Slurs in Identity Politics

Ed Conduit


Slurs are words that diminish the worth of members of our groups. The UK broadcast regulator Ofcom has a list of highly offensive terms that it recommends broadcasters not to use. Bangladeshis, Poles, Greeks and lower-class white males remain of low visibility to Ofcom. Four identities that have high visibility in broadcast television were found to show low levels of slurs and Israeli to have a moderate level. British Asian Muslim identity has many pejorative terms, though most are Arabic and not well-known in English. The terms “gonimoter maal” and “gawur” could be considered severe slurs as they have resulted in rape or murder. “Misogyny” is currently used freely by broadcasters. Thorough lexicology here failed to find a credible psychology for “hatred of women” or a credible set of actions. Presumed actions were found to be mass nouns combining threat, non-sentience, pathology, doctrine, quirk, sometimes crime, and sometimes a comparison with harmful chemicals. They remove sentience from the adversary and preclude empathy and dialogue. Ofcom might ask respondents if they consider “misogynist” a slur.

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