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Is using the word 'retard' ever acceptable?

(31 Posts)
littleducks Mon 18-Jul-11 15:04:45

In an opinon piece by Fi Glover in a freebie paper that waitrose gives out (which has always been good in the past) the author refers to herself as a retard as she is very forgetful and has to frequentally make lists of important things to remember.

I found this terribly un-PC and was shocked tbh.

AIBU? (I posted here not aibu as i didnt want a bunfight in active convos)

zzzzz Mon 18-Jul-11 15:13:35

I am not very PC, and don't find the word particularly shocking.

If it was addressed to me or any of my children or any individual other than herself I would be shocked though, so perhaps it is the context that makes something "really bad" or just "odd".

Lougle Mon 18-Jul-11 15:21:06

Totally unacceptable, IMO.

littlefirefly Mon 18-Jul-11 15:45:35

I have to admit that I do tolerate it from a friend who is American, it definitely doesn't have the same connotations over there as it does here.

My friend is actually very understanding with DS (ASD) and I think that is what matters, not what words they use (it wasn't used towards DS but actually at me, when I was being a bit silly and used in a playful way - probably a bit like the author).

I admit that I use words like 'idiot' and worse (ahem - words which could be insulting to women), which could be just as offensive but they haven't had the same weight added to them socially. So I'd be a bit hypocritical to object, I think.

cankles Mon 18-Jul-11 15:57:17

in some medical books the word is used but I still don't like it; it's a horrible word x

Never acceptable in my world... try being the Mum of a 14 year old with LDs and ASD who came home from an integration session (he's at Special school) asking if he was a retard and what it meant.. sad

I will correct and challenge anyone who uses it in my hearing.

5inthebed Mon 18-Jul-11 16:13:09

It's an awful word, and people who use it must have poor vocabularies or very little morals.

ouryve Mon 18-Jul-11 16:14:31

Never acceptable. No.

And I know plenty of Americans who hate the word being used so flippantly, too and will get quite irate about it.

MissKittyEliza Mon 18-Jul-11 16:18:09

About as acceptable, IMO, as use of the words nigger, darkie, or Paki.

sickofsocalledexperts Mon 18-Jul-11 16:24:59

No. It's the "nigger" of 2011

Lougle Mon 18-Jul-11 16:38:17

IMO, 'retarded' has a different sound to 'retard'. 'Retarded' has a literal meaning of 'slowed', so I think it is understandable in context, although the English Language is so rich we don't need the word.

'Retard' implies that the only quality the person has is their slowed function. We don't use 'negro' because being dark skinned doesn't define the person. Neither should mental capacity.

SparkleRainbow Mon 18-Jul-11 16:38:55

Nope, never acceptable under any circumstances. She must get herself a thesaurus if that is the only word she can think of. Even using it about yourself in that manner is derogatory towards those with LD. (speaking of thesaurus I need dictionary, how do you spell derogatory? blush)

EllenJaneisnotmyname Mon 18-Jul-11 16:46:18

That's how I'd spell it, Sparkle. smile

I find it extremely offensive. It seems like a back formation from retarded and is used only to insult. It came up in a survey performed a few years ago as the most insulting term that could be used to describe someone with a LD.

SparkleRainbow Mon 18-Jul-11 17:09:00

Yep I would agree with that too.

littleducks Mon 18-Jul-11 17:15:05

I have emailed them, explained that I was disapointed and asked for it not to be used again......will report back what they say

SparkleRainbow Mon 18-Jul-11 17:29:36

Well done. I look forward to hearing what they have to say.

bigbluebus Mon 18-Jul-11 19:10:44

I don't like the use of this word either and have chastised my DS for using it on more than one occasion. (DS 14 HF ASD & has sister 16 PMLD & complex health needs). DS says everyone uses it at school - its just a word they call each other, but I know they use it on people who have SEN, so I think it is unacceptable. In fact I raised the issue of the apparently frequent use of this word with the SENCO at DS's school once (after DS said he didn't want to take part in ASDAN - otherwise known as 'SPAZDAN' because people called those who took part in this course 'retards') and he assured me that if he heard anyone using it they were punished. It's a difficult one as I suppose we used similar derogatory terms in school when we were that age, but I would expect an adult writing an article in a magazine to choose her words more carefully. The words 'Wally' or 'Muppet' would have had the desired effect (unless of course your name is Walter - in which case you might also take offence!)

BeerTricksPotter Mon 18-Jul-11 19:15:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sickofsocalledexperts Mon 18-Jul-11 19:40:07

On another thread on the main board on this, I think I read that Obama is championing the cause of banning the word retard (which is regularly used as an insult in US big box office films). When I was at school, several decades ago, people used terrible words like mong and spaz. I hated them even then

Goblinchild Mon 18-Jul-11 19:42:48

Never acceptable, it is used as an insult to people with sn, and when used to refer to a person without sn, its meaning is an obvious comparison to a person with learning difficulties.
<Channelling Crush the Disablist Rage>

Mitmoo Mon 18-Jul-11 20:00:08

In my opinion it is never acceptable.

Mitmoo Mon 18-Jul-11 20:02:11

I am on another board where some of the morons refer to my son as a mong and a retard because he has autism. Others suggest he should be taken off me and that would cure his autism.

People can be sick twisted and vile, while people abuse the terms like this there is never ever a place for those kinds of words.

My lad is a very bright, delightful, joyous, HF child who happens to have autism and OCD.

BialystockandBloom Mon 18-Jul-11 20:03:53

What goblinchild said.

CQrrrneee Mon 18-Jul-11 20:04:16

it's unacceptable and offensive

BialystockandBloom Mon 18-Jul-11 20:04:28

mitmoo shock angry

What board is this? Can you name & shame?

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