Table of contents:

From abuse to ageism: a short vocabulary for understanding what activists want
From abuse to ageism: a short vocabulary for understanding what activists want

Terms, without knowledge of which it will be difficult on the Internet.

From abuse to ageism: a short vocabulary for understanding what activists want
From abuse to ageism: a short vocabulary for understanding what activists want


Abuse is violence in a broad sense. It can be:

  • physical - beatings and other use of force;
  • sexual;
  • psychological and emotional;
  • reproductive, when a person is forced into pregnancy and childbirth;
  • financial - the victim is somehow deprived of his livelihood, forced to resign, or all the money is taken away.

People are abused not only in romantic relationships. For example, it can be performed by parents in relation to children, and vice versa. This is usually a systematic violence that can last for years and from which it is not so easy for the victim to get out without assistance.


Lack of interest in sex and unwillingness to engage in it. Moreover, in an asexual, this is not associated with hormonal disorders, taking drugs that reduce libido, or with anything else. It's just that sex is not in the zone of his hobbies, it happens.


Disclosure of information about a person - primarily about sexual orientation - without his consent. In many countries, including Russia, outing can have dire consequences for someone whose personal life is under discussion. An LGBT person can become the target of bullying or even lose his life.

Body positive

A movement that promotes love for your body, whatever it may be. For some reason, it has taken root in the mass consciousness as the right to weigh 200 kilograms and not shave your legs. But, first of all, body positive is much broader and helps people not to be shy about freckles, too curly or too straight hair, knees of the "wrong" shape, stretch marks and the like. Because of retouching, the standards of beauty are now such that no living person can match them, if only because there are no people without pores and armpits.

Secondly, love for your body implies taking care of it, including maintaining its health, so there is no talk of “propaganda of diseases”, which is accused of body positive.

Finally, if a person wants to weigh 200 kilograms and not shave their legs, this is his own business. Why should anyone care about it at all? Lagging behind someone else's appearance is also body positive.


The opposite of body positivity: condemnation of a person for their appearance. Anyone can become a victim, because you never know what others will not like. For example, posts on similar topics were very popular in the olden days in LJ. Someone forbade wearing sandals, because the toes look ugly by default, someone - to wear shorts if you are over 42 nd size.

Worst of all, the bodyshamer not only condemns others for their characteristics, but also ascribes to them some inner flaws on this basis. For example, he accuses of laziness.


Harassment of one of the team members. Includes insults, threats, physical aggression, ridicule, bullying. It is more often associated with schools, but in fact it can also be found among adults, for example, at work.


Transfer of responsibility for the incident to the victim. They robbed in the gateway - there is no need to walk in deserted places! Rape - what were you wearing? The parent beat the child to a coma - and how else to explain to the children if they don't understand otherwise? Victimblaming lives on the arguments "it's his own fault" and "he asked for it himself." It creates an excuse for the offender and shifts the focus of attention away from him.

One of the reasons for the existence of victim blaming is the belief in a just world. This is a theory in which everyone gets what they deserve. And if you behave correctly, then nothing will happen to you. But this is only psychological protection, which is not confirmed by reality.

Second shift

A phenomenon arising from the unequal distribution of household responsibilities. In a relationship in which both partners work full-time, the woman spends much more time on unpaid work: cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, caring for children and elderly relatives. And she could devote this time to rest or self-development.

There is also a third shift - the time spent on maintaining the "marketable" appearance.


A type of psychological abuse in which the victim is forced to question his own adequacy. Let's say someone from the household is constantly rummaging through your things and reading your correspondence. And when you show it to him, he says that you yourself shifted everything, you just forgot, but with the messenger it seemed to you at all. If it is convincing enough, you will think: what if you really shifted something and did not notice? The more a person is not sure that he adequately assesses the situation, the easier it is to manage it.

The term appeared thanks to the film Gas Light, in which the main character manipulates the mind of his wife, and she begins to think that she is going crazy.


It is a social concept that refers to the characteristics and behaviors that culture attributes to the sexes. For example, a man is supposed to be strong, aggressive, love cars and football. And for a woman - to be gentle, helpless and the main goal of life is to see marriage and motherhood. Usually this is attributed to some biological prerequisites, but science does not confirm this. So people can have any set of qualities, because they are a surprise! - various.


Systematic murder of people based on gender. It can also be called femicide for women or androcide for men. An example would be selective abortion, which is practiced in China, India and some other countries. According to researchers, due to the selective approach to the sex of the child, 23 million girls were not born. There is a separate term for the killing of embryos or newborn babies on the basis of gender - infanticide.


Dehumanization of a specific person or group of people united by a single sign. This is to explain why someone is disenfranchised or mistreated. It's impossible with equals. But if you find some explanation why the discriminated group is worse, then everything becomes permissible, including genocide.

A vivid illustration is the series "Black Mirror", where soldiers fight mutants called cockroaches. Subsequently, it turns out that the "mutants" are ordinary people, just the image is distorted by special implants. But it is much easier for soldiers to kill them if there is nothing human in the appearance of the victims. When one of the soldiers damages the chip, he can no longer kill cockroaches. It is noteworthy that only the military had implants. Ordinary people saw the "mutants" as real, but they still hated it because of propaganda.

Benevolent sexism

This is gender discrimination, but seasoned with pseudo-care and kind of good attitude. In contrast to hostile sexism, where a woman is deprived of her rights due to the fact that she is allegedly second class, benevolent sexists “shield” them from the hardships of this world, because women must be protected. The result, of course, is the same.

Benevolent sexism
Benevolent sexism


A lifestyle in which a person tries to produce as little waste as possible. To achieve this, he prefers products made from recyclable materials, reusable packaging and, importantly, does not buy too much.


It implies that different representatives of society can participate equally in the life of society. Gender, skin color, race, orientation, appearance and health do not matter, everyone feels like a full member of society.


People who have both male and female signs. It is precisely about the biological field, which should not be confused with gender. It is determined not only by the appearance of the external genital organs, but also by other characteristics: a set of chromosomes, reproductive organs, hormone levels, and so on. Intersex people do not always receive timely and correct treatment from doctors, are discriminated against, and are sent for unnecessary surgeries.

Coming out

Openly admitting your sexual orientation. First of all, we are talking about LGBT people. You can, of course, publicly declare your heterosexuality, but it will not be coming out. It is easy, simple and safe to make such a statement. You will not be harassed or harassed because of this. When LGBT people come out, they risk losing their jobs and being rejected by friends and family. So this is not an easy step.


Bullying on the Internet - a stream of offensive messages, hacking of accounts, dissemination of incriminating information among acquaintances. Its difference from ordinary bullying is that more people can participate in it - you just need to have a computer. At the same time, the aggressors do not always take their actions seriously, since many do not consider the victim a human in the full sense of the word and are not able to assess the consequences. In addition, participants can remain anonymous, which also frees their hands.


Compulsive Internet stalking. This can be a constant stream of messages and comments, tracking network activity, hacking accounts and reading correspondence, threats, and much more. And although the persecution is virtual, the consequences can be very real. For example, for the victim, everything can end in depression.


Discrimination based on skin color within one ethnic or racial group. This is not a new phenomenon. For example, in the book “Gone with the Wind” by Margaret Mitchell, nanny Scarlett tells her pupil: “God forbid you to take off your scarf or hat if the sun starts to bake. Otherwise you will come back as black as old Slattery. Slattery are also white landowners, but less wealthy. Therefore, they are forced to cultivate the land themselves, and the tan obtained in the process betrays their position. While true aristocrats have white skin.

There is colorism even now. For example, Asian cosmetics often work to whiten the skin. In Hollywood, an actor can lose a role because he is too or not dark-skinned. And someone in Russia may be denied renting an apartment because he is “suspiciously dark-skinned”.


This is a type of street harassment: comments with sexual connotations, whistles, chuckles, car horns. Usually the aggressor does all this for no particular purpose, simply because he can and because he does not care what it looks like from the victim's side. But if the reaction is not what he expected, he can turn to aggression, or even kill.


This is another type of discrimination in appearance. This is the name of the bias against physical attractiveness. An excellent example of lookism is classic fairy tales. If the heroine is beautiful, then she is also kind, sweet and deserves love. If scary, then certainly a witch. Or an enchanted princess, because a real one can only be a beauty.

In harsh reality, it works the same way. For example, attractive people are more likely to receive bonuses at work, and unattractive people are more likely to receive fines.


This is the name of the phenomenon when a man tries to condescendingly explain something to a woman, assuming in advance and without reason that he understands the issue better. He constantly interrupts or persistently tells what she already knows. In especially advanced cases, a person without specialized education can "open the eyes" of a specialist. This also includes unwillingness to listen to arguments made by women, simply on the basis of their gender.


Male manner of sitting in public transport with legs wide apart. Thus, the passenger takes up more space than is allotted to him, and at the same time invades the personal space of neighbors. But not everyone likes it when a stranger touches them.


Hatred, contempt for men. Non-systemic and far from such a massive phenomenon as misogyny. Similar views are attributed to radical feminists. And some representatives of the movement do demonstrate them, for which they are criticized - including other feminists.


Hatred, contempt for women, treating them as second-class creatures. Paradoxically, this is characteristic of both men and women themselves. In both sexes, this is associated with coping strategies. For the first, this allows them to legitimize privileges, the second - to dignify themselves against the background of representatives of the same sex and emphasize their own value.

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Literally translated from English, this term means "male gaze". This is the name of a practice in which any phenomenon is viewed through the prism of male gain or pleasure.

Mailgeuse was talked about after the movie "The Postman Always Rings Twice." Due to the specific camera work, viewers could examine the body of the main character in detail when they first appeared in the frame. Her sexuality was more important than her name or characteristics.

There is no need to go far for modern examples. All advertisements for anything, accompanied by fragments of female bodies, are mailgaze.


A type of violence that denotes inaction or indifference towards addicted people in a situation where it can have dire consequences. For example, neglect is when a person is sick, and the partner does not want or forgets to buy medicine for him. Of course, an accidental miss is not considered neglect. It is the systematic neglect that is important here, which causes real harm to the victim.


Objectifying a person, transforming him from a subject with his own characteristics, desires and rights into an object created to satisfy needs. For example, when a man is perceived as a hybrid of an ATM and a vibrator, this is objectification. When they believe that the main purpose of a woman is to sexually satisfy a man, too.

An example of objectification
An example of objectification

The principle of consent

Sexual relations must be deliberate and voluntary, otherwise it is violence. Therefore, the first important condition is that both partners are able to agree. If one of them went too far with alcohol and fell asleep, this is a reason to cancel the plans. The second important condition is the very consent to receive unequivocally. It is not necessary to draw up and sign an agreement, but to listen to each other - yes. Moreover, the willingness to have sex does not automatically mean consent to any practice. In the process, each partner may refuse to continue.


A movement that advocates for a woman's right to artificially terminate early pregnancy. Its representatives believe that a person can control his own body and make a decision about his readiness to become a parent.

Representatives of the Progois are often accused of promoting abortion. But they usually also advocate sexuality education and contraception awareness to reduce unwanted pregnancies. So this accusation is not true enough.


The movement, whose representatives believe that the embryo is a person exactly from the moment when the sperm meets the egg, and abortion is murder. It is noteworthy that they oppose the artificial termination of pregnancy, even if the life of the mother is at risk. However, what will happen to the child after birth is usually of little concern to them, just not to have an abortion.

Reproductive coercion

A type of violence when a woman is forced into pregnancy. Can often appear in the eyes of society as something innocent and not worthy of concern. For example, it can be obsessive persuasion, requests to prove your love in this way. Or it can be piercing of condoms or rape without contraceptives in order to conceive a child. One thing in common here: no one asks the woman herself.

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Blaming a woman for being sexually active. Anyone can become a victim; you don't have to do something special for this. A lot of sexual intercourse is a whore. There is no sexual intercourse - you are trying to sell yourself at a higher price, which means you are a whore. You post nyudsy on the Internet - a whore. You leave the house somewhere other than work - a whore. She has been married for ten years and is faithful to her husband - a whore who is just waiting to change. In general, slut-shaming speaks more about who is happy with it than about who is exposed to it.

And it is also one of the manifestations of the fact that a woman is not only denied the right to dispose of her body, but they are also trying to take this right away. Suffice it to recall the persecution of Russian girls who met foreigners during the 2018 FIFA World Cup.


Obsessive pursuit of a person. It doesn't matter what the aggressor does: shower the victim with curses or flowers. Unwanted attention, which in one way or another was asked not to show, is always stalking.

Unfortunately, one of the popular romantic cliches says that love must be achieved. Therefore, persecution is often romanticized and encouraged, not considered violence. The victim, in turn, cannot find understanding and support, because nothing terrible supposedly happens. In fact, stalking is exhausting and intimidating. And sometimes it turns into something more terrible, when the stalker tries to push a little harder to get what he wants.

Glass ceiling

This term denotes non-obvious and unreasonable obstacles in career advancement for discriminated groups of the population. For example, for most professions there is no prohibition on hiring women. But employers still prefer men, focusing on gender over ability.

In general, if a person is not hired precisely because of the lack of skills and abilities, the glass ceiling has nothing to do with it. If gender is more important than competencies, then this is already discrimination.


This is harassment in the broadest sense of the word, any unwanted sexual attention, including questionable jokes or inappropriate touching. Often the concept is narrowed down to harassment in relationships in which there is a hierarchy. Here, the victim is not just unpleasant - she is in a hopeless position. For example, a student receiving signs of attention from a teacher has little choice: agree to an unpleasant relationship or be expelled.

In a relationship with a hierarchy, it is always difficult to say whether the consent was voluntary. That is why communication between employees is prohibited in many companies, between students and teachers - in many universities. Needless to say, these institutions are mostly located outside of Russia.


This is the name for people who deliberately refuse to bear children. A person can decide on this for various reasons. Which is his business. He is not obliged to make excuses for how he disposes of his body and his life. It's important to understand that childfree don't necessarily hate children. They may even love them - just not enough to acquire their own. And for people who hate children, there is a term - childhead.

Not all people without children are childfree. If a person does not mind continuing the race, but cannot do this, he is a childless. It is easy not to be confused: childless are forcedly childless, and childless are voluntarily.

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The word was formed from English to be able - "to be able", "to be able". It denotes a prejudice against people with disabilities and implies various forms of discrimination, which are associated with the fact that the disease is noticed in a person in the first place. And they may not see him at all behind her. For example, this happens when people ignore a wheelchair user, even if he speaks to them directly, and only talk to the person accompanying him. Or a person is denied a job, simply because they believe that his capabilities are limited in everything, although the disease does not in any way affect the performance of duties.


Age-related discrimination. The simplest example is when a person is excluded from the discussion simply because he is young. Or they do not hire a 45-year-old, because he is supposedly determined only to live a normal life, and is not ready to master new methods and technologies. The most interesting thing is that a person practically does not have the right age: he is always either too young or too old, and sometimes both at the same time.

The doubtfulness of such a discriminatory approach is obvious, because all people are different. Wisdom does not come to everyone over the years, and therefore other retirees may be more naive than adolescents. Likewise, not all people over 50 do not know how to use a computer. Age can only indicate the year of birth for sure, the rest must be checked.

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  • 10 things everyone knows better than you