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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.

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 04-Mar-13 11:28:50


On mumsnet a personal attack becomes an opinion once you address it to more than one person. So, "you are a scrounging arsehole" is not ok as a personal attack but "Carers of disabled people are scrounging arseholes" is an opinion and entirely ok.

Yet if it was "all Muslims are x" or "all gays are y" or z"all n words are z" then that wouldn't be on at all.

And HQ wonder why we're aggrieved...

Nope. It anyone posted "all Muslims are x" or "all gays are y", they would be deleted.

And if someone reported, "Carers of disabled people are scrounging arseholes", it would most certainly not be OK and it would be deleted.

None of them are personal attacks, that's true. But we do have other rules in our Talk Guidelines - and we do routinely delete posts that generalise in an discriminatory way against defined groups.

MrsDeVere Mon 04-Mar-13 11:30:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

StuntGirl Mon 04-Mar-13 11:36:55

Yy to everything Mrs DeVere just said!

dottyspotty2 Mon 04-Mar-13 13:19:09

Well if I get annoyed over something that effects my family I will spout off FWIW I have major depressive illness and I class what I say as a turn of phrase like telling someone to go play on the motorway in other words get to fuck. Is that better.

hazeyjane Mon 04-Mar-13 13:20:24

Really, I should play on the motorway? Hokey dokey then.

<seeing as we are taking all of this at face value>

blacklightning Mon 04-Mar-13 13:50:44

Hi dottyspotty. I usually avoid these sort of threads as the comments can be upsetting. I remember in your deleted post that you said a sibling was being bullied. I am going through this too. I cmpletely sympathise with your felings at the lack of empathy.

The irony of lecturing parents with sen children about depression wasn't lost on me either Mrs Devere.

BabyMakesTheBellyGoRound Mon 04-Mar-13 15:05:55

I thought we had long moved past these offensive terms.
It saddens me to see this discussion. We wouldn't see anyone defending the use of the N word.

blacklightning Mon 04-Mar-13 15:52:35

Of 207 messages so far, the overwhelming majority agree with OP that the use of this word is disgusting, so at least that is encouraging. It is sad though that this discussion is even taking place, but agree with OP, I wouldn't want the thread to be deleted.

Words do have power. I remember a man speaking once about the use of the N word in the 70's on TV (I think it was a programme called love thy neighbour?). People said then that it was just a word, but he had to endure that word being used in an abusive way against him the next day at school. It is one thing to tell an adult not to be offended,its just a word, but how can a child make such a choice. (BTW I think as an adult you can't necessarily make that choice but that seems to be what some are saying)

Sorry for typos in first post, was trying to hold wriggly baby at the time!

MerryCouthyMows Mon 04-Mar-13 16:13:26

I expected that to get deleted. It still is true though!

And I will say it again, in a way that cannot be construed as a personal attack.

I feel that anybody who continues to use an offensive, disablist word AFTER being told it is offensive and disablist is a twat.

Is that any less of a personal insult, HQ?

hazeyjane Mon 04-Mar-13 16:17:18

On a thread the other day about Ricky Gervaise, someone linked to this poem by Dean Atta, about the use of the N word. He wrote it after he had tweeted this

"Rappers, when you use the word 'nigger' remember that's one of the last words Stephen Lawrence heard, so don't tell me it's a reclaimed word."

Words do indeed have power.

TheNebulousBoojum Mon 04-Mar-13 16:19:11

'I feel that anybody who continues to use an offensive, disablist word AFTER being told it is offensive and disablist is a twat.'

Because I can't put it any better that Couthy.

MrsDeVere Mon 04-Mar-13 16:27:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheNebulousBoojum Mon 04-Mar-13 16:32:29

Usually I give people the benefit of the doubt, once. Partly perhaps because I'm a teacher and I've heard a lot of ignorance and stupidity from children and their parents over the years.
But only once. because then, as Couthy said, they are making an active, informed choice about the words they use.

Crawling Mon 04-Mar-13 16:48:32

I have to say as the mother of a severly autistic dd and a ds with possible as the terms mentioned on this thread upset me alot.
However I hear loony pyscho crazy alot more and as someone who suffers pychosis I find these terms equally offensive.

dottyspotty2 Mon 04-Mar-13 17:37:38

BLacklightning neither do I usually have other things to worry about. My daughter is now 17 her brother 18 so past it as it was school bullying despite him never going to mainstream. Hope yours gets sorted its soul destroying for them.

Hazey I grew up in the north west and phrases like that where 10 a penny so water off a ducks back to myself and many others so to speak I did say its wasn't meant literally in case you missed that bit.

crashdoll Mon 04-Mar-13 17:48:35

It's easier to say it's just a word when a.) you're ignorant and b.) it's never been said to you or someone you love.

hazeyjane Mon 04-Mar-13 18:11:57

dottyspotty2, I was joking! In the same way that I don't think you really wanted someone to kill themselves, I also don't believe you really want someone to play on the motorway - I should have put a grin afterwards to show I was taking the piss, sorry!

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