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STOP using the word "retard".

(212 Posts)
Sparklysilversequins Sun 13-Oct-13 11:59:23

This has been done many times before and I can't think why I am needing to do it again, except I have seen it used twice on here this morning already angry.

It's offensive. It's not JUST a word. It's no less offensive if you prefix it with "emotional" or use it to describe some silly thing you or a friend did, or some bloke you saw with his trousers half way down his backside as young men sometimes choose to do.

It may be that some believe that the use of this word is considered acceptable in other countries (ie the US) and this often trotted out as a reason for its use but that is not actually true here. As of 2014 the American Psychiatric Association plans to replace the term 'mental retardation' with 'intellectual development disorder'" in the 2013 edition of their manual.

most offensive terms used in relation to disability.


Owllady Tue 15-Oct-13 17:45:14

The thing was she didn't know and wouldn't know, I think that is what is the most upsetting as she is incredibly vulnerable, as are all people with severe learning disabilities. So why mock? What is so funny about mocking someone so vulnerable?

I was absolutely fuming and I couldn't even say anything either as she cannot cope with confrontation, loud noises, people arguing either. I shot him a look, he knew I knew what he had said. His wife looked mortified. Well spoken middle aged couple ffs

Something incredibly difficult was made worse by someone thinking they were being clever/funny. Something that actually should have been enjoyable because it was success and success is very difficult when you have someone in your family that is so challenging

Beastofburden Tue 15-Oct-13 16:30:03

Thanks, ring. My DS2 would also be grateful if he could understand.

Dawndonnaagain Tue 15-Oct-13 15:22:43

Ring thanks
We are very appreciative, thank you. Dd (who is doing her German now) says Thank you for 'listening'.

Thumbwitch Tue 15-Oct-13 15:03:29

Owllady - how awful! sad
I'd have probably been more PA about it and said something like "Don't look now, DD but there's someone with absolutely no manners sitting just behind you" loud enough for him to hear it. But then again I'd have probably just kept my head down and prayed that my DD didn't hear him. What a tosser he was! angry

ThePuffyShirt Tue 15-Oct-13 14:57:38

Owllady - that is shocking.

EeTraceyluv Tue 15-Oct-13 14:57:03

Thank goodness for that Ring grin. It really is a horrible word. And 'gay' too - it suggests that being 'gay' is something to be ashamed of.
Owllady. I would have also invited him to taste his dinner close up

ThePuffyShirt Tue 15-Oct-13 14:56:30

It is an awful word.

The other day my 15 year old son, normally intelligent and mostly nice to be around, called his brother in the heat of an argument - 'a mong'.

I was absolutely shocked. After I had finished ranting at admonishing him, he confessed it is a word constantly bandied around in his school.

How depressing.

Sparklysilversequins Tue 15-Oct-13 14:51:11

shock I would have been tempted to assist him in WEARING his dinner owllady. What an ARSE!

Good for you ring. And yes Disablism IS a word smile.

Owllady Tue 15-Oct-13 14:46:04

I can't quite believe people use it.

When we were on holiday we had taken my daughter out for a meal, she has severe learning disabilities and eating out/somewhere different is a huge thing for her. She was fine smile sitting happily eating her dinner. This couple arrived and were seated on the table behind us. He said to his wife, loud enough for me to hear, 'don't look now but there is a Joey behind you'

anyone who thinks a little girl behaving herself, out for a meal with her family deserves that needs shooting quite frankly. People who trot out 'oh here comes the PC brigade' usually have no experience day to day with dealing with the ignorance surrounding disabilities.

MadameDefarge Tue 15-Oct-13 14:43:13

how very disarming of you ringa! well done.

TheBigJessie Tue 15-Oct-13 14:40:47

Ring flowers
Thank you for actually thinking about people's posts in this thread.

People, we could be on a roll of change here!

YouTheCat Tue 15-Oct-13 14:37:51

Good for you, Ring. smile

ringaringarosy Tue 15-Oct-13 14:36:24

im not sure what to say really.

Theyve never said the word,but if they did i dont think i would tell them off unless they were saying it to be nasty to someone.I guess i just see it as any otherword,i dont really think of the connotations.

I think i need to think about this,so does dh because he says stuff like tihs all the time,and hes a big respectful businessman too!i dont want the kids to be cruel and if any of mine were disabled the idea of someone hurting their feelings like that would absolutley crush me.

I dont say any racist words and if i heard the kids say anything like that i would be fuming and want to know where they got it from,i guess its the same isnt it?racim,sexism,disable ism (is that a word?)theydo say "thats gay" aswell,though they picked that up at school,i think i will pick them up on that the next time i hear them say it and explain it all.

EeTraceyluv Tue 15-Oct-13 14:24:14

I would call one of my friends a spastic if they were doing something stupid. My mouth actually dropped open at this

Thumbwitch Tue 15-Oct-13 14:13:12

I will point out that it's not just in America that the word is still frequently bandied about, especially on chat threads, especially FB (yes I know, dreadful place etc. etc.) - I have friends in Australia who use it frequently.

One of them has 3 children with AEN (thanks for the update!) - one is autistc, another is being assessed for being autistic and we're not sure what's going on with the 3rd one yet. She herself is a nurse and says "I don't know why we have 3 kids who are retarded". She's not being rude, it's just what she knows.

Another is a boy with Asperger's - well actually he is now a man as he has just turned 18. Not only does he use the word about himself but calls his friends the same, even though they don't have Asperger's. His stepfather calls him the same name but with spite and venom attached (completely unacceptable even here).

The poster with whom MissStrawberry lost sympathy is in Australia, she did not call anyone the name but mentioned that someone was "retarded" therefore using the adjectival form - it's not unusual here.

Australian teens are very into American culture as well - and although the word may be being phased out of general use by American adults, it certainly doesn't seem to be among the youth! And is still in common use among the ignorant over there, with little to no backlash that I've seen. Anyone who picks up on it is jeered at.

All that aside, I really really do hope that people stop using it as a descriptor. Ditto fuckt**d.

MarmaladeBatkins Tue 15-Oct-13 14:06:15

Ring, you are normalising these words which means that your children won't think twice about using them in public.

And your attitude about doing what we want in OUR house smacks if entitlement, immaturity and twattery.

Alisvolatpropiis Tue 15-Oct-13 14:02:23

Dawndonna's dd - that was an excellent post. Best of luck with your revision!

DiamondMask Tue 15-Oct-13 14:01:33

A perfect example of where some children get these words from Ring

MadameDefarge Tue 15-Oct-13 13:58:29

you sound a bit lacking, ringa.

Thistledew Tue 15-Oct-13 13:58:09

I do think it is interesting how some words can lose their original meaning and impact, but some haven't. For example:

Words that are really not ok to use to describe someone:
Schitzo (sp?)

Words that have original meanings in disability/mental health, but are pretty innocuous now:

And some words that are still capable of causing offence, but are getting close to losing their original connotations:
Mong - when used as a verb rather than a noun "I'm just going to mong out on the sofa this afternoon" - I think most people connect this to smoking a bong and getting stoned rather than describing themselves as disabled.
Cretin - Originally a term used to describe people with multiple disabilities, but I would hazard a guess that the majority of the population have no idea of the original meaning, and so it will become no more offensive than describing someone who is doing something dangerous and daft as a lunatic (without actually meaning to insinuate that they have mental health issues).

Dawndonnaagain Tue 15-Oct-13 13:56:02

Shhh, I'm supposed to be doing German revision! grin

(and Thank you)!

DarkVelvetySilkyShiraz Tue 15-Oct-13 13:51:13

Ive actually seen it in action,the kids that say the rudest and nasty things are the most tightly controlled ive ever seen

not about being tightly controlled, about empathy, being sensitive being human and also thinking - there by the grace of god go I, being in a wheel chair is a fate that could befall us all.

DarkVelvetySilkyShiraz Tue 15-Oct-13 13:48:27

I went to school with a girl who had cerebal palsy, I will never forget her face as she walked down the corridor passed our classroom and someone shouted out " spastic" as she went past on crutches.

Actually the person shouting it wasn't even aware she was walking past.

Thankfully, I think we are winning, I rarely here the word anymore. Retard is still doing the rounds though, but all less than when I was a child.

People keep on kicking up a fuss!

Beastofburden Tue 15-Oct-13 13:46:27

Second what diamond says. It hurts even more when the child hears what looks like a nice normal lady saying it. You expect abuse from some people, but when a mummy is overheard saying it, it feels as if the whole world despises you.

YouTheCat Tue 15-Oct-13 13:43:21

Waves at DawnDonna's dd

Well said, as always.

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