Words for Equality

Please consider this a working document and refer back for updates, corrections and new entries.

Ableism

Discrimination against disabled people. Or, sometimes, it’s even just excluding or not considering the needs of people who aren’t able-bodied.

Ally

Someone who fights alongside others for equality.

BAME

Black, Asian, minority ethnic. British use

Body-acceptance

A movement that encourages and celebrates coming to terms with your body. Anti-diet culture. Similar to body-positivity.

Cis

Straight people who identify as the gender they were born as.

Cisterhood

A word that criticises the type of feminism that only identifies or celebrates the achievements and struggles of being a cis woman (often white)

Different from TERFs (trans-exclusionary radical feminists) whose excluding of the trans experience is deliberate.

Further information: follow the articulate and irrefutable Rebel Lou

T-shirt from Ruby Rebellion

Cultural Appropriation

Wearing something or using phrases that are a strong signifier of religion or culture. For instance, white people with cornrows or secular people wearing bindis. If you’re unsure, have a look at the account Ask a Person of Colour for examples and clarity.

Intersectional Feminism

A type of feminism that considers how inequality affects different people- for instance, a white middle class women has different experiences than a white working class woman.

From Instagram

Male Gaze

The notion that most media is produced for the male view- especially pornography, adverts and films. The portrayal of things through a straight male perspective -often represents women as objects of sexual pleasure.

T-shirt from Black and Beech

Misogynior

The hatred and/or persecution of black women- different from misogyny and needs its own word because black women receive disproportionate amounts of online abuse, for example. For a useful listen, this podcast is helpful

Misogyny

The hatred of women.

Patriarchy

The system when men have disproportionate amounts of power- feminism is the tool we use to fight it.

From thefword.org.uk

Period poverty

A lack of access to sanitary products due to finances.

Person of Colour/Color

A person who is non-white.

Privilege

An advantage afforded to particular group- wealthy or white for example. A sign you have privilege is if you’ve never noticed you have it- tricky! It’s about seeing yourself represented everywhere (from TV to ‘flesh-coloured’ underwear) and never (or rarely) having to adapt your behaviour because of your race, ability, class etc

Further reading: Here

Reverse Racism

Doesn’t exist. You can have reverse prejudices but racism is a system across history and society with roots all the way back to colonialism. That is a system that benefits white people all the time so a fleeting moment of prejudice is not the same.

Further reading: Gal-dem Magazine

White Fragility

White people’s defensiveness in response to conversations about race.

Further information: Watch Stand for Humanity Stories on Insta but be mindful of her house rules.

White Saviour Complex

The trope in films and TV that white people can ‘save’ non-white characters and ‘learn’ something about themselves along the way. For example, the film Freedom Writers.

In charity, it can be when white ‘storytellers’ are used to narrate or ‘investigate’ poverty and identify ways that they can help. For example, Comic Relief.

For further information, please follow Stand for Humanity but watch her house rules first.

From The Guardian: Comic Relief

Woke

Politically aware and informed- especially in relation to injustices such as inequality.

I have written this as a privileged white middle class woman. I am not trying to speak over others but trying to raise up and amplify voices that should be heard. Please follow the links to find out more or comment to recommend.

18 thoughts on “Words for Equality

  1. Hello. Thanks for commenting. I’m sorry you found these definitions unhelpful. Words and phrases are always adapting and changing and some people are curious to learn and develop their understanding. I was hoping this could be an enlightening or supportive or informative resource but realise these may not be ideas that everyone feel ready to engage with. Kind regards and thanks again for reading.

  2. wonder what the person meant…
    Some people don’t like labels… some people don’t like difference…
    They seem angry with something…

  3. So true. Thanks for commenting ❤️ It is a mystery but when the status quo changes some people resist. Says more about them

  4. Sorry if I came off as a bit angry at first, but I felt it would be a betrayal of all morality if I didn’t say something about this sexist, racist and frankly ignorant list.

  5. No need to apologise but thank you for your feedback. Definitions of words as immoral seems a stretch- I’ve never heard of anyone burning dictionaries- but I’m glad these words have caused a reaction. Learning comes in all guises.

  6. It’s not learning, it is just racist and degrading to society. It is because of many ideas like, pretty much saying white people and men are all evil that so many men commit suicide.

  7. I’m not sure that’s quite the message. I can tell you haven’t clicked any of the links to find out more and advise having a rootle about to see if those links help your understanding. What I aim to say is that white and able bodied people benefit from privilege. I can’t quite see where you got the ‘men are all evil so many men commit suicide’ inference from. Suicide is a problem especially amongst young men so I think discussion around that is essential and I would love to hear your thoughts.

  8. I don’t think reading these links that are full of misleading and false information would be of any benefit at all, I can already clearly see from the short paragraph of each “definition” that it is a load of absolute rubbish. For example, the idea that white people or anyone that isn’t black is unable to experience racism – try telling that to 6 million Jews and many more white Europeans particularly from Slavic nations that were racially persecuted in Nazi Germany.

  9. The point I’m trying to make is that a lot of the ‘information’ in this post is quite ignorant and also deeply offensive to a lot of people to whom you are denying their experiences of racism and sexism that according to you they are not allowed to have

  10. I think your point is valid and interesting. It’s horrifying to see the rise in anti-semitism and would be thought-provoking to look at that intersectionally- for instance, what would be the experiences of a black Jewish person? I do think it’s problematic to dismiss other people’s experiences as ‘misleading’ and ‘false’ especially without having listened to/engaged with them. I think it is possible and helpful to reflect on all the ways the majority of white people benefit from systemic racism- uncomfortable and difficult as it is. This is a long way from calling ‘all men evil’. You are right to encourage a broader conversation about race.

  11. White people don’t benefit from any racism that black people experience, it’s not like it’s the 1700s with the slave trade. Pretty much all racism they do experience doesn’t benefit anyone at all.

  12. It’s late and there’s plenty of information on the internet already if you want to do the work but essentially: white people are more likely to get jobs than their black colleagues with the same qualifications. That’s a privilege in that as it’s a head start. We are less likely to be arrested, shot at, stopped and searched, prosecuted or imprisoned so that’s a privilege. Austerity has disproportionately affected BAME people. White people see themselves represented in news, film, advertising and research far more than black people so that’s another privilege. There are countless other examples that are unpicked and researched by people more qualified than me. It is a bitter pill to swallow, but white people benefit from the unconscious bias of society against BAME people by their own over-representation: white voices and experience are the ‘norm’ and we benefit from that.

  13. It’s not racism that white people are represented more in media and film etc when we make up about 90% of the population of this country. Of course white people will be shown more on TV and will be targeted by advertising more, it would be stupid for companies to target only 10% of the country as they would go bankrupt

  14. And also, it is not white privilege that black people commit more crimes. And being stopped and searched of course black people will be more likely to experience it when they are more likely to commit a crime than a white person and when police are looking for a suspect who is black for example, they would be more likely to stop a black person that they see if there are only a small number of them in that location

  15. The naïveté of your comments makes me realise you must be young so I’m going to gently leave this conversation here. I hope one day you are ready to do the work but it is not for me to force your eyes open. When you are ready, reread the post and ask yourself ‘what is it in here that makes me so angry and what does that teach me about myself?’

  16. Facts are not naïve. According to Gov.uk and the home office, black people are over 3 times more likely to commit a crime than white people. Nothing in my response was naive at all. Just because the facts show the opposite of what you are trying to make up and lie to people doesn’t mean the person telling you that you are wrong is naïve and young so therefore their opinion doesn’t count. And how typical of the radical left to stop and give up on a debate just because they are losing, how do you expect to make any progress on major global issues like racism when as soon as someone challenges what you have said you run away and hide. All that shows is that there is no basis to your argument, all it is made up of are myths, lies and oblique, fantastical concepts. Ridiculous!

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