November 2017
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dear friend: please reconsider your use of that slur


icon: "honesty (me, outdoors, gazing straight at the camera with a solemn expression)"

If I gave you this link, please understand that it was motivated by affection and/or respect. I have this conversation over and over, and it takes a lot out of me, so I needed to create a less energy-intense way to communicate about it. If I didn't respect you and/or feel affection for you, I would not risk giving you this link. If I have already talked with you about it*, this is my low-energy way of reminding you (with bonus of allowing bystanders to also learn).

I give this link in response to people using slurs. You probably didn't realize that what you were saying was a slur, or maybe you didn't realize the harm. The most common mistakes I come across are use of the words stupid, lame, crazy, or insane. Usually I put asterisks in these to make it clear that I consider them slurs, but sometimes people can't tell what word I am referring to, so I'm writing them out here for clarity.

[a full list of the slurs which I may be referring to - TW slurs]
TW slurs--------

a full list of the slurs which I may be referring to:
stupid, idiot, dumb (if you mean the physical quality, the term is 'mute' or 'nonverbal'), derp, ermahgerd, duh, crazy, insane, psychotic, wacko, mental, psycho, cray-cray, bitch, douche, pussy, cunt, lame, ghetto, blind or deaf (when used to mean "not paying attention"), gay, retard/ed, nigger, jew or gyp (as in to swindle/cheat), tranny, shemale, cripple, slut, whore, fag/got

------------end TW


Here I explain what is harmful about using these words.

Here I explain why it is still a problem to use slurs even when you are not aiming them at a person.

Here I explain how you are not missing out by avoiding these words: you are becoming a better communicator.

If you read all of this and you still want to feel free to use slurs, please let me know. That is a dealbreaker for me with friendship. I can totally understand it being difficult and I won't hold it against you at all if you make mistakes, but if you have no intention of removing slurs from your communication, you are not a safe person for me and I do not want to invest in you.

*I find it almost impossible to remind people in more direct ways because I empathize so hard with trying and making mistakes and how embarrassing that is. If I give you this link and you have already decided to try not to use slurs, please feel no need to apologize or engage about it, just take it as a reminder. I promise I don't need an apology; I understand that it is a process.

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Comments
wildrose ══╣╠══
meteorology ══╣╠══
I was googling why "ermahgerd" is a slur and I found this page (it has a trigger warning for the whole blog, by the way) which coincidentally explains "duh" as well.

http://fuckingrapeculture.tumblr.com/post/63467683259/ableist-language
wildrose ══╣╠══
zimtkeks ══╣╠══
I think that's because it's used to show that someone is lacking intelligence.
wildrose ══╣╠══
zimtkeks ══╣╠══
That's the only way I've ever heard/read it.
raidingparty ══╣╠══
My first thought was self-directed, like "D*h, I can't believe I forgot..."
... but that still hits the same reason it's used as a slur. Argh. More work to do.
meteorology ══╣╠══
I didn't know that some of these could be considered slurs, so thank you for prompting me to Google!
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
welks! it's often difficult to pick them out of the sea of slang.
mac_arthur_park ══╣╠══
Thank you for the reminder. I still struggle with remembering not to use crazy or insane when they're not contextually appropriate.

I need to find better words to describe my neighbors and current work situation, because those are ALWAYS the ones that spring to my lips. Any suggestions?
kehlen_crow ══╣╠══
I keep thinking about it, and the only thing that I came up with so far are animal kingdom comparisons. Like, laughing like a hyena or having amoeba brain.

Those are unfair to the animals though and use assumptions about them instead.
belenen ══╣writing╠══
my go-to words tend to be ridiculous (often shortened to 'ridic' because that has a much sharper sound) and terrible. If I'm looking for something more caustic I'll make up words like shitspewer or vomitburger, or refer to rot -- I particularly like the word putrescent.

Mostly though, I aim to use words and phrases that are very clear and precise, thus: Trump is an evil, calculating, profoundly malicious faineant that the most spoiled toddler would consider immature and malaria would consider unnecessarily intrusive.
raidingparty ══╣╠══
Unpredictable, ill-considered, inconsiderate, manic, unbelievable, hateful, self-centered... it depends on context.
pallid_regina ══╣╠══
I'm one of the people at whom this post is aimed, fair enough, and I'm going to just thank you for giving me the out. I have trouble keeping up with your level of posting, although I do find what I'm able to keep up with engaging, and that's always a challenge for me.

That said, before I go, I'm a writer and a teacher of English and literature - I LOVE language both good and bad. I LOVE colloquialisms, I LOVE playing with the changing nature of language, I LOVE hearing how people use words both right and wrong. I feel that negating the existence of words that are in common usage is akin to trying to make an "ism" end by not talking about it. I generate a conversation about linguistic choices in my intro to lit class by using and defining the word "cunt" and we expand from there.

This is who I am. You are who you are. Your list of no-go words includes a lot of language I talk about often, use often, and sometimes even relish, especially in the educational context in which I work (where we can talk about what these words mean). I would not want to make you feel unsafe so I shall respectfully step away.
brujah ══╣Shattered mirror╠══
:(
I want to read you, but I don't want to offend you or trigger you in any way.

I use some of these frequently -- as for an instance, I call my husband a whore/slut all the time in my journal. It's a personal story and has depth and meaning to us, but I can see how my casual use of it would be an issue for you. I've enjoyed reading your words and had looked forward to continuing, but for your own well-being, I don't think I'm a good fit and that's a shame.
belenen ══╣╠══
Re: :(
Those words don't bother me when they are reclaimed and someone has the permission of the one they're calling, but unless your partner is a sex worker, whore couldn't be reclaimed in this way, so that one is likely to bother me a lot.

I'm sorry to feel this way but I know from many tries that it will get to me even if I try to block it out. If you want to continue reading you are welcome (my lj is 95% public) but if not I totally understand.
brujah ══╣╠══
Re: :(
I'd never, in a million years, use any of these things as a response to something you've written. I just meant I'm not likely to be as careful, or aware, in my own journal. I'm for giving it a go, if you are. I just needed to be completely honest with you from the get-go, so I didn't upset or offend you.

Someone calling me stupid, or implying that I'm an idiot, sends me spiralling into my childhood. The adults in my life were pretty ignorant and assumed I was of below average intelligence because I struggled with numbers. I was dissuaded from following my dreams of being a doctor because, obviously, I wasn't bright enough.

When, at 23, I was diagnosed with dyslexia, I was bitter about the treatment I'd received at the hands of the adults who were supposed to care for and support me. It's an issue I've worked through, but I've still got a huge chip on my shoulder when it comes to being called stupid.

I tell you this to give you a bit of insight that I'd never actively hurl words at someone with the intention of hurting them, I just don't always think things through when I'm venting in my journal.
belenen ══╣honesty╠══
Re: :(
I feel you, and I appreciate you explaining and expressing these things. I'm glad you were willing to make that effort <3 I'd like to give it a go.
wanderipity ══╣╠══
Thanks for linking me here! It is understandable and ought to be something I should apply from now on too. Eye opener.
on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.