This reconception of violence is more than another shift in the English language. It’s a series of deliberate word choices used to equate nonphysical offenses to physical harm. Too often, the result is to delegitimize alternative views, ratchet up everyone’s anger, and vulgarize a term that should be reserved for real brutality.
We must stop redefining words to mean something they’re not. Our goal should be precision in language not obscurity. The rules we live by—laws—are based around how we collectively understand language. If legal definitions change without a democratic process, then laws change without a democratic process, and our rights are endangered—for who then can say what is legal and what is not?