Glossary

Content Warning: This page includes legal and psychological terminology related to abuse, assault, harassment, and stalking, as well as definitions from/regarding marginalized communities and words used within abusive communities (e.g. incels). It contains strong language and some terms may be triggering. In cases of slurs and other abusive language, you will have to click to expand for the full definition. Terms are labeled according to the categories below; those labeled with may be offensive.

- Abuse/Harassment
- Bigotry/Prejudice
- Cosplay
- Disability Studies/Rights
- Feminism
- Gender & Sexuality
- Legal Issues/Crime
- Online Activity/Social Media
- Politics
- Psychology
- Toxic/Abusive Communities

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


A



Ableism: Discrimination against those with disabilities. This may include accessibility issues at conventions, refusing to invite disabled cosplayers to guest, using them for inspiration porn, and cultural attitudes that disabled people need to be "fixed."

Abuser: An individual who harms another person, emotionally, physically, or psychologically, repeatedly over a period of time.

Accountability: Accepting responsiblity for an act and the harm it may have caused.

Acquaintance Rape: Sexual violence where the offender knows the victim in some manner (for example, a friend, coworker, photographer they shoot with). This form of rape is less likely to be reported than stranger rape, and some survivors may not even realize it was rape until later.

Advocacy: Public support of individuals, organizations, or causes, with the intent to effect systemic change within society.

Agency: A feeling that an individual has control over their life and what happens to them.

Allegedly: Used to indicate that charges/claims made against an individual have not been proven in a court of law. Please note that media outlets must use this terminology to avoid legal action by the subjects of their investigations and articles. It does not mean that the claims are false or unbelievable.

Ally: An individual who is not a member of a marginalized group but recognizes their own privilege and uses it to work with/advocate for said marginalized group. A good ally speaks up for other people but does not speak over them.

Alpha/Alpha Male: (See also: Beta, Omega.) In the manosphere, a man who can get as much sex as he wants, usually because he's tall, muscular, and dominant.

Alpha Fux Beta Bux: A manosphere term for when a woman has sex with "Alpha Males" while she's young but then marries a rich "Beta Male," who she then cheats on before divorcing him and taking all this money.

Alt-Right: The extreme right wing of the Republican party in the United States. They often promote white nationalist/Nazi views.

Androphile: Within the manosphere, this term refers to a male who is attracted to other males but believes most gay males aren't "manly enough."

Anti-Slut Defense (ASD): Pickup artists & incels refer to this as a "defense mechanism women use to avoid looking like a slut." In actuality, this is used to dismiss any resistance a woman shows towards proceeding with sexual activity. They claim that the woman doesn't really want to stop; she's just acting that way to preserve her reputation. Tactics that pickup artists recommend for "overcoming" the ASD include separating the woman from her friends (i.e. her support network) and "taking charge."

Antisocial Behavior: (See also: Prosocial Behavior.) Actions that harm and/or threaten the well-being of others.

Agender: Describes an individual who does not have a gender, or describes their gender as neutral.

AFAB/AMAB: Standing for "Assigned Female At Birth" and "Assigned Male at Birth." Fairly self-explanatory, it is preferred over outdated or offensive terms such as "biological female/male" or "born female/male."

Aromantic: Describes a lack of romantic attraction as well as individuals who do not experience romantic attraction.

Arraignment: A defendant's initial court appearance, where they are formally charged with a crime.

Asexual: Describes a lack of sexual attraction as well as individuals who do not experience sexual attraction.

Average Frustrated Chump (AFC): In the manosphere, and average man who has ideas that pickup artists think are ridiculous, such as the notion that women should be treated with respect and not catcalled or harassed.

AWALT: An acronym for "All Women Are Like That." Commonly used by in the manosphere to make (often negative) generalizations about women and argue that they're all biologically/socially wired to lie, cheat, steal, etc.



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B



Bad Boy: A stereotype of a man who is rude, obnoxious, or even abusive to women, who find him attractive in spite of (or usually, because of) his behavior. Incels view this as a subset of the "alpha male" and there is often a racist component to their assessment of who can be labeled a "bad boy."

Bail: In the legal system, a payment that must be made to the court before the defendant can be released from jail, pending an upcoming hearing. As the money is only returned to the defendant if they attend all their appearances, it is meant to ensure they will not flee the jurisdiction. In the cases of serious crimes or where there is a concern the accused may run, bail may be denied.

Bechdel Test: Coined by cartoonist Alison Bechdel, it's used as a measurement of the presence women have in media works. To pass the test, the medium must meet these three criteria: 1. Includes at least two female characters; 2. These characters must have at least one conversation on-screen; 3. Said conversation has to be about something other than a man. Unfortunately, quite a few media works fail the test.

Bench Trial: A trial with no jury, where the verdict is determined by a judge.

Benevolent Sexism: Attitudes and beliefs based on gender stereotypes which continue to hurt women, even if superficially they seem to be beneficial/complimentary. For example, the idea that women are "kinder and more compassionate" than men. Ultimately, women who don't conform to that stereotype (by being assertive) get labeled as "shrews" or worse, and men who behave aggresively are given an out—it's just the way they are.

Beta/Beta Male: Often used in the manosphere, this term describes men who are physically or socially weak, and subsequently don't get the amount of sex that they "deserve."

Betabux(x): In the manosphere, this describes a beta male who has a girlfriend/wife. Incels believe that if a beta male manages to find a partner, he's just being used for financial security and his wife will cheat on them with "alpha males" until she finally files for divorce and steals all his money.

Beta Uprising: A violent resolution some incels believe will happen when beta and omega males eventually rise up to bring about what they believe is the "proper redistribution" of women and sex.

Black Pill: A belief in the manosphere that men's attractiveness to women is biologically determined, and that if one lacks the qualities women find attractive, there's nothing that can be done to improve oneself. As such, those who subscribe to such a philosophy often discuss suicide or violence against women.

Blue Pill: In the manosphere, used to describe someone who hasn't seen the "truth" that society is discriminatory against men.

Bias: The belief that certain races, religions, genders, orientations, etc are superior or inferior to others.

Bigender: (See also: Multigender.) Describing someone who identifies as more than one gender.

Bigotry: Intolerant prejudice against a group that does not share your identity (e.g. race, gender, sexuality) or beliefs (e.g. religion).

Binary: Refers to female/male gender constructs. As some societies only accept these as being "real" genders, those individuals who do not identify as one or the other may suffer discrimination.

Bisexuality: (See also: Pansexual.) Describing individuals who experience sexual and/or romantic attraction to more than one gender.

Bitch Shield: A term used in the manosphere to describe a woman's resistance to attempts to hit on her. Pickup artists advise that such a shield can be "broken down" if you're just persistent, instead of advocating that you respect a woman's wishes to leave her alone.

Bodily Autonomy: Being able to make decisions about one's own body.

Body Positivity: Loving and being accepting of one's body.

Boys Will Be Boys: A phrase often used to dismiss the antisocial behavior of boys (and men) in society by reinforcing the idea that aggressive and even abusive acts are "normal" or "natural" for males. It implies that nothing can (or should) be done about it and that those objecting to it are being too sensitive or irrational. An attitude that is a part of rape culture.

Braincels: A subreddit that appears to be the main incel forum on the site after the initial one was removed for promoting violence and rape. As of February 2019, the subreddit is still active, if quarantined, even though it often contains misogynistic and racist content.

Briffault's Law: As stated by the anthropologist, "The female, not the male, determines all the conditions of the animal family. Where the female can derive no benefit from association with the male, no such association takes place." Incels have interpreted this as to mean that women use all men—"beta males" for financial purposes and "alpha males" for breeding. They argue that no matter what you do for a woman in a relationship, she'll never love you.

Bullying: An aggressive, repetitive course of behavior involving an individual misusing an imbalance of power. This may be physical (e.g. punching, shoving), social (e.g. malicious gossip, excluding someone from a group), and/or verbal (e.g. slurs, threats).

Burner Accounts: Also referred to as Dummy Accounts. Email or social media accounts that an individual creates with the purpose of stalking or harassing someone. Often created because the target has blocked the offender or locked their accounts.

Bystander: Someone who is aware that abuse, bullying, harassment, and/or violence is happening to another individual.

Bystander Apathy/Effect: When witnesses to an event fail to help the victim or confront the aggressor. For more information, you can read our article here.

Bystander Intervention: When a bystander actively addresses an incident of abuse, bullying, harassment, and/or violence that is happening to another individual(s). This is often best done by engaging the target—not the offender—and getting them to a safe place. For more information on how to effectively do this, please read "Responding to Harassment as a Bystander" on our How to Help page.



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C



Callout Post: A public post on social media that is either asking for someone to be held accountable for their actions, or is being used to target someone for harassment.

Carousel: In the manosphere, this is when a woman—usually in her twenties—engages in sexual activity with as many alpha males as she can, before deciding to marry a beta male to obtain financial security.

Catcalling: Making a sexual remark at a passing individual, often a complete stranger.

Cavemanning: Advocated by pickup artists in the manosphere, this refers to escalating physical contact with a date; for example, throwing them down on the bed or against the wall. This is done to minimize conversation "just like cavemen did" and to get women to "overcome their inhibitions."

Chad: Incels use this term to describe men they view as attractive, strong, and sexually "successful" alpha males. They believe women will flock to the "Chads" of the world even if these men are abusive or unintelligent, and that their success in dating is due entirely to having "won the genetic lottery" of attractiveness. Chads are usually portrayed as white; there are terms for Chads of different ethnicities, often incorporating racial slurs.

Cisgender: Sometimes shorted to "cis." Describes an individual who is not transgender.

Cissexism: Prejudice/discrimination in favor of cisgender people and against transgender people.

Closeted: Describes an individual who is not publicly open about aspects of their identity (e.g. sexual orientation), often because they fear abuse, violence, or loss of home/job.

Coercion: The use of force, manipulation, pressure, threats, and/or violence to override another person's wishes or needs.

Concern Troll: An individual who enters a conversation or debate to argue that while they agree with a cause, they think things are being done incorrectly and need to be improved. For example, they may say it's great that racism in cosplay is being addressed, but tell black cosplayers they're being too "aggresssive" or "extreme" and they need to chill out before they alienate white cosplayers.

Cognitive Dissonance: Mental distress caused when a person's beliefs and/or values are challenged by contradictory evidence or ideas. To reduce the distress, individuals may dismiss or discredit new information so they can maintain their original beliefs without contradiction.

Commodity Feminism: When a company utilizes feminist ideas/icons for commercial purposes.

Complainant: An individual who reports to the police that they are the victim of a crime.

Complicit: Legally, a person is complicit in the crimes of another if they a) encouraged the offender, b) assisted the offender, and/or c) had a legal obligation to prevent the crime from occurring and failed to do so.

Conditions of Release: Rules that a defendant must abide by while out on bail, pending a criminal trial. These often include requirements such as having no contact with the victim, or not leaving the state.

Consent: Briefly put, consent is a voluntary agreement to another person's request. In any ongoing situation—such as a photo shoot or a sexual encounter—it is a continuing process. Consent must be enthusiastic, informed, withdrawable, freely given, and specific to the situation. It requires clear communication, not assumptions. Silence is not consent.

Content Warning: (See also: Trigger Warning.) A notice that informs someone about to view a form of media that its content may be sensitive, triggering, or otherwise upsetting (e.g. sexual assault, slurs). This allows the audience to made an informed decision as to whether they wish to continue viewing the material.

Continuance: Postponement of a court hearing. This may be done because a witness is unavailable, one of the parties needs more time to review evidence, or because of medical issues, for example.

Conviction: A legal finding that a defendant is guilty. Please note that without said conviction, media sources must use the word "allegedly" when referring to accusations, and the use of such word does not mean the claims are false.

Credible Evidence: Evidence that is most likely true and is worthy of belief.

Creep Shaming: A term used in the manosphere to describe the calling out of inappropriate, abusive, and harassing behaviors. Incels and Men's Rights Activists compare it to "slut shaming" and claim that this is labeling "innocent flirting" as creepy as a way to further oppress men.

Crossdressing: Presenting as a different gender, usually through clothing and/or makeup. This is a form of gender expression and not necessarily gender identity or sexual orientation. The term "transvestite" is considered out-dated and offensive by many, and the term "crossdresser" should not be applied to transgender individuals. Crossdressers usually do not intend to have gender affirming surgery.

Cross-Platform Abuse/Harassment: When someone utilizes multiple online platforms in their abuse/harassment of an individual. As each platform will generally only analyze content on their own site, they may not be willing to take action against the aggressor, and it may be harder to explain/prove to law enforcement officials that the activities are all linked to the same individual(s).

Crossplay: Cosplaying a character with a gender expression different than your own. Crossplaying is not indicative of an individual's sexuality or gender expression.

Cuck: Within the manosphere, this term is used to describe a man whose wife/girlfriend is cheating on him.

Cyberbullying: (See also: Bullying.) A course of behavior online that aims to abuse, embarrass, humiliate, intimidate, or otherwise bully an individual. Cyberbullies often utilize social media for these purposes.

Cyberstalking: Repeated harassment and stalking online with the intent to cause anxiety, embarassment, fear, humiliation, intimidation, or other forms of emotional distress.



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D



DARVO: An acronym for Deny, Attack, Reverse Victim and Offender. Coined by Jennifer J. Freyd, this refers to a pattern of behavior where the offender will deny allegations made against them ever happened (or claim they're not as bad as they're being made out to be), attack their accusers, and claim that they're the real victim.

Date Rape: Sometimes also referred to as acquaintance rape. This is sexual violence that occurs where the offender knows the victim through some form of dating relationship. Survivors face additional challenges in these situations, as some individuals believe rape isn't possible within a dating relationship. Others may shame or judge the survivor if it was a "blind date" or if the survivor was intending for only a short-term sexual encounter.

Deadnaming: The malicious use of a person's former name against their wishes as a form of targeted harassment. Often used against trans individuals who have changed their names for professional or personal reasons.

Defamation: (See also: Libel, Slander.) Using false statements to damage someone's reputation.

Defendant: An individual charged with a crime.

Denial: Can refer to either: a) an offender claiming that allegations against them are false or b) an individual not being able to come to terms with a traumatic event that happened to them and refusing to acknowledge it on a subconscious or unconscious level.

Devaluation: Assigning exaggerated negative traits to yourself or others. Devaluing oneself is a common reaction to trauma, while devaluing others is a common feature of narcissists and abusers.

Discovery: The pre-trial process where both sides in a legal case exchange information with each other regarding witnesses, evidence, etc. In the United States, the state must give the defendant information on any individual or evidence they intend to use at trial.

Discrimination: Treating a member of a marginalized group (e.g. race, gender, sexual orientation) unfairly.

Display of Higher Value (DHV): In the manosphere, this refers to any public action that increases someone's "sexual market value."

Display of Lower Value (DLV): In the manosphere, this refers to any public action that decreases someone's "sexual market value."

Dissociation: A disruption of normal psychological function, characterized by depersonalization (feeling like one's body/mind aren't real or their own), derealization (feeling like the external world isn't real), or amnesia. Often a reaction to trauma.

Diversity: How all of us differ in terms of characteristics and identities. An inclusive community should welcome individuals from all groups and support them equally.

Divorce Rape: In the manosphere, this refers to tactics wives supposedly use to end marriages, such as falsely claiming abuse, rape, or child neglect, with the goal of obtaining all the husband's money. It's worth nothing that in general, women tend to be financially worse off after divorce (especially if they spent time not working to raise children).

DOS/Denial-of-Service Attack: Overwhelming a website or network so it's slowed down or unavailable to its users.

Doxing: Gathering and publishing personal information about an individual that they wish to keep private. This may include such information as their legal name, address, phone number, email address, banking information, and/or information about their family members.

Drag Queens: Entertainers (usually identifying as male) who dress in women's clothing/makeup as part of their performance.

Dread Game: Those in the manosphere use this to describe emotional manipulation and abuse within a relationship, usually with the intent of maintaining power or control. This may involve faking a pregnancy scare or making threats to break up. While abusive relationships clearly exist, incels tend to argue that all women use these tactics.

Dummy Accounts Also referred to as Burner Accounts. Email or social media accounts that an individual creates with the purpose of stalking or harassing someone. Often created because the target has blocked the offender or locked their accounts.



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E



Enabler: An individual who protects someone from the consequences of their actions. While often used in the context of substance addiction, it can apply to abusers and harassers as well. An enabler may make excuses for an abuser, provide them with alibis, claim responsibility for what they've done, and attack anyone who tries to confront or expose the abuser.

Evidentiary Hearing: A hearing held to determine if evidence can be admitted to a trial, or to see if there's even enough evidence to proceed to trial.



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F



Fauxpology: Also referred to as a Non-Apology Apology. A statement which is framed like an apology but does not express any actual remorse. Examples include: "I'm sorry you feel that way." (This implies that nothing the offender did was wrong; the target was simply being "too sensitive.") and "Mistakes were made." (This uses the passive voice to separate the actions from the offender.)

Feminazi: (See also: straw feminist.) A derogatory term for feminists, often used to dismiss those who speak out about topics those in the manosphere don't believe merit conversation or even exist, such as rape culture.

Femoid/Foid: A humanizing term incels use for women (shortening of "female humanoid").

Flaming: Hostile online attacks that frequently contain insults, offensive language, slurs, and/or threats. These kind of comments are often patently harassment and will usually get flagged and removed by social media platforms.

Flashback: A sudden, involuntary recalling of a traumatic memory. They are often related to a trigger, such as sound or smell, or even media coverage of similiar traumatic events.

Financial Abuse: A form of Intimate Partner Abuse where the abuser controls the victim's access to money. They may ensure that the victim's name isn't listed on documents like mortgages or car titles and that they aren't able to pull money out of bank accounts. By restricting access to resources, this makes it more difficult for the victim to leave the relationship.

Friend Zone: (See also: Nice Guy.) When one individual has unrequited romantic or sexual feelings for another, they may claim they have been placed in the "friend zone," which is viewed as an unpleasant and unwelcome situation. This concept has been criticized for being misogynistic, as it is often used by those indentifying as male against someone identifying as female, and usually with a tone of resentment. It implies that if a woman is obligated to return a man's affection/attraction, and if she doesn't, she's seen as mean or selfish.



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G



Gaslighting: A psychological tactic used by abusers to make the target question their perception of reality or even their sanity. This often involves withholding information from the target, discrediting any information that doesn't fit the abuser's story, isolating the target from objective sources and their support network, making the target question their own value, and ultimately manipulating the target into only relying on the abuser for information.

Gatekeeping: Policing communities and groups to decide who does or does not belong. For example, trans and nonbinary individuals, sex workers, and women of color have found themselves excluded from feminist communities.

Gay: Can be used to describe a homosexual individual or any member of the LGBTQ+ community.

Gay Panic Defense: A legal defense where the defendant claims that they committed a crime because they were the subject of unwanted homosexual advances, and that said advances put them in a psychotic state where they were not aware of their actions.

Gender Affirming Surgery: May also be referred to as genital reassignment surgery. Surgical procedures undergone during a gender transition. Not all trans individuals choose to have these procedures, in part because they are often costly and not always covered under health insurance (at least in the United States). Outdated and potentially offensive terms for gender affirming surgery include "sex change" and "gender reassignment.

Gender-Based Slurs/Harassment:

This contains offensive language; click here to read the definition.

Gender-Based Violence: Violent acts that are disproportionally committed against certain genders, such as rape and intimate partner violence. Women, trans individuals, and gender nonconforming individuals are among the groups most impacted by gender-based violence.

Gender Binary: The concept that only two genders exist—male and female. Often used to justify transphobia or prejudice against those who do not fit within one of those groups.

Gender Dysphoria: A classification in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) for when a person's gender identity is in conflict with the sex they were assigned at birth. The classification is controversial, as some believe it treats trans individuals as if they have a "disease," while others argue it's necessary to ensure that health insurance covers hormonal/surgical procedures for trans people. May also be related to general body dysmorphia.

Gender Expression: Also referred to as gender presentation. External appearance, behavior, and other mannerisms that reflect gender, usually in terms of masculinity or femininity.

Genderfluid: Used to describe an individual whose gender is not constant. They do not always identify as one gender or another, but rather it is fluid over time.

Gender Identity: A individual's internal sense of their gender. Cisgender people identify with the gender they were assigned at birth, while transgender individuals do not. Others may not feel as those their gender fits into a binary category and identify as non-binary, bigender, or genderqueer/fluid.

Gender Inequity: When a society prizes one gender over others. As such, the privileged gender has more power and higher status, as well as the opportunity to keep the other genders subjugated.

Gender Nonconforming: Describes an individual whose gender expression is different from societal stereotypes of what masculinity and femininity are. Both cis and trans people may be gender nonconforming. Being transgender is not synonymous with gender nonconformity.

Genderqueer: A gender identity outside the gender binary of male/female. They may identify as another gender, as genderfluid, or as no gender.

Gender Roles: Female and male stereotypes that women and men are expected to abide by in society. For example, the idea that men should work to earn money for the household while women should stay home to cook, clean, and care for children.

Google Bombing: Manipulating a search engine so that people who search for a certain term or person are initially recommended sites that are irrelevant, defamatory, or contain offensive content. While sometimes used for comidic effect, is has also been used as a part of smear campaigns.

Grand Jury: A jury that reviews evidence and testimony to determine if charges should be brought against an individual. If so, an indictment is issued.

Grooming: Creating and maintaining an emotional connection with a minor with the intent to abuse or exploit said minor.



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H



Hacking: Unauthorized entry into someone's device or network. This may be done to obtain their private information or plant a virus on their computer, but is also often done to abuse, embarass, frame, harass, or stalk an individual.

Hard No: In the manosphere, this is a "real" no from a woman, as opposed to what they call "token resistance."

Hatefact: The alt-right defines this as "facts that hurt the liberals' feelings."

Hate Speech: Language that is abusive, denigrating, insulting, prejudicial, and/or threatening and specifically targets an individual or group because of their identity. Legal definitions vary from state to state and country to country, and not all identity classes (for example—disability, gender, national origin, race, religion, sexual identity, sexual orientation) are protected under the law in each jurisdiction.

#HimToo: Post-#MeToo, this hashtag has been used by a variety of groups on Twitter. While some have used it to bring attention to sexual assault victims who identify as male, other groups have attached it to callout posts. During the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings for the United States Supreme Court, it began to be used by those in the manosphere to make claims about false rape allegations. (Our article on false rape allegations can be found here.)

Heteronormative: The belief that heterosexuality is the "normal" or "preferable" orientation, which contributes to prejudice against LGBTQ+ individuals.

Hypergamy: In the manosphere, this term is used to women dating/having sex with with people of higher status. They claim humans abide by the "80/20 rule" whereby the bottom 80% of women attempt to have sex with the top 20% of men, while the bottom 80% of men are "stuck" with the bottom 20% of women. They believe this is responsible for men becoming incels.

Hypervigilance: A psychological state of excessive sensitivity to the environment. While in this state, individuals will obsessively scan their surroundings for threats and may overreact to minor or innocuous stimuli. Often a reaction to trauma, this can lead to friends and family becoming frustrated with the individual and feeling they are "too sensitive."



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I



Incel: Short for "involuntarily celibate." The term's first apparent usage was in 1993, by a Canadian college student to discuss her lack of sexual activity. Since then, it's been adopted by a community that is almost exclusively male and predominantly heterosexual to describe themselves; namely, that they wish to have sexual relationships but feel cheated out of them for reasons out of their control. Online communities for incels often ban women and are rife with misogyny, feelings of resentment and entitlement, and racism. In North America, between 2014 and 2018, seven men who described themselves as incels or revered well-known incels committed acts of violence, including several mass shootings.

Idealization: Essentially putting someone on a pedestal; assigning them exaggerated positive qualities which often do not match up with reality. You see this in some devoted fans when their favorite celebrity is accused of misconduct. Regardless of the amount of evidence, they will cling to their idealized version of the individual and refuse to entertain anything that clashes with that idea.

Identity Politics: Usually used as a pejorative to attack any discussion of bigotry in a politics. It's often used by the alt-right to derail a conversation from actual issues into arguments that politicians are "pandering" to marginalized groups by acknowledging that they belong at the table.

Identify Theft: Legally defined as obtaining personal information to impersonate an individual for the purpose of committing an unlawful activity. This may be done for personal gain (impersonating someone to obtain a credit card in their name) or with an intent to cause harm (creating a social media account purportedly from an individual and posting hateful or defamatory content on it).

Implicit Bias: Unconscious biases individuals have (i.e. ones they are unaware of). People who grow up in a prejudiced society are sometimes unaware of attitudes and prejudices they have against marginalized groups. The Implicit Association Test was developed to identify these prejudices, and you can take some IATs here.

Inclusion: Including individuals and groups that are often discriminated against, especially within positions of power, activities, groups, and processes that they are frequently excluded from.

Individual Racism: An individual's beliefs and behaviors that perpetuate racism. For example, choosing to not work with black cosplayers, or using racial slurs to describe their characters.

Internalized Sexism: When a woman accepts a misogynistic world view and believes that she and other women are inferior to men.

Intersectionality: How various forms of discrimnination and oppression can intersect and compound each other within our society. The experience of sexism that a white, cisgender, heterosexual woman experiences is vastly different than the experience of a black, transgender, lesbian woman. Intersectionality teaches us to understand that everyone's experience is valid.

Intersex: An individual who is born with some combination of sex chromosomes, gonads, hormones, and anatomy that does is uncommon and doesn't fit the average male or female gender presentation. Klinefelter Syndrome is among the most prevalent, along with Turner syndrome, androgen insensitivity syndrome, and congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Although it was common in the past for parents and/or doctors to "choose" a gender for the child and initiate medical procedures to make the body conform to that gender, intersex adults advocate against it. The biological term "hermaphrodite" (an organism that has both male and female reproductive organs) is considered outdated and offensive when referring to humans. Intersex is not a synonym for transgender, although some trans individuals identify as intersex.

Intimate Partner Abuse: Abuse within an intimate relationship, or one that has ended. This kind of abuse has the potential to be harder to escape, especially if the target lives with their abusive partner. Aside from physical, sexual, emotional, and psychological abuse, the offender may also control finances to the point where the target has no assets to be able to exit the home.

Institutional Racism: Instituted policies, laws, and practices which are discriminatory against different racial groups in practice, even if they don't "officially" discriminate. For example, people of color who are convicted of drug offenses are disproportionately more likely to have a longer sentence than white offenders. Within the cosplay community, you may see this with photographers who avoid working with black cosplayers, or online forums that only focus on white performers.

IRL Attacks: Where online abuse and harassment continues into the "real" world.



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J



Jurisdiction: The legally defined area that has authority to prosecute crimes. When harassment and assault occurs at conventions, if the victim is from out-of-state, they may be unable to return to the jurisdiction to persue prosecution.

Just World Hypothesis: A cognitive bias towards believing that the world is fair, so good things happen to good people and bad things only happen to bad people. It serves as a defense mechanism; an individual who believes in a just world believes they can protect themselves from pain and suffering simply by being a good person. However, someone with this bias will experience cognitive dissonance when learning of misfortune happening to a seemingly innocent person, and subsequently they may engage in victim blaming to convince themselves that their worldview can remain intact.



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K





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L



Last Minute Resistance (LMR): (See also: hard no.) In the manosphere, this refers to a woman showing resistance before sex. Pickup artists advice men that this is a "biological thing" that women "can't always control" and offer techiniques to help "overcome" this resistance. This teaches men that "no" is essentially a "maybe" to be pushed through, rather than teaching them to respect a woman's wishes.

LGBTQ+: Acronym for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, with the + standing for any other identities, such as asexual or agender. For some people, the Q stands for "questioning" for people who aren't sure of their identity yet.

Libel: Defamation through published/written communication or pictures (essentially anything that isn't spoken).

Listen and Believe: A phrase used by the alt-right to accuse progressives of blindly accepting anything their leaders/idols say, even in the face of contradicting evidence.



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Male Gaze: Coined by Laura Mulvey, this refers to media portrayals from a male, heterosexual point of view that treat women as sexual objects.

Manosphere: Online areas focused on men and masculinity, populated by men's rights activists, incels, and pick-up artists, among others. These areas are often rife with misogyny, racism, and anti-Semitism.

Mansplaining: When a man explains something to a woman in a condescending way, especially when the woman is knowledgable in her field. Frequent on social media. Often begins with, "Actually..." Those who mansplain will dismiss a woman's credentials as being not as good as theirs, if they even bother to acknowledge them at all.

Manspreading: Spreading your legs out farther than is needed to be comfortable while sitting.

Marginalized: Groups that are discriminated against and treated like second-class citizens within society. They are often denied rights and representation in government, either officially or through prejudice. They may not be represented accurately or at all in media.

Men Going Their Own Way/MGTOW: In the manosphere, they describe themselves as a place where a man "preserves and protects his own sovereignty above all else," usually by refusing to have anything to do with women. While similar to incels, they may not be celibate and if so, report that it is voluntary. They see feminism as evil and usually speak derogatorily about women, accusing them of lying about sexual assault and purposefully stealing sperm from used condoms to get pregnant and "entrap" men, among other things.

Men's Rights Movement/Men's Rights Activists: Groups that claim to be advocating for the rights of men. Unfortunately, while there are valid criticisms to be had about the treatment of men in society (the stigmas surrounding mental health treatment or sexual assault, for example), this section fo the manosphere mainly attacks feminism.

Message Bombing/Text Bombing: Spamming an individual or group's phone/email with a large amount of messages. The purpose may be to run up a large phone bill (in the event the individual doesn't have unlimited texting/data on their phone plan) or to annoy/bully. The target may have to deactivate their account, uninstall an app, or turn off their phone.

#MeToo: Originally coined by Tarana Burke in 2006 on MySpace to illustrate the high rates of sexual violence, especially among women of color. After a 13-year-old girl confided to her that she had been sexually assaulted, Burke didn't know what to say; later, she said she wished she had said, "Me too." In 2017, Alyssa Milano used the hashtag to encourage individuals who had experienced sexual harassment or violence to "give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem." Since October 2017, the MeToo movement has aimed to raise awareness, reduce stigma, and bring about consequences for offenders.

Microaggression:

This contains offensive language; click here to read the definition.

Mob Attacks/Cybermobs: Online groups that are organized to launch an attack on a target. This may involve such tactics as use of hashtags on social media, calls to spam comment sections, and doxxing.

Multigender: An individual who has multiple gender identities. They may be genderfluid or the identities may coexist temporally.



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Narcissistic Personality Disorder: A psychological condition where the individual has a grandiose sense of self-importance and believes that they are entitled to special attention and admiration. You can read our article on NPD here.

Negging/Neg Hit: In the manosphere, this is an insult or a backhanded compliment that pickup artists use to "knock hot women off their pedestal." They believe this will ultimately get women to sleep with them.

Nice Guy: A man who bemoans that he can't find a girlfriend in spite of his claims that he is kind, compassionate, and sensitive. The term is supposed to be in contrast to the stereotypical "bad boys" that all women supposedly fawn over. However, these "nice guys" often have a sense of entitlement and believe they are "owed" sex from women because of their behavior. These are men who will buy a woman a drink and then degrade her if she chooses not to sleep with him. They offer emotional support to their female friends when they're upset, but then complain about being "friend zoned" if said friends don't want to persue a romantic or sexual relationship with them. In the manosphere, incels and MRAs see nice guys as victims of women's cruelty.

Non-Apology Apology: (See Fauxpology.)

Nonconsensual Photography: Often referred to as "revenge porn." The distribution and/or publication of intimate, revealing, or sexually explicit images/video without the consent of the individual(s) in them. These images may be of a former romantic/sexual partner or obtained via hacking a person's computer or phone. The purpose of the publication or distribution is to cause distress, fear, and/or embarrassment.

Nondisclosure Agreement/NDA: A legal contract between two parties that restricts information that can be disclosed to third parties. An employer may have one with an employee to protect trade secrets, and members of certain occupations (e.g. lawyers, doctors) have agreements to protect their clients by prohibiting them from sharing information about them with outside individuals/agencies. In cases of sexual assault/harassment, sometimes the offenders offer their victims "hush money" to sign an NDA and prevent them from saying anything negative about them to others, especially the media.

Nonbinary/Non-binary: Genders that don't fall into the categories of male or female, or used to describe an individual with a gender identity that isn't male or female. This is not a synonym for transgender, although some trans individuals do identify as nonbinary.

Non-Player Character/NPC: Originating on 4chan, this term describes an individual who can't think for themselves and is programmed to only have certain responses. Often seen along side "SJW", it's used by the alt right and members of the manosphere to attack anyone who professes opinions different than theirs, in an attempt to diffuse any arguments they might be making. For example, in early 2019, as allegations of sexual misconduct against a prominent voice actor resulted in him losing jobs and con appearances, many of his supporters began accusing anyone supporting the reported victims of being NPCs and SJWs who were just trying to "ruin an innocent man's life."



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Offender: An individual who has committed some form of offense; in the legal system, this term is generally applied to one already convicted of a crime.

Omega/Omega Male: In the manosphere, this term refers to a man deemed incapable of ever having sex, aka an incel.

Online Impersonation: Creating fake social media accounts in an attempt to impersonate an individual. Usually the intent is to have other people believe the target is saying offensive, abusive, or bigotred statements, either to discredit the target or encourage harassment of the target.

Oppression: A form of systematic injustice where a privileged group in power denies rights and benefits to a marginalized community. This may be done deliberately or unintentionally as a result of prejudice from implicit biases. For oppression to occur, the privileged group must have the power to suppress, devalue, and marginalize the other group.

Orbiter/Orb: In the manosphere, pickup artists use this to describe a woman's male friend who she doesn't want to have sex with. They deem these kind of men foolish, as the only relationship they feel a man should have with a woman is a sexual one.

Out: As an adjective, it means an LGBTQ+ individual whose gender identity and/or sexual orientation is known to the general public, friends, family, and/or coworkers. As a verb, it means to expose someone's gender identity and/or sexual orientation when they have not made it public.



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Pawn: Pickup artists use this term to describe a woman they use as a prop; they're not interested in the woman romantically or sexually, but they flirt with her to keep her around and show other women that they have the ability to attract women.

Performative Allyship: (See also: virtue signalling.) When a member of a privileged group publically supports a marginalized group, but is doing so in a way that is for personal gain, rather than actual improvement of societal issues. Sometimes it's done for attention or praise, or by an offender to accuse their target of bigotry so as to continue a pattern of abuse or harassment. This is harmful because it can draw attention away from the marginalized group or the issues at hand. For example, a white individual who tweets often about the issues of black cosplayers, but doesn't retweet posts by black cosplayers; they're speaking over the marginalized group instead of amplifying their voices. It IS important for privileged individuals to use said privilege to speak out against issues in society. But if we're going to grab the microphone to get everyone's attention, it's even more important that we know when to hand over the mic to those who actually experience it.

Predator: An individual who routinely and purposefully seeks targets for abuse, harassment, or sexual assault.>

Pansexual: (See also: Bisexual.) Describing individuals who experience sexual and/or romantic attraction to multiple genders.

Patriarchy: A society or government where men hold more power than women. Women may be denied positions of power through law (e.g. barring women from holding political office or other powerful positions) or through prejudice (e.g. society believes women are ill-suited for such positions and subsequently are less often elevated to them). Patriarchies are marked by inequality, sexism, and often other prejudices such as homophobia and transphobia.

Passing: Being perceived as a group other than the one the individual belongs to. The term has a history of refering to racial passing, where people of color with lighter skin could "pass" as white, or Jewish people in Nazi Europe could "pass" as Aryan to evade racist regimes. In present day, it often refers "passing" as a different sexuality or gender identity, especially a transgender individual "passing" as cisgender. It is a controversial term, as while some trans individuals do use the term, others frown upon it as it implies that the trans person is "faking" or "tricking" people, or that their gender identity isn't "real."

Perpetrator: An individual who has committed a harmful or illegal act.

Pick-Up Artist/PUA: An individual (usually a man) who uses techniques to seduce others (usually women). Similar to the incels, they have their misogynistic vocabulary that treats women like commodities rather than people, and their techniques often involve emotional manipulation, using others as a means to an end, abusive tactics, and an exhortation to ignore women if they say "no."

Polysexual: Describing individuals who are attracted to multiple genders.

Power-Based Violence: This term can be used instead of "gender-based violence" to reflect that sexual harssment, sexual assault, rape, and related crimes can occur to any gender, and to indicate that the cause is based in power, not sex.

Preferred Pronouns: Pronouns that reflect an individual's identity. Common ones are "he," "she," "they," and "zie," although you may encounter others.

Prejudice: A preconceived attitude about a person and/or group that is not based on actual experience. These attitudes are usually negative (e.g. all members of a particular group are lazy and stupid) and contribute to discrimination and marginalization.

Privilege: Unearned advantages and power within society as a result of belonging to a certain group. Having privilege doesn't mean your life is easy; it means that you benefit from some aspect of your identity by avoiding prejudice, discrimination, and oppression that other groups deal with in our society. You may also have privilege while belonging to a marginalized group. For example, all women struggle with sexism, but women can also have white privilege or cis privilege if they're not women of color or transgender.



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Queer: Used to describe sexual orientations and gender identities that aren't heterosexual or cisgender. Queer is a reclaimed slur, and is still used as a derogatory term by some homophobes and transphobes; some individuals within marginalized communities may find it offensive. It is not a synonym for transgender.



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Racism: For an individual, the belief that one race is superior to another; for a society, the prevalence of this belief among those who have the ability to oppress/marginalize that group.

Rape: The legal definition varies from state to state and country to country, but in general, a sexual act (often penetrative acts) performed against a person without their consent.

Rape Culture: Societal attitudes and beliefs that trivialize, rationalize, and normalize sexual violence. For example, telling women they need to learn self-defense, watch their drinks, and use the "buddy system" to avoid rape, rather than teaching men the importance of respecting a woman's agency. It also manifests in phrases such as "boys will be boys," which imply that violence and even sexual harassment/assault is "natural" for men.

Rape Kit: A forensic exam conducted on a survivor of sexual assault/rape to gather evidence. It may take up to several hours and is invasive, which can be retraumatizing; this contributes to why some survivors don't feel safe/comfortable coming forward. For a more comprehensive look at rape kits, you can visit RAINN's page here (information may be triggering).

Rape Myth: A belief about sexual assault and rape that is false. They blame the victim, excuse the perpetrator, and diminish the very real problem of sexual assault by claiming most reported rapes are false or that women lie any time they regret sex. Many rape myths revolve around victims of sexual assault who identify as male; these include the idea that men can't be raped, or that if they are, that makes them gay. These myths help stigmatize survivors, prevent offenders from receiving consequences, and contribute to rape culture.

Reclaimed Slur: A word that has been taken back by a marginalized or oppressed group and used within the group to refer to their members without the negative connotation. (You cannot reclaim a slur if you are not a member of the group it is being used against.) It's important to remember that not all members of a group may agree with the reclamation, and as such, it may still be offensive to some individuals. In addition, the words may still be in use by prejudiced groups as slurs. In general, if you're not a member of a marginalized group, avoid reclaimed slurs unless you know the individual(s) you're referring to are comfortable with it.

Red Pill: In some online communities, this refers to someone who has "woken up" and realized that some commonly accepted attitudes/beliefs are false. It's used in the manosphere for people who believe that society is inherently prejudiced against men, not women, and in alt-right communities for those who have converted to their beliefs—mainly racism, bigotry, and the idea that progressives are evil and want to enslave society.

Retaliation: Actions taken to punish an individual who has reported an offense, spoken up about an issue, or ended a relationship with an abusive individual. Online, abusers may libel the target, encourage their friends to harass the target, fraudulently report their social media accounts, dox them, and even target friends, family, and employers.

Retarded: Once used to refer to mental disabilities, this is now an offensive and outdated term, but still widely used in some communities as a synonym for "stupid" or "boring."

Retraumatization: When memories of prior trauma are triggered, causing an individual to relive the traumatic situation. Triggers can include sounds, smells, and even news articles about similar events.

Revenge Porn: See Nonconsensual Photography.

Reverse Racism: In the United States, the erroneous belief that white people are the ones suffering from racism. In spite of there being no evidence of widespread, systemic discrimnination against whites, some individuals—especially in the alt-right—argue that steps taken to address and correct racial injustice are actually an attack on white people.

Reverse Rape: A term used in the manosphere for "refusing to date someone" as if to imply that women owe men sex and if they deny them that "right" they're committing a horrible offense.

Roastie: A term used in the manosphere for a woman who has had multiple sexual male sexual partners. The implication is that the woman's labia are stretched out and resemble roast beef.



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Safe Space: An area created for members of marginalized communities to come together and have a constructive discussion in a safe environment. At conventions, this may be a place where individuals struggling with anxiety or other mental health issues, as well as those who have experienced harassment or abuse, can come to decompress and have someone to talk to. This term is often used in a derogatory manner by those on the alt-right to accuse progressives of stifling free speech and being oversensitive.

#SayHerName: A movement designed to highlight cases of police brutality against black women, which tend to get less attention in mainstream media, compared to black male victims of police violence.

Sex: The biological classification of an individual, based on genetics, hormones, reproductive organs, and secondary sex characteristics.

Sex Reassignment Surgery: Surgical interventions involved in transitioning. The term "sex change operation" is out-dated and offensive and should be avoided, as well as the terms "pre-op" and "post-op."

Sexual Assault: The legal definition varies from state to state and country to country, but in general, a sexual act performed against a person without their consent. In some jurisdictions, rape refers to penetrative acts and sexual assault refers to other sexual acts.

Sexual Harassment: Any repeated, unwanted act that is sexual in nature.

Sexual Marketplace: In the manosphere, the battlefield where men are buyers and women are for sale, and transactions are carried out based on each individuals sexual market value. Another way to dehumanize women and make them little more than property.

Sexual Market Value: How sexually desirable an individual is on the sexual marketplace (see above).

Sexual Objectification: Treating a person as a sexual object, as if their only value comes from their body and physical appearance.

Sexual Orientation: Describing an individual's physical, sexual, and/or romantic attraction to others.

Sexual Violence: A category of abusive/criminal behavior including interpersonal violence, rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and stalking.

Slander: Defamation through spoken communication or pictures.

Slut-Shaming: Attacking someone for being "too sexual" either by dressing in a manner viewed as sexually provocative or engaging in sexual activities. Individuals who identify as female are usually the target of slut-shaming, while those who identify as male are often applauded for sexual "conquests."

Smear Campaign: A plan to harm someone's reputation by spreading false or misleading information about them.

Social Justice Warrior (SJW): This term is usually used to dismiss/insult anyone who fights against social injustices such as racism, sexism, etc. The implication is usually that SJWs are mindless idiots who don't even actually care about the groups their advocating for and are just trying to look good. Members of the manosphere and the alt-right use it liberally to attack anyone who disagrees with them.

Special Snowflake: An attack term used in some online communities to imply that someone is overly sensitive and overreacting, usually to issues regarding harassment, bigotry, and politics. By using the term, the implication is that the concerns or complaints the "snowflake" has are invalid.

Stalking: While the definition varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, stalking can be defined as a repeated course of conduct designed to frighten, intimidate, threaten, or harass someone.

Straw Feminist: A straw man fallacy utilizing false or exaggerated feminist attitudes and arguments to discredit feminists and feminism. For example, misogynists may claim that all feminists hate men, are "too ugly to get a man," consider all sex to be rape, or want to kill/imprison all men.

Survivor: Someone who has survived a traumatic incident, such as rape, sexual assault, intimate partner violence, or stalking.



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Test Case: A test case often involves someone deliberately breaking the law to bring about legal action with the intent of setting a precedent. The Scopes Trial is an example; John Scopes deliberately set himself up to be a defendant to test the law banning the teaching of evolution in schools.

Time's Up: A social welfare organization and legal defense fund founded in January of 2018. They report to be "address[ing] the systemic inequality and injustice in the workplace that have kept underrepresented groups from reaching their full potential" by advocating for legal change and equal pay, as well as encouraging survivors to speak up about their experiences and helping low-income women obtain justice for sexual harassment, abuse, and assault in the workplace.

Token Resistance: In the manosphere, when a woman resists having sex but "doesn't really mean it.". This encourages men to ignore any protests a woman makes in sexual situations.

Trans: Short for "transgender."

Trans*: A term that became more popular in the 1990's to describe transgender individuals. It may have grown out of a Boolean search modifier or an attempt to create an umbrella term to cover anyone who isn't cisgender (e.g. nonbinary, genderfluid). It is currently a controversial term, as some members of the community feel it creates inclusivity, while others have found it to be redundant, exclusionary, or implying that nonbinary individuals and trans women are "footnotes" in the trans community. In general, individuals not in the trans community should avoid using it unless you know for certain the person you are referring to self-identifies as such.

Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminism/TERF: A school of feminism that does not recognize trans women as "real" women.

Transphobia: Prejudiced attitudes and actions against trans people.

Trigger Warning: (See also: Content Warning.) A notice that informs someone about to view a form of media that its content may be sensitive, triggering, or otherwise upsetting (e.g. sexual assault, slurs). This allows the audience to made an informed decision as to whether they wish to continue viewing the material. Unfortunately, terms such as "triggered" and "trigger warning" have been mocked by insensitive individuals and abusive communities to the point where the words have become a joke for some.

Tyrone: A racist term in the manosphere to refer to a "Chad" who is black.



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Unsolicited Pornography: The sending of pornographic images to an individual when they have not requested them. For example, sending someone a DM featuring a picture of genitalia, or responding to a social media post with a pornographic gif.

Unsubstantiated: A legal term indicating that the evidence available to investigators was insufficient to conclude if a crime was committed or not. This does not mean that the allegations were necessarily false; this may be the case where no forensic evidence was obtained, or where a victim was intimidated into refusing to cooperate with investigators.

Upskirting: Covertly taking an unauthorized photograph up an individual's skirt/dress, with the purpose of photographing their underwear or genitalia.



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Victim: As a legal term, it indicates someone who has suffered harm (physical, emotional, psychological, financial, etc) as a result of a crime. Within the sphere of harassment and sexual violence, some prefer the term "survivor."

Victim Blaming: Attributing the responsibility for offensive, abusive, and/or criminal acts to the victim rather than the perpetrator. For example, telling a cosplayer who was harassed that it was their fault for wearing a revealing outfit, instead of assigning blame to the person doing the harassing.

Victim Chick: A term used in the manosphere to describe a woman with "too much emotional baggage."

Victim Impact Statement: A statement from a victim of a crime, presented to the judge/jury or at the sentencing phase of a trial, once a defendant has been found or has pled guilty. It expresses how the crime has changed the victim's life and how they want the court to take that into account.

Virtue Signalling: (See also: performative allyship.) Public support of a cause that's done for attention/praise, rather than in an effort to improve or change societial issues. Those in the manosphere and the alt-right use the phrase liberally, often to attack anyone who condemns misogynistic and racist ideas. As such, is has lost value as a critical term and is essentially just an insult used by bigots.

Volcel: Short for "voluntary celibate." Incels use this as a derogatory term to refer to men who are not currently in relationships, but incels think they could be if they wanted to. As incels place a supreme importance on sex, they have a low opinion of men who choose to abstain.



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Warrant: A legal document authorizing the police to arrest someone, obtain information, or search a location. Most jurisdictions require credible evidence to be presented to a court or other goverment official before a warrant will be issued.

White Feminism: Feminism that ignores intersectionality and focuses mostly on issues faced by white women. Can be deliberately exclusive in the case of those who are racist or accidentally exclusive as a result of failure to recognize white privilege. While all women experience sexism, when a woman is a member of other marginalized groups, this compounds the issue.

White Knight: An man whose attempts to be a feminist ally are actually belittling or demeaning to the woman or women he's claiming to defend. White knights will interrupt women and attempt to "reinterpret" their statements in an attempt to improve them. They mansplain, concern troll, and will threaten to beat up people who argue or disagree with the woman they're "protecting." In the manosphere, this term is often used to belittle any man who supports feminist or actually respects women, usually with the accusation that they're only doing so in an attempt to have sex.

Witch Hunt: A term used by critics of the #MeToo movement to describe allegations of abuse, harassment, and sexual violence, especially against prominent and well-known individuals. Historical witch hunts were attacks on innocent individuals (mostly women) with false allegations, and were often motivated by political or personal gain. In contrast, those decrying recent allegations as "witch hunts" frequently ignore overwhelming evidence and attack the accusers and supporters. Our article on the matter can be found here.

Woke: Somewhat who is aware and educated in terms of issues of inequality and social injustice. The term is rooted in black activist culture, especially the Black Lives Matter and #SayHerName movements.

Woke Misogynist: A man who claims to be a feminist and socially aware, but engages in misogynistic behavior. This is a step beyond a man who purports to support gender equality but is blind/in denial about elements of his privilege, or the benevolent sexist (see definition above). The woke misogynist may try to excuse his sexist behavior by saying things like, "I know this isn't politically correct, but..." He makes offensive comments and brushes away criticism by claiming they're "just jokes." He supports female politicians but is quick to comment on how unattractive or "frigid" they are. He comments on posts with "not all men" and "I'm an ally, really, I'm just interested in having a conversation." In worst case scenarios, he abuses, harasses, and/or assaults women, believing that his reputation will protect him if he's exposed.



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