Glossary of Terms

Diversity & Inclusion Glossary of Terms

Language is an incredibly important aspect of diversity and inclusion.

* Please be mindful of the fact that many of the terms below are somewhat contested, and it is important to know that some people from specific groups or communities do not feel comfortable with particular terms. It is a personal choice and preference, so you should always ask someone if they feel comfortable with particular terms, listen closely to their answer, and act accordingly. 

 

Protected Characteristics:

These are the characteristics or aspects of a person’s identity that are protected by law, specifically under the UK’s Equality Act of 2010. They are:

  1. Age
  2. Disability
  3. Gender Reassignment
  4. Marriage and Civil Partnership
  5. Pregnancy and Maternity
  6. Race
  7. Religion or Belief
  8. Sex
  9. Sexual Orientation

 

a

Ableism

  • Prejudice, discrimination and/or hatred of disabled people, including those with physical and/or mental disabilities/conditions
  • Ableism, like many other forms of discrimination, is a deeply-rooted societal and institutional problem
  • Society positions those who are not disabled as ‘normal’ and those who have any physical and/or mental conditions as dis-abled and different From accessing the workplace to reading a website to watching television

Accessibility

  • If something is accessible, it is easily reached / understood by all people
  • As such, accessibility is a term often used in discussions around disability, ability, and ableism, as well as class and socioeconomic opportunity
  • It is important that places, tools, resources, jobs, and more are accessible to all
  • Are your jobs accessible to those with disabilities?
  • Are your jobs accessible to those who didn’t go to Russell Group universities?

Affinity Bias

  • The unconscious tendency to socialise and get on better with people who are like us and belong to the same group(s) as we do

Affirmative Action

  • Also known as Positive Discrimination
  • The practice of favouring individuals from backgrounds that have historically been marginalised and/or discriminated against in the recruitment process

African-American Vernacular English (AAVE)

  • Also known as Black Vernacular English (BVE)
  • Also known as Ebonics, which is now considered an offensive and outdated term
  • AAVE is a dialect of the English language historically spoken by many Black Americans in the US
  • It is typically perceived and mislabelled as ‘slang’ and ‘improper English’, but it has its own linguistic structure, including grammatical rules, like any other language or dialect

Ageism

  • Prejudice and/or discrimination against others due to their age

Agender

  • A term used to describe the quality of identifying as not having a gender
  • This is often synonymous with genderless, and occasionally with gender-neutral but this is not always the case

Ally

  • A person who supports and fights for the rights of an oppressed minority group

Allyship

  • The actions that demonstrate a person’s support for and alignment with a minority group

Androgynous

  • Refers to the quality of having a physical appearance from which it is difficult to determine one’s sex or gender identity

Anti-Semitism

  • Prejudice, discrimination and/or hatred of Jewish people
  • Anti-Semitism, like many other forms of discrimination, is a deeply-rooted societal and institutional problem

Asexual (Ace)

  • Refers to those who experience little to no sexual attraction to others

Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI)

  • A term used in the US to refer to people of Asian and/or Pacific Islander heritage

Assigned Female at Birth (AFAB)

  • Often used to refer to transgender people who were allocated female as their sex when they were born

Assigned Male at Birth (AMAB)

  • Often used to refer to transgender people who were allocated male as their sex when they were born

Atheism

  • The belief that there is no God and/or gods

b

Bias

  • A prejudice toward someone or a particular group of people that is usually thought to be unfair and/or not grounded in fact(s)

Binarism

  • This term is often used in discussions on the gender binary
  • Generally, binarism refers to an approach that characterises something as a binary with two stable and clear opposites at either end rather than as a spectrum with room for fluidity and flexibility

Biphobia

  • Biphobia is prejudice, discrimination and/or hatred of bisexual people
  • E.g. there is a common stereotype of bisexual people as ‘greedy’, ‘indecisive’, and ‘hypersexual’

Bisexual (Bi)

  • Sexual attraction to two or more genders

Black

  • A term used to denote that a person is of Black African origin

Black Minority Ethnic / Black and Minority Ethnic (BME / BAME)

  • An acronym used to refer to people from ethnic minority backgrounds
  • This term is somewhat controversial as many see it as othering and centring whiteness

Bottom Surgery

  • Also known as ‘gender confirmation surgery’
  • A surgery in which a person who is transitioning has their genitalia altered as a way of reaffirming their gender identity
  • E.g quite often transgender women will have a vagina constructed and transgender men will have a penis constructed
  • Although bottom surgery can help alleviate gender dysphoria, it is not a perquisite for transitioning and is always a choice

Brown

  • A term used to refer to non-Black people of colour, namely those of South Asian, North African, Middle Eastern, and non-white and non-Black Latinx heritage

Butch

  • This term has roots in working-class lesbian culture, and has been said to refer specifically to white masculine-presenting lesbians due to this

c

Cisgender (Cis)

  • A cisgender (or cis) person is someone who identifies with the gender they were assigned at birth – i.e., is not transgender

Classism

  • Prejudice and/or discrimination against people who belong to a particular social class Social class is determined by one’s socioeconomic background

Code-Switching

  • This term was coined by John J. Gumperz, an American sociolinguist, to describe the act of polyglots (people who speak several languages) switching between languages
  • Code-switching is now commonly used to refer to when people of colour alter the way they speak to better ‘fit in’ certain spaces and contexts
  • For example, a person of colour who typically speaks more casually with their family and friends (such as in AAVE) may speak differently when interacting with white people in a white-dominated space to better fit in
  • Speaking differently may include replicating the speech of those they are interacting with
  • Code switching often happens subconsciously and is done to avoid being marginalised and/or mistreated due to difference

Colourism

  • Prejudice, discrimination and/or hatred of those with darker complexions in favour of those with lighter complexions
  • As a term, colourism is often used to describe and discuss these instances within the same ethnic or racial group See also: pigmentocracy

Confirmation Bias

  • This is the tendency to interpret new information or fact(s) as confirmation of one’s pre-existing beliefs, which serves to strengthen and reaffirm those beliefs

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

  • This is a term often used by companies, businesses, and other organisations to refer to a company’s attempts at holding themselves accountable, largely in relation to diversity and inclusion initiatives and their work environment
  • It also refers to their responsibilities to society at large and social causes

Critical Race Theory (CRT)

  • An academic field and movement developed from scholars of colour who sought to critically examine and analyse how language, culture, law, and legal frameworks intersect with race to produce or reflect structural racial inequalities
  • CRT is also critical of, and challenges, mainstream liberal approaches to racial justice by emphasising that race is a social construct that has complex and real-life implications

Cultural Appropriation

  • When a member of one culture adopts an aspect or aspect(s) of another group’s culture
  • This is often seen as offensive and disrespectful when someone from a dominant culture appropriates aspects a minority group’s culture
  • This is because dominant group members often adopt cultural elements with little to no regard for their meaning or history
  • At the same time, the minority group’s culture is often deemed inferior by the wider dominant culture and society at large

d

Deadname

  • A term used to refer to a trans person’s former name if they have changed it since transitioning
  • A deadname is usually the one given to a transgender person when they are born, but they no longer go by this name

Deaf / Hard of Hearing (HoH)

  • Both are used to refer to people with hearing impairments
  • Deaf can be used to refer to those with limited-to-no hearing abilities
  • Hard of Hearing is often used to refer to those with limited hearing abilities

Diaspora

  • A diaspora is a group or population of people who are widely geographically dispersed, though their geographic origin is a different area/locality
  • Often this dispersal is not made out of choice but rather socio-geographic or political circumstances

Disability

  • A condition that limits or otherwise affects a person’s mobility, senses, and/or their capacity to live an uninhibited and/or independent life

Discrimination

  • Treatment of different groups of people that is rooted in prejudice, especially on the grounds of race, ethnicity, sex, and/or other protected characteristics
  • Showing prejudice and unequal treatment towards certain demographics of people

Diversity

  • The quality and/or practice of including people from a range of backgrounds and identities across race, ethnicity, sex, gender, disability, age, and other protected characteristics
  • Diversity is variety

Dominant Culture

  • The dominant culture is one whose morals, values, language, culture, and traditions are peddled as being the standard and only acceptable way of living, and is thus often imposed on a marginalised group and their culture(s)
  • The dominant culture will have most of the power over governance as well as other aspects of life including the arts, infrastructure, institutions and organisations

e

Elitism

  • Elitism is the practice of making something inaccessible to the masses, leaving it open only to a select few
  • Elitism is therefore exclusionary in nature and elitist ideology is often accompanied by classist beliefs

Equality

  • Equality means fairness and justness, and thus equal access and opportunities for all

Equity

  • Unlike equality, equity recognises that each individual has unique circumstances and allocates resources and opportunities accordingly
  • Ethnicity

    • Ethnicity is a sub-category of race
    • People can be of the same racial background, but of different ethnic backgrounds at the same time
    • Ethnicity often refers to cultural heritage; and often alludes to shared attributes that distinguish some groups from others including a common set of traditions, ancestry, language, history, society, culture, nation, religion or social treatment within their residing area

    Ethnocentrism

    • This term is used by anthropologists to describe the opinion or belief that one’s own way of living, or culture, is natural or correct – which inherently renders all others inferior

    Eurocentric

    • Denotes an intense focus on European culture and history, in turn excluding or disregarding cultures and histories from other areas of the world
    • This term can also be used to describe the notion that European culture is the norm and standard, rendering all other cultures as inferior and substandard
    • Centring European culture and tradition, and excluding others to the margins

    f

    Fatphobia

    • Prejudice, discrimination and/or hatred of fat people
    • This often goes hand-in-hand with beauty standards that privilege thinner bodies over larger ones Fatphobia, like many other forms of discrimination, is a deeply-rooted societal and institutional problem

    Female to Male (FTM)

    • A term used to denote the transition from female to male, typically in relation to trans men who were assigned female at birth (AFAB)
    • Please be mindful of the fact that not everyone is comfortable with this term being used to describe their gender history

    Femme

    • A word used to describe feminine-presenting queer people
    • Historically this term has been used mostly for feminine-presenting lesbian women, but is now used by other feminine-presenting queer women and people of other genders

    g

    Gay

    • Gay is now often used as an umbrella term that encompasses a variety of non-heterosexual identities
    • Historically, gay has been used to describe homosexual men and is now the preferred term to do so

    Gender

    • An aspect of a person’s identity that is closely related to their biological sex and the socio-cultural differences and norms that wider society ascribes to this
    • Gender as a term was coined by John Money in the late 1950s, to describe the learned behaviour associated with ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’

    Gender and Sexual Diversity (GSD)

  • Diversity, or variety, across the categories of gender and sexual orientation
  • Gender Binary

    • The gender binary is an approach to gender categorisation that considers all people to be either a man or a woman, as decided by their assigned sex at birth, which is fundamentally determined by their genitalia and outward appearance
    • This binary does not account for people with non-conforming gender identities, such as agender or genderqueer people Presently, given that gender is a social construct, the gender binary is coming to be seen as increasingly outdated, inaccurate, and exclusionary

    Gender Dysphoria

    • This is a feeling of discomfort or distress, often in relation to one’s own body
    • This is typically experienced by those whose gender identity does not align with their assigned sex at birth
    • This is the opposite of gender euphoria

    Gender Euphoria

    • This is a feeling of joy or elation about one’s own body in relation to their gender identity
    • This is the opposite of gender dysphoria

    Gender Expression

    • This describes how a person expresses their gender through a variety of means, such as their clothing, hairstyle, and/or jewellery

    Gender History

    • A term used to refer to an individual’s personal history with their gender, including gender identity and gender expression

    Gender Identity

    • Gender identity is how someone would classify their gender
    • This can either be the same as or different to their assigned sex at birth

    Genderless

    • A term used to describe a person who is without a gender
    • Also used to describe the quality of not having characteristics associated with either sex

    Gender Neutral

    • A term used to describe something that is not gendered, meaning that it is open/available to people of all genders and has no specific reference to gender or privileges one gender over others

    Gender Nonconforming

    • Denotes a person whose behaviour and/or physical appearance does not conform or adhere to typical gender norms and expectations – i.e., the gender binary
    • Gender nonconforming is often also used as an umbrella term

    Genderqueer

    • Genderqueer has been used as both an umbrella term and a term to describe an individual’s gender identity that is different or queered (see definition of queer)
    • It is used to describe those who do not adhere to conventional gender norms – i.e. the gender binary – and identifies themselves as being neither, both, or a combination of male and/or female genders

    h

    Heteronormativity

    • A governing concept of society where heterosexuality is positioned as the normal, and therefore expected, sexual identity
    • In turn, this renders queer or non-normative sexualities as ‘abnormal’
    • The general conception that all relationships (either romantic or sexual) are by default between a male and a female

    Heterosexual (Straight)

    • Sexual attraction to people of the ‘opposite’ sex

    Hispanic

    • Although Latinx and Hispanic are often used interchangeably, Hispanic refers to Spanish-speaking countries and people
    • Not all Latinx people speak Spanish and not everyone that speaks Spanish is Latinx

    Homophobia

    • Prejudice, discrimination and/or hatred of LGBTQIAP+ individuals or communities, particularly those who identify as gay
    • Homophobia, like many other forms of discrimination, is a deeply-rooted societal and institutional problem

    Homosexual

    • Sexual attraction to people of one’s own sex

    i

    Identity-first Language

    • This puts a person’s condition or disability before the person in language
    • E.g., the phrase ‘autistic child’ places the condition (which is autism) before the person (which is the child)
    • Some disabled people prefer this kind of linguistic approach
    • This is the opposite of person-first language

    Islamophobia

    • Prejudice, discrimination and/or hatred of Muslim people or Islam as a religion
    • Islamophobia, like many other forms of discrimination, is a deeply-rooted societal and institutional problem

    Inclusion

    • Inclusion is the practice of involving or including a variety of people and then respecting and valuing their differences and identities

    Indigenous

    • Meaning naturally originating from a particular region or location
    • The term Native is often used interchangeably with Indigenous For example, the Indigenous peoples of America, also known as Native Americans, who were living in America before English settler-colonialism.

    Institutional

    • Referring to systems and/or structures in society that are embedded
    • If something is institutional it is a deep-rooted and long-standing occurrence within institutions E.g., institutional racism

    Intersectionality

    • Coined by Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989, it is a term to describe how race, class, gender, and other characteristics can intersect with one another to forge unique circumstances and experiences for people from marginalised communities

    Intersex

    • Intersex is an umbrella term that encompasses the variety of ways in which people are born with reproductive systems or sexual anatomy that do not ‘fit’ with our prescribed understandings of sex and gender, as determined by the gender binary
    • There are several conditions that come under the term intersex
    • Doctors sometimes perform surgeries on intersex babies and children to make their bodies fit into binary understandings of gender (this is of course done without their consent)

    l

    Latinx

    • This is a gender-neutral term used to refer to Latin American people
    • It is commonly used within the United States
    • The ‘x’ signifies its gender-neutral nature as in Spanish ‘Latino’ and ‘Latina,’ which are masculine and feminine respectively, are the only existing terms to denote gender

    Lesbian (or WLW)

    • A woman or woman-aligned person that is sexually attracted to other women
    • As a term, ‘lesbian’ is inclusive of both those who do and do not use she/her pronouns, such as lesbians that use he/him or they/them pronouns
    • Can be used interchangeably with WLW – Woman loving Woman

    Lesbophobia

    • Prejudice, discrimination and/or hatred of lesbians

    LGBTQIAP+

    • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, Pansexual
    • An acronym used to describe gay/queer communities
    • Shorter and more commonly used versions of this acronym are LGBT, LGBTQ, and LGBTQ+

    Lived Experience

    • This is personal knowledge derived from one’s direct and first-hand interactions
    • Lived experiences therefore vary from person to person and are informed by circumstances that shape our lives and our social positions, such as race, ethnicity, age, gender, socioeconomic background, and so on

    m

    Male to Female (MTF)

    • A term used to denote the transition from male to female, typically in relation to transgender women who were assigned male at birth (AMAB) Please be mindful of the fact that not everyone is comfortable with this term being used to describe their gender history

    Mansplain

    • Mansplaining is the act of a man explaining something to someone, most often a woman, in a way that is considered patronising or condescending, as if to insult and disregard their intelligence

    Microaggression

    • A microaggression is behaviour, such as a statement or act, that is considered to be implicit, indirect, or unintentional discrimination against member(s) of a marginalised community
    • Used to denote interpersonal reactions, rather than macroaggressions which

    Misogyny

    • Prejudice, discrimination and/or hatred of women
    • Misogyny, like many other forms of discrimination, is a deeply-rooted societal and institutional problem

    Mixed (Mixed-Race / Mixed Heritage)

    • A person who has racial and/or ethnic heritage from more than one place or community

    Multicultural London English

    • A language (or dialect of English) largely spoken by young working-class people in areas of London that are racially, ethnically, and culturally diverse
    • Multicultural London English is heavily influenced by Patois spoken by Jamaicans in London, as well as language brought over by migrants from other regions such as West Africa and South Asia
    • Variants have since emerged in other areas of the UK, such as Birmingham and Manchester

    Myth of Meritocracy

    • This is a term used to describe the fallacy that is meritocracy
    • Meritocracy is a system under which people are rewarded solely based on merit or talent
    • Given the implications of structural inequality, meritocracy is a myth in the vast majority of societies today as some people have unequal access to opportunities and social mobility
    • This means that certain people, mostly from marginalised demographics and on the basis of gender, sex, class, race, ethnicity, age or ability, cannot use their talent or merit to achieve success as others can
    • Often the dominant group or cultures within institutions will allude to their meritocratic model, which hides internal inequalities felt by others who are not part of the dominant culture

    n

    Neurodivergent

    • This describes the quality of displaying characteristics, thoughts or behaviour that is closely associated with a number of neurological conditions
    • This term was largely used in reference to people with ASD (autism spectrum disorder) initially, but has since been expanded to include a number of other conditions and the ways in which these conditions are expressed
    • Including: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Anxiety Disorders, Dyslexia, Tourette Syndrome, Schizophrenia, Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and other disorders and conditions that affect the mind, brain and how they function

    Neurodiverse

    • An alternate term for neurodivergent in some instances
    • Also used to denote diversity in relation to neurodivergent people

    Neurotypical

    • This describes the quality of not displaying characteristics, thoughts, or behaviour that is closely associated with a number of neurological conditions
    • This is the opposite of neurodiverse

    Non-Binary

    • Non-binary has become an umbrella term for those whose gender identity does not sit on the traditional gender binary of man and woman
    • Non-binary is also a gender identity within its own right

    o

    Oppression

    • Unfair, cruel treatment typically at the hands of an authoritative figure or group

    p

    Pandering

    • This term is often used in political contexts to describe when politicians do something unreasonable or out-of-character in obvious and shameless attempts at securing votes or public support, often from marginalised groups

    Pansexual

    • Defined as sexual attraction to all genders or to people regardless of gender

    Patriarchy

    • A governing concept within most contemporary societies under which society is male-dominated and male-led
    • Male members of patriarchal societies are allocated more social, economic, and cultural power and thus more resources
    • Where men have dominant rule and positions of power over women

    People of Colour (PoC)

    • A person who is not white
    • Non-white is a term that is also used to refer to people of colour

    Pigmentocracy

    • A socio-cultural hierarchy under which a person’s social standing, and therefore how they are treated by others, is decided by the pigment of their skin
    • In most modern societies, due to legacies of colonialism and other cultural and geographical factors, lighter skin is given value over darker skin
    • Pigmentocracy is characterised by deep-rooted colourism and reproduces white supremacy as a result

    Prejudice

    • A preconceived opinion that is not rooted in reason or lived experience(s)
    • Prejudice is often accompanied by discriminatory behaviour(s)

    Privilege

    • Special advantages or rights (sometimes accompanied by immunity) that are available only to a select individual or group
    • Privilege takes many forms, but can be identified as something that gives an individual an advantage over others

    Pronouns

    • A word that is used to refer to another person in place of their name e.g she/her, they/them, he/his
    • Pronouns often indicate a person’s gender identity
    • See also: Neo-pronouns
    • A sub-category of pronouns that are used in place of ‘she’, ‘he’, or ‘they’
    • They are a set of singular third-person pronouns and are currently not treated with the same recognition as traditional pronouns Examples include xe/xem/xyr and ve/ver/vis
    • Publicising your own pronouns, such as in the bio(s) of your social media profile(s) and email signatures, is now commonly seen as an act of solidarity with trans and gender non-conforming communities
    • Asking someone for their pronouns is also polite practice, rather than assuming based on their physical appearance

    q

    Queer

    • Similarly to gay, queer is often used as an umbrella term to refer to those who identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community
    • Queer is also used by individuals to describe their sexual orientation
    • Queer is also used in academic spheres and in queer theory to denote anything that moves away from the accepted ‘normal’.
    • ‘queering’ something is to challenge its normative stance, propose different perspectives and thoughts

    Queerphobia

    • Discrimination, prejudice, and/or hatred toward queer people or the LGBTQ+ community as a whole
    • Queerphobia, like many other forms of discrimination, is a deeply-rooted societal and institutional problem

    Queer Theory

    • Queer Theory is an academic approach to dissect and explore the oppressive power of dominant norms in relation to gender and sexuality
    • Queer theory is also political praxis (practice) as much as it is an academic theory

    r

    Racism

    • Prejudice, discrimination, hatred, and unfair treatment of an individual and/or community on the grounds of their racial grouping, particularly if that racial group is marginalised
    • Racism, like many other forms of discrimination, is a deeply-rooted societal and institutional problem

    s

    Sex

    • According to science, a person’s biological sex is determined by their chromosomes, in which XY denotes male and XX denotes female
    • In turn, sex is often used to categorise a person’s gender according to the gender binary
    • It is important to note that sex is also a construct, created by scientists to categorise biological and chromosomal traits
    • Although current biological categorisations are XX and XY, sex is also a spectrum with a number of traits and genetics falling in between those binaries

    Sexism

    • Prejudice and/or discrimination against a person on the grounds of their sex and/or gender

    Sexual Fluidity

    • A term used to describe that sexuality or sexual orientation is fluid / flexible for many people, namely people that identify as queer

    Sexual Orientation

    • How a person identifies in relation to the gender(s) they are attracted to

    Sinophobia

  • Prejudice, discrimination and/or hatred of Chinese people
  • Sinophobia, like many other forms of discrimination, is a deeply-rooted societal and institutional problem
  • Social Mobility

    • Refers to the movement of individuals, families, or groups through social and economic hierarchies and/or systems

    Socioeconomic

    • A term relating to the interaction of social and economic factors
    • Often used in relation to class and social mobility to describe one’s social and economic background (which are often correlated and informed by each other)

    Stereotypes

    • A perception of a particular group, often due to wider depictions in various forms of media
    • Stereotypes are often negative, and tend to be rooted in prejudice which in turn means that stereotypes can play a role in oppressing an already marginalised group

    Stud

    • This word has historical roots in the U.S. that mean it is often used to refer to masculine-presenting lesbians who are Black and/or Latinx

    Systemic

    • Relating to a system
    • If something is systemic it is a deep-rooted occurrence within social systems E.g. systemic racism

    t

    Tokenism

    • The practice of making an effort to do or show something that is only symbolic and/or superficial E.g. recruiting people from underrepresented communities to portray an image of diversity and inclusion but as employees these people are treated poorly

    Top Surgery

    • A surgery in which a person who is transitioning has their chest altered as a way to reaffirm their gender identity E.g quite often trans women will have breast implants put in and trans men will undergo breast removal
    • Although top surgery can help alleviate gender dysphoria quite a lot, top surgery is not a perquisite for transitioning and is always a choice

    Transgender (Trans)

    • An umbrella term for those whose gender identity does not align with the sex they were assigned at birth
    • Transitioning from male to female (MTF) or female to male (FTM) are quite commonly thought to be the only instances in which a person is transgender, but many non-binary, genderqueer, and gender non-conforming people identify as trans also

    Transitioning

    • The process through which a person transitions from one gender to another
    • Transitioning takes place across many different contexts
    • Transitioning can include changes to one’s name, pronouns, clothing, hairstyle, general aesthetic, and more
    • Transitioning can also include starting hormonal treatments, such as taking testosterone or oestrogen, which is known as Hormone Replacement Therapy
    • Neither are essential as transitioning is a personal choice and journey

    Transphobia

    • Prejudice, discrimination and/or hatred of trans people
    • Transphobia, like many other forms of discrimination, is a deeply-rooted societal and institutional problem

    Two-Spirit

    • Two-spirit is a gender identity found in some Native American cultures
    • This term is used by some Indigenous peoples to describe their sexual, gender, and/or spiritual identity
    • A two-spirit person often identifies has both a masculine and feminine spirit

    w

    White Guilt

    • White guilt occurs when white people recognise the systemic oppression experienced by people of colour and begin to feel responsible for it
    • White guilt is not always productive and can sometimes be counterproductive as people with it often want to be reassured that they are not part of the wider problem; however this behaviour is inherently problematic and places an emotional burden on people of colour to alleviate that guilt

    White Privilege

    • A term used to encompass the multitude of ways in which deep-rooted and institutional racism provides white people with better access and opportunities in society, compared to the ways in which people of colour are routinely denied these advantages solely due to race
    • A major example of white privilege is that many white people feel safe with the police and other authorities, meanwhile many people of colour do not for fear of unjust and/or violent treatment

    White Saviour Complex

    • The white saviour complex is a concept characterised by behavioural patterns that suggest a white person has a fundamental or inherent need or desire to ‘save’ people of colour from their own misfortunes and/or shortcomings
    • Oftentimes these ‘misfortunes’ are not perceived as such by people of colour themselves, and instead white people project this false narrative onto their lived experiences
    • This complex is often deeply rooted in white supremacist beliefs or notions Despite this, white people with white saviour complexes often do not consider themselves to be racist

    White Supremacy

    • The belief that white people are superior as a race and should thus be afforded the dominant and ruling position in society and its institutions, which is to the detriment and oppression of marginalised racial groups
    • White supremacy is a notion that governs many societies and their institutions