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Op-ed

Sorry Chrissy Teigen, 'f*** you' aren't the two words women should use more

Women can be tough, assertive, and persuasive without unnecessary aggression or vulgarity.

Alexander Somoskey / TheBlaze

"If there was one word you would help, particularly women, use more frequently, what would that one word be?"

"F*** you."

This was model-turned activist Chrissy Teigen's answer to a question asked by former MSNBC host and moderator Melissa Harris-Perry during a three-day policy retreat for House Democrats in Washington last week.

Harris-Perry's question to Teigen was predicated on Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) suggestion that women should say the word "no" more often.

Teigen's husband, singer and songwriter John Legend, added to the praise his wife received from the crowd following her response, then bragged on stage about how his wife was the first celebrity to begin slighting the president as if it were something to be proud of.

"Chrissy was ahead of the curve on making fun of Donald Trump. She knew before a lot of people did that he was a joke and a conman and a clown," Legend said.

Teigien and Legend were at the forum to discuss a variety of topics including handling the social media trolling that comes with newfound fame and President Donald Trump's behavior on Twitter, which is ironic because Teigen disparages the president so regularly on Twitter that he actually blocked her last year.

Teigen later clarified on Twitter that even if women don't use the exact words she suggested — "f*** you" — women should adopt that attitude with "your eyes" and "your vote."

While many modern women take Teigen's suggestion as some sort of nod to women's empowerment, Teigen's suggestion does nothing to empower women.

Adopting that attitude and language does little to advance her cause because it only stifles any potentially meaningful conversations that could have otherwise taken place. She also turns off about half the country who hears it.

If language and attitudes like these actually benefited human relationships, there'd be no need to teach conflict resolution in schools, the workplace, or in the home.

The reality is that flippant anger will get women nowhere; in fact, it's counter-productive. Of all the words available for "empowering women," progressives have for the most part chosen words that are steeped in anger, aggression, and hostility — and "no" and "f*** you" are just the latest examples.

For instance, at the first annual Women's March in Washington, D.C., following Donald Trump's election, Madonna admitted in a speech to several thousand women that not only was she angry at the the results of the election but also that she thought "an awful lot about blowing up the White House."

Her remarks quickly circulated the web, and a few days later, the Material Girl was forced to address her comments in an Instagram post where she claimed she wasn't a violent person and that her words were taken out of context.

"It's important people hear and understand my speech in its entirety rather than one phrase taken wildly out of context," she said. "I shared two ways of looking at things — one was to be hopeful, and one was to feel anger and outrage, which I have personally felt. However, I know that acting out of anger doesn't solve anything. And the only way to change things for the better is to do it with love."

Comedian Kathy Griffin went even further when she infamously posted a picture of herself holding up a mocked up version of the president's decapitated head, for which she quickly received blowback.

Even though she apologized, she backtracked that apology then blamed Trump supporters for the backlash.

Her conduct, which she claimed was meant to be satirical, became a stain on her career. In later interviews Griffin said she received death threats, was under investigation, and had her comedy tour canceled because of the gruesome photo.

The president, understandably, didn't appreciate the effect her distasteful attempt at comedy had on his youngest son, Barron Trump.

"Kathy Griffin should be ashamed of herself. My children, especially my 11-year-old son Barron, are having a hard time with this. Sick!" the president tweeted.

And then there's comedian Samantha Bee, host of "Full Frontal," who dubbed Ivanka Trump a "feckless c**t" during a segment criticizing the administration's immigration policy regarding family separations.

Even by today's standards, the language Bee used was seen as so repulsive that the Emmy-nominated host was forced to issue an apology and was unsure she'd survive the backlash.

However, Bee told the Daily Beast that the only reason she apologized for her conduct was because it took away from the message she wanted to convey.

Many philosophers, moral teachers, and leading thinkers throughout history have given clear warnings about the dangers of allowing anger to guide our behavior.

In James 1:19 (NIV), James, the brother of Jesus, advised fellow believers to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger.

Aristotle even said, "Anyone can become angry — that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way — that is not within everybody's power and is not easy."

While contemporary society perversely praises women for presenting a "f*** you" attitude toward those who have different political opinions or the omnipresent patriarchy, it's important to remember that women don't need to be aggressive to get their ideas or agendas across.

Women can be tough, assertive, and persuasive without unnecessary aggression or vulgarity.

Whether feminists or progressives choose to acknowledge the teachings in the Bible, there is something to be said for women who hold themselves to paramount standards instead of society's.

Margaret Thatcher, the first female prime minister of Britain, is a monumental example of the notion that women can be stern and effective leaders in the face of hostility and resistance without vulgarity or anger.

Thatcher, who was often criticized by feminists for not putting the political plight of women at the forefront of her agenda, often faced sexism herself, but she never responded to the prejudice in a manner that would take away from the goals of her party.

In 1 Peter 3:1 (NIV), Peter makes the case that a woman's gentle and quiet spirit has the power to transform even the hardest of hearts:

Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives.

This is a very countercultural idea because today's society teaches women that the only way to advance alongside and above men and to be strong is to be loud, angry, and aggressive. But really that aggression is often just a mask for insecurity.

Contemporary women, especially those who identify as feminists, would reject this Biblical notion of womanhood because they mistakenly believe the Bible calls for women to be fully submissive to and below men but that's not what the Biblical notion of womanhood means.

It means setting an example in the home and community by conducting themselves in such a way that's so admirable and respectable that it's contagious.

Instead of giving the media and young women an unhelpful soundbite, Teigen and those with platforms as large as her own should reiterate that it's possible to be assertive, resilient, and effective without being vulgar.

Washington is a place where powerful women each and every day step out into the halls of Congress and effect change through honest debate, the exchange of ideas, hard work, and respectable conduct.

One last thing…
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