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to think that disability hate words are as bad as racial hate ones?

(107 Posts)
Peachy Thu 09-Jun-11 10:06:30

This is of course related to this thread but also have been in school this morning with ds1 who has been called a retard and his brother (they both have ASD) a spaz.

I would never choose to use a word that offends a group or makes them out to be lesser humans (think racial hate, homophobic words etc)- it woudl be beneath me. So why is it still considered OK for people to use terms like this for disabled people? frequently the excuse is theya re emdical terms but I am in a field that uses medical terminology for disabled people and we constantly review our language usage and minimise use of terms now regarded inappropriate.

Surely a word that offends a group of people who made noa ctive choice about their characteristic is wrong regardless of excuse?

Am fuming for ds1 but at least he is able to fight back and school took seriously. DS3 is not able to fight for himself and should not have to live with bigotry. DS1 is actively campaigning for a racial awareness campaign at school (he is Chair of School Council) after talking with some friends about the racial abuse they have encountered: am thining it needs to be about all hate langauge not one distinct group.

Shoesytwoesy Thu 09-Jun-11 10:09:18

I am fed up with the excuses mad for ths, my dd has cp, and hearing her called a spaz or a retard makes me fume(she is neither)
these words and other like them should be treated the same way racism is. but no doubt we will be told they are just words.

GeekCool Thu 09-Jun-11 10:12:54

I'm shocked people still think it is acceptable. I'm glad the school are taking it seriously and good on your ds1 taking on the role he has.
Are he and your ds3 in the same school?

KatiesKittens Thu 09-Jun-11 10:14:48

Yanbu. Nobody should have to tolerate this type of abuse. All offensive language could be classed as just "words" but it does not make it any more acceptable.

Peachy Thu 09-Jun-11 10:16:27

Geek, no not any more but ds3 is there at pick up time each day and it's a fairly small community. plus the child involved is one I have taken into my home when his mum has been unable to find childcare so knows ds3 quite well.

ooohyouareawfulbutilikeyou Thu 09-Jun-11 10:18:03

lol when i hear the phrase Hate Crime, I always think of Orwell's 1984. Mind you he wasnt far off the mark as it goes was he smile

GothAnneGeddes Thu 09-Jun-11 10:21:00


Peachy Thu 09-Jun-11 10:22:05

ooh do you eman thought police/

Coz i don;t gie a flying fuck what people thnk, they ahve o right to express it to my vulnerable children, or encourage their chidlren to do so (I know this child's mum has told him the words are OK to use)

Maryz Thu 09-Jun-11 10:22:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BooyHoo Thu 09-Jun-11 10:23:09

YANBU at all!!

it is exactly the same as racism/homophobic insults etc.

Shoesytwoesy Thu 09-Jun-11 10:24:07

not on mn though, here they just have a low tolerance for it....
yeah ok

SomekindofSpanish Thu 09-Jun-11 10:24:26

Agree with you, Peachy. Is your DS1 prepared to make it a wider issue about hate crime in general, rather than racism alone? What does the school council think about it?

PinotGrigiosKittens Thu 09-Jun-11 10:25:17

I've said my piece on the other thread.

YANBU!! <repeat until hoarse>

Good thread Peachy.

cloudydays Thu 09-Jun-11 10:29:48

Of course you are not being unreasonable.

It seems even more acceptable - in real life and on MN - to use words that mock people with mental illness: schizo, psycho, nutjob... People seem much less likely to be offended by those terms than they are by other disablist terms.

Makes me angry sad

GeekCool Thu 09-Jun-11 10:30:26

Peachy - would the school(s) do a school wide iniative on unacceptable words? I'm horrifed a parent would tell their child it's acceptable to use.

Peachy Thu 09-Jun-11 10:30:57

SoneKindOf yes ds1 will but he is lucky that he has th ability to do so (he is hyperlexic).

Is funny how oftentimes the same people who argue that they can use the words they want for personal freedom are the same ones arguing our chidlren should not get state money for reasons of personal responsibility when they are older and have succumbed to the depression SN so often results in.

onclefestere Thu 09-Jun-11 10:33:46


CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 09-Jun-11 10:38:24

There's nothing good about hate or bullying or name-calling. I personally don't distinguish between offensive remarks about race, disability, income-group, religion, gender or anything else.... an insult is an insult and that's that. Why football crowds are not allowed to racially insult a player, but it's OK to call the ref a 'bastard', beats me.

Peachy Thu 09-Jun-11 10:43:58

Valid point Cogito.

Why do people wish to hurt at all? In this case I suspect I know as I know the child's background 9just lost his 4th 'dad', is he jealous of ds1's stability?) but it's never OK.

I have and will again i am sure swear at people who offend (usually about my kids or dh for some reaosn, call me anything and that's OK- why is that?) but even then I try to step back from saying anything really hurtful - eg the whole i wish you karma thing. i don't want them to have karma; enough pain in world as it is.

onagar Thu 09-Jun-11 10:45:08

The thing is I almost agree with the OP, but sometimes the excuse is that 'it doesn't mean that where I come from' or that "it didn't mean that back then" and people say "oh but it doesn't matter what you mean by it"

But what you mean by it is what it is all about, Otherwise you could find yourself arguing that a small town in bavaria has to change its name because it's spelt like a word you have recently moved from the 'correct usage' list to the 'abusive word' list.

Then someone will be claiming that they named it that to be abusive in the first place.

Threads on here often go that way and that kind of thinking undermines the real concerns about words used as a means to hurt people.

I went to school next to a 'school for the handicapped'.It wasn't that "they didn't know any better" as some on here would say. It wasn't an insult of any kind back then. It still isn't to me.

Has anyone ever been called something abusive and had to check a words list to know if it was intended to be insulting? I mean really? Most of us have no difficulty recognising hate when we see it.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 09-Jun-11 10:49:07

Some people are nasty and ignorant. The nasty ones stoop to name-calling as a way of making themselves feel superior or to intimidate others. The ignorant ones go around using lazily offensive terms because they don't know any better. They're everywhere and my view is that you can either spend your life getting upset about it (which the nasty ones particularly love) or you can develop a thick skin and decide the name-callers are too thick to bother with. If it's a school situation, you take the problem straight to the head-teacher and get them to stamp on the offender... like any other bully.

Threadworm8 Thu 09-Jun-11 10:49:26

Well, onager, its true that there are marginal cases. But to focus on those, or to invent a ridiculous non-issue about a foreign placename is sort of to miss the point about the significant body of completely non-marginal words. Like saying that 'well, sometimes people brush up against you accidentally and it hurts' as a reason for not taking a firm stance against physical attack.

Also, it is simply not true that 'words mean what we want them to mean'. Words have a meaning that is independent of our personal bequeathal.

Peachy Thu 09-Jun-11 10:52:16

Onager I actually do agree about context / information etc

but people will only learn if theya re shown something is unacceptable.

I ahve often quietly PM's domeone to say a owrd they have used is not OK; and I usually get a dewcent response and a thank you.

but not always. The oh it's the thought police / SN mafia / professionally offended crap is a right pisser

MackerelOfFact Thu 09-Jun-11 10:52:41

YANBU, but maybe I live a sheltered life because I rarely hear anyone use these words, or at least certainly not to a greater extent than I hear words like 'P*ki', 'gay' (as a insult), 'b*tch', etc. I appreciate this might be different if one of my DCs was differently-abled though, and found themselves on the receiving end.

I think the use of ignorant insults in general is not yet unacceptable enough.

ApocalypseCheeseToastie Thu 09-Jun-11 11:18:57

In a way they're worse, simply because when they're aimed at disabled people, quite often they can't answer back.

Although all 'hate' words are disgusting imo angry

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