A Note on Saying What You Mean:

We [humans] often use inaccurate euphemisms, circumlocutions, or other substitutes in our conversations. Sometimes, we [humans] just find it really difficult to say what we mean. But I’d like to point out how problematic that can be when talking about specific groups of marginalized people and their struggles.

Using vague substitutes to describe a particular social group or problem can cause more harm than good because it invalidates or erases unique identities and/or struggles. For example, using the term “people of colour” to refer specifically to Black folx is problematic because it leads to the assumption that all PoC are Black, OR that all people of colour face the same issues. This ends up erasing the unique identity and unique struggles suffered by Black folx.

So, please just say what you mean. If you’re talking about Black folx, say so. If you’re talking about women, don’t say “people with vaginas,” because some trans men have vaginas. Instead, just say women. And so on. Thank you.


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