Political pejoratives.

I see the following list as examples of something that comes naturally to us. I’m not judging the category. I don’t grudge people the right to make negative political lables for people. I’m more about the utility of the lable. It’s meaning, usefulness, accuracy, and whatever other features they have. It makes the bigotry stand out too. Tools that are actually harmful to society should

SJW. Cultural marxism. White knight. Virtue signaling. Cuck. Dictionary athiest. Uncle tom. Political correctness. Soy boy. Boomer. Femanazi.

I call them “political pejoratives”. They’re tools. They have a use and meaning. And my way of dealing with them is to take them seriously. A tool is only as valuable as it’s utility.

I’ve seen people claim they are characteristics. Negative feeling characteristics that just can’t help feeling negative. I can respect that in the abstract, I use ignorant and incompetent myself, as well as dictionary athiest, and I have an appreciation for boomer… So I ask them to show me the characteristics so that I can judge for myself.

I’m not going to post definitions or histories for all of these since the ones I see as obstacles can be engaged with despite them. Their worth can be demonstrated by those who believe they have value. And of course this is one person’s experience of these words and other perspectives are important.

I ask to see the “SJW” characteristics, which seem to be something like “illigitimate social justice activism”. Illigitimate by means of a logical problem, or being insincere, or means that undermine goals…and I’ve rarely gotten anyone to give me a definition let alone apply it to the situation. This is functionally an insult.

I similarly have a very hard time getting people to show me the “cultural marxism”, less than 10 times has anyone showed me what it was (articles by people on the right). And not once has anyone shown me the bad thing in specific terms, applied their concept to the situation and specifically show the bad things. This is also functionally an insult.

“White Knight” was coming to the defense of someone for the purposes of getting reward sex, seems to have evolved into “illigitimate defense”, and often doesn’t seem to have a sexist aspect today (aimed at more people, yay society?). But I’m not the group it was intended for so my perspective is limited. Experiences of language don’t go away so it’s better to say it seems me applied more evenly with respect to sex and gender, but definitely hits minority voices more often. I demand to see the illigitimate defense and rarely get anything.

“Virtue signaling” is an absolute mess of a “characterization”. Not only don’t people show me what’s wrong with the signal in question, it’s an appropriated technical term for general human behavior that’s only right or wrong in specific examples. It looks like another claim of insincerity with no effort to show a problem. And conveniently people using the “term” get to virtue signal while acting like everyone else is insincere. This is not only functionally an insult, I can see what they are doing with it when no one actually shows the insincerity. With quotes. I’m pretty sure these are largely bigots who don’t want to be critisized.

“Cuck” was an insult meant to suggest someone was getting treated as subordinate or submissive by a woman. It seems to me to have evolved into a general means to suggest someone, usually a percieved ally or allies, are acting subordinate or submissive on the level of letting someone have sex with your wife and watching. I’ve seen some say Republicans were “cucked” by the Democrats by when they compromised on legislation. This pajorative only seems effective among the people who use it. It’s right-wing in-group shaming by people independently of its existence as a kink. They try to use but most of their out-groups seem to find it confusing or amusing.

Dictionary athiest” is one I use. To me it’s relevant every time someone brings up the dictionary definition of the word atheist in order to pressure others to stop discussing something in an atheist social space, or to stop talking as if something were connected to atheists as a group (and is often connected to the odd idea of there being no actual atheist community). In my experience it’s often directed at issues like taking harassment, abuse, and bigotry seriously. As far as I’m concerned what we disbelieve doesn’t determine what we believe or talk about, and if something is relevant to an atheist it’s fair game and dictionary atheists are trying to affect politics to their benefit. And most importantly if someone in an atheist community has a problem with bigotry in that community it’s fucking relevant.

Uncle tom” I have respect for. I don’t use it, it’s not mine. I’m a potential “euromutt”. I think that’s what I put on the census but I’m leaving room for it to be problematic. It belongs to someone else. Here in the united states of america it references a black person who is seen as overly subservient towards white people. One experience of it is one of my family members posting an article that acted like it was outrageous that a black conservative, Ben Carson I believe, was called an uncle tom. Unfortunately I don’t have the article anymore. But I remember that nowhere in the article did the author say why it was wrong that someone used the term. They acted like it was just bad to use it at all and didn’t even defend that. I threatened to pick one of my family’s negative characterizations of fellow christians or republicans and start calling it unacceptable.

“Political correctness” has a history that I don’t know well enough to try to discuss. Today it seems to be a way of disparaging criticism of language use and people who use it don’t really like to get specific about what it is they don’t want critisized. It’s useful to ask what it is they want to be able to say without consequences like criticism. There is usually an implication of the person having opinions related to race, sex, gender or something else. All I can say is some language deserves critisizing and you can’t show me the language or criticism I’m not going assume there’s a problem.

“Soy boy” is part misogyny and part racism used to police social behavior. Conflation of some estrogens with plant estrogens is ignorant political opportunism. And racism is because I believe of “foreignness” and connections to asian stereotypes should be considered as opportunities for people already demonstrating misogyny. Hbomberguy’s amusing treatments of the topic are recommend. That part of society is piles of grifting on grifting. The intersection of bigotry and grifting is a thing worth thinking about.

“Boomer” and lately “boomer remover”. I like it. I think younger generations need a pajorative for elders acting badly on issues relevant to the younger generations. I leave it alone or defend it’s use.

Femanazi. Rush Limbaugh’s label for people critisizing others based on sex and gender issues. I treat it like an insult, and as I write this I if I should tell people using “feminazi” that it’s good that they display their intent to attack instead of constructively engage over an issue? It seems like like a useful characteristic to highlight in a political confrontation.

That’s good for now. Listing them all would be endless because we’re always making new ones. Feel free to add your own examples below.


  1. Ridana says

    I don’t think “white knight” is often aimed at women, due to the “to get sexual favors” aspect it tends to carry. I have seen “caping” (as in a superhero’s cape) applied equally. It’s basically the same, taking someone’s side when they’re being undeservedly ganged up on (even if, or maybe especially if, that person is usually an ass).

    I do have some issues with “boomer,” but not so much because “not all boomers.” What bothers me about it is that it makes people complacent believing that once those damn boomers are gone and out of our way, we can finally fix things and everything will be fine. That’s a dangerous delusion. That’s what we thought in the 60s and 70s, waiting for Thurmond and his ilk to finally die and let go of the reins. But McConjob isn’t stacking the courts with boomers, he’s filling them with ultra-conservative young people barely out of law school. There is no shortage of them.

    Look at all the teen-40s people visible at Pumpkin’s rallies. More boomers voted for the Liar in Chief than for Clinton, but the margin wasn’t as huge as liberals would like to believe, and it wasn’t as lopsided toward Clinton among the younger voters (those who bothered to show up) as people like to tell themselves. Boomers could all die out tomorrow, and there would still be plenty of RWNJ youngs to replace them and to fanatically vote for them while the liberals stay home and rejoice that they’ve won the war of attrition.

  2. says

    Thanks for the perspective. I wasn’t sure about what I thought I was seeing, and it’s possible I’m overvaluing the few occasions where I have see it aimed at women. I haven’t seen “caping”. Is it associated with any particular communities? I’d think it was associated with the word “caper” like an illicit activity if I hadn’t seen you mention it.

    I haven’t noticed that issue with boomer. The term seems more about a defiant dismissal because of the neglect of some boomers than the actions boomers are or aren’t taking. I’m not sure boomer is supposed to do anything there. It’s a good concern otherwise.

    I’d like to see some good pejoratives for the behavior of those young Trump supporters and the people in those courts. That’s why I use ignorant and incompetent a lot and new words focusing on the behavior could be useful. They’re likely to become pajoratives because of how they feel but I think that’s just how it works. Some words aren’t supposed to feel good but they do have to have utility.

  3. brucegee1962 says

    I think “cuck” is particularly useful because of the signal it sends, since it has racist overtones as well. I interpret it as a person saying “I wish to demonstrate as economically as possible that I am both racist AND sexist. If those things offend you, please pay no further attention to anything else I say.”

  4. Ridana says

    Now that I think about it more, “caping” might not be used much anymore. I guess I haven’t seen it in awhile. Probably only used among people who use “stan” as a noun or verb, and “notice me, sempai!” which encapsulates the attitude of all of Trump’s enablers, especially Barr.

    I think “OK Boomer” serves as you say, when it’s not just the current equivalent of “old fogey.” Apparently it’s even applicable to anyone of any age. But “Boomer Remover”? That’s absolutely feeding into the fantasy that the world will finally be rosy when they’re gone. While I don’t really object to the former usage, it’s the latter that makes me avoid using boomer as a pejorative.

  5. StevoR says

    @1. Ridana : Seconded by me and agreed.

    Re : your #6 I haven’t really seen “caping” used at all before that I remember & “stan” just makes me think of the Central Asian geographic suffix “~stan” which I gather means ‘land’ eg Pakistan = “land of the pure”, Tajikistan = “land of (the?) Tajiks”, Uzbekistan = “land of (the) Uzbeks”, etc .. Although I do gather there’s another useage common on the internet eg 4 Chan communities (not a sub-culture I’m part of or really very familar with) which is the one applying here.

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