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To find it disgusting so many people still think it's acceptable to use the 'R' word to describe someone who's done something stupid?

(217 Posts)
TangoPurple Sun 03-Mar-13 18:46:47

Bit of a rant! I told my friend this afternoon that i think it's terrible so many people still use the word 'retard' in every day conversation, as well as other offensive, disabilist terms.

She shrugged it off saying that people don't mean it offensively, it's just a phrase our parents used and passed on to us. She admitted that she used to say it all the time, but decided to stop after realising dd has autism, as she didn't want to upset me.

So, after she left, i took to my Facebook for another rant. A lot of people (who i have now deleted) echoed what my friend had said. They said it's just 'banter' and they call their friends it all the time. It's just another way of saying idiot etc.

One came along and actually cut and pasted the definition of retarded. 'Something that is slow or stunted. e.g. the car was retarded, due to its faulty mechanics.'

He therefore felt he had justified his frequent usage of the term in everyday conversation.

I just find it terribly upsetting that this is still considered acceptable. Don't want to break any rules by mentioning this, but someone had said it earlier today on here. A parent. On a parenting forum. It's horrendous.

My gorgeous 5yo has been called retarded before. We were on a double decker bus once, up the top, and she was stimming (flapping her arms) and humming because she was excited. A bunch of teens up the back called down, "Missus - is your kid reatrded or what?' and then called 'bye, window licker' as we left.

So, for someone then to tell me this is NOT a derogatory term is astounding.

Not sure of the point of this thread tbh. Probably another rant. I'm certain i'm not being unreasonable.

Please, please, please - if you are guilty of using this word, stop it. Your children will hear it and then think it's okay to use. And they may end up like those horrible children on the back of that bus my daughter and i had to endure.

thornrose Sun 03-Mar-13 18:50:41

I agree Tango, when it was in that thread title I just despaired. I was going to post 1 step forward, 3 steps back, but I just couldn't find the energy. You are absolutely not BU.

Crawling Sun 03-Mar-13 18:53:51

I agree horrid word I would have been devastated if those people had said that to my autistic dd.

Strangemagic Sun 03-Mar-13 18:54:08

A boy shouted this at my son (who has asd)I was so mad I knocked on the door and told his mother.Horrible word.

marjproops Sun 03-Mar-13 18:54:10

Op, how do we stop it though? mine gets called the same (autistic too), plus when people call each other pikeys, gay, etc etc.

when i was a wee nipper at school the floowing were spouted to all and sundry: 4 eyes, (glasses wearers), the N word, paki, etc etc.

it goes round every generation. and theres ignorance and just plain nastiness.

marjproops Sun 03-Mar-13 18:55:06

The following, not the floowing...and im not even on an ipad!

mummymccar Sun 03-Mar-13 18:55:42

YANBU - I really hate that word.

thornrose Sun 03-Mar-13 18:59:40

My dd has AS and she sees and hears her peers using that word all the time. it's never directed at her but she feels very strongly that it could be sad

LRDtheFeministDragon Sun 03-Mar-13 19:05:07

Oh, how horrible. angry

I would be especially angry with someone who said it's 'banter'. hmm No, it's not. I know 'banter' was coined to describe a particularly un-funny kind of twittism, but still.

I can understand people using the term out of ignorance and thinking it still has only the etymological meaning of 'slowed down', but once they've been told it has also got a strongly offensive meaning, they should stop using it! It's not difficult.

Sorry your DD has had to put up with this, and that you had to hear it.

mum382013 Sun 03-Mar-13 19:07:03

never acceptable, just like the n word or other such words. never

kissmyheathenass Sun 03-Mar-13 19:09:37

ds, 12, has picked this word up from school - I pick him up on it every time he uses it and tell him its as bad as racist language and unacceptable. Its an awful word.

WeAreSix Sun 03-Mar-13 19:12:12

YANBU. I've got some family in the USA & they use the word freely. My cousin has a brain injury and he is often described as retarded over there. It makes me sad.

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Sun 03-Mar-13 19:26:44

YANBU it makes me physically feel sick when people say it.

So sorry these teens did that. It says much more about them than your DD.

countrykitten Sun 03-Mar-13 19:34:24

The original definition does mean to hold back as in 'retard the development of the cell' for example but it is now become an offensive term. I wonder at how language changes over time and how this came to pass - similar to 'gay' I suppose.

I too have relatives in the States who use it as a jokey term with teach other and I have also occasionally heard it from the kids I teach.

I am appalled by what happened to you on the bus Tango, that is heartbreaking. sad

GrowSomeCress Sun 03-Mar-13 19:35:33

It's very common among young people unfortunately

PeggyCarter Sun 03-Mar-13 19:38:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CMOTDibbler Sun 03-Mar-13 19:41:48

Its totally unacceptable, and something I would pull anyone on if I heard them.

And its not banter, its offensive.

ShellyBoobs Sun 03-Mar-13 19:42:57

YANBU at all.

It's utterly appalling.

I'm so sorry and angry to hear about your experience in the bus, Tango.

bookbird Sun 03-Mar-13 19:45:02

Sorry about your experience on the bus Tango, that is absolutely awful.

While it may have been a word used regularly, I thought it had been consigned to the dustbin along with many other offensive terms! I hope it's not creeping back into acceptable use.

Sunnywithshowers Sun 03-Mar-13 19:45:13

YANBU at all.

Tailtwister Sun 03-Mar-13 19:47:30

YANBU. It's offensive.

ovenchips Sun 03-Mar-13 19:48:04


I have also come across 'fucktard' which I find really, really appalling.

Both examples are indefensible.

OP I am sorry you had to put up with those shits on the bus.

poppypebble Sun 03-Mar-13 19:50:01

I have to pull colleagues up about using this term, and the term 'moron'. I'm a teacher. It is depressing.

Delayingtactic Sun 03-Mar-13 19:50:38

Everytime I hear this I remember the letter that that Olympian with Down's syndrome wrote to a broadcaster who called Obama it in a reference to the televised debate. It was incredibly powerful.

Delayingtactic Sun 03-Mar-13 19:52:04


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