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Glossary of hate terms

Ableism

Discrimination against people with disabilities on the basis of their disability. In other words, it is devaluing and oppressing individuals (“I can do it and you can’t”), and making incorrect/unjustified assumptions about disability. It is the belief that only people without disabilities are “normal”. Ableism is usually a systemic behavior expressed through verbal remarks, comments, negative and derogatory statements about disability. Ableism can also be defined as when a person’s abilities are judged according to a socially constructed perception of what a “normal” individual is (how a person should behave, look, and perform), and when discrimination is practiced if a person does not fit this definition.

Examples: verbal comments when using phrases with medical meaning (e.g. “Are you deaf?”, “He’s bipolar today”); making unwarranted assumptions about what a person with a disability can and cannot do; being overprotective and preconceived notions that a person with a disability cannot take care of themselves.

Antisemitism

Hostility and prejudice against Jews, their religious (Judaism) and ethnic groups. Anti-Semitism includes any negative expression towards Jews, from individual hatred to the brutal persecution of the group or its individual members. This concept can be divided into three categories: 1) religious anti-Semitism, which is directed against the followers of the religion of Judaism; 2) racial anti-Semitism, which is directed against the Jewish people; and 3) the new, modern anti-Semitism (related to anti-Zionism, i.e., against the State of Israel and its foreign policy).

Examples include: assumptions that Jews are rich and controlling (i.e. controlling banks, media and other sectors); comments about appearance (“you look like a Jew”); violent attacks in kosher food shops, synagogues, etc.

Biphobia

Irrational and unjustified fear of bisexuality (a sexual orientation in which sexual attraction is felt for both genders – male and female), prejudice against, disgust for, hatred and/or contempt for, or discrimination against, bisexual people at a personal or institutional level. Biphobia can also be intrinsic – it can be understood as a denial of one’s sexual orientation, a forced attempt to come to terms with heterosexuality as the only correct sexual orientation.

Examples include: denying that such sexual orientation can exist (“Love women or love men”); hostile comments questioning the reality of such sexual orientation; online threats and insults; etc.

Ageism

Stereotypes, prejudice and age discrimination. They can also be expressed in negative portrayals of people of a certain age (usually older) in the media, in speeches by politicians, etc.

Examples: dismissal because of age, refusal to provide insurance in a particular area (e.g. car, travel) because of the age of the applicant, etc.

Homophobia

Irrational and unjustified fear of homosexuality (or homosexual persons), prejudice against, disgust with, showing hatred and/or contempt for, or discrimination against, homosexual persons at a personal or institutional level. Homophobia can also be intrinsic – it can be understood as a denial of one’s sexual orientation, a forced attempt to come to terms with heterosexuality as the only correct sexual orientation.

Examples include: various hate crimes against gay people; attacks on organizations representing the interests of gay people (e.g. setting fire to doors); defacing LGBT+ symbols, etc.

Lesbophobia

See homophobia. Lesbophobia is homophobia directed against gay women. The term is used to describe multiple discrimination (intersectionality), where discrimination is based not only on sexual orientation (homosexuality) but also on gender (women).

Heterosexism

Belief that everyone should be heterosexual; condemnation of people who are not heterosexual. Heterosexism can also be understood as the “superiority” of heterosexuality over other sexual orientations.

Examples include supporting “heterosexual privilege” (“I’m normal, youre not”), avoiding discussions about homosexuality in schools and other public places because they are perceived as “sensitive” and likely to anger others, i.e. heterosexuals.

Islamophobia

Discrimination against a religious community – Muslims – on the basis of their religion. Islamophobia is usually identified by an unjustified fear, prejudice and hatred of this religious community and a lack of tolerance towards Muslims and their religious practices. It is often expressed in terms of perceiving the religion of Islam as the sole source of terrorism, without distinguishing it from radical Islamism (Muslim fundamentalists).

Examples include violence against Muslims, vandalism and violent attacks on mosques and worshippers.

Classicism

Discriminatory acts at institutional, cultural or individual level that show that a person is being judged on the basis of socio-economic class, origin, type of work, level of education, etc. Classism usually involves the attribution of certain prejudiced qualities and abilities to human beings, and the differential treatment of people on the basis of their social position.

Examples: denigration of those in lower socio-economic classes; hostility towards those with less economic capital.

Xenophobia

Literally from the Greek: fear of foreigners (xenos) (phobos). Unreasonable fear and/or dislike of strangers or strangers who are different from the rest of society. There are two main objects of xenophobia: groups of individuals and cultural elements. In the first case, xenophobia means discrimination against a group of people (usually immigrants), stigmatization and hostile violent reactions. The most brutal expression of such xenophobia is genocide. In the second, cultural xenophobia, hatred is usually directed at a specific cultural element. This hatred fosters hostility towards foreigners and speakers of other languages.

Examples include: accusing foreigners from the Asian region of bringing and spreading the coronavirus into the country and removing them at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Misandry

Literally from the Greek: hatred (misos) for the husband (andros). Prejudice, hostility and hatred towards the male gender, an extreme form of sexism usually identified with radical feminism.

Examples include the portrayal of men in public space (e.g. in advertisements or films) as “idiotic”, i.e. as stupid, incapable of taking responsibility and dependent on women (usually on wives).

Misogyny

Literally from the Greek – hatred(misos) of the woman(gyno). Prejudice, hostility and hatred towards the female gender. An extreme form of sexism, often used to highlight men’s hostile actions against women who challenge the patriarchal status quo. In societies where misogyny is widespread, high rates of violence (both psychological and physical) against women are common.

Examples: devaluing women in both private and public spaces; treating men (more positive, more respectful) and women (more negative) differently.

Racism

The belief that innate biological differences between races lead to cultural or individual achievements, that one race is superior to another and therefore entitled to rule over an inferior one. In other words, racism leads to discrimination and prejudice by categorizing people as belonging to a particular race (white, dark-skinned, etc.), as well as to other skin colors and ethnic backgrounds. In some cases, racism can be seen as a form of xenophobia. It can also be expressed through intolerance, i.e. ignoring, avoiding, disdaining, refusing to engage in relations, imposing harsh legal sanctions, denying normal civil rights, or even through violence and displays of open hatred.

Examples include hate attacks against black people, unjustified police attention to people of other races (systemic racism), exclusion of people of other skin colors (e.g. by refusing to sit next to them), etc.

Romaphobia (antigypsyism)

Discrimination and marginalization of the Roma community. Romaphobia can be divided into individual (i.e. when a person has negative and/or racist attitudes towards Roma people) and institutional (i.e. when an institution refuses or avoids to deal with the problems of an ethnic community and takes unjustified actions against Roma). The existence of such unjustified actions violates the principles of parity and equality by discriminating against the Roma community solely on the basis of the origin of its members.

Examples: stereotypical and often prejudiced devaluation of Roma people, calling them thieves, believing that they are necessarily unreliable, rude, etc.

Sexism

A form of discrimination that arises from the belief that one gender is naturally superior to the other. This belief is linked to preconceived gender stereotypes. Sexism in a particular situation or area prevents equality between women and men and restricts fundamental human rights and freedoms.

Examples include sexist adverts showing, for example, a man teaching a woman how to use a certain device; derogatory comments that unjustifiably question the competence of female experts in a particular field because of their gender; etc.

Transphobia

Irrational and unreasonable fear of not conforming to or violating gender norms. In other words, it is the fear or hostility towards masculine women, feminine men, cross-dressers, transgender people, transsexual people and others who do not conform to the stereotypes of the sex assigned at birth.

Examples include: the purposeful refusal to refer to a transgender person by the name of his or her choice, instead using the name given at birth; the extremely complicated process of gender reassignment (requiring legal proceedings), etc.

Sources:

Publications

  • Colman, Andrew M. (2015). A Dictionary of Psychology (4th ed.). Oxford University Press(ableism, misandry, racism, sexism).
  • Methodological guidelines for the conduct, organization and management of pre-trial investigations into hate crimes and hate speech(anti-Semitism, racism, transphobia).
  • Scott, J. (2014). A Dictionary of Sociology. Oxford University Press (Islamophobia).
  • Selling, J., End, M., et al. (2015). Antiziganism: What’s in a word?; Proceedings from the Uppsala International Conference on the Discrimination, Marginalization and Persecution of Roma, 23-25 October 2013. Cambridge Scholars Publ.(Romaphobia).

Internet sources:

World Health Organisation: Who.int/westernpacific/news/q-a-detail/ageing-ageism