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AIB too sensitive? (long, sorry!)

(3 Posts)
wellieboots Wed 11-Sep-13 01:41:10

Never posted in here before (waves shyly) so be gentle please. I wasn't brave enough for AIBU and thought people here may understand and honestly tell me if they think I'm being oversensitive, but be gentle about it.

I don't live in the UK at the moment and I had joined a parenting forum in the country I'm living in, as well as MN (I have a 10 month old DD and no family support here, so I found it useful to be able to ask questions and get a variety of views). Some of the guidelines here are different to home so its been helpful and I've picked the best of both worlds. I also have cerebral palsy, which may be why I have overreacted here.

The other site works differently in that the website itself is information and articles etc, but discussion/forum chat happens on fb - people send in their questions abd they get posted to a fb page and people comment from there.

Last night I saw something on fb from this site which totally shocked me. A mum was asking for advice about her toddler having tantrums when put into the car. She used a word to describe the way her DD was behaving, which I thought was socially unacceptable. If I said what it is here I'm pretty sure I would get deleted for disablist language. What made it worse was that she finished her post off with HaHa as though it was some kind of joke.

I was really upset and shocked, and I sent a pm to the page to say please delete that word, it's offensive and I'm really shocked to see it because rather than just me being sensitive to it, I thought it was generally socially accepted that that word was offensive and inqpproprtiate. I also pointed out that as well as parents with disabilities, there could be parents with children with disabilities who may be upset by another parent joking and using offensive language about disability when all that is 'wrong' with her child is that she won't get in the car seat, and other parents have real issues dealing with sn children day to day.

The response came back as - apologies that you took offence by reading it out of context, that word is not offensive.

I was really upset and ended up in tears (briefly). I was shocked enough to see it in the first place, but to be dismissed like that really hurt. DH reckons that it could be about cultural difference and that the word is more offensive in the UK than elsewhere. But now I feel like I need to unsubscribe from the page because they've ignored my concerns. But I used to get a lot of support from it and now I've got all stressed about not getting that support. Maybe it just has to be MN all the way from now on wink

Stokes Wed 11-Sep-13 18:53:05

I am presuming the word in question was either "retard" or "spaz". Both horrible words to our ears, and no you're not being oversensitive based on your experience of the UK, where those words are (rightly) unacceptable. However, they are used in other countries far more often and I know they don't carry the same level of offense in, for example, the US. That is slowly changing I believe, but in my experience those words are far more acceptable there than here. HTH.

wellieboots Thu 12-Sep-13 00:54:43

Thanks stokes. Yes youre right about the word, I wasn't sure I was allowed to say it here. On reflection, I think I have been quite sheltered in that it appears to be more acceptable here, which is a shock. I can understand ignorance (as in not knowing or not thinking) but to react like that when I pointed it out - basically saying it was my fault I was offended, that's what really hurt.

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