Duke University Student Groups Launch Word Police Campaign

Duke University Student Groups Launch Word Police Campaign

A pair of student groups at North Carolina’s Duke University has launched a poster campaign to impress upon students that using some slang words is not acceptable on campus.

With their “You Don’t Say” campaign, the student organizations Think Before You Talk and the LGBTQ organization Blue Devils United are trying to stop students from using slang such as “that’s retarded,” or “that’s gay” to describe something that isn’t cool. The campaign is also warning students not to casually use the word “raped” to explain how something may have been hard to do–such as “I was really raped by that term paper.”

The campaign hopes to discourage the use of words such as “pussy,” “fag,” “man up,” “tranny,” and “bitch.”

One poster warns readers, “I don’t say ‘Man up’ because I don’t believe in gender norms.”

A second anti-“man up” poster features a young female student and reads, “I don’t say ‘man up’ because the strongest people I know have cried in front of me, regardless of their age, gender, or sex.”

Another oddly claims that using the word “bitch” somehow “insists that femininity is inherently negative.” It is strange that these students feel that the negative word must apply to all women instead of merely describing a behavior.

One poster warns, “I don’t say ‘no homo’ because it limits the ways we express kindness to others and disfigures the kindness of an entire group of people.”

Yet another, even longer-winded poster proves brevity is not the soul of this campaign. 

“I don’t say ‘fag’ because I wouldn’t say something that is tied so strongly to the pain and suffering of others,” it reads.

Along with funds for this campaign, LGBTQ organization Blue Devils United was also the happy recipient of $3,335.49 from the Duke Student Government for the “Lavender Ball and Drag Show.”

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com