If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck–duck!


The F Word
via feminist blogs
by Jeff Fecke on 10/28/10

There are epithets that decent people shy away from using. One obvious example is the use of racist, ethnic, or gender-based slurs. If you’re a decent human being, you don’t use them, because one uses them to hurt, to malign, to defame.

But it is not just slurs on one’s person that we avoid. We also avoid slurs on one’s political philosophy. Describing someone as a Nazi, for example, is rightly seen as beyond the pale. It says a person is a believer in an ideology that led to the slaughter of six million innocent people, and ignited a global war that killed millions more. Unless a person actually is a follower of Hitler’s philosophy, describing them as a Nazi is not only inaccurate, it’s pejorative. And the same is true of other discredited, vile, or simply discarded epithets, like communist1, or Maoist, or totalitarian; unless a person actually is a communist, Maoist, or totalitarian, describing them as such is simply rude, and is designed to create far more heat than light.

But sometimes, the shoe fits. There are still Nazis, after all. There are still segregationists. Still anti-Semites. Still communists. Some of these people wear their positions proudly, like the perky neo-Nazi with the swastika tattoo on her head who frequents my local convenience store.2 Most, however, hold their positions without admitting to the label that defines them – as the label itself describes a belief system that has been rejected by everyone.

Read more.

One Comment to ““The F. Word””

  • Thank you so much for sharing this very lucid article. Reposting!

Post comment

Forbidden Bookshelf

Forbidden Bookshelf

“While We Were Sleeping”

While We Were Sleeping is an urgent call to save Greenwich Village from New York University's uncontrolled expansion.

Click here to donate to NYUFASP and receive a copy of "While We Were Sleeping: NYU and the Destruction of New York" (minimum donation to receive a book is $10 plus $8 shipping).

Orwell Rolls In His Grave, featuring MCM – Buy the DVD

About News From Underground

News From Underground is a daily e-news service run by Mark Crispin Miller, a Professor of Culture and Communication at NYU. It is based on his belief that academics, like reporters, have a civic obligation to help keep the people well-informed, so that American democracy might finally work.

If you'd like to receive updates delivered to your inbox daily, sign up for News From Underground Alerts:

Help News From Underground!

Message from Mark: "I am a one-man operation, although assisted greatly by some volunteers, and, now and then, by people paid by others for one-time projects. There is no shortage of skilled, dedicated folks out there who want to help me. There is, however, nothing I can pay them with, unless you decide you can contribute something."

Please donate via the PayPal button above or via PayPal by email to: markcrispinmiller@gmail.com

Recent Posts

Recent Comments

Popular Posts


Need a bigger font size?

Sponsored Links

  • Your link could be here too, contact us for pricing details.