Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Pejorative epithets

Transgender activists say we should call people what they call themselves. Refusing to do so is disrespectful. An example would be "Caitlyn" Jenner. To continue to call "her" Bruce is bigoted. 

i) Although that's sometimes true, I'm under no obligation to cooperate with your agenda, and you have no right to coerce me into endorsing your agenda by making me adopt your propagandistic designations. 

ii) In addition, from what I've read, there are gay standup comedians who sprinkle their routines with pejorative epithets about homosexuals. Likewise, there are black standup comedians (and hip-hop performers) who use pejorative epithets about blacks. By the same token, some black pundits use derogatory epithets about black conservatives or black Republicans like Clarence Thomas and Condi Rice.

Does the self-usage of blacks and homosexuals in that case authorize whites to repeat the same derogatory epithets? 


  1. The only way to "win" with these people is to surrender to them. They won't compromise (or if they do it's only temporary) and they won't back off.

  2. Steve, could one get around the problem by distinguishing between needless and necessary offence; ie there s no good reason to use a racial pejorative known to cause offence, vs knocking a few buffalo chips off of the shoulders of professional offence-takers?

    1. Sure, we could draw that distinction, but my point is that people who say we're required to call people what they call themselves are making a simplistic claim which they themselves don't really believe if they stopped to consider some obvious counterexamples.