6 votes

Are there any words/terms that people often use that are offensive to you/your group of people?

Inspired from my conversation with @CALICO about how the word "trap" is offensive and how less than a day later, the r/animemes mod team has banned the word for the same reasons that he has cited, which has caused practically universal backlash and closed the sub to anything not related to that decision.

5 comments

  1. [2]
    kfwyre
    (edited )
    Link
    I think the larger concept you're asking about is slurs, of which there are many -- too many to list, really, and they're not limited to LGBT identities. Slurs are meant to criticize/demean entire...

    I think the larger concept you're asking about is slurs, of which there are many -- too many to list, really, and they're not limited to LGBT identities. Slurs are meant to criticize/demean entire groups of people, and, unfortunately, can be applied to any group no matter the common characteristic.

    I don't recommend doing a dive into lists of them, as you'll really only fill your vocabulary with a bunch of awful terms -- though I suppose there is some value in doing so for the purposes of awareness. Instead, I think it's better to just learn preferred terminology, which is simpler, easier, and far more useful.

    If you're asking this because you're interested in identifying terms that might be slurs that you're not aware of, then probably the easiest way to identify whether a term is a slur is to ask the following:

    1. Is the term used positively?
    2. Do the people the term is aimed at use it themselves?

    This isn't bulletproof, but it's a pretty decent heuristic for most cases. If your answer for any given term is "no" to both, then you're probably looking at a slur.

    Ultimately though, it's a backing of hatred/disdain that gives any slur its status. As such, it's often not about a specific word but about the manner in which it's used and the intent behind it. Even normal words can be spun to be demeaning and turned into slurs. I readily call myself gay because it describes my orientation, but someone else calling me gay might be doing so hatefully. In that sense, the only real question you need to ask is: does this term, or the person using it, respect the people it's identifying? If not, then you're probably looking at a slur.

    12 votes
    1. CALICO
      Link Parent
      Basically this. Personally, there's not a word one could call me that would result in offense taken or feelings hurt. But if whatever you're saying comes with a judgmental, derisive tone, my...

      Ultimately though, it's a backing of hatred/disdain that gives any slur its status. As such, it's often not about a specific word but about the manner in which it's used and the intent behind it. Even normal words can be spun to be demeaning and turned into slurs.

      Basically this.

      Personally, there's not a word one could call me that would result in offense taken or feelings hurt. But if whatever you're saying comes with a judgmental, derisive tone, my opinion of you adjusts accordingly—Oh, you're that kind of person.

      There's some nuance. Casually dropping the word "faggot" in a sentence will have me believing you to be unemotionally othering—ignorant, but not malicious; maybe not even conscious of what you're doing. That same sentence, but as if saying "faggot" put a bad taste in your mouth, well I'm going to see you as a bigot who's intentionally and hatefully othering.

      How I treat you differs between the two. I'm not out in the workplace, nor do I present myself outside of a heteronormative way. Being taken for a straight dude, I'm not being seen as an other from the get-go. So I'm seen as an equal, and the things I say won't be said to a person on the defensive. I can build empathy & acceptance over time through conversation. That's the most rewarding.

      The most fun is fucking with the hateful people, and they don't give me a workable alternative. I'm not Daryl Davis, I don't have the skillset at this time to make the above work on them. But if I'm forced to be around a hateful person—due to work, or something like that—I'll find a way to fuck with you. Usually I'll mime their personality and manner of speech, but with a twist; instead of saying something like: "Oh you like xyx? What are you, a queer?" I'll say: "Oh you like xyz? What are you, straight?"
      My theory is that the manner of speaking has them seeing me a peer, that the twist of language plants a question in their mind, and that my deadpan delivery gives them no reason to suspect anything other than my odd sense of humor. I don't know if it works, but it's cathartic and hasn't backfired yet ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

      4 votes
  2. moonbathers
    Link
    I used to share an internet space with a group of channers who referred to trans people as traps, among others. At least one of the people who did this was themself trans. Like, using that word in...

    I used to share an internet space with a group of channers who referred to trans people as traps, among others. At least one of the people who did this was themself trans. Like, using that word in that way isn't just demeaning trans people, it's also homophobic and it makes the rest of us who just want to be perceived as the gender we are look bad. I don't have the misfortune of sharing internet spaces with people like that anymore, thankfully.

    Edit: I took a look at that thread and wow are people mad. For anyone else who's curious, it's full of the usual comparisons to 1984, calling people who don't like to be called a slur snowflakes, etc.

    7 votes
  3. silfilim
    Link
    This may be out of scope of the topic but...not being mentioned in lists of attributes that should not be used as the basis of discrimination...makes me feel jaded or detached. For example, this...

    This may be out of scope of the topic but...not being mentioned in lists of attributes that should not be used as the basis of discrimination...makes me feel jaded or detached.

    For example, this US government's website says:

    Federal laws [..] protect employees and job applicants against employment discrimination when it involves:

    • Unfair treatment because of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.
    • [..]

    As someone who identifies as neurodivergent, I'm not sure if my case would be categorized under disability...or is it genetic information? In any case, it'd be more inclusive to make it a non-exhaustive list, like "Unfair treatment because of differences, such as...".

    3 votes
  4. Kuromantis
    Link
    The "your group of people" bit is because I ran out of language. Basically people who share your GSRM identity/label.

    The "your group of people" bit is because I ran out of language. Basically people who share your GSRM identity/label.

    2 votes