Crossword puzzles are a beloved pastime for many people. They provide a mental workout, a chance to learn new words, and a way to pass the time. However, some crossword puzzles take things too far by including excessively disparaging clues and answers.
What is an Excessively Disparaging Crossword?
An excessively disparaging crossword is a puzzle that includes clues or answers that are insulting, offensive, or derogatory. These clues might target specific groups of people based on their race, gender, sexual orientation, or other characteristics. They might also make light of serious issues like mental illness, addiction, or domestic violence.
The Harmful Effects of Excessively Disparaging Crosswords
Excessively disparaging crosswords can have a number of harmful effects on both individuals and society as a whole. Here are just a few examples:
- They perpetuate harmful stereotypes. When crossword puzzles include clues or answers that reinforce negative stereotypes about certain groups of people, they contribute to a culture of discrimination and prejudice. This can make it harder for people in those groups to be taken seriously or treated fairly.
- They can be triggering for people with mental health issues. Crossword clues that make light of mental health issues like depression or anxiety can be triggering for people who have experienced those issues themselves. This can cause unnecessary distress and make it harder for those individuals to seek help if they need it.
- They contribute to a culture of casual bigotry. When we see insulting or derogatory language in our daily lives, it can start to feel normal or acceptable. Excessively disparaging crosswords contribute to a culture of casual bigotry where people feel free to make hurtful comments or jokes without thinking about the impact they might have.
What Can We Do About Excessively Disparaging Crosswords?
If you come across an excessively disparaging crossword, there are a few things you can do:
- Speak out. If you see a crossword clue or answer that you find offensive, speak up. You can write a letter to the editor of the newspaper or magazine that published the puzzle, or you can share your concerns on social media.
- Boycott. If a particular publication consistently includes excessively disparaging crosswords, consider boycotting that publication. Let them know that you won’t support a product that perpetuates harmful stereotypes or makes light of serious issues.
- Create your own. If you’re a crossword enthusiast, consider creating your own puzzles that are inclusive and respectful. You can share your puzzles on a personal blog or social media, or you can submit them to publications that prioritize diversity and inclusivity.
Product Bundle for Excessively Disparaging Crossword
Given the harmful effects of excessively disparaging crosswords, it’s unlikely that anyone would want to purchase a product that promotes this type of language. However, if for some reason you do find yourself in possession of an excessively disparaging crossword, you might consider bundling it with other products that promote diversity, inclusion, and respect. Here are a few ideas:
- Diversity and inclusion books. Bundle the crossword with books on diversity and inclusion to help counteract the harmful effects of the puzzle.
- Donation to a diversity organization. If you sell the crossword, consider donating a portion of the proceeds to an organization that promotes diversity and inclusion.
- Access to diversity training. If the crossword was created by a company or organization, offer access to diversity training for their employees as part of the bundle.
Features of an Excessively Disparaging Crossword
Again, it’s unlikely that anyone would want to purchase an excessively disparaging crossword. However, if you were creating one (which we do not recommend), here are a few features you might include:
- Insulting or derogatory clues and answers. These might target specific groups of people based on their race, gender, sexual orientation, or other characteristics.
- Jokes about serious issues. These might include clues or answers that make light of mental illness, addiction, or domestic violence.
- Reinforcement of negative stereotypes. This might include clues or answers that reinforce negative stereotypes about certain groups of people.
Excessively disparaging crosswords are harmful to individuals and society as a whole. They perpetuate harmful stereotypes, can be triggering for people with mental health issues, and contribute to a culture of casual bigotry. If you come across an excessively disparaging crossword, consider boycotting the publication, speaking out, or creating your own puzzles that are inclusive and respectful.