A new study from UK and US researchers suggests wildlife organizations must recognize the ‘colonial’ and ‘racist’ names of birds.
According to Robert Driver of East Carolina University and Alexander Bond of the UK’s Natural History Museum, some names are ‘offensive or ignorant,’ and perpetuate European perspectives of the 18th and 19th centuries. “Like many aspects of science, common names of birds across the world are often rooted in the European perspective, reflecting the perspective of European settlers coining bird names upon their expansion and claim to territory.”
The researchers claim the names are not acceptable in the ‘modern world’ and therefore should be changed. Bird names including ‘squaw,’ ‘Hottentot,’ and ‘McCown’ are included in the study, allegedly all with “damaging, racist or bigoted” histories.
For instance, “The word ‘squaw’ is a derogatory, misogynistic and racist term, denoting the subordination of Indigenous North American women to European colonizers, used to describe an Indigenous woman who was ‘in essence mindless, following the requests of men.’”
The solution, according to the researchers, is renaming the offensive birds and thereby making science “more diverse and inclusive.”
ARTICLE: ANTOINETTE AHO
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: ECOWATCH
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