From the World of Conscious Language
Note: The authors’ viewpoints are not necessarily shared by Conscious Style Guide.
“Along with ‘illegals,’ award-winning journalist Maria Hinojosa believes the term ‘family separation’ is a misleading understatement.” She is “reticent to use the government’s terms to describe what’s going on” and says, “I feel that it is precisely my role as an independent journalist to question the terms that these things are being given.”
“‘White trash’ could be called the Swiss army knife of insults. It’s deft in its ability to demean multiple groups at once: white people and people of color, poor people and people who ‘act’ like poor people, rural folks and religious folks, and anyone without a college degree.”
“None of the students pictured are international and, yet, they become the poster-children for international students. Not only does this action by Virginia Tech reinforce the perpetual foreigner stereotype as a microaggression, it negatively affects the experiences of those in the picture as well as others in the Asian American community.” —Asian American Student Union, Virginia Tech
From Grindr’s new community guidelines: “You’re free to express your preferences, but we’d rather hear about what you’re into, not what you aren’t.”
“To call the accomplished actress and impressive campaigner possibly ‘the country’s first lesbian governor’ ignores all the times [Cynthia] Nixon has used the label and reinforces the notion that ‘bisexual’ is a less valid identity than ‘gay’ or ‘lesbian.’”
Color of Change and its members “successfully pressured [Disney] to restore its only black princess to her original ‘unapologetically black’ depiction,” after the studio had changed her by giving her a “slimmer nose, loose curly hair, and a significantly lighter skin tone.”
“It’s painfully clear to me that this ‘convenience’ theory was never really about us, and what ‘Dear Abby’ encapsulated was that the entire argument was really about how our cultural identity inconvenienced others.”
“A recent visualisation published in the Architects’ Journal showed 36 people and only one was a person of colour…It is to the detriment of people of colour who historically have been, and clearly continue to be, designed out of our cities.”
Do you write or edit fiction?
on Instagram for examples of
how context can support sensitive content, with a focus on YA books and kidlit.
“When the text is aimed at people of a specific religion, you’ll want to respect the traditions and beliefs associated with that religion.”
“Focus first on clarity,” think about “context, balance, and bias,” seek out resources like Conscious Style Guide’s Spirituality, Religion + Atheism guide—and remember that “respecting someone else’s thoughts and ideas, no matter who they are, is at the heart of all good communication.”
“Cambodia has not yet had its own MeToo moment. But that hasn’t stopped Harry and others from opening the floodgates to some of the parallel shifts around gender equality and sexual relationships, and introducing the new language—like affirmative consent—available to discuss it.”
“Mother’s Life is the kind of classic costume drama that Chinese have been watching for decades. But now, younger viewers are starting to object. They take issue with themes in the show, saying they perpetuate conservative values and encourage women’s [unquestioning] obedience to their husbands.”
“CEO Frida Polli tells Quartz that Pymetrics maintains a dataset of 50,000 previous candidates including their race and gender, and runs any algorithm on that test set first. That way, if the algorithm favors a certain group by gender or race the company can figure out what’s wrong and correct the algorithm.”
“The theme for the media should be, ‘Don’t focus on the category, focus on the impact.’” —Marshall Shepherd, director, University of Georgia’s atmospheric sciences program
“The distinction between the two words is a legal fiction: it asserts that economic hardship is somehow separate from political disenfranchisement and political persecution.”
In Case You Missed It
Is “princess” ever an endearment that feminists can get behind? In her latest article for Conscious Style Guide, Joanna Eng explores the issue, including perspectives from Black women on “princess” and “queen.”
This lesson plan, by former Conscious Style Guide adviser Rick Kenney, introduces students to “the mindfulness of inclusive ‘conscious style’ that better recognizes and illuminates the diversity of people whose stories they tell.”
Encouraging boys to read stories about girls, racial illiteracy, and pervasive myths about obesity—read about these topics and more in the October newsletter.
From the Archives
Stereotyping one gender means simultaneously stereotyping another.