Tbh I think that we just need to acknowledge that there isn’t just some strict binary between “slur” and “not a slur,” like not all words are either slurs 100% of the time or completely safe to use. 

I think a lot of the time, whether a word is a slur or not is contextual. Like, who is using this word, and why are they using it? What are they referring to?

Is “cunt” a slur when hurled at female politicians? Usually! Is it a slur when it’s used in erotica because the word “vagina” feels too technical to be sexy? I wouldn’t say so.

“Queer” is a slur when it’s being used by a group of high school football players beating up a GNC kid behind the gym. That doesn’t mean it’s automatically a slur in a college classroom when you’re discussing history. 

“Bitch” can be a slur when a guy says it to a woman who turns him down at a bar. It’s not a slur when my friend goes “B I T C H !!!” in excitement when we’re talking about fanfic ideas. 

Someone talking about how “The Jews” control the banks is probably using it as a slur. Someone casually referring to their roommate as a Jew just as a factual observation, isn’t necessarily using it as a slur. 

And like, this is gonna vary, and people are going to have their emotional reactions to certain terms. That kid who got beat up might be made uncomfortable by the word “queer” even within that college setting. A woman might not like conversations where the word “bitch” is thrown around neutrally. 

And that’s fine, that’s understandable, but that doesn’t actually mean that the word in question is always a slur (which goes back to the whole idea that being triggered by something means it’s always inherently bad, which is just an impractical way to conceptualize triggers in general.)

Plus there’s regional differences between what’s a slur and how severe it is.

Like Americans see “cunt” as a very severe, very misogynistic word. Whereas a lot of flavours of british people use it in the same way we do “bastard” and “fucker”, and even endearingly sometimes towards friends. It doesn’t have the same shock value to a lot of people here, you’ll hear someone call their mate “a bit of a daft cunt” on the bus and if you’re under 50 and not very middle class, it barely registers.

The regional differences thing is exactly why I find “but i’m nonUSian and only assholes use the q slur here!” incredibly weird.

Okay, but I’m not telling you to be an asshole. I’m telling you that a USian who posts about “queer rights” isn’t necessarily an asshole, so don’t ride them like one.

This might be the most reasonable post I’ve seen on this topic to date.