It is getting more and more difficult in our society to freely express and openly discuss ideas outside a narrow range that is being imposed by vocal lobby groups. Central to the technique of opponents to free expression of thought is the use of specific words loaded with intolerant intimidation, effectively publicly bullying their targets into silence. This language should be exposed for what it is, and I have suggested a campaign to identify and publicise these "bullywords". They have no place in societies that value individuality and free speech.

to bully (transitive verb)

Dictionary definitions:

“to treat (someone) in a cruel, insulting, threatening or aggressive fashion, often frightening that person into doing something”

“to seek to harm, intimidate or coerce (someone perceived as vulnerable)”

When applied to the social setting, there are four main features:

  1. It involves misuse of power in a relationship
  2. It is ongoing and repeated
  3. It involves behaviour that can cause harm (psychological and/or physical)
  4. It may originate from an individual or be a feature of more systemic/cultural problem

The power imbalance may take the form of publication in high profile media by an (otherwise) reputable and/or trusted author/journalist, with the target unable to respond in reasonable/rightful self-defense.

Freedom of expression:

Article 18 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

  1. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching.
  2. No one shall be subject to coercion which would impair his freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice.

bullywords (noun pl.)

“words repeatedly used in a bullying fashion to insult and intimidate individuals/groups who express their essential right of freedom of thought and religion, and their independence from external cultural pressures.”

Examples to follow...