A speech about words can hurt
Hurtful Words Quotes (23 quotes)
Sticks and Stones: Words DO hurt.
To understand this power, we only have to look at people who are driven to the edge of suicide due to venomous words that ate away at their spirit, or the loving In Australia, one of our most cherished privileges is freedom of speech. In Australia, one of our most cherished privileges is freedom of speech. This is a great right, however it does also come with great responsibility. There is a difference between freedom of speech and a free for all. Insulting comments do not accomplish anything except hurt their intended subject. These are not words of friendship, but a foul outpouring of alienation and exclusion.
Social rejection activates the same parts of our brain as a punch to the face or a broken arm. More to the point of this article, and just as obvious, is research that shows epithets and hate speech also hurt people. These words play integral parts in systems of oppression — subtly or not so subtly conveying contempt, hostility, dismissiveness, and rejection towards people in marginalized groups. Homophobic language can quite literally rewire our brains to connect being gay with these ostensibly negative characteristics. That was, in large part, my reality. It took a fair amount of time, energy, and effort to overcome that programming — to the extent that I have. Thankfully, there is an increasing recognition of the way that power dynamics and oppressive positionality are reinforced by our language.
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We have all heard this expression as kids. While this may have seemed like a great tactic to use on the playground in self-defense, words actually CAN and DO hurt.
Hurtful phrases may be worse than sticks and stones. Either way, those hurts jangle when someone either deliberately or in haste flings negative words your way:. Jargon, coarse, clubby behaviour, uninterested body language, ageist, sexist or racist put-downs all add up to a negative climate that rapidly can turn hostile. Sometimes a person may be experiencing hardship in their lives and is consequently very vulnerable. They may be beset by tremendous insecurities both real and perceived and careless words can feel like blows.
Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more. Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more I strongly believe that words do hurt people. Words can hurt people; in fact they can be fatal.