September 3, 2019 mcgilldaily.com | The McGill Daily
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avigating radical circles — in print, on the internet, in casual conversation — can often be inaccessible. These discussions often seem closed off to people not familiar or experienced with the terminology. To address this, the Daily is working on a public glossary of terms used in
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anti-oppressive activism – including in our pieces – to be available on our website permanently. This glossary will be by no means exhaustive, but we hope to help make our articles easier to understand for everyone. The definitions included won’t and can’t be perfect and the glossary will continue to evolve as our language
Zionism A modern political movement advocating for the colonial establishment of a Jewish state in the biblical land of Israel. Zionism’s ideological roots can be traced to the nationalist and European colonial movements of the 19th century. Two-thirds of the Palestinian populace were displaced in the war that led to the creation of the State of Israel in 1948. Zionism has come to represent a racist attitude and violent practice towards Palestinians that recognizes only Israeli/Jewish hegemony and legitimacy to self-determination in Palestine. (For more depth and historical context, The Daily recommends visiting the website of the BDS movement.)
does. We encourage you to use our definitions as a tool to read the Daily and hopefully better navigate challenging but important conversations. As we work on creating an inclusive and helpful glossary, we invite your input and your questions! Because it will be a public and changing document,
Gentrification The process by which lower or middle income neighbourhoods are appropriated by higher income populations, usually resulting in the displacement of immigrant and low-income residents. Signs of gentrification include rent hikes, increasing police presence, the use of euphemistic terms such as “redevelopment” by real estate agencies that cover for the expulsion of long-time tenants, and the opening of shops catering to a higherincome class, amongst others.
Sex work Sex work refers to any labour within the sex industry. The term “sex worker” is used instead of “prostitute” as it carries less stigma, and recognizes that sex work is legitimate work.
The structural idea that all people fit into the gender binary and that heterosexuality is the default sexual orientation. It also assumes that men and women have specific and separate roles within romantic partnerships and even socially. This is often supported by political biases, e.g. restricting marriage and its economic benefits to heterosexuals, safety in public as a heterosexual couple due to heteronormativity, etc. Heteronormativity is coercively upheld by state institutions.
we invite you to fill out the submission form at www.mcgilldaily.com/glossary if there are any terms you’d like to see clarified and included in the document. This form will stay open indefinitely for corrections and further submissions. Thank you for helping us make activism more approachable!
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The process of ascribing racial identities to a group, with social, political, cultural, and/or economic consequences of privilege and marginalization. In contemporary North America, racialization is a product of white supremacy, with the purpose of continued domination. Racial groups sometimes come to identify with the identity imposed by this domination, out of pride in their background or for other reasons, and thus, that racial identity becomes a self-ascribed characteristic.
Capitalism A political and economic system wherein the workers do not own the means of production and are isolated from the results of their labour.
Person-first language The practice of writing “person with disabilities,” as opposed to “disabled person.” Many find the convention of writing “disabled person” to be disrespectful, since it grammatically positions the disability as primary to the person. Pay attention to whether someone identifies as a person with disabilities or a disabled person and avoid labeling someone otherwise than how they choose to. Sometimes, people prefer to be referred to as a “disabled person,” because the outside environment actively “disables” them.
(1) Black and Indigenous and people of colour, a synonym for POC (people of color), which is meant to emphasize the specificity of Indigenous peoples’ and Black peoples’ struggles. (2) Some people use BIPOC as an acronym to refer specifically to Black and Indigenous people of colour. For the purposes of consistency, The Daily is choosing to only use BIPOC as a synonym for POC.