Oppressive Language in Occupy

Autonomous Workers’ Group

Throughout the Occupy movement’s campgrounds and actions, homophobic and misogynist slurs used against both enemies and allies have degraded our character and limited our impact. Our words shape the way we communicate with another and denote the ideas that we hold true. Therefore, the language that each of us chooses to use both creates and reifies world views that can either be liberating or oppressing. Hurtful words carry heavy burdens for marginalized people within movements who are often made to feel alienated and demeaned by those with privilege. Words can seem meaningless, but their impact can be dismissive and disrespectful of those with which we organize and seek solidarity with. It is essential that our movement not become careless in perpetuating the oppression of those within it and those we wish to reach from the outside.

 

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