Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Offensive? YES!

There is something that has been bothering me for a while, as time goes on my annoyance is gaining momentum. I really dislike, in fact am offended by, people using the word retarded in a derogatory sense.
I have always felt uncomfortable when people use this word to describe someone who does something silly, mean, bad or gets extremely drunk. But I admit I didn't really know or understand my discomfort at the use of this word so I never really thought about it.
Then my friend had a son with a condition that medical dictionaries describe a feature of which to be mental retardation. I saw that she was hurt by the use of this word in a derogatory sense and so I felt offended on her behalf but I didn't truly understand her hurt.
However, the more time I spent with her little man the more I felt personally upset by the way people use this word too. Why? Because he is the exact opposite of what that word has come to mean outside medical dictionaries. He is soo gorgeous inside and out and teaches all of us around him about what is really important in this life, what is beautiful in this world, and about unconditional love and acceptance. He is an incredibly special little boy!
I think we need to NOT become more relaxed around the use of the word retarded in such a negative way. It bothers me a lot that so many people use it so flippantly without any idea of the offense it will cause. Acceptance is the way forward people, difference is not bad, it is beautiful. It opens our eyes and teaches us things about ourselves and our world.


Jenn said...

Well said! So many things like that are said so flippantly, so often... we all have to stop and think before we speak. Other words like nuts, crazy, insane, demented, spastic, schitzo etc...

There was an episode of CSI, where the use of the word 'retarded' in that derogatory way, was commented on. It summed it up nicely.

Anna said...

Very well said!! And couldn't agree more with you..especially about that little boy you know too. I think he is incredibly special too (and so is his Mum).