Wordslut: A Feminist Guide to Taking Back the English Language

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Words are powerful. What they mean, how they’re used, and even the associations a certain word evokes can influence opinions. So when someone tries to argue that given words aren’t offensive, or that they don’t mean what you think they do, pay attention.

Whether you like it or not, vocabulary, vernacular, and grammar are social concerns, particularly when it comes to feminism, gender identification, and LGBTQ+ visibility.

Thankfully, Wordslut brings many of these important issues to light by exploring how the language can not only encourage bias, but how we can encourage change through our own word choices. Whether it’s the difference between adding “man” to a term vs. adding “woman” or “female” to a term, or how gender or power dynamics are reflected in word usage, there’s a lot to unpack here, and it’s all worth your time.

Even a devoted word nerd like myself was surprised to learn about linguistic subsets like swardspeak and Polari, as well as words with important gender and sexuality implications I’d never considered. Wordslut is smart, evocative, and intelligently written, not to mention scathingly funny at times.

Oh, and if you remove the book jacket while you read, the hardcover is pink, which is guaranteed to raise both questions and eyebrows while you read. As it should.

Reviewed By:

Author Amanda Montell
Star Count /5
Format Hard
Page Count 304 pages
Publisher Harper Wave
Publish Date 2019-05-28
ISBN 9780062868879
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue October 2019
Category Reference


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