The power of words, the Super League

Authors: Kate Savin, Jece Shunmugam, Jack Maycock
  • Posted on: April 20, 2021

Read on for a handpicked selection of the good, the bad, and the one to watch in the world of social impact communications. This week, we’re highlighting the power of words for good or ill, and the controversial European Super League.

| NAILED IT: Changing the vocabulary of fertility and motherhood

Peanut, a US-based social network for mothers, has just released the #RenamingRevolution Motherhood & Fertility Glossary to address the mountain of distressing terminology that women are faced with when trying for or having children.

Goodbye ‘stay-at-home mum, ‘morning sickness’ and ‘inhospitable womb’. Hello ‘full time childcarer’, ‘pregnancy nausea’ and ‘uterine lining challenges’. The glossary has been compiled with assistance from medical professionals and linguists, following a campaign by Peanut to uncover the outdated terminology women hear when going through pregnancy. 

Fertility, pregnancy and motherhood can be a daunting time of a woman’s life. Learning that you’re considered geriatric (you’re trying for a baby over the age of 35), or that you’ve just experienced a ‘failed trial of labour’ (meaning that a vaginal birth is proving challenging and they’re going to move you on to a caesarean) does nothing for the mental health of a woman dealing with a lot of stress already. 

This alternative glossary offers up less charged language, less woman and baby blaming, and ultimately a more informative terminology all round. Every medical professional involved in fertility and motherhood should be reading through it and taking forward the language that applies to their work.

| ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT: Corruption, not cronyism

On Sunday, it was revealed that David Cameron worked to gain access to personal information about NHS staff so that finance company Greensill could lobby them to ensure health services in England adopted one of their schemes. Not one to be outdone, it was then reported that Matt Hancock holds shares in a family company that is currently being contracted by the NHS.

Both cases have amplified anger and mistrust in the Conservative government, leaving many wondering why so little has been done to prevent these conflict of interests from happening again and again. Some point to the language we use to talk about these scandals and how it works to minimise the serious nature of what is being done.

The word ‘cronyism’ is the biggest culprit, referring to politicians appointing their friends to positions of authority through the buying or selling of favours. However, for many, the term has weakened and no longer serves to illustrate the problem at its heart: corruption.

“When other countries do it, it’s called corruption. But when Britain does it, we call it cronyism and lobbying. This only serves to protect the classes and feeds the bad apple narrative. The system is corrupt to support the privileged. This is corruption.”

Adil Ray OBE

If we are to truly rid the government of sleaze and dishonesty, let’s call it what it is — corruption and abuse of power, and it’s happening on an unprecedented scale.

| ONE TO WATCH: Can football unite to save itself?  

In developing news, 12 of Europe’s richest football clubs announced their intention to form a breakaway European Super League from next year. The 12 founding members who are set to become permanent fixtures in the league have provided the vague promise of “solidarity payments”, which they claim ensures domestic football doesn’t suffer from the dramatic revenue losses that will undoubtedly ensue. 

Without so much as a consultation, the Super League — funded by $6 billion in financing from JP Morgan — has already shown a total disregard for other professional clubs, an apathy towards the sustainability of grassroots football and its wider societal benefits, and a contempt for the fans that have built these clubs up over the past 100+ years. 

Can this most recent attempt at capital accumulation be stopped? Only time will tell if football can unite to provide the widespread and coordinated opposition necessary to stop such a planned, well-financed breakaway. As we wait and see, these clubs (and more specifically their billionaire owners) should be treated with the same respect they’ve shown to everyone else — exactly none.