Jun 24, 2021
Our society is now clobbered with inequality and language is not an exemption. It is through language that we get to express verbally. If the language that we use is biased, we often tend to hurt and disparage people unconsciously— it is when prejudice is being introduced to the table.
Specific word use usually causes oppression as to the word “master” which then incorporates the word “slaves”. There are also certain bias narratives such as assumptions on identity which is a result of incorrect name pronunciations.
Language is as important as equality. Equality could even arise through sensitive and unbiased use of the language. Changes are inevitable in society, and because change is always constant, we should also be observant of the terminologies we use as it may create inequality and the impact it brings to the oppressed might become skeptically relentless.
Biased language is a one-way civilized conversation that will quickly devolve into uncivil. Bias is commonly described as a predisposition or a built-in prejudice about a group of people that makes it difficult to be impartial when communicating with others.
Misunderstanding and oppression as a result of inequality have remained to be one of humanity's most difficult problems. In worse-case scenarios, misunderstandings have resulted in wars. This is why social justice or social movements exist with goals to simplify narratives, cultivate rather than dominate, to reckon and introspect, and to lift people and not discriminate.
In this very first episode of the Impact Driven Conversations Podcast, we are joined by David Dylan Thomas—author of Design for Cognitive Bias, creator, and host of The Cognitive Bias Podcast, and a twenty-year practitioner of content strategy, Founder and CEO of David Dylan Thomas, LLC.
How Language Bias Perpetuated Inequality
When asked How Language Bias has Perpetuated Inequality, David talks about attending the event Confab, and the very first topic is on certain bias narratives such as Name Pronunciation and how it has become a form of microaggression, he also talks about how specific words create oppression.
“People decide with very few people in the room with very limited perspective creating things that they think are for everybody but actually for themselves.” – David Dylan Thomas
Ensuring that you have the right people in the room
David also quotes that it is important to know what you want as CEO of a company. He believes that there are two parts of it: one is healing and the other is introspection in which people believe in restoring trust, rather than punishing the guilty.
David Dylan Thomas, author of Design for Cognitive Bias, creator, and host of The Cognitive Bias Podcast, and a twenty-year practitioner of content strategy has already consulted major clients in entertainment, healthcare, publishing, finance, and retail.
As the founder and CEO of David Dylan Thomas, LLC he offers workshops and presentations on inclusive design and the role of bias in making decisions. He has presented at TEDNYC, SXSW Interactive, Confab, An Event Apart, LavaCon, UX Copenhagen, Artifact, IA Conference, IxDA, Design, and Content Conference, Emerging Technologies for the Enterprise, and the Wharton Web Conference on topics at the intersection of bias, design, and social justice.
We should also strive to see others and their perspective in a positive light. This will connect the journey to a deeper and stronger understanding. Furthermore, we should still ensure that we do not misinterpret others as they are meant to be understood.
We hope you benefited something from this episode!