About avoiding slurs

There are a lot of slurs that are so ingrained into English-speaking culture that people who say them don’t always realize that they are slurs.

  • People say them without meaning them as slurs, but they still hurt people
  • Because people also say them as intentional slurs
  • And it’s not usually obvious which is which
  • And even when people genuinely don’t mean it that way, hearing slurs about your group all the time hurts
  • Also, sometimes the people who are using the slur don’t know that the group it’s about actually exists
  • Being erased to the point that people only know about the stereotype is also really horrible


  • Often when people in the target group point out the slurs, people react badly
  • Instead of apologizing and fixing it, they get angry and hostile
  • And often behave in really humiliating (or even dangerous) ways towards the person who pointed it out
  • Reacting that way is fairly similar to using a slur intentionally
  • You can’t actually invoke a trope related to the slur without also invoking the slur in ways that hurt people it’s used against
  • Even if you would never react that way, people in the target group don’t know that when you say the word.

I’m a bit uneasy about saying those words, so I’m not going to include any examples. (I’m not sure that’s the right decision, but that’s what I’m doing for this post). But if people these words are used against want to reblog with comments or send asks, that would be very welcome.