10 Ignorant Things We Need To Stop Saying

 

1. “I mean, he’s hot... for a Mexican” 

      It’s 2014, racial and ethnic discrimination is not okay and it is never going to be. Unfortunately, statements like this are made everyday, keeping sexual racism alive and well. Saying things like “she’s pretty, for a Black girl” or “I just can’t see myself with an Indian” only illustrates that you are both discriminatory and superficial. Your fixed generalizations about race are so evident that you have openly admitted to being prejudiced in a merely hypothetical situation. Why is racial or ethnic identity constantly used as a measure of sexual appeal? How does someone’s race dictate or justify their attractiveness? Stop doing it, it is senseless. 

2. You’re such a feminist” *eye-roll*

    Thanks to famous American bigot Rush Limbaugh, the term feminist has grown synonymous with “feminazi.” Even today, there are millions of people who are afraid to self-identify as feminists. The term does not and should not imply that you are a mad woman with Lorena Bobbitt tendencies. The Oxford English Dictionary defines the term “feminism” as The advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.” I would love to hear people use this in place of the word.“Ugh, don’t be such an obnoxious feminist” would sound like “ugh, I hate when you sound like a person who thinks men and women should have equal rights.” 

3.“That’s So Gay”

      Today, this toxic term can fasten itself to any situation. It’s kind of like “the cooties” in the way; we have colloquialized the word "gay" as a fill for anything intangible. It doesn’t make sense and only promotes gay-bashing and homophobia. Think about your intentions and the potential outcomes when you use derogatory terms like “faggot”, “dyke” and “so gay.” You don’t sound cool, you sound ignorant. For more information check out: http://www.thinkb4youspeak.com/

4.“The N Word” and “I’m not racist, I have tons of Black friends”

      It can either be seen as the most offensive thing you can possibly say to a Black person or a re-appropriated and celebrated term of endearment. The controversial debate over the N-word is extremely complex, with equally valid grounds for both sides of the argument. Regardless, the image of a BMW convertible pulling out of the Frank parking lot filled with four white males screaming the lyrics “N*gga I took yo’ b*tch” still makes me convulse. It doesn’t matter how many Black friends you have or if you grew up in the South Side of Chicago; using the N-word perpetuates an oppressive history of White supremecy. Replying with “I’m not racist, I have tons of black friends” does not absolve or retract an offensive statement in which you clearly felt the need to provide an explanation for.

5.“Vegans are stupid” and “that tofu looks disgusting”

   Why do you care what people choose to or choose not to ingest? Claiming a vegan diet is stupid because an individual has decided not to participate in the consumption of animal products really just makes you look foolish. Telling a vegetarian that a tofu platter or quinoa burger looks"disgusting” is frankly hilarious, considering a 2012 USDA study found more than 99% of broiler chicken caracasses sold in stores had detecable levels of E.coli, indicating fecal contamination.*No matter what someone is eating why should you yuck someone’s yum?

6. “Ew, Chinese people eat dogs”

     We often assume that America is the center of the universe. National pride is great, but why would you want to come off as ethnocentric? Don’t accept the misconception that everything we do in America is “right,” just because it may be "normal" to you doesn’t mean it is necessarily the way all things should be. Don’t generalize entire communities or continents based off of stereotypes. Most of the time assumptions about other cultures are completely wrong! Just because something is different doesn’t make it deplorable.

7.“OMG IS THAT A TRANNY?!” and “I just don’t want to see two guys making out”

      Transgender individuals are forced to experience a level of discrimination that is catastrophically unimaginable to the majority of people today. This umbrella term can refer to several gender and sexual identities. Once again it's 2014, acknowledging that someone has decided to undergo a sex change should by no means generate a response of repulsion. Imagine waking up tomorrow in a body of the opposite sex. You are psychologically the exact same, but now you are unwillingly chained to physical characteristics that do not belong to you. Does this sound like a nightmare? Now imagine feeling like this every single day, since the day you were born. On another note, stop projecting that gay PDA is not okay. Yes, public displays of affection are obnoxious in general, but saying you are all for gay marriage with the caveat that gays should not kiss or hold hands in public assumes that you have the right to dictate whether or not anyone can physically embrace in public. Same sex love and sexual reassignment surgeries are happening everywhere, get over it. 

8.“He was really drunk and I guess he may have hooked up with her, without her saying that she wanted to”

   It is easy to villainize a rapist when the crime is distant. Serial rapists on the news will never get the same sympathy as a college student, yet the two are equated by the same crime. When you say things like “he was really black out” you are attempting to justify sexual assault. When you frame rape in forgiving terms, making it seem accidental, you are implying that the rapist should be pardoned. Why pity the attacker? Why naturally assume that he didn’t mean to do anything wrong? Okay, so even if he is one of your friends and he may very well be a “really good guy,” close your eyes and imagine the rape victim as your sister, your mother or your girlfriend. Does that change the way you choose to tell his story? Does a specific element of the story ever take away from the fact that someone was raped? The answer is no. And just so we are clear, 18,000 shots of Nikolai, wearing the “sluttiest” dress, passing out or paying for dinner will NEVER justify rape. 

9.“This is America, speak English” 

     News flash: at the federal level America has no official language. 

10.What is her big ass doing on that treadmill?”

      It boggles my mind when people laugh at heavyset people at the gym. Isn't it odd to laugh at someone who is attempting to change the exact thing you are ridiculing? If someone is actively trying to better themselves and improve their health, why is that funny? Not everyone who struggles with their weight is addicted to Big Macs and Krispy Kreme, if you don’t know their detailed health history, don’t judge them, especially at the gym.

Your language is a reflection of yourself and your mental capacity. 

Think about what you are going to say before you say it. 

 Stop labeling.

 Stop assuming.

     Stop stereotyping, because it’s 2014. 

 

Photo Credit:http://www.economicnoise.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/ignorance2.jpg

Feminism Definition: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/feminism

*http://www.pcrm.org/health/reports/fecal-contamination-in-retail-chicken... and http://www.peta.org/living/food/top-10-reasons-eat-chickens/ 

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