Hate Speech

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Finally, a mention should be made of a quite similar and somewhat overlapping category of offensive language, which in certain circumstances may be also recognized as a violation of the law, namely hate speech. By and large, it is a broad category that subsumes verbal attacks based on the target’s race, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation (Mohr 2013:238). Due to the fact that hate speech is designed to demean, despise and ostracize people on the basis of the above-said factors, it can be easily seen as a term related both to the phenomenon of insulting and fighting words (Neu 2008). And yet, a detailed enquiry into the scope of hate speech reveals that –as opposed to the afore-discussed doctrine – the expression of one’s hostility can …show more content…
To start with, gender-related insults are contingent on aspects of men’s and women’s behaviors and personality traits that are seen as particularly masculine or feminine (Jay 2000) – a stereotypical male is belligerent and authoritative, whereas an archetypal female is associated with being fragile and thoughtful. Since people possess a pronounced predilection for stigmatizing anything that does not with within a standard framework, the preponderance of insults employed to offend men and women is based on deviations from the above-said conventional images.
At this point of the discussion, it is important to highlight that –as attested by Conley (2010) – there are no such things as inherently abusive terms, but it is difficult to imagine a scenario in which certain highly charged lexis is not employed pejoratively. A set of most offensive words, regardless of contextual factors, which will come in handy during the analysis, has been compiled by McEnery
…show more content…
It is also worth noting, that when a certain designation loses its shock value or is inherently mild, it frequently undergoes the process known as agglomeration, described by Hughes (2006) as adding highly abusive modifiers to the noun, in order to reinforce the message. Now let us take a closer look at the specific terms that are directed predominantly at men and women.
What emerges from the above data, amassed from miscellaneous sources for the purpose of this study, is the fact that insults for women comment on their alleged promiscuity, anomalous and noxious deportment, incompetence, manliness or homosexuality and unattractiveness. Men, on the other hand, are conventionally offended by being called on their purported abnormal sexual exploits, effeminacy or homosexuality, contemptible qualities, ineptness and lack of

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