I didn’t say it was only attributable to the military. Just that fucked (not just fuck) and consequently, unfucked came into much more common usage as part of military slang. No one said unfucked until it had widespread military usage, even if fuck had been used since the Middle Ages. The military is a dominance hierarchy that has historically been very anti-female and very commonly conflates aggression and sex, even today. It’s a concentrated reflection of the larger patriarchal society, which condones ruthless domination of anyone who is in your path on the way to climbing up the ladder of power and also condones bullying and abusive behavior towards those who are lower in “rank.” The Middle Ages was kind of the apex of stratified patriarchy, maintained through violence and coercion.

Patriarchy is a social system that first came into being about 6–9 K years ago. Although it has to do with power differentials between men and women, it’s about a lot more than that as well. Patriarchy brought class stratification and social competition that had not previously existed before it’s onset. Prior to that time, enforced egalitarianism and social cooperation were used as survival strategies.

“As already stated above, not everyone is this beholden to the rankings and stratifications of the dominance hierarchy, but it is an all-too-common element in our culture, particularly for males. And since masculine norms are what is considered desirable across the board, we continue to have a society where domination, stratification and ranking is considered normal and acceptable.

When you extrapolate out a system that is based in the historical domination of men over women, weaker men, and children to the rest of the cultural landscape, you get a society that is obsessed with how it rates in relation to those around them. You also get a society where many members feel completely justified in using bullying and violence in order to keep certain people or demographics in their perceived place.”

You are certainly entitled to your opinion that this phrase has become so ubiquitous that it no longer has any teeth, but cognitive science disagrees and as I said in I Don’t Want To Be Called Girl: For the same reasons that a black man doesn’t want to be called Boy, “The way we label things changes how we frame them in our minds — this is brain science. Even if most people don’t intend to imply that adult females are inferior to adult males, continuing to speak of them as girls does subconsciously reinforce that dichotomy. We never speak of men in positions of authority as boys, because it’s demeaning and emasculating. However, sometimes women in positions of authority do still get referred to as girls because 50 years after women weren’t seen as competent enough to have their own home loans or credit cards, the subconscious dregs of this lives on.

The vast majority of what we do and say is subconscious. Only about 2% of thought is conscious, so I still contend that if people are continuing to normalize rape imagery it reinforces the coercive elements of maintaining power through bullying and violence that are part and parcel of a patriarchal social system. I’m not asserting that men (or anyone) is intending to promote rape culture by using that term. I’m saying that whether that is the intention or not, it is reinforcing violent domination of someone weaker (woman-like) as a way to maintain pecking order in our minds and conflating that with sex as something unpleasant that is done to you, rather than something pleasant you do with someone else.

Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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