Gender/Politics Language Discussion

To be clear, we are talking over a decade ago! But that is my recollection as I hadn’t even heard the term before that back then.


Absolutely, and in the same vein as ‘woke’.

Incidentally, ‘woke’ was being used as long ago as the 1930s. An old blues number about the dangers of black people travelling through southern US states advised them to “stay woke” at all times.


Yes. The term was coined back in 2008, and the ‘gender critical’ label came later after it had been decided that ‘TERF’ was a slur and an alternative was needed. So both statements are true: many years ago, the term was used neutrally including as a self-identifier; now the term is not used as a self-identifier and seen as a slur.

I may be coming at things at a slightly different angle from you, but I do agree with this. It reminds me of how ‘literally’ used to mean ‘literally’ but then after years of shows like the X-Factor where people were ‘literally dying right now’ it now also means ‘metaphorically’, which means it has literally lost all meaning. :sob:


I hate this one, because even now I’m used to it, and know what it’s used for, it takes me a few extra seconds to process it and I have to really think about it. And of course having been around people for so long using it, you start to pick it up yourself to fit in.

It tends to be an exaggeration or emphasis word I’ve noticed, and so that’s how I’ve adapted it too. Doesn’t come naturally to me though, so when I use it in that way it’s an intentional choice rather than subconscious.

It’s strange how language works in that sense, because it’s all just a human invented construct that we assign meaning to. So I don’t understand why I struggle with them. But it is what it is.

As for terf, it’s still a relatively new term to me (I’ve seen it many times over the years, but only recently learned what it is), and based on how I’ve seen it used, I largely agree with the others above in that it’s used as your #3. Woke is probably a good comparison. For me, it more resembles how [a word that is not allowed to be used on here] was thrown towards those who were suspected to be gay back in my youth. My only direct experience with terf’s use is some random person on Xbox calling me it for playing Hogwarts Legacy.


This one really gets me. The fact it’s now been updated so it’s correct to use it to say things such as “I’m literally dying” etc.

Being old school, I always use it in its original context and when others don’t I have to process whether they are using it as I do or in the new way.

Damn English language evolving over time…

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:wave: Hey all, just creating a new thread for this discussion (previously in Monzo the media)

As always, please keep things civil and in line with our Code of Conduct. We know this is a particularly sensitive issue, and while we allow conversations about these topics, we’ll step in if we see the rules being broken.


I wasn’t going to reply to this as it was off topic but now that @cookywook has kindly split the topic off I will!

That’s not exactly how language is I feel. On a very philosophical level. Language is meaning. You can’t think in logical patterns without language. Whether language is definable as a construct - I could write about 15 more paragraphs on that but I’d conclude it isn’t, only because you need language in the first place to think about or define what a construct is.


Thanks for doing this, I think this could be an interesting thread. Hopefully some good discourse while remaining civil.

It’s not something I know an awful lot about, but that’s how language feels to me inherently. I get your point though, and you’re probably right too.

Honestly, if you have the time, and you want to, I’d very interested in reading some of those other 15 paragraphs! :sweat_smile:

It’s always been something I’ve wanted to grasp a better understanding, if only to better figure how my own brain seems to work.

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In general, I think people have become really bad at listening and understanding opinions and viewpoints that aren’t 100% identical to their own. I’m at uni and I’ve seen it so many times where someone disagrees slightly about something and is called a terf, or transphobe, or whatever you want to call it.

People have concerns and questions about the impact that things like self-ID would have on everyone else. Some concerns are fair, some aren’t. Either way, dismissing and ignoring their concerns by calling them a terf and not discussing anything isn’t how society can progress. We need discussions to understand stuff better. People aren’t going to understand what transgender people go through if no one is willing to discuss anything, which means progression isn’t going to happen.

It isn’t just to do with this either. Saw it with the riots in America after George Floyds’ death and destroying the statues here. If you aren’t 100% for it, then you must be a racist. It seems everyone is obsessed with creating a false dichotomy where if you aren’t 100% agreeing with someone, then you must be 100% against them, when this simply isn’t the case.


Maybe one day! Although I would caveat I’m proposing a specific and somewhat contentious philosophical position.

My favourite book on something similar is ‘kripke’s Wittgenstein’s skeptic’. It doesn’t really need any prior philosophy knowledge to read and it will make your head spin somewhat, but it’s a very interesting analysis of a specific skeptical position on language that has somewhat worrying implications :joy:

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In general I’m OK with language evolving, it always has and always will, but in this instance we’ve no other word which means ‘literally.’ The closest I can think of is verbatim.


This use (or misuse) of ‘literally’ has been going on for literally centuries. This article has some examples:


I really wished I hadn’t seen this thread now. My head’s spinning (not literally).

I just opened my Santander app to be greeted by “You’ve reached a new milestone! You’ve saved £2900 with 123…”

My first thought? A milestone is a rock next to a road.

My second thought? Who in their right mind counts 2900 as a milestone? 2000, or 3000, yes. 2500 at a push, but not 2900, surely.

I think I need to go out for a walk. Literally.


Some would argue that TERF is inaccurate as radical feminists would include trans men as female.

There is also a difference between labelling someone / a group a term, and that individual/ group labelling themselves that term. Context is everything. If the term is prefixed with f*****g you can assume it is not being used neutrally. See also “queer”, reclaimed by some, deeply offensive to others.


And yet you are comfortable imaging everything else here in your made up scenario.

I am not a Monzo employee but I am a senior manager in my company. I fit a lot of the criteria that you seem to think is extreme and I have literally just hired two white men in their late fifties as they were the best candidates I interviewed.

But then I must be imaginary.


Monzo are committed to ‘Paying off their diversity debt’. The mechanism of how they are doing this is disregarding white, male candidates in favour of those that would improve diversity stats. Monzo staff is 30 percent LGBT, 10x that of the general population. Is that because an LGBT person was the best person for the job over and over again? Or were they hired to improve stats? The fact we are even arguing this on the forums shows that they have allowed their staff to get overly political. The telegraph article has nearly 2000 comments now and likely hundreds of thousands of views. Monzo need to stop alienating their customers and reign it in before they are viewed as the Ben & Jerry’s of banks.

Screenshot 2023-08-02 at 13.52.09

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You’ve discounted the possibility that they just feel more welcome there than with other employers.


They haven’t alienated me yet.

If they get bought by Unilever I might think a little less of them, though.


The forum, just like the company, is a left wing echo chamber. Just because people on here don’t feel alienated, it doesn’t mean the average member of the public doesn’t