Warning: Function split() is deprecated in ..../includes/class_bootstrap.php(561) : eval()'d code on line 1
The insult "retard"

This message board is only an archive. Click here to go to the current message board.

Page 1 of 7 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 70

Thread: The insult "retard"

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Kansas City
    Posts
    3,847

    Default The insult "retard"

    A comment of Shasta's on another post made me think about this. In the past several years, I have tried very hard to stop using the word "retard" as an insult. But it's not because I really *felt* the gravity or offense of it in, say, the same way I understand how very offensive the N word is. (See? I won't even use that word.) Mainly I stopped because I knew some people found it offensive, and unless I have a particular reason to use certain language, I try to avoid offending others. Still, I didn't feel the wrongness of it. It never offended me.

    And then Ann Coulter stuck her foot in her mouth again, and in the midst of the public response came this reasonable, heartfelt, and articulate response, and I understood in a way that before I really hadn't how mean and wrong it is to use the word retard as an insult: http://specialolympicsblog.wordpress.com/2012/10/23/an-open-letter-to-ann-coulter/.

    I knew it had really stuck when a brother-in-law of mine posted a picture of a person with Downs Syndrome with a mocking caption and instead of being slightly embarrassed at the non-PC-ness of it, I was actually offended (and about to tell him off till I realized that a few months ago I wouldn't have found it offensive myself). I don't think we should take offense when none is intended, and there's a fine line between being overly sensitive and reasonably offended. But yeah, I get it now. I can now say that for me, at least, I do not use that term as an insult. It is no longer "I try not to."

    (I still need to figure out why "little people" is the preferred term ... I think I'd rather be called a dwarf or even midget. "Little person" sounds so condescending. I am not sure when that one is gonna stick with me.)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    127

    Default Re: The insult "retard"

    Thanks for posting this. I have had the great pleasure of working with the Virginia Special Olympics for three years and cannot begin to describe how it has changed my outlook in so many ways. Glad you have banned the R-word from your insult list!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    120 miles S of the Waffle/Pancake line in pancake territory
    Posts
    2,805

    Default Re: The insult "retard"

    Quote Originally Posted by Todash View Post
    A comment of Shasta's on another post made me think about this. In the past several years, I have tried very hard to stop using the word "retard" as an insult. But it's not because I really *felt* the gravity or offense of it in, say, the same way I understand how very offensive the N word is. (See? I won't even use that word.) Mainly I stopped because I knew some people found it offensive, and unless I have a particular reason to use certain language, I try to avoid offending others. Still, I didn't feel the wrongness of it. It never offended me.

    And then Ann Coulter stuck her foot in her mouth again, and in the midst of the public response came this reasonable, heartfelt, and articulate response, and I understood in a way that before I really hadn't how mean and wrong it is to use the word retard as an insult: http://specialolympicsblog.wordpress.com/2012/10/23/an-open-letter-to-ann-coulter/.

    I knew it had really stuck when a brother-in-law of mine posted a picture of a person with Downs Syndrome with a mocking caption and instead of being slightly embarrassed at the non-PC-ness of it, I was actually offended (and about to tell him off till I realized that a few months ago I wouldn't have found it offensive myself). I don't think we should take offense when none is intended, and there's a fine line between being overly sensitive and reasonably offended. But yeah, I get it now. I can now say that for me, at least, I do not use that term as an insult. It is no longer "I try not to."

    (I still need to figure out why "little people" is the preferred term ... I think I'd rather be called a dwarf or even midget. "Little person" sounds so condescending. I am not sure when that one is gonna stick with me.)
    I agree about the "little person" sounding condescending. There are other phrases to like that like calling someone 90 years young. When I'm 90 years old and some fool calls me 90 years young, I'm going to smack that fool with my cane. This 90 year young guy will still know the a*h* word too.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    3,926

    Default Re: The insult "retard"

    I knew a man with dwarfism for several years, and knew him well enough to be able to ask questions about his dwarfism. He said he never liked the term "little person", he said he preferred just being called a "person"! Also, if you asked him the difference between a midget and a dwarf, he would say "about 4 inches!" and would laugh, and would not explain further.

    I heard the word "retard" used a lot more when I was a kid, but even back then it was considered a rude word to say--I never started using that word.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    dublin ireland
    Posts
    1,329

    Default Re: The insult "retard"

    Yeah, there is a fine line between over sensitive and reasonably offended. Very hard to know where the line is. I try to never use words that would offend me. By the way, fljoe0, I agree with the term 90 years young. Thats the line of overly sensitive. I hope to be vigorous enough to hit who ever calls me that.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Middle TN
    Posts
    1,373

    Default Re: The insult "retard"

    The last time I remember using the word "retard", I was a young boy trading insults with other young boys, not knowing better on that subject and many others.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    On the beach in crazy LA!
    Posts
    3,677

    Default Re: The insult "retard"

    I was in Girl Scouts for a good majority of my life. My troop leader's son had down syndrome. To this day he's still one of the most wonderful people I've ever met. When he graduated high school he got a standing ovation.

    But.....

    I remember how cruel some of the kids were. People would call him a retard to his face and laugh. They would tell other kids "You're as retarded as Cody."

    There was nothing kind or innocent about it. When I was young I used the word retard as well but the fact is, when you say it you are never saying it innocently. You are using it to call someone stupid. Plain and simple. And when you are using a way to describe an entire people as an insult, well, it's just mean.

    I have to say that I was taught this lesson with the word "gay." To me, it was just a term. Until a gay friend of mine said the exact thing I just said above. It really opened my eyes.

    I have no interest in being PC. None. But I do have an interest in not being cruel. I'm very glad that this came up because people cane be very cruel without intention and you don't know it until someone makes you see.

    Thanks, Todash!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Kansas City
    Posts
    3,847

    Default Re: The insult "retard"

    Quote Originally Posted by fushingfeef View Post
    I knew a man with dwarfism for several years, and knew him well enough to be able to ask questions about his dwarfism. He said he never liked the term "little person", he said he preferred just being called a "person"!
    That's what I would think!! I just ... I would try not to be offended at the term "little person" since it's the currently accepted term. But ... I just cannot get over how condescending it sounds. I'm pretty sure I would feel the same if I were one! (I don't have that many inches on the taller ones, actually. ) As far as the midget/dwarf thing goes, I don't think that midget was ever a medical term, mainly a social one. The medical term is dwarfism, but I think the social distinction had to do with proportions. Someone who was considered normally-proportioned for their* height was termed a midget, and someone with abnormal proportions (longer limbs, wider torso, etc.) relative to their* height was termed a dwarf. I think. Might be wrong. Been wrong before. Rather a lot, actually.

    I heard the word "retard" used a lot more when I was a kid, but even back then it was considered a rude word to say--I never started using that word.
    Yeah ... I know. I was raised in a flyover state. We don't eat dirt (most of us), and we don't scratch our genitals in public (... at least half of us), but we are pretty backward in some ways.

    *I'm beginning to feel that the lack of a singular gender-neutral personal pronoun in the English language is a painful oversight. Who designed this stupid language anyway? Yes, I could have pluralized my nouns. That's not the point.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    south
    Posts
    4,200

    Default Re: The insult "retard"

    I have a child who will participate in the special olympics this year. And am very proud.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    PA, USA
    Posts
    4,137

    Default Re: The insult "retard"

    I have not used that word since I was little and did not know any better either.

    Makes me think about "Something about Mary" when whats his name was asking Mary about her job.
    They tried to make it funny, because everyone knows it's not a word to use anymore.

Page 1 of 7 123 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 47
    Last Post: October 3rd, 2013, 06:54 AM
  2. 11/22/63 Small "Mistake"
    By Boxcar W in forum 11/22/63
    Replies: 58
    Last Post: July 8th, 2013, 11:48 PM
  3. "The Powder Mile"
    By Bryan James in forum General Discussion & Questions
    Replies: 33
    Last Post: January 25th, 2013, 02:29 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •