The Geek Cool
One way to reduce the power to insult is to appropriate the terms that are being used to insult. The black people appropriated the term "nigger," which used to be a very insulting term, and have been using it among each other. Similar thing has happened with the term "geek."
In 1980s and early-to-mid 90s, "geek" was a very insulting term. But the computer people are not stupid, and they have appropriated the term "geek" in the same way that black people have appropriated the term "nigger." So now they identify themselves as geeks and have no second thoughts about it.
We also see people identifying themselves as "greenies" or "lefties" - once again, terms that have been originally intended as insults. These terms cease to insult however when the people at the receiving end of them are using them themselves. Instead what we see is people who have been insulted creating their own kind of cool. The computer industry became quite popular in late 1990s because it was booming; and suddenly it was cool to be a geek. With the black culture, they did such a good job of it that a lot of young white people imitated it. Suddenly it was niga this, niga that, and never as an insult.
The same is the case with the term "slut." "Slut" remains a term of insult; however we see women describing themselves as sluts, as in "The Slut Walk." The more is done in that direction, the less the ability to hurt women by calling them sluts, the better the internal and external condition of sexually willing women.
With "greenies" and "lefties," different times are either favorable or unfavorable. But there has definitely been a green cool created in some places in the world, including places in America. This is another group that has been attacked a lot and found ways to overcome many of these attacks. Everytime someone does that, he becomes appealing to others, and what was attacked becomes something that's appreciated and accepted.
This is the case for any number of sentiments. In 1970s being wealthy was considered greed; in 1980s it became all the rage, and for some time "cool" meant wearing an Oliver North haircut and driving a fast car. In 1990s women were told to avoid marital relationships and family life; now, having a family is valued and respected. In all of these cases, people started out getting attacked then found way to overcome the attack, resulting in them gaining in credibility and power to move others.
In these cases, what was used to attack was inverted, with the sharp edge pointing not inwards but outwards. And this strengthened the people who were being attacked and empowered them to enhance their standing in the world.