Linguistic Double Standards

The idea that it is acceptable for members of a marginalized community to use derogatory terms with one another but that it is not acceptable for the population at large to use those same derogatory terms is not helpful because it not only creates confusion but also perpetuates damaging images. If a term is derogatory, then it’s derogatory. It isn’t helpful for anyone to use it. Even when communities claim the term as some kind of badge of honor internally, the unintended consequence is that the term gets perpetuated rather than fading from use. If there is something you don’t want someone else to call you, then don’t use the term yourself. If you insist on using the language, you cannot authentically be surprised when you hear others using it.

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