I would find this post a lot more engaging if the author left comments open, so that people could have a respectful debate. It wasn’t a case of closing comments after a disrepectful debate – there’s just no comments at all.
It’s a good article on dissecting when is a term a slur or a descriptive term, but I do disagree with the author’s conclusions.
Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists, or TERFs, are a distinct group of people (and frequently intersect as Sex Worker Exclusionary Radical Feminists or SWERFs.) These are people who believe that feminism is only for women, and ‘woman’ is defined by biology; or have a belief that there is no form of sex work that can be consensual because any form of sex work is inherently violent.
I strongly disagree with both propositions.
Put it this way: the people who get offended about the term TERF or SWERF are people being described as TERF or SWERF. Other feminists, and people who do not identify as feminists, don’t find the terms offensive – they find the term descriptive, as it conveniently summarises a wide spectrum of arguments that typify some parts of radical feminism.
Do we define a description as a slur simply because the person to whom that description applies doesn’t like being described in that way? Does this mean that when we describe Eddie McGuire as a person who habitually says or does things that are racist or misogynist, that we’re offending McGuire and his fans by calling him racist or misogynist? Because that is more or less the equivalent to “TERFs don’t like being called TERFs so therefore it’s a slur.”
So… worth reading, but respectfully: no.
Content note: this post contains examples of offensive slur-terms. Last week, the British edition of Glamour magazine published a column in which Juno Dawson used the term ‘TERF’ to describe feminists (the example she named was Germaine Greer) who ‘steadfastly believe that me—and other trans women—are not women’. When some readers complained about the use […]
via What makes a word a slur? — language: a feminist guide
Asher Wolf spent today walking around the Melbourne CBD talking to homeless people, after the recent spike in attention for this issue. There’s a perception in the media and amongst those privileged enough to have never worked with or had to deal with housing security that homelessness rates have increased: they have and they haven’t.
Cuts to welfare, combine with an economy on the skids and gung-ho useless “law and order” policies have combined to cause a slight increase in the amount of people sleeping rough, but what has caused the recent “spike” is just that a long standing camp has been closed, and consequently people who used that as a base have had to find new spots to sleep rough – more visible spots.
Highly recommend reading the experience of homelessness from those living on our streets.
We need to reconsider how we, as a community, respond to housing insecurity. Demonising people, or treating them as “inconsiderate”, is not constructive. As Kyle told Asher,
… the system is fucked. Things get run by some guy in a suit who’s read a text book and thinks they know better than everyone. The system needs people who can empathise better.
I remember discussing plain language with colleagues in a legal service once. The context was setting up a series of precedent documents, so that there was consistency about language across the legal service, and to save lawyers and admin lots of time (not dictating/typing the same letters from scratch, over and over again!)
One colleague who was against the idea said that they thought plain language could be patronising. That’s what I want to focus on in this blog post. How do you use plain language to be clear and concise, but not be patronising or paternalistic?
I’ve had cause to think about the issue of what is reasonable conduct at various events again recently.
A couple of weeks ago, I went to see Iron Maiden at Rod Laver Arena. Once again, I was in the reserved seats area. And once again, no one around me stood up.
Continue reading “Follow up: tickets to rock gigs”
The other night, I went to Rod Laver Arena to see Black Sabbath on their final tour, The End. It was epic. So awesome. And it was great to see a diverse crowd of metalheads, families of several generations, older couples in the “smart casual” dress (that looked so out of place next to the metalheads, to be honest!) and middle aged folk who had grown out of their rebellious youthful phase but wanted to see the band of their childhood/teenage years.
Sabbath rocked so hard.
But my night was almost ruined by people complaining. The situation was sorted out, thanks to the help of a wonderful security guard, but it did give me inspiration for a new blog post:
What is “reasonable conduct” for various ticketed events?
What things should people bear in mind before complaining about someone else’s conduct?
Or to be put it more plainly: if you are complaining about someone standing up and rocking out at a rock concert, are YOU the problem instead?!
Continue reading “Tickets: Situational Reasonableness”
I love this particular judgement. It’s from my home state of Tasmania, and is by one of my favourite judges, the then Justice Blow, now Chief Justice Blow.
Continue reading “A Judicial Example of the Importance of Plain Language”
In a multicultural society, it is highly likely that any Australian lawyer will need to communicate with clients who do not speak English well.
Unless you can communicate in your client’s language clearly and effectively, then your best bet is to use an interpreter. And frankly, having seen lawyers from bilingual backgrounds also use interpreters because they aren’t confident that they can adequately interpret to a standard that would be recognised by the courts, I would err on the side of caution on this one if you have any doubts. Unless you are 100% totally fluent in the other language, hire an interpreter. You need to be able to ensure that you can prove your instructions were obtained properly, when it all boils down to it.
Continue reading “Communicating via Interpreters”