Before we begin, I think it's necessary to clarify a couple of things...

✰ Just because none of these words directly harm you doesn't mean that you should still use them. Think about the way they impact others.

✰ Asking others to not use these words is not "anti-free speech."

✰ You should call out others who use these words (and don't fit into the groups of people who are oppressed by them).

✰ If you have friends who are gay, poc, disabled, etc. that are fine with you using these words you still shouldn't use them. Give them even more respect by eliminating them from your vocab.

✰ The way you used these words doesn't matter, you're still normalizing it for others who use them to hate.

Now, let's begin.

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What is normalizing something?

To normalize something is to make it acceptable in social standards by using it frequently. Like most things, it can be either helpful or harmful depending on the circumstances. However, it is never okay to normalize the use of hurtful slurs despite what people may argue. It doesn't "water down" their effect or numb out the pain others feel. Instead, it makes it easier for racists, homophobes, ableists, or whatever oppressive group to freely use whatever terms they want to in order to continue being hateful. If it's normalized, it's okay to defend as "free speech" or "joking."

Right?

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What words should we avoid using if we're not poc, gay, economically disadvantaged, or disabled? What makes them so bad?

P.S. I know that it may be hard to know what some of these words are since I am not spelling them out, so I included some brief context to give you all a few clues as to what the words are.

✧ The F-word:

Stop using this word especially to hurt gay men!!! Not only is it not okay to use because it's a homophobic word, but it's also not okay considering the fact that gay rights are still continuing to be disregarded. As shown through the fact that they were still fighting for the right to get married five years ago and now some same-sex couples are denied the right to adopt in some areas. In regards to the origin of the word, it is unknown though all of the possible origins are linked to degrading men as "too feminine." Either way hate crimes are still being committed against gay men to this day.

✧ The D-word

Another anti-lgbt word that hurts lesbian women for similar reasons it hurts gay men. Used to insult women who are too "masculine."

✧ The R-word

If something is stupid or dumb, it's stupid or dumb. Do not use the r-word to describe it that way because not only is it not even used in the psychological field to describe disabled people anymore, but it's ableist.

✧ The N-word

Do I need to explain this one?

✧ Calling bad things ratchet/ghetto

This is a lesser-known one and some may disagree with me, but the words ratchet or ghetto when used to describe things are harmful to poc and economically disadvantaged people. They basically insult them by saying their way of life is below your standards.

✧ Calling bad things gay

BEING GAY IS OKAYYYY!!! Stop allowing people to use it as an insult.

✧ Calling men simps just for respecting women

Simp is a newer word and I generally don't have much of an issue with it when it's not used against men who are just decent to women. We need to stop normalizing mistreating women.
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Hate speech ≠ free speech

To those of you who believe that stopping hate speech is against free speech, your rights aren't being infringed upon because you're not allowed to degrade others, chill. Besides, I also don't want to live in a world where we have get people to stop using certain words, but I'd rather do that than make others suffer the consequences of oppressive name-calling.

Think about it like this, you have to choose between two options (option A & option B):

A: You continue to use slurs that don't really improve or make your life worse while they make someone else experience pain that comes from their usage.

or...

B: You make a small effort to stop using these words while the people who are hurt by them feel more comfortable now that they're used less.

Hopefully you go with choice B.

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Thanks for reading!!

xx

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