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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.

Empress77 Sun 03-Mar-13 19:53:05

I agree its completely unacceptable, I cant bear it when people do that, or when they use 'gay' in the same way, its awful how people do it and seem to think its ok, its incredibly offensive.

HollyBerryBush Sun 03-Mar-13 20:03:08

'R' is a widely accepted word still in the USA. With the level of programming and media we get from the USA words like this will creep in.

hazeyjane Sun 03-Mar-13 20:17:30

There is a movement based in the USA speaking out against the use of the R word, it is seen as unacceptable by many there as well as here.

WhereYouLeftIt Sun 03-Mar-13 20:39:35

Is it a regional thing? Because I don't think I have EVER heard anyone use the word in real life, and I am 50 now and certainly do not lead a sheltered life. When I was young you would hear the word 'retarded' used, but not as an insult; it was the accepted term back then for 'learning difficulties'.

Similarly with 'fucktard', never heard it in real life. Plus, when I first saw it here, I totally assumed it was a contraction of 'fucking bastard' (which I have said heard frequently in real life. A sort of txtspk version, if you will.

tazzle22 Sun 03-Mar-13 21:33:25

There are times when the context of when and how a word is being used that determines whether it is intended as an insult or not........ bit like "gay" being able to be used in more than one context.

If its being shouted by a group of kids sneering or being otherwise disrespectful to someone then its quite clear its use is not that of being kind or even just a statement. sad

There always has been, and always will be, words that will be used to tease / hurt / disreprect and hurt others with. Sometimes these include words that have had proper medical ( or other) status to start with. Its sad, its disgusting and even evil.

However I do feel rather sad when perhaps some people do try to use the word in the context they understand without realising that its use has been hijacked and that they are potentially insulting other members of the community they have no intention of hurting / insulting. It also means that people on the receiving end also are hurt and think poorly of someone that perhaps does not deserve that.


ClippedPhoenix Sun 03-Mar-13 21:39:11

I don't really know what you're getting your knickers in such a twist for to be honest, it's a descriptive "word" that's all. This bloody political correctness going on makes my blood boil and has gone too for for too long.

When i was a kid we used to call others mong or some such word, no big deal really.

Things are only a big deal when people make them so and it all needs to stop.

ChristmasJubilee Sun 03-Mar-13 21:40:02

What WhereYouLeftIt said. I have never heard it used in real life. I have two teenagers and it's not something I have ever heard them or their friends use.

ClippedPhoenix Sun 03-Mar-13 21:53:10

Things have gone too far, everyone is scared to open their mouths these days in case someone becomes offended.

"acceptable" terms change at a ridiculous pace and who knows what you're supposed to say next month let alone next year!

For example there was a thread on here a while ago where the OP wrote something about a dog shitting on the pavement and used the term "blind dog" well, all manner of things were said to be point of ridiculousness to her.

Yes, when I was younger a guide dog was called a blind dog, simple as that! Get over it. The world would be a better place.

ClippedPhoenix Sun 03-Mar-13 21:54:45

A "movement" about a word, really?

Blimey, I've heard it all now.

How ridiculous.

EuroShaggleton Sun 03-Mar-13 22:04:27

I don't quite understand why this has become offensive. It literally means slow (from the French verb "retarder"). If someone is being a bit slow catching on to something it seems appropriate to refer to them by a word meaning "slow". But I get that some people find it offensive, so I don't use it. But I do think it is a bit silly.

thornrose Sun 03-Mar-13 22:04:28

Clipped - I was going to reply to you but I haven't got the energy. You are way off the mark, that's all I can say.

thornrose Sun 03-Mar-13 22:07:07

Oh dear god here's another one. "a bit bit silly" for OP's dd with autism to be referred to as retarded, really? You don't see that as wrong?

vjg13 Sun 03-Mar-13 22:07:19

Tango YANBU, Some of the recent postings on here make me despair. sad

ClippedPhoenix Sun 03-Mar-13 22:08:39

Oh pack it up thornrose. I'm honest and giving my opinion. I don't really care whether you have energy or not, i didn't ask you to reply to me.

ClippedPhoenix Sun 03-Mar-13 22:10:13

It's a word, that's all it is.

vjg13 Sun 03-Mar-13 22:10:42

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

ClippedPhoenix Sun 03-Mar-13 22:12:27

take "despair" for instance. The use of that makes one conjure up a person sitting there very lonely and unbelievably upset. Which is not the case is it?

stargirl1701 Sun 03-Mar-13 22:13:13

It doesn't help that it is widely used in the US and a great deal of our entertainment comes from there.

I hate it with a passion and always come down like a ton of bricks on any pupil using it.

squeakytoy Sun 03-Mar-13 22:13:43

"when I was younger a guide dog was called a blind dog"

unless the dog was blind itself, how on earth would that even make sense?

I am 42 and have only ever known guide dogs be called guide dogs, because they "guide the blind".. quite self explanatory really.. if the dog was blind, it wouldnt be much use to a blind person

ClippedPhoenix Sun 03-Mar-13 22:14:01

Now the very people who proclaim to be oh so offended are actually making rather nasty comments about me. How very hypocritical.

ClippedPhoenix Sun 03-Mar-13 22:15:41

I know lots of people who called it a blind dog, so what? I'ts not such a big deal is it. I'ts quite funny actually when you think about it. Nothing to try to make someone feel small about though is it?

thornrose Sun 03-Mar-13 22:16:02

Clipped I will not "pack it up" I am telling you, as the parent of a child with Sen, who you may feel appropriate to call retarded, that it is wrong and offensive and inappropriate. You didn't ask me to reply but you expressed an offensive and ignorant opinion which I feel obliged to reply to on behalf of those who aren't able to.

OhBananas Sun 03-Mar-13 22:16:37

Is idiot ok or offensive?

NorksAreMessy Sun 03-Mar-13 22:18:01

clipped it is not up to you to decide what is offensive and to whom

OhBananas Sun 03-Mar-13 22:19:31

That was probably a bit of a daft question, obviously calling someone an idiot is offensive. Is it disablist in the same way as retard and words like m***?

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