Sorry I have been gone for a while, I have been up to my feminist eyeballs in my master's thesis. It should be done soon though, so expect more posts as a result. Anyway, speaking of "balls" (although I was referring to the eye variety), they are something that has been on my mind as of late.
We have all heard people refer to someone who is particularly bold or brave as having "balls" or being "ballsy." Clearly this is a problem, because women do not have balls and therefore it is implied that women cannot be bold or brave (or that if we are, it is because we are acting like men). This is equally true when people use phrases like "cojones" or "huevos" or when they say someone has "stones" or whatever other clever euphemism for balls is being thrown around as a compliment at that particular moment. I don't think it takes a genius to see why this is sexist, so that is not really what I want to discuss here (although if you say "balls" to mean brave a lot, you should try and stop).
What I am having a problem with is an acceptable alternative to this phrasing. I hate using the word "balls" in this way, so I usually say that someone has "guts" or is "gutsy," but I think that is pretty dorky, to be honest. Is there a cooler, edgier word I could use? Something that is gender-neutral? Because I have heard people use "ovaries" as a counter to "balls," but since that is an equally gendered term I think it is just as much of a problem. We need something that refers to all people, not just those who have balls or ovaries!
What do you say when someone does something especially bold and daring? What about the word "moxie," is that equally dorky? I think it might be. This is a real problem, because I think most people use "balls" or its equivalent because they don't want to sound lame, not because they are particularly sexist. So let's put our brains to this and try to come up with a viable alternative. It's important!
I am having a really hard time thinking of anything that is not incredibly lame. I think sticking with the anatomy theme, for whatever reason, resonates with people so let's try to do that (e.g., guts). Here are some ideas to get the brainstorming going:
-Hearts, heartbeat, strong heartbeat? Bloody heart? (trying to keep it extreme)
-Innards (similar to guts, but perhaps classier?)
-Sweetmeats (they say this about animals and I have always thought it had a nice ring to it)
I don't know, clearly I need help on this. So let's get to it!
To further illustrate my point about the term "balls," here is a set of iron balls you can get to put on your truck so that people can see how badass it is. God forbid people think your vehicle might not have testicles!