Tag - retarded

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Taking Back The Word Retarded
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Can’t Think Of A Title For This One…
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You’re Not Still Using The R-Word Are You?
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Words That Must Die
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The R-Word

Taking Back The Word Retarded

  As the parent of a child with developmental challenges, delays, cognitive disabilities… however you want to label it, I often flip-flop between two perspectives. 1. Wanting to let my fists fly (which is pretty hysterical if you’ve ever seen me try to punch something) on anyone who uses the word retarded. 2. Simply allowing the word to bounce off me and ricochet back at them. People who use the word retard are outing themselves as people I’d rather not know. Their word choice says everything about them and nothing about my child or anyone with special needs. I seem to be juxtaposed between violence and a “so be it” attitude so instead of choosing a perspective, I’m creating a new one. I’m going to take back the R-Word. Others have done it—taken a word used to discriminate and have claimed it as their own. By doing so they’ve taken the wind out of many biggoty sails. My daughter is retarded… Okay wait, I need to ease my way into this because just typing that made me squirm. Those seven letters pack a punch. Retard means delayed or slow. By definition, my daughter is slow. She’s slow to anger. She’s[…]

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Can’t Think Of A Title For This One…

  This post is about nothing and everything. So unless you’re Seinfeld, how can you title something like that? Today as the kids and I went through our morning ritual of listening to Top 100 tunes while dancing around the kitchen making breakfast, feeding the dogs and the guinea pig, chugging coffee (me, not the kids) and making lunches, “Summer” by Calvin Harris came on. (The video is below in case you haven’t heard it yet). After the first verse my son said, “How is that even allowed? Isn’t that name calling?” How was what name calling? The dude is singing about some chick he met in the summer. The only thing offensive is the video. Could those girls’ shorts BE any shorter? Either I’ve become a prude, or I’m just jealous that I used to be able to rock short shorts, but now without sturdy jeans to cradle my cheeks, I’d have to carry my saggy ass behind me in my handbag. But I digress. He thought Calvin was singing, “With a midget in the summer.” We laughed as I sang him the actual lyrics. (“I met cha in the summah…”) Clearly the kid got his mother’s lyric-challengedness. I’ve[…]

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You’re Not Still Using The R-Word Are You?

  Last year in the school yard, children repeatedly asked my son if his sister was retarded. When he finally told me about it I was ready to bang some heads together. Luckily my child is more mature than his hot-headed mother. He chose to take action by making this VIDEO to present to his peers resulting in meaningful conversations and a greater understanding about what it’s like to have a sibling with special needs. The fact is, children follow so it’s our job as adults to be kind, educated, moral leaders. When adults don’t set a good example we end up with a new generation of ignorant, intolerant adults. Out for dinner recently an adult at our table joked about something retarded they did at work. I was shocked, but I didn’t say anything.  How is this still happening in 2014? If I stay silent I’m part of the problem. This frustrates me. As the parent of a child with special needs am I expected to police the internet and the world around me like an R-word detecting watch dog? I’d really rather not. You might think that retard(ed) is merely a word and that we—the people who love[…]

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The R-Word

  What’s in a word? Letters of course. But there’s more. A word has the power to evoke emotion; beautiful or ugly, inspirational or devastating. In the eighties “gay” was a common descriptor. As in, “Oh my god, those jelly shoes look totally gay with those parachute pants.” A few decades later, while shopping with a friend I said, “This song is so gay.” To which she replied, “Really? It’s homosexual is it?” She worked in an industry populated by gay men and pointed out that using gay as a synonym for stupid or odd was offensive. Prior to her bluntly putting it into context like that, the concept had no relevance for me. I didn’t have any gay friends at the time and wielded this word with complete disregard for the feelings of others. Unintentionally, but ignorantly just the same. Chances are if you were a teen in the eighties or nineties you also threw around such phrases as, “I can’t believe how retarded that movie was.” Or “I look like a retard with this perm.” I was guilty of using it until I suddenly became faced with the reality of the word. I have a sense of humour[…]

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