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To complain about this language, I think it's disablist?

(128 Posts)
Lambzig Thu 25-Jul-13 17:50:05

I recently went on a speed awareness course with AA Drivetech. Totally my mistake and stupid fault for speeding and I found the course content interesting and useful.

However, one thing is really bothering me. The course talks a lot about how speeding over 30 mph can have severe and fatal impacts during any accidents. The trainer referred on at least 3 occasions to people being "left as cabbages" or "if it didn't kill you, you would be a cabbage".

I thought it was inappropriate and offensive, and wished I had said something at the time, but the whole delivery was a bit intimidating.

It's just over a week ago now, but its praying on my mind. DH thinks I am being a teeny bit preciou, that they use emotive language and that if I complain it will look like I am being petty for having to go on the course (some people there were so aggressive about it). I think AA would want to stop it being said and that I should complain.

Am I overreacting?

ComposHat Tue 30-Jul-13 12:01:55

OP yes the instructor used crass and insensitive language.

However I would be more concerned that I'd been driving in a way thst could have caused someone else to be left in a vegetative state rather than chucking brickbats at someone who used an off colour word to describe the potential outcome of my bad driving.

TheAAOrganisation Tue 30-Jul-13 11:50:34

Hello, we would very much like to discuss the points raised in your post here.

Please email chat@theaa.com with your course reference number, full name, address and entitle your email FOR 47112.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Kind Regards,
The AA

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 26-Jul-13 21:42:04


That's worse in a way, a deluded sense of entitlement. Given how pathetic these people really are anyway.

I think the thing some people forget is that disability can affect you or your family at any stage of your or their life. Randomly with no obvious cause, tragic accident, sudden illness. They mock and are cruel because their mindset is too narrow to accept that simple fact. Their minds are far too narrow to even comprehend the fact that it's not "disabled people" they're talking about,it's a person with a disability. I think taking the individuality away makes it easier for them, as well as the pack mentality.

Secretswitch Fri 26-Jul-13 21:30:47

Often behaviour like that is found in packs. Abuser's seem to draw courage from their comrades. The words they use are meant to cause hurt and intimidation. I used to think bullies must have had shit lives to behave badly. Studies are now showing in many circumstances abuser's have high self esteem and feel very entitled.

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 26-Jul-13 21:21:53

I think the point he was making loud and clear was that he's a cunt.

Most people wouldn't even think something like that never mind say it out loud like it was hilarious and expect the people on receiving end to be gratefully amused.

Secretswitch Fri 26-Jul-13 21:19:09

Thanks Alisvolatpropiis. I can't imagine what point he was trying to make. It was so stunning. Like when you stub your toe and the pain just washes over you in waves. I stupidly felt ashamed too. I never wanted my children to suffer because of me.

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 26-Jul-13 21:08:08

That's awful Secrets

I'm not sure how anybody could think they were saying such a thing and being funny. Mind boggling.

Awomansworth Fri 26-Jul-13 21:07:02

BTW I would be complaining... There are ways to drum home the message without being offensive. If the instructor has to resort to using language like this, he/she isn't the right person to run the course.

Awomansworth Fri 26-Jul-13 21:03:42

Do some folk really need an written instruction manual on terms that are offensive...

Pretty straightforward to work that out for yourself surely.

valiumredhead Fri 26-Jul-13 20:50:39

Oh that's pretty shit! I'd want my phone on too so the school could contact me and that's without any extra issues.

footphobic Fri 26-Jul-13 20:43:58

To me valium?

It's probably an AIBU in it's own right. I have dcs with a very serious inherited (potentially life threatening) illness. Well managed, but I need to be contactable by schools as my DH works away.

He asked everyone to switch off mobile phones. Rather than just not do it, I asked discreetly if under the circumstances I could leave mine on but turn ringer right down. He said no, and proceeded rudely and loudly to inform me that under the circumstances I shouldn't have chosen to do a course if I have an issue with children/contact. Yes, because people with/or with children with medical conditions shouldn't have the audacity to go anywhere or participate in anything. Well I didn't actually know it would be run by an unreasonable, ignorant, patronising twat at the time of signing up.

I don't think I'm entitled (?), perhaps he felt I was, I just know I have to find ways to make things work for us so that we can do 'normal' things and get on with life. I personally think a little common sense or discreet flexibility should prevail in certain circumstances just to make life workable for people who in their normal life, on a daily basis deal with difficulties people like him can't even imagine.

The other option would have been to step out and phone 3 schools to leave a contact number, but he said this would in effect be leaving and would disqualify me from the course. I would usually rationally state my case, but there was no point.

It just made me angry and upset at the time (which I hid).

valiumredhead Fri 26-Jul-13 20:11:19

Oh how rude! what did he say?

footphobic Fri 26-Jul-13 20:06:46

I attended one of these courses - as an aside, in response to a pp, I was 'accidentally' speeding. I came out of a private residence a couple of miles out of a small rural town. I thought it was 40mph, which in almost every other similar place in my experience it would be. No repeaters. It was 30, as I found out around the next bend when PC got me with a speed gun.

Clean license for 25 years, but hey ho. Chatting with another policeman, he said in those circumstances he would have given me a warning and let it go, but they do have quotas to fill and hands up, I was speeding.

In this area, rural/semi rural, there are often not repeaters.

Getting back to the point, my course leader also used this word. 95% of the people on my course were 50-70 year old men, so that may be relative to his choice of language or style.

He also said something personally to me I found extremely rude in response to (what I thought was) a reasonable question I asked and I'm definitely not the over sensitive type. I emailed a complaint afterwards and they clearly could not be less bothered, so I'm not sure you would get far if you chose to complain.

valiumredhead Fri 26-Jul-13 19:12:27

Words hurt, any one who says other wise is wrong.

garlicagain Fri 26-Jul-13 19:09:00

Your point is valid.

If anyone's suggested strong alternatives, though, I've missed them. "Quadriplegic & brain damaged" will not only sail past most listeners, but seems too medically specific for a warning that's intended to convey terrible, irreversible, life-restrictive injuries. "Badly injured" doesn't mean anything, especially to boy racers who wear speed scars with pride.

A short, universally understood, expression that drives cold fear into the heart - ie, an offensive and emotive term - is needed. I'm certainly not saying it should be "cabbage" if only because it's a cliché but am stumped for the right term.

Secretswitch Fri 26-Jul-13 19:08:43

Indeed Valiumredhead. Those words flung at me were meant to cause hurt. Anyone who actually believes that words carry no power are dead wrong. I know I would be beyond sick if anyone i knew/loved were described as cabbages. People who are insensate are still humans. They are loved, have families, and above all are deserving of respect.

valiumredhead Fri 26-Jul-13 18:53:21

Urgh how vilesad

Secretswitch Fri 26-Jul-13 18:27:34

I have been called a gimp, cripple, limp along,lame, and my all time favourite description..one legged fat chick.
I always toy with writing a book called ONE LEGGED FAT CHICK TELLS ALL.
Thank you for the kind pm Mrs.DeVere smile

valiumredhead Fri 26-Jul-13 17:49:34

Ffs fecking auto correct!blush

Gimp comes from the French word guimpe which means to limp. I googled.

Not a nice word.

MrsDeVere Fri 26-Jul-13 17:49:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsDeVere Fri 26-Jul-13 17:48:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

valiumredhead Fri 26-Jul-13 17:47:59

Gimp Congress from the French writers guimpe Erinn means to limp-I just googled.

Not a nice word anyway.

valiumredhead Fri 26-Jul-13 17:45:25

It is a sex term hence gimp mask.

Secretswitch Fri 26-Jul-13 17:08:02

<hugs> for you Mrs.DeVere! I am sending love and good thoughts from across the ocean. Xx

keskiviikko Fri 26-Jul-13 16:00:33

I always thought gimp was an S&M term! How words mean different things to different people!

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