We need to do better.
For a couple of years now, gym culture has been using words that should have never been used in order to 'motivate' or inspire us.
We want to address how inappropriate some words can be, and just how unnecessary these words are for the fitness community. In the English language, there are more than a million total words, so pick another word to call your friend who just PR'd or won their race.
We are talking about the word savage. You will find 11.6million posts on instagram with this hastag. By using this word, do you recognize the ties to the oppression and dehumanization of Native communities? Let’s cover the basics.
In the Constitution of the United States, Native people are still referred to 'merciless Indian savages'. In the English dictionary, it is described as 'uncivilized members'. This recollection of the past brings painful consequences to indigenous people. We don't get to benefit from another cultures valid experience. Same goes for appropriation in fashion, (all costumes included for Halloween) or naming your boutique "the Spunky Sq**" because you enjoy western culture when don't have any ancestral ties with native culture.
Perhaps you are unaware of the history that this word carries, but if you are wanting to talk about being a badass, don't talk like a racist. Here are a couple of words you can replace the word with: amazing, inspirational, radical, outstanding, motivating.
We ask that you pay attention to what words you are using especially when they don't belong to you. A little google search never hurts. Please dig a little deeper when you realize how companies are profiting off this racial slur.
There are various problematic things mainstream fitness promotes and using words like savage should never cross someone's mind anymore. It is not up for debate nor do you have the choice to disagree, change or alter the word. Pick another word.
And! Just because you may not know or have any friends in marginalized groups, it still doesn't mean you can say this, or any slur, without repercussions.
Example: "Well I'm not friends with (marginalized people) so I'm gonna say the word anyway"... No. You can do better than this.
Just like Chrissy King mentions in her blog post in ‘Words That Don't Belong To Us...’ “Choosing to profit from words that were created to dehumanize marginalized groups is an example of privilege in action.”
We can all do better. If you claim to be an intersectional feminist especially, do the work to address these voices that are constantly trying to tell you that the shirt you are wearing is harmful.