4 Problematic Words And Phrases You Should Stop Saying
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Politics and Activism

4 Problematic Words And Phrases You'll STOP Saying In 2020 If You're Finally Ready To Grow Up

Because sticks and stones can break bones, but words can sometimes hurt more.

4 Problematic Words And Phrases You'll STOP Saying In 2020 If You're Finally Ready To Grow Up

1. The R-Word

I don't care if you meant it as a joke, or if it just slipped off your tongue by accident. This word needs to be removed from your dictionary IMMEDIATELY. If you're using this word, think about the consequences of your actions and imagine suffering from a mental illness or disability and seeing people use this word with such a derogatory connotation. You can choose the words that come out of your mouth — choose ones that are positive and uplifting.

2. The N-Word

There is only one group of people that can say this, and that's it.

It doesn't matter if you're a person of color, if you aren't a member of the black community, this word is not yours to utter. Even if you're singing a song, or if your black friends "gave you permission" to say it. Saying this word as a non-black PoC or a white person is extremely derogatory. Words have history behind them. Even though you may have meant the word lightly, consider researching the history of hurt associated with this world. Read stories of how people felt after this word was used on them, it's not just a song lyric or a word that means "friend," it carries a heavy history behind it.

Calling people who speak Spanish "Spanish people"

Yes, there are a lot of countries where the official language is Spanish, but that is NO excuse for the ignorance behind calling everyone who speaks Spanish "Spanish." People from all the Spanish-speaking countries are of different ethnicities, backgrounds, cultures, and identities. Grouping them all together just because you didn't take the moment to get to know where the person you are referencing is from is insensitive. Get to know a person! Ask about his or her family heritage. If you're observing a person from afar and you don't have to opportunity to get to know them, there are better words that "Spanish" to use to describe them.

'Man up'

2020 and all of the subsequent years should be full of acceptance of people's thoughts, feelings, emotions, and situations. Men can cry, and there is nothing that biologically stipulates that they cannot do so and still be a man. Bottling up emotions and telling someone to "man up" really invalidates someone's feelings and may have a negative impact of his mental health. Instead of stating "man up!" or "boys don't cry", talk to him and try to understand what he's going through. Offer advice and be a shoulder to cry on, because men CAN cry.

Let's fill this decade with love and respect for others rather than hate! Being aware of the implications of your actions and words will make a profound impact on the self-esteem and confidence of others.

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