A reminder to myself and to others.
I remember when everyone was saying “gay” all the time or calling people “faggots.” I was in my late teens/early twenties and I regret to say that I joined in because I wanted to be cool. I also didn’t think about what I was actually saying or how using these words as a pejorative could hurt people. Including people I know and love.
A friend called me out on this use of language, and it definitely changed the way I think about things. I sometimes still notice “retarded” or “lame” or “slutty” or “pussy” slip into my vocabulary as pejoratives. It is so important to think about the way we use language and how it affects the people around us. It also shapes our society and the way that we think about and interact with certain individuals. There is so much ingrained homophobia, ableism, and sexism in our culture that it takes a real conscious effort not to perpetuate these ideas.
I wish we could all just be a little more aware of how our behavior and language are linked to social systems and oppression. But this article is a great reminder that I can always improve my own behaviors.