Welcome to Language Matters, the facet of UMatter that strives to end the use of language that is prejudice, incensitive or both! This could include the use of words in everyday situations that pertain to someone’s sexual orientation, race or past experiences just to name a few.
There are many ways to eliminate this type language not only at UWO but on other campuses as well. In spreading this message, we hope to shed some light on the impact of the words people choose. Here are just a few steps that you can take to become an advocate for this cause:
Don’t ignore it. If you hear someone say something off-color that could be offensive, call them out in a respectful manner and explain to them the impact of their words.
Be prepared for possible tension or conflict. This is a sensitive topic that many people may not be aware of. Be aware that the situation could get uncomfortable but stand your ground!
Be non-judgmental, but know the bottom line. There are a lot of good people who say things without thinking about them first. Don’t hold it against them, just know when to step in and explain to them why they should not have said what they said!
Be aware of your own hesitancy to intervene. We have all done this, choosing not to intervene in certain situations. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Just use it as a learning experience for the next time you could make a difference.
Be a role model. Take charge and live the message. When people see others stand up against hurtful language, they will be more inclined to do so also. Be the leader!
These are all great ways to begin making yourself and others aware of the hurtful things that are said every single day! Every time you approach someone about this issue you can make a difference for victims of such words.