This week, the power of words was highlighted when a podcast was released of an interview between Mamamia’s Mia Freedman and author Roxane Gay, who recently released her new book, Hunger: A Memoir of (my) body.
It was clear in tweets from Roxane Gay, following the podcast recording, that she was uncomfortable with some lines of questioning in the interview. Later on, she became offended with the words Mia Freedman used to introduce the podcast (both on the recording and in an article that came out with the podcast).
Roxane’s tweets can be found at twitter.com/rgay.
The issue has been debated considerably in the media. I believe Roxane has a right to feel hurt and I believe Mia did not intentionally hurt Roxane. But here is the thing, words hurt and they matter.
Mia has apologised for hurting Roxane, and this apology seems sincere. But the issue is still how Roxane feels. It's a hard lesson, but one we all need to learn. Words matter and it's not simply about what you think is OK, you need to think about how your words can impact others. No one should be made to feel bad about who they are.
Choose your word wisely and create acceptance and tolerance, don't fuel discomfort and shame. Words matter.
Sheena is that girl who always has a smile on her face, she loves life and the diversity within. After a lightbulb went off when she hit 30, Sheena’s ‘f*** it 30 approach to life allowed her to embrace who she is and help others to do the same, free of judgement.
Her communications business, Specialists in Communications, encourages everyone and every business to use their uniqueness as a point of difference, as a positive that helps them connect with people.
Sheena is also founder and editor of The Local Look, an e-magazine and blog showcasing Canberra business by telling the stories of the people behind the brands. Storytelling has the power to really connect with people and through it, we can encourage people and influence change for the better.