Friday, 2 November 2012

My Two Cents

"That is so retarded!"
"She makes me so mad. She's retarded, just retarded."


Every time I hear someone use this word it feels like I have been slapped in the face.  My mind reels from the sting and I can't seem to think straight.  I want to run far, far away. I want to grab Stella, and Olivia and Sophie and place them in a bubble so that they may never be exposed to hearing that word being used in such a negative, demeaning and derogatory way!

What does this word mean?

Here are some definitions

re·tard 1  (r-tärd)
v. re·tard·edre·tard·ingre·tards
To cause to move or proceed slowly; delay or impede.
To be delayed.
1. A slowing down or hindering of progress; a delay.

In other words retard means to slow down.

But now it has become a slang word.  A word used to replace stupid, or idiot.

I know there are people out there who are tired of hearing about how hurtful and offencive using the r-word is.  They get all pissy and claim how tired they are of all the PC crap that they are constantly having to hear.  They claim freedom of expression. 

Here's the thing, why use a word that has such negative connotations? Why use a word that continues to encourage ignorance of those with developmental disabilities? Even if someone is using the r-word to describe their car, their sock, themselves;  it is still continuing the cycle of ignorance.

How about we all try and become more empathetic? Sure, we can use whatever words we want. But how about, we all try and think about how that word would make us feel if we were the ones with a disability?

I am all for freedom of expression, but not at the expense of another person.

How about we stop and take the time to think before we speak?  Let's all try and be mindful of what our words say about us and how those words affect people around us.  If we all tried every day to do that, perhaps words like retard would become a word of the past....


Please THINK before you speak. Thank you.

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