The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Community News Network

October 21, 2013

Let's stop 'shaming' each other

(Continued)

With all due respect to both the acne and creep communities, these broad uses of shaming are stretching a useful word to the point of meaninglessness. The more I hear about filter-shaming, the harder it is to really hear what a problem body-shaming can be. We really should restrain ourselves from mindlessly slapping this label on every single thing in the world that makes us feel bad. I'd hate to lose such a potent word to the Buzzword Abyss, especially since real shaming — the kind mostly done by misogynist jerks or terrible parents — is a true disgrace.

Unfortunately, once a buzzword is out of the barn, it's not likely to go back in. Pretty soon, doctors may be known as sickness-shamers. Dentists might be scolded for cavity-shaming. Teachers could catch flak for their relentless ignorance-shaming. Even police officers might be lambasted for their thoughtless and cruel crime-shaming. Shaming is probably already finished as a meaningful word.

And, as Jerry Seinfeld would say, "That's a shame."

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