Image Description: Ask a Radical Copyeditor: Are There Limits to Self-Identity Language?

Full description of the featured image for the post “Ask a Radical Copyeditor: Are There Limits to Self-Identity Language?” (speech bubbles and text that illustrate and summarize a question and answer):

Title: Ask a Radical Copyeditor: Are There Limits to Self-Identity Language?

The following phrases appear in speech bubbles:
“Don’t say you’re a ‘cripple’! You’re oppressing yourself!”
“‘Queer’ is a slur. I refuse to describe you that way.”
“If I can’t call you words you don’t identify with, you can’t call me ‘cis.'”

Text underneath says:

Q: How far does the agency of one’s identity go, in terms of marginalized people who use terms I understand to be oppressive and cis people who don’t want to be called cis?

A: When someone claims (or reclaims) language to describe their oppressed identity, they are speaking themself into existence in a society that is trying to annihilate them. This is their right. Full stop.

When someone rejects an accurate descriptor of their privileged status, they are refusing to acknowledge their privilege and the belief that they’re “normal.” Describing a cis person as cis is not oppression, it’s using language to help equalize an oppressive power dynamic.

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