there. I expect it to falter and fizzle, but I’ve underestimated my own power. It sounds unsure of itself, but not entirely wrong in its existence. Something sparks within me and it takes me a while to realise that the parts of me that used to be pained and cut by that word have been healed by it too.

This time, I say whore like try me. I say whore like I say abundance.
This time, I say whore like I say pride.

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