Avoiding slurs is not about sanitizing language

andreashettle:

realsocialskills:

Cussing is important. Here are some uses:

  • Expressing boundaries in forceful language
  • Expressing emphatic contempt
  • Expressing distress

Sometimes it’s ok to insult people. Sometimes it’s important to be rude.

Slurs aren’t part of this, though. It’s not ok to insult someone by comparing them to an oppressed group. It’s not ok to insult someone by referencing their membership in an oppressed group.

Lists of things to say rather than “that’s so gay" or “that’s so r-word" tend to be long lists of big words that are clean and polite. They shouldn’t be, though. There’s no moral obligation to use long words. There’s no moral obligation to always use clean language.

The problem with slurs is that they help to keep marginalized groups marginalized. They hurt innocent people, and they hurt guilty people in ways no one deserves.

So, when the situation calls for cussing at or about someone, use swear words. Don’t use slurs.

And if you can’t bring yourself to use swear words, ever, then STILL don’t use slurs. Use it as an opportunity to excercise your brain in creativity in devising insults or other forms of strong or emphatic language without using slurs or any of the swear words you aren’t comfortable with.

Yes. Slurs are *more* obscene than swears, not less.