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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » STI language change?

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Author Topic: STI language change?
Carpe Diem
Activist
Member # 47124

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Hey I wasn't sure where to post this, but I thought I'd just put it out there in the Sarleteen universe. [Smile]

While perusing the boards I often see people say things like "we've been tested for STIs and we're clean".

Now, for me personally, that kind of language makes me feel uncomfortable, since it implies that people with STIs are somehow dirty, which is sooo untrue.

Now, I know that people aren't meaning anything negative when saying things like "clean" when referring to STI status, but I think it'd be rad if we all thought about what statements like that might read as to other people before we choose our words.

I know I'm not affiliated with Scarleteen, (other than being a user of the boards and a general all-around fan of site) so if I'm out of line with this post please let me know, but I just thought I'd express myself on the issue.

Cheers to all, and Scarleteen keep up the great work! [Smile]

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"Find a place inside where there's joy, and the joy will burn out the pain."
-Joseph Campbell

Posts: 210 | From: Canada | Registered: May 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Molias
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 101745

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We do generally try to make a comment about this when we see users talking about being "clean" when they mean they don't have STIs, so certainly on the volunteer side we're trying to impact the language folks use around this. So yes, I do agree - the words people use when talking about STIs definitely matter.
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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Hey there, Carpe Diem.

This is an issue we've talked about a lot in the 15 years we've run Scarleteen, with various articles about it and very frequent requests of users using that term to please consider using other, better, terminology, like "negative" or "clear." We've long talked about how "clean" is a deeply problematic term that both enables and supports stigma around sexually transmitted diseases and infections, as well as stigma and misconceptions about illness, period.

So, by all means, we certainly don't think this is out of line, but since it is something we've addressed a lot, perhaps, if you want to try and advance the conversation, you might try and initiate discussion in this new thread you've started by asking fellow users some questions? Or suggesting more of a direction about the mkind of conversation you'd like to have about this?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Carpe Diem
Activist
Member # 47124

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Well, I think a discussion about stigma and language in general might be beneficial.

I'd be interested in hearing users thoughts on stigmatizing words like "clean" (when referring to STI status etc.) "slut", and the like.

Are these words or phrases that you feel are used without forethought (perhaps because they are engrained in ourselves due to our different socal circumstances or upbringings?).

Do you generally try to avoid saying such things, whether meaning to express something positive or negative? (ex. "That person is clean off drugs, great for them" or "I hear people say she slept with 3 people, kinda slutty if you ask me.".)

What is your take on the matter in general?

--------------------
"Find a place inside where there's joy, and the joy will burn out the pain."
-Joseph Campbell

Posts: 210 | From: Canada | Registered: May 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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