What is Hateful Speech?

Words that invoke fear and intimidation among historically oppressed groups.

Hateful Speech

“At a core point, it’s a human relation thing. It comes across as ignorant when people throw about words like that to simply demean, downgrade or insult people.”

N’ketiah Brakohiapa
Staff

Hateful Speech

“There’s something about the violence of sexism that frightens me more than the word...The idea that someone who was born of a woman could feel the kind of contempt, disdain and rage that would allow him to diminish a woman, or women, to the status of bitch.”

Taur Orange
Faculty

Hateful Speech

“Every time that subject is brought up, everything gets a little tense in the room. And it’s annoying. I would love to be able to say ‘Hey, I’m leaving for church now’ without someone flinching.”

Jonathan Paredes
Student

Hateful Speech

“I did have some straight allies, which made all the difference. There were a huge number of people who said you weren’t allowed to be gay, and I wasn’t out, but it would have been hard to miss.”

John Goodwin
Faculty

Hateful Speech

“I don’t say illegal, because it stigmatizes and marginalizes whole groups of people.”

Erika Rubiano
Student

Hateful Speech

“This word is not often used, but when it is used, it’s used with a lot of anger and is often very confronting, debasing and demoralizing. It puts women in a category of just being a sexual body part and dehumanizes them.”

Susan Breton
Faculty

Hateful Speech

“I know a lot of people that get offended by the word. It is a gender specific insult, meant to harm. I think it’s a pretty bold word.”

Alexandra Blazer
Student

Hateful Speech

“I can remember being a little kid and people calling me this word…It made me want to hide. It is degrading to homosexuals everywhere.”

Stephen Lupo
Student

Hateful Speech

“I think it’s often used carelessly and frequently, and I don’t think people realize how hurtful it can be. I’ve heard it used in ways that are bullying and teasing. I think it can be tossed out without much thought or consideration for the impact it has on anyone hearing it.”

Jen-Mai Wong
Faculty

Hateful Speech

“We don’t say bitch because we need to lift women up, not tear them down. I think that it is super biased to call a girl ‘bitch’ when she’s doing everything a guy does, but better.”

Katheryn Singer
Student

Hateful Speech

“I hate the word c*nt because I find it extremely demeaning and derogatory towards women and it just shouldn’t be used.”

Leah Ansell
Student

Hateful Speech

“My very first roommate called me a c*nt for no reason. I didn’t know who she was. I don’t like the word, even when other people say it to someone else, not necessarily to me. It’s not a nice word. Never say it. Please."

Emily Cappon
Student


What is Shaming Speech?

Words that attack a person’s physical appearance in an attempt to undermine self-esteem.

Shaming Speech

“When someone calls me that, and has called me that, it makes me feel like I’m worthless. It’s just an awful feeling for me to have. It’s hard to shake it off. It’s a sad word. I don’t like it.”

Juliette Cruz
Staff

Shaming Speech

“I don’t say ugly because it hurts and intimidates people.”

Jahne Brown
Student

Shaming Speech

“I don’t say ‘You’re pretty for a tall girl’ because amazing comes in all sizes.”

Miyah Harris
Student


What is Insensitive Speech?

Words that cause unnecessary hurt to individuals, or to an individual’s family members, without realizing the harm it can cause others.

Insensitive Speech

“Children made that my identifier in school. It was just wrong. It hurt a lot. I’ve grown a lot since then. Here I am, in my first choice for college and I couldn’t have been here today if I was that word.”

Arianna Sementilli
Student

Insensitive Speech

“When you are calling somebody a name, it’s because it’s a heated moment. But I think when you stop and stand back and think about what you’re about to say, you’ll make a better decision.”

Leonard Bess
Faculty

Insensitive Speech

“My nephew, who is learning disabled, [told me that] his coworkers called him retarded. I was shocked that anybody would refer to someone in such a hurtful way. You should just take that word out of your vocabulary.”

Ellen Brennan Hearn
Staff

Insensitive Speech

“I hear it all the time. I hear it at least once a week — ‘that’s retarded.’ I have friends who have children who are mentally challenged and when I hear that, it really puts me off.”

Tom McManus
Faculty

Insensitive Speech

“I don’t say stupid or slow because it puts people down based on their intellectual ability.”

Grace Thomas
Student

Insensitive Speech

“I don’t say crazy because calling people crazy is dismissive to whatever mental challenge someone may be going through.”

Marc Cummings
Student


What is Discouraging Speech?

Words that provoke feelings of personal inferiority and that are counterproductive to a supportive and creative community.

Discouraging Speech

“Hon (short for ‘honey’) — that word makes me cringe. A lot of times, it’s not coming from a good place. It’s used intentionally to make you feel subservient or that you are at a lower standard than another person.”

Natacha Unelus
Staff

Discouraging Speech

“I don’t say stupid because it is said to make me feel inferior.”

Alan-Michael Duval
Student

Discouraging Speech

“When I look at other people based off of materialistic things and I say ‘Well, they look spoiled,’ I have to say to myself, ‘Who am I to say that about that person?’ I don’t know you that well, I don’t know who you are.”

Ashley Brandford
Student