Defeat the Label: JAP

I’m a classy, privileged teenage girl. I walk to class in my parka jacket and a pair of boots that I received for hanukah, which definitely keep my feet warm with the highest quality of faux fur. For my 16th birthday, I got a new, white car with a hot pink bow on it. When I work out, I can be easily identified with a shiny, silver horseshoe-looking logo. I pamper myself with weekly manicures, hair tints, bikini waxes and eyebrow arches. And, to some, I might be classified as a “JAP.” While my upbringing may be different than yours and while you might have opinions on things I own and how I acquire them, the term JAP is a derogatory label that should not be used as a joke.

Here we are in 2015, with hundreds of anti-bullying campaigns trying to end labeling. And from where we started a decade ago, we’ve come a long way. However, even though you might think that calling someone a JAP isn't the same as calling someone “queer” or a “dork,” it is. For anyone that doesn’t know, a JAP is defined as a Jewish American Princess. Last time I checked, a person’s religion had nothing to do with their economic status. So, using this term makes it a racial slur as well. There are plenty of Jewish people in the lower class struggling to get by. Likewise, there are plenty of people who aren’t Jewish that do well in society without a term defining them or the things that they have.

Along with it being incredibly offensive and a stereotype, this whole article can go back to how you never know someone’s back story. Maybe the girl you see wearing a pair of designer boots got them at Goodwill. Or the kid with his new, expensive watch worked all of a holiday season to treat himself. Jappy is not an adjective; JAP is not a noun. It should not be tossed around as a casual use of vocabulary. Next time you're using what you think might be funny lingo with your friends, think about what it means, where it comes from and who it could offend.