Hateration, Holleration

11 Jul

I’m not trying to be the grammar police, but I really think some words just need to be retired.  Take, for instance, “swagger,” or simply “swag.”

I mean, once a word becomes connected to a scent that your grandfather used back in the day, it might be best to let that go. (Sorry, PawPaw).

“Hater” is another word that I think should hang up its jersey in the slang hall of fame. True enough, it hasn’t become quite as corny as swag, bling, or jiggy (don’t act like y’all didn’t say that word back in the day!), but it has been used so much that it really doesn’t have much meaning.

I’ve been thinking about “haters” a lot recently. Helping to run a crunk feminist blog and being a crunk feminist teacher means that I’m frequently in the business of bringing up uncomfortable truths, considering difficult issues, and holding myself and others to pretty high standards that reject bullshit and shamtastery.

And I’m frequently called a hater.  

Now, there are lots of things that I do despise: willful ignorance, racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, intolerance, muggy days, frogs (they jump at you, not away from you!), that asinine song by Rocko… I mean, the list goes on. But when I, or any other thinking individual, respectfully disagrees with someone else, calls someone on their ish, or generally acts like they’ve been cultivating their good sense, that is not hating, hateration, or holleration. It’s none of those things in this dancery!

Seriously, we all it get it wrong sometimes. And sometimes it’s painful or even embarrassing to be disabused of our cherished notions. But this inclination to dismiss any kind of critique as hateration is more than side-eye worthy. (We see you, Tyler Perry). It’s an indication that not only is your shit not tight, one, but also that you know it, and you are trying to pull the okey doke on folks. No sir, no m’am!

Respectfully holding each other accountable should be recognized as a loving act, especially in progressive communities who claim to be working for social change. Falling back on some old tired, “Stop complaining, [insert: raggedy social movement, musical artist, filmmaker] is out there doing their thing. You are just hating” is just that–tired.

I am not suggesting that we just talk to one another any old kind of way.  But I am suggesting that we remain open to hearing each other out, learning from one another, and not being mired in comfortable ideologies that simply affirm what we already think is true. 

Let’s throw “hater” a retirement party. It definitely deserves it.

22 Responses to “Hateration, Holleration”

  1. Anthony Ware July 11, 2011 at 2:54 PM #

    Well said!!

    Heavy utilization of slang demonstrates paucity of vocabulary, and symptomatic, of rampant anti-intellectualism in American culture.

    • wriggles July 26, 2011 at 11:17 AM #

      Anti intellectualism is found in the halls of academe as much as on the street. My experience is that one unifier of most people is they love ideas and like to discuss them.

      Certainly more than those in that famous phrase who are educated beyond their intelligence. Brought up to treat education as the bling *yes* of their class, without curiosity, intelligence or joy in learning.

      Please keep the classist BS down.


  2. Tabou July 11, 2011 at 3:44 PM #

    Interesting analysis.

    Question: How does this perspective not reinforce dominant culture language and how do we give constructive criticism about the way marginalized communities create language without resulting to shaming those who use slang?


    • crunktastic July 11, 2011 at 3:47 PM #

      This isn’t slang shaming. Read other posts. We use plenty of slang here and certainly appreciate the creativity in linguistic styles of our folk. The piece is about people trying to short-circuit critique by tossing out copious accusations of hating, which acts to discredit the critic as someone that is merely being petty.

    • crunkadelic July 11, 2011 at 3:53 PM #

      Thanks for your question. My critique is actually not about using slang. In fact, I used slang all throughout the post and think slang, vernacular, whatever we want to call it is fine. Now, to be sure, I did open with a tongue-in-cheek critique of the word “swag,” but that was not about grammar.

      What I’m really getting at is the discourse around “hating” in activist communities and the blogosphere, in particular. See some of the conservation (in the comments) on posts like the ones about rapper Kreayshawn and the Slut Walk movement, for example.

  3. Tracey Coretta July 11, 2011 at 5:33 PM #

    Thank you for brining scrutiny back. On another note, I’m always late on word fads and I absolutely love the word swag! Can I get another month or two?…jus sayin’.

  4. boot-cheese-3000 July 11, 2011 at 5:39 PM #

    hey who deleted my comment?

    and for a thread to speak about how they don’t like words like “swag” to call yourself “crunkfeministcollective” (a word i absolutely can’t stand) makes you look kind of like hypocrites. i basically make my own slanguage and don’t follow the common trends out there. as i posted before someone deleted my post there is another article out there that also speaks on this but goes in depth more about this abysmal slang that has been used to death:


    stop hating and let people read another angle of why this word should go out of style like 8 ball jackets and jheri curl mullets. sheesh.

    • crunktastic July 11, 2011 at 6:09 PM #

      Your comment was deleted because of your use of the word sw*ggot; we told you before that using anything deemed even remotely homophobic is grounds for your comment not to be posted. We make no apologies. We also, just so you know, don’t have to post any comments in which you straight up attack the Collective. And for the record, if you hate our name, which is certainly your right, there’s a very easy way to make sure you never have to see it or encounter it again—don’t visit our site.

      • boot-cheese-3000 July 11, 2011 at 6:45 PM #

        attack the collective? i’m just pointing outs something that makes NO SENSE just like sagging in skinny jeans. you make this asinine article on how much you hate certain slang words but name your blog page after one of the DUMBEST and WORST slang words ever–“crunk”. only illiterate idiots use that word and i’m not one of them. whatever, i apologize for coming off like a homophobe (despite the fact i’m not afraid of homosexuals so i don’t know why i have to be perceived as one) but i’m not gonna apologize for pointing out your hypocrisy and ignorance. if you don’t like what i said it’s just as simple–change the name “crunktastic”. sheesh.

      • crunktastic July 11, 2011 at 7:29 PM #

        Yeah, clearly you missed the point of the piece, which is actually not a critique of slang, but rather a critique of people who try toss out the word “hating” as a way to short-circuit legitimate social critiques being offered. Calling someone a hater for having a criticism is a way to make that person sound petty rather than legitimate in their issue with whatever they are talking about. As you point, clearly a blog site named after slang, and written by a person who uses that same slang in her pen name would not be a critique of slang usage itself. So the fact that you read it that way means that you missed the point (perhaps so you could continue your own campaign of hateration–because trust the irony is not lost that the largest critic of the piece is a commenter like yourself who is exhibiting the very tendencies being discussed in the post), not that we are hypocritical. Check yourself.

  5. boot-cheese-3000 July 11, 2011 at 8:09 PM #

    the motif of the argument in the post didn’t go over my head at all, it seemed to me that another point was being reiterated which is cornball slanguage being used that has no merit, depth or substance to it, just something people use to be/look “cool”. if the meaning of this post was lost then i wouldn’t have posted the link that i did which in my opinion did a better job than you did talking about the word “hater” since it went a step further. like i said i’m not saying this post was horrible at all, it made sense. i still think you need to check yourselves if you’re gonna bash other slang terms that have gotten played out as the beginning of this post speaks about then YOU need to check yourselves for utilizing one of the lamest and dumbest slang terms ever in the lexicon for the title of this blog and for your cyber-pseudonyms.

    • mllevagine July 12, 2011 at 7:42 AM #

      what’s up with the ableist (dumb, lame etc) and classist(only uneducated people talk like that) commentary. but really, check yourself.

  6. crunkadelic July 11, 2011 at 8:44 PM #

    Sigh. Irony abounds in this conversation, but, so be it.

    1. Please read my comment to Tabou above.
    2. Read our mission statement. We talk about why we use the word “crunk.”
    3. I know that “crunk” is not a term created in 2011. I’m not as old as Methuselah, but I do remember when folks started using it. (Did you also notice that I have referenced a 10 year old song throughout the post? I am unafraid of making “old-timey” pop culture references. Ha.) But, for the record, crunk is still very much in usage in the South, which is where I’ve lived for the past decade.
    4.My critique of “hater” is not about slang, per se. I write:

    “Hater” is another word that I think should hang up its jersey in the slang hall of fame. True enough, it hasn’t become quite as corny as swag, bling, or jiggy (don’t act like y’all didn’t say that word back in the day!), but it has been used so much that it really doesn’t have much meaning.

    See that segue? I went from talking about “swag” and my opinion of it and began to transition to discussing how another term is problematic, not because it is corny slang because of the ways in which people mobilize it to hurt others. That’s it. That’s all. My opening comments on “swag”…an attempt at humor.

    At the end of the day, dialogue is cool, but going in circles is not.

  7. Tameka July 11, 2011 at 11:44 PM #

    I am glad someone else heard my cry! I get tired of the word “hater” and think if you have a difference of opinion you are not a “hater”. It is what makes us Americans. Our 1st Ammendment right to “Freedom of Speech”..I think soley it gives us a look at how far that person has expanded their vocabulary. I have an opinion, you have an opinion; that does not make me a hater, nor does it make you one. Its just a difference of opinion…

  8. RoseTattoo July 12, 2011 at 8:40 AM #

    I really like this post. So often people try to label you a hater as a way to silence any critique you might have about something or someone they like or value. Its to the point that I feel almost as though I have to give a string of compliments before I can make a critique just so its clear that I’m not “hating” and am not jealous but have actual thoughts about someone (I.e. “I know Beyonce is beautiful, talented, blah, blah, blah…but I’m not feeling this new album”) I suppose it’s easier to label and silence someone as a hater than actually try to hear them out and consider an alternate stance. (Btw, I happen to love the word crunk. And it seemed to me that it was pretty clear that your discussion on slang was just an introduction to your main topic and that any focus on that part must come from a personal hang-up on that topic.)

  9. startledoctopus July 12, 2011 at 9:03 AM #

    Respectfully holding each other accountable should be recognized as a loving act, especially in progressive communities who claim to be working for social change.

    So hard, but so true!!

  10. Camilla Peffer July 12, 2011 at 2:09 PM #

    are you kidding me?! I LOVE the word swagger! It connotes this feeling of sexiness for me, but sort of implies a naturalness to one’s appeal, you know? I have no idea. But swagger is not dead. A PLAGUE ON YOUR HOUSE AND DICTIONARY!

    • boot-cheese-3000 July 13, 2011 at 3:45 PM #


      Secretly Wanting A Guy.

      FUCK SWAG.

  11. Sabrina July 12, 2011 at 4:54 PM #

    I am so tired of hearing some of these words as well. However, free speech will always come into play. So I just try to limit being around people who are frequent users. Where do some of these words come from? I am always late to catch on.

  12. jess July 13, 2011 at 8:32 PM #

    Yes, the Mary song has been in my head since I’ve seen this post tweeted. Except I always imagined it spelled “dancerie,” given the emphasis on the last syllable.

    Had never heard of that acronym for SWAG. In the world of conventions etc. it stands for Stuff We All Get.

    • boot-cheese-3000 July 14, 2011 at 11:56 AM #

      that’s because you haven’t met anybody like SENOR FLY GUY before!!!!!

  13. Jocie July 14, 2011 at 3:02 PM #

    Great post, family! I just had a conversation about this! It’s like, as soon as someone says hater, everybody stops thinking. Remember the time before folks used the word “hater?” I feel like there is a direct correlation between the proliferation of the term “hater” and intolerance for sustained social criticism of Black pop culture! Even the most well-crafted, eloquent argument about any aspect of contemporary Black popular culture can be SHUT DOWN as soon as someone says “oh, you just hatin!” Calling someone a hater is like hitting the critical analysis kill-switch!

    Now, swag, is one of my favorite words every created. 🙂

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