Friday, December 2, 2011

Words to use carefully, a PSA

Bitch. Cripple. Dyke.*

Only some people can get away with using these words--and only sometimes, and in certain circumstances.

The rules are simple:

If you've had such a word hurled at you as a term of abuse, you may then reclaim the word and use it as a self-identifier, or--among other self-indentifiers--as a term of admiration.

Any other circumstances, any, make your use of the term an insult and a fighting word.

Clear? Good.

* There are, of course, many similar words that insult whole classes of people. But in troll country it's not a good idea to speak on behalf of a group to which one doesn't belong. You know the words I mean. Out in the real world, when you hear (or see) someone use one, call the user on it. You'll be making the world a better place.

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