Your opinion on "retarded"

Karla - posted on 05/25/2012 ( 229 moms have responded )

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This has been mentioned in another thread and I became curious.

If you use the word “retarded” do you define it with any of the urban dictionary meanings? I personally don’t use the word because I find it offensive. I think of the traditional meaning: particularly as in “stupid.” (I don’t usually use the word "stupid" either.) Or I think of delayed progress - as in thought processes.

Urban Dictionary
Slang for ‘retarded”
‘get stupid’
‘pleasing to the eye’
‘stupid’
‘messed up’
‘crazy, silly, goofy’
‘getting high’
‘when you like something’
‘cool, dope, tight, chill’

Dictionary:
verb (used with object)
~ to make slow; delay the development or progress of (an action, process, etc.); hinder or impede.
verb (used without object)
~to be delayed.
noun
~slowing down, diminution, or hindrance, as in a machine.
Slang: Disparaging .
~ mentally retarded person.
~ person who is stupid, obtuse, or ineffective in some way: a hopeless social retard.

Automotive, Machinery
~ an adjustment made in the setting of the distributor of an internal-combustion engine so that the spark for ignition in each cylinder is generated later in the cycle.

Where do you stand on this one?

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Krista - posted on 05/29/2012

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Good point, Mary. I am conscious of not using the word "retarded", because I know that MANY people (not just a few sensitive souls) are offended by it, even if I don't mean it with particular malice.



But I confess to having used the term "fucktard" to refer to people who drive as though they are only devoting half a brain cell to the activity.



I guess it does highlight how fluid language is, though.



It's very common to refer to something as being "dumb". "That was a dumb movie." "That's a really dumb argument", etc. etc. But it wasn't THAT long ago that "dumb" was used as a term describing someone who was mute.



It went through four stages:

1. First it was used as the legitimate medical description.

2. Then it became an offensive way to describe someone with that affliction.

3. Then it started being used as an epithet towards people who did not necessarily have that affliction.

4. And then it became part of the common vernacular, and when referring to something as "dumb", VERY few people think of people who are mute.



It could very well be that "retarded" is following that same trajectory. And we're basically at the end of the third stage.



And we have two camps of people:

1. Those who use it as part of the common vernacular. For these people, when they use the term, they do not even THINK of its original meaning.

2. People who are very conscious of stages one and two of that word. For them, the word "retarded" is still inextricably linked to the mentally challenged. And when they hear it used as a derogatory term, they consider it as being derogatory towards the very notion of BEING mentally challenged.



Basically, camp #1 uses "retarded" much the way that people now use "dumb".



And camp #2 sees the use of "retarded" much as some of us see it when people use the term "woman" as an insult (i.e. "Don't be such a woman, you big pussy.") The underlying question for them is "Why is being a woman (or being "retarded") considered such a horrible thing? What are you truly saying, when you are stating that being retarded is so undesirable and worthy of mockery?"

Michele - posted on 05/29/2012

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Meme I think the biggest problem is that you seem to be saying that it is unreasonable for anyone to associate the word retarded with the cognitively disabled. Most of us believe it is reasonable association and can understand how someone could be offended.

Jodi - posted on 05/31/2012

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"In the context of this argument, I actually found that this to be a "correct", non-derogatory use of the word retarded."



Actually, I beg to differ. I would suggest the original comment was not INTENDED to mean slow or backward, but, rather, intended to be insulting.

Mary - posted on 05/31/2012

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Here's the thing...I really get the impression - both from some posters in this thread as well as those advocates for the mentally challenged - that any use of the word "retarded" is unacceptable. It really doesn't matter if it is being used in it's "proper" context, or is not being used as a direct insult to call a person is mentally deficient (and thereby imply that being mentally deficient is undesirable). Actually - that's really the heart of this issue - making the distinction between the disability itself, and a person who has this disability.

The original comment that brought about this debate was this:

"Why is a Dad selfish for WANTING to be a part of their babies feeding? How retarded!"

In the context of this argument, I actually found that this to be a "correct", non-derogatory use of the word retarded. The speaker was referring to the idea put forth that a father shouldn't want to be a part of feeding his child. She was stating her opinion that this idea was slow or delayed; in the context of this thread, other useful synonyms would be "outdated", "old-fashioned". I feel confident in this interpretation, because prior posts in that thread talked about "traditional roles" and the feeding of a child being the mother's job. The speaker was stating that this idea was not in keeping with the more progressive roles that many fathers take on in the care and raising of their children.

The original objection to her statement was this:

"Please don't say "retarded". Don't resort to name calling implying someone is mentally challenged. I don't like that word, it is very degrading.... it is not a nice word...It is a curse word in my opinion along the lines of the "N" word. That had a different meaning a long time ago, but it does have a crude meaning now. So does "retarded"

This says to me that the objector feels that any use of this this word, in any context, is offensive or unacceptable.

The R-word site itself confuses me a bit on this topic as well. On one hand, they have changed the terminology for this group of people to "intellectual disabilities", and seem to be saying that using what is offensive is using the (now out-dated) term "retarded" to this population, as well as using "retarded" as a slur towards another who is not in any way disabled. This is something I am completely on board with, and can accept without reservation.

However, they do get a little unclear when they say things like the "r-word" is hurtful when when used "as a part of everyday speech", or when including quotes such as, " And any use of the word, even when used as slang and not intended to be offensive, is hurtful...". This leaves me with the impression that they too object the mere utterance of the word, in any fashion or context. While trying to divorce themselves from the term retarded for this population, they are simultaneously taking ownership of this term as a derogatory reference to them as well.

The real hardship with this campaign is that it is trying very hard to dance around an inescapable, yet difficult to acknowledge truth. A person with an intellectual disability is not a bad, unworthy, or somehow lesser being. However, the disability itself is not, if we are being honest, something that anyone wants or hopes for. I have yet to meet or hear of the expectant parent who is hoping for a child with a mental impairment. I have yet to deliver a baby with this disability where the parents, while still loving that baby immeasurably, were not saddened or in some way disappointed by it.

Celeste - posted on 05/30/2012

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I haven't read the entire thread.. I don't like the word. I've worked with special needs children (non verbal, low functioning kids), and my husband is a special ed teacher. I also have two special needs children. Though they are not mentally disabled, I still do not like the word. It's not to describe someone who's fantastic, it's an insult.

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Kristi - posted on 07/06/2012

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Cherish--

Your children are very lucky to have such a compassionate, open minded mother. It takes a great deal of strength, more love that you ever thought you had, patience, empathy and understanding to raise a child with disabilities. I know this because I've about drained the life blood right out of my own mother. I hope you get treated extra special on Mother's Day! ; )

I know we are off topic, but I think people make fun others who are not like them as part of a defense mechanism. People tend to be scared or uneasy about things/people that they don't understand or are not used to (ignorance). In order to hide their insecurity and lack of knowledge they crack jokes and pick on the odd man out. This diverts attention elsewhere and by encouraging others to join in he/she/they creates a pack mentality, which makes them feel safe, protected and more powerful. It also "justifies" their behavior, if everybody else is doing it it must be ok. This is typical high school stuff and I think it also applies to bigots.Then, there are just inbreeders who are taught to hate and some people who will make fun of their own mothers'. In general I think most of those guys are pretty harmless because they are picking on/over exaggerating the stereotype, not the people and they will truly make fun of themselves and their moms, I don't believe they are being malicious.(at least in my experience)

And yes, those TV shows are "lovely." lol I don't understand grown adults watching cartoons but I always end up liking the animated Disney/Pixar movies we go see...so what's the difference? ; ) But, I happened on one of them one night and heard about 30 seconds before my jaw dropped and I did a double take to make sure that was not on a kids cartoon channel and that was the end of that. But as you said, who are we to judge? I know I'd like to leave that up to the Big Guy, He's a little more forgiving than we humans are! (including me)

As for me, as for now, I'm going to take my inappropriate, ignorant sounding comments and shove them back in the trash and hope they don't slip out of hole in the bottom (my mouth), at all would be great, but for quite awhile would be more realistic and truthful. I wish many blessings for you and your family.

Cherish - posted on 07/05/2012

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Kristi C
I know ALOT of people do it,I know MOST people won't admit it.
I can honestly tell you I did not care,ever when anyone said "retarded" most of my life,I said it from time to time too.The only reason I am maybe being sensitive to it now is b/c my 10 yr old son has developmental/medical issues.Most of my friends have kids w/disabilities as well,and I now how much it hurts some people.Honestly my 10 year old would not care if you said "retarded",he would not know what it means,he would not know what you were saying,however the kids I know that are "higher functioning" get terribly hurt when people use that word.And I know how much some people struggle to do things that seem so simple to us,and I feel awful when I see how sad they are all b/c of one word.
Tho it makes sense to me that you say that you never associated that word w/people with that diagnoses.When my 19 yr old says "that's retarded" and I lecture him,he says "I do not mean it like that,it is not the same thing".For the people like my 10 yr old I do not think it offends them,but it offends their family members.People ask my daughter (11)"what is wrong with him?",and she has no clue how to answer that.

I can't condemn anyone(except for racists,I will condemn them),who am I to judge?I can not judge somebody for something I have done and probably would still do,had I not had the child I have.

Society has made that word ok,there are SO MANY T.V shows (south park,prank yankers,family guy,SNL)...etc(I know that was a list of quality shows right?..lol) that make jokes or have characters that are IMO "jokes".Maybe it is b/c being mentally retarded is a minority,and I suppose for some reason Americans like to pick on minorities.
Now I am wondering why we do that,as a culture in general...Never thought of it before now...lol

Kristi - posted on 07/05/2012

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Cherish--

I have been trying to eliminate those words from my vocabulary, just like I have with my swear words. I know it is wrong, I'm not sorry just if I am overheard, I am sorry when it slips out period. It does sound completely ignorant. And I despise ignorance. I don't know why I can curb my vocabulary when I'm in public but not in private and like I said it slips out once in awhile, I'm not running around calling everyone and everything gay and retarded. It is not a conscious choice, just like when I drop the F-bomb, I'm not taking time out to think "hmmm what word would best describe how I'm feeling right now." It's a knee jerk reaction. "Jerk" probably being the key word. For example, when I think something is completely ridiculous, I might say "That's freaking retarded." When something enrages me I might drop the F-bomb. As for gay, when something is aburdly silly, I might say, "Are you serious, that's gay." Again, this is not a regular thing. Not that that excuses the times when I do say it. I don't like "stupid" because I think it is another demeaning word. Why let my daughter get into the habit of using another hurtful word, so she can sound like me when I say the wrong thing?

Also, in my original comment, I said I do say something if I hear other kids talking like that and I do the same with racial slurs. Although racial slurs were never an issue because I knew that they were specific to race and color and the terms used for a racial slur weren't used as slang in daily conversation so they never became a habit. I actually do suffer from a disability but I'm used to the comments and I know they aren't malicious, mostly. I'm in no way saying that everybody with disabilities or who are of a different race, religion or sexual orientation should just sit by and take it, not at all! I am an advocate for equal human rights for everybody. But, I still have my faults and I am working on them to the best of my abilities. That doesn't change the fact that it is still wrong. But I do want to thank you for not attacking me or condemning me. I understand how difficult it must be to not just reach through the computer and pop me one. I am just trying to be honest and I am fairly certain I'm not the only one who does this. I was scared to admit it, too, don't really know why I did.

Cherish - posted on 07/05/2012

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@ Kristi C
At least you are being honest,and I hear what you are saying about how it is a "engrained" word,part of your upbringing...
My grandparents said awful words that yes I said too(awful awful words,shame on me!)
However there comes a time when we as adults(and parents) make a choice to stop doing things b/c we know they are wrong.Fine growing up you did not know that it was "wrong",but you know it now,so just delete such words from your vocabulary...it is not that hard honestly.
I used to tell my oldest son when he said "retarded" that it is not ok to say that b/c mental retardation is a medical diagnoses,which they have NO CONTROL over.The same thing goes w/people of different races,gay and lesbians,..etc,they were born that way and we MUST NEVER say things like "your talking like..." or "your acting like..."

You said that you that if a disabled person heard you that you would apologize,and I have been out with my youngest child and I have heard adults say "retarded" (about something else not related to him) and they have apologized,I always say "Don't tell me you are sorry,because the only reason you are sorry is b/c I heard you"..
Don't say you are sorry,yet continue to do it.
Typically when people are sorry or ashamed they STOP the behavior they are ashamed of.
Being mentally retarded is ok,there is nothing wrong with it.I do not get mad often,it takes A LOT to push my buttons.But when people say "retard" or "retarded" or when they make racial slurs,I go from happy to SEVERELY ANNOYED QUICKLY,and if they apologize after they say it it pisses me off even more,b/c they are not sorry they said it,they are sorry I heard them. I am sorry for the people that do say such things,they just make themselves look ignorant and immature.

Why is "stupid" a bad word to you?

Kristi - posted on 07/05/2012

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When I was in school "retard" and "retarded" and "tard" were common slang for stupid, dorky, crazy, foolish, etc. I'm from a relatively small town in the sticks in NNY and I don't think any of us knew any better. We never looked around to see if anybody might take offense or whispered or mouthed it to each other, like we knew it was wrong and we had to be sneaky or we'd get in trouble. It was just another slang word. I don't remember ever once being corrected or reprimanded for saying any one of those three words. And on the very rare occasion that the subject of "retardation" came up, it was always referred to as mentally challenged or handicapped. So I don't think it was ever really assigned to a group of people that nobody wanted to be like and it was the same way with the word "gay." It meant the same things. I don't think I even learned what "gay" really meant until I was in my 20's.



But, because I grew up saying them so much, they became part of my vocabulary. I am ashamed to admit that "retarded" and "gay" slip out once in awhile, usually when something is exaggerated, just like my cursing. Fortunately, my daughter knows better. She is not allowed to use the words "retarded," "stupid" or "gay" (unless gay is being used appropriately). I found a list of the Top 10 Words you should never say in front of your children, and those were 3 of them so if she catches me using one of those words she says Top Ten Mom, Top Ten! and then I grumble at myself for doing it and apologize to her.



Am I proud of any of this? No. Is ignorance an acceptable excuse? No. Does an apology make it better? Not really. Would I be completely mortified if someone over heard me? Absolutely. Would I die if an Intellectually Disable person overheard me? I would beg for it, right after I begged his/her forgiveness. And here is the worst part....Will any of this prevent me from saying either of those words again? Doubtful. Because they are ingrained, just like the rest of my vocabulary and my speech patterns. I'm doing the best I can to stop that and I've taught my daughter better and I am a hypocrite because if I hear other kids saying it, I will respectfully ask them stop. So, to the OP, that is where I stand on this one.



editted for grammar

Cherish - posted on 07/03/2012

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I wonder how many of people making comments have a child with a disability??Not many ay?
MOST people say "retarded" in a negative way.This seriously pushes my buttons as bad as racial slurs do.
I feel it is a ignorant thing to say.I think that people that replace "stupid" with retarded are small minded and immature.

I can gaur-en-F-ing_tee that ANYONE who uses that word now in a neg way would stop INSTANTLY if they had a child with that diagnoses.

Michelle - posted on 07/02/2012

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I would see the word as described by a normal dictionary and not the urban one. Like you, it's not a word I use as I think it's most unpleasant to call anyone that!

Karla - posted on 06/20/2012

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Sharon: "Same as running around nude is offensive to some, they have resorts for those who don't like clothes, but you don't, for the most part find those people running around nude in Walmart."



A good analogy, and I love the added "for the most part." There's always someone out there who is socially awkward.

[deleted account]

Again, I have only read the first 3 pages of this thread, however, I do have something I felt led to add here.

I have a sister-in-law who works with the " challenged", therefore, our family, after years of using the word (not derogatory) to describe challenged people because that is what it was years ago has curbed the use of this word completely.

On the thought of words becoming derogatory, my dad had a large farm. He hired men and sometimes couples to help him on the farm. So we had "hired help" . One particular couple took offense to being called the hired help in conversation. Mom and Dad encouraged us to curb our use of this term.

So because certain things offend people and we never know who or what, we try to be aware of these things.

That being said, we were pre-teens and teens and at that time if there was a word that was used in casual conversation that was not swearing (the way swearing had been explained to us) we used it. Now there are people who teach their children that use of the term "stupid" is swearing.

I guess it's all in who you are around and the terms that one uses as to what is meant as offensive and what is taken as offensive and if 2 people are having a conversation one can use a term that offends the 2nd without knowing. This doesn't necessarily make it WRONG, just offensive to someone. If it is generally accepted as an offensive term then curbing its use is just a respectable thing to do.

Same as running around nude is offensive to some, they have resorts for those who don't like clothes, but you don't, for the most part find those people running around nude in Walmart.

I just have a conversation and be aware of what I am saying and know that at any time I may offend someone unintentionally. I am usually of a mind to apologize for this, if it is in fact unintentional.

Carlie - posted on 06/19/2012

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To 'retard" something also means to 'stop or slow it down".....having mentioned that.....I believe the words "retarded" and "retardation" should NOT be removed from the dictionary. HOWEVER.....

the DEFINITIONS of these words should be stricken from the dictionary except for the definition provided in this introduction. Most "handicapped" or "developmentally delayed" or "disabled" persons do NOT appreciate being called "retarded." Unfortunately, my society and the society prior to mine, has been taught that this is an acceptable word. It is not.

When used in the context to "retard" or SLOW DOWN something.....that something not referenced to PEOPLE....then the definitions should be allowed to remain.

Aside from the definition....the TONE in which this word is used, should also be investigated and not be abused, as it has presently and in the past. :)

Erin - posted on 06/06/2012

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I don't worry about the word too much people say what they say. I use the term quite often to refer to things which I find stupid. I use it to describe a person who is retarded in the medical sense. I refuse to use the word special although mentally handicapped has a better ring.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 06/01/2012

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Karla, you're right, it's very hard to explain TO that person who overheard the remark, but doesn't understand that they are not being referenced...and I work on that.

Sherri - posted on 06/01/2012

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I do use it, not at anyone but I will say this rule or something of the like is retarded basically meaning it is stupid.



Have to say I agree with Meme's view on this one. I was also part of the thread she used it in and I took it 100% as she intended it.

Michele - posted on 05/31/2012

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I understand what you are saying, Meme. IMHO, anytime you could use the word stupid in place of retarded, there has got to be a better word, like old-fashioned as Mary mentioned. I try not to use stupid or retarded. I would rather say that I disagree with an idea than it is stupid. That is still being derogatory towards an idea, and most of us are pretty attached to our ideas, so it is not that far different from calling the person stupid (for believing this idea, you see).

Can we go through life without offending? No. So when I offend someone, I genuinely try to understand where they are coming from. And most of us don't TRY to offend. We can't worry about it all the time. Like you have said, out of respect for others, you won't use it on COM for that reason. And if I offend someone, I usually apologize for the offense, but that doesn't mean that I necessarily agree with them.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 05/31/2012

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"How retarded" was meant to mean "How stupid" but I then went on to explain that it is totally different "today". I explained that fathers are much more involved now, then back in the day and a father wanting to be a part of every aspect of their child is most definitely acceptable. As a matter in fact, it is becoming unacceptable for a father to not want to be fully immersed.

So, in essence. You're all right, in how it was intended. Yes, I meant the concept was stupid but I meant it in a way, of it is just not how it is today. It was an impeded way of thinking, which made it stupid or retarded (not mentally retarded, not dumb but nonsense). Really, Mary interpreted it correctly. She did this by rightfully examining the thread and noticing that some were hard on the "old ways", while I was set on the "new ways". Evolution baby, it is where it is today. ;)

Karla - posted on 05/31/2012

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"That's retarded" was used to mean "that's stupid" which is it's definition in slang derived by comparing those without to those with handicaps . And, when I was a kid if anyone said "that's retarded" or "you retard" they definitely were saying you were mentally retarded, or your ideas or words were came from a mentally retarded brain.

Otherwise Mary, I think you make some really good and interesting points. I especially agree with your last paragraph. - Kind of sad really.

Michele - posted on 05/31/2012

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Meme agreed that it was used in a derogatory fashion in that case. That it was being used in the same way as that's stupid.
The difference IMO is that when you say retarded timing, or the growth of a plant is retarded, you can't substitute the word stupid.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/31/2012

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Corrine, you really need to take your blinders off and read the entire thread and understand fully how inappropriate using the word "retarded" as every day slang is. It sounds like you supposedly have a lot of empathy for the Special Olympics, but not respect for how one single word can seriously hurt someone deeply emotionally. You don't think the word hurts? Fine keep using it, but don't blow off the fact that it does hurt.

Karla - posted on 05/30/2012

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Shawnn: “I haven't had time to read it all, but seriously...I'm tired of people with developmentally disabled relatives yelling at my husband for referring to the "retarded timing" of an engine, and then having to explain to that same oversensitive person what the definition of "retarded timing" is.”



I totally agree with you there. I have heard the word used in it’s proper way and that does not bother me at all. It’s when it’s used as an insult or cut-down that I don’t appreciate it.



” People need to rethicken their skins a bit, and realize that not everyone is referring to them when they use a certain term, or phrase.”



Even though I know what you mean, I also have seen disabled people tear up because they have heard people either talk about them, or use derogatory words or actions to mock them. People don’t usually think they are doing this in view of a disabled person, but it happens. How do you tell this sweet, sensitive person that they need to toughen up? I think it’s much easier to tell the offending party to knock-it-off. It’s not wrong to be sensitive to one another; as a matter of fact it’s a way to show you can relate.



Corrine: ”Also, "retarded" doesn't actually has nothing to do with those with special needs. It's means "slow or to delay". Are you getting all pissed about people refering delaying timing on an engine as "retarding"? You're going along with the 7th graders that came up with the term by connecting it with the mentally challenged.”



This leads me to believe you did not read the whole thread.

1 - "Mental retardation (MR) is a generalized disorder appearing before adulthood, characterized by significantly impaired cognitive functioning and deficits in two or more adaptive behaviors. It has historically been defined as anIntelligence Quotient score under 70."



2 – NO ONE here said they were offended by the use of the word retarded to explain a slow engine! – That was just a frustration shared by Shawnn on this, the 11th page of the debate.



3 - *** ETA: "The terms mental retardation and mentally retarded were invented in the middle of the 20th century to replace the previous set of terms, which were deemed to have become offensive. By the end of the 20th century, these terms themselves have come to be widely seen as disparaging and politically incorrect and in need of replacement." ****



"The American Association on Mental Retardation continued to use the term mental retardation until 2006.[23] In June 2006 its members voted to change the name of the organization to the "American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities," rejecting the options to become the AAID or AADD." *** Showing that it was first tied to mentally disabled, then people started using it as an insult, as in “are you retarded?” or “That’s retarded.”



4 - http://www.r-word.org/r-word-why-pledge....



ETA first quote on 3

Michele - posted on 05/30/2012

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Yes, the word retarded meant "slow or delay" first, but it has been used since 1895 to refer to those who have developmental delays especially in cognitive ability, so you can't say it has nothing to do with those with special needs. It was not originally a pejorative term but a clinical one.



I would have no negative opinion about the word used in relation to an engine, though. When I worked in the agricultural business, the growth of plants was occasionally "retarded" But in relation to people and ideas or as a replacement for stupid, I don't like it and apparently Special Olympics doesn't either.



http://www.r-word.org/r-word-why-pledge....

Corinne - posted on 05/30/2012

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I'm sorry you get offended so easily little miss... when i was a teenager it actually did slip once and a family member just smiled at me. i obviously have no cruel intentions if i'm spending my entire saturday basically working for free.

I always remeber one lady that would participate every year and when I got older I actually worked in her home as a CNA asking me if it was supposed to stop raining one year. I told her yes, just a little sprinkle and it should be dry by track time. She got SO excited and said that she had been hoping that it would be a nice day all year and she's so happy her dream came true. When I work with them I see innocence; I don't arrogance like the slang version implies.

Also, "retarded" doesn't actually has nothing to do with those with special needs. It's means "slow or to delay". Are you getting all pissed about people refering delaying timing on an engine as "retarding"? You're going along with the 7th graders that came up with the term by connecting it with the mentally challenged.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/30/2012

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"People need to relax, unless they're making it very obvious that they are saying you're acting like you are mentally challenged let it go! "

And I am sure if your friends at the local special Olympics heard your randomly using the word "retarded" they would not be offended or hurt at all. Not a single one of them. Nope.

Isobel - posted on 05/30/2012

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as I said earlier...special is now an insult too. It really doesn't matter what the PC term is this week, next week it'll be an insult too.

Corinne - posted on 05/30/2012

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I grew up using it to mean "stupid, pointless". I find nothing offensive about it. I would be very offended if someone called someone who was mentally challenged retarded though. I volunteer at the local Special Olympics every year since I was 13 and love my participants dearly and have learned so much about life from them including not taking things too seriously!
People need to relax, unless they're making it very obvious that they are saying you're acting like you are mentally challenged let it go!

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 05/30/2012

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I haven't had time to read it all, but seriously...I'm tired of people with developmentally disabled relatives yelling at my husband for referring to the "retarded timing" of an engine, and then having to explain to that same oversensitive person what the definition of "retarded timing" is.



If I'm using a word in context (in reference to the timing), then butt out and leave me alone. Gay is happy. I'm pretty much constantly gay. My brother, on the other hand is a homosexual. He's a gay homosexual, in that he's pretty happy all the time, but he's a homosexual.



A fag is a cigarette. A faggot is a bundle of wood.



Each culture has different slang that will offend certain people. We here, at COM need to be careful, because we are worldwide! What is normal, and inoffensive for Toni is obviously not normal or inoffensive for Little Miss. (for example)



IMO, the PC police need to go away. People need to rethicken their skins a bit, and realize that not everyone is referring to them when they use a certain term, or phrase.



ETA: I have always referred to folks with special needs as special people. Because, to me, each and every one is special.

Karla - posted on 05/30/2012

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Jodi says,
"Other terms people have mention were removed from use, MANY years before, so it is less likely to induce an emotional response from anyone if you use the term "idiot". Retarded happens to be a term that is still pretty recent, and the derogatory references fairly raw."

That's the part that really bothers me about the living language. We as a people change the language through use and words, and those that are used to describe mentally disabled people are continually misused and evolve into insults. I find that disheartening.

Jodi - posted on 05/30/2012

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"How about this. Each one of you are right and I am wrong. Does that make it better for you guys?"



Why do you have to see a debate as right or wrong? That isn't always what a debate is about. A debate IS about two sides, but not necessarily right or wrong. No-one said you were wrong, just that your belief that you are right in using the word can be offensive to others. Does that make you wrong? Hmmm.....maybe not. But it DOES mean you may be insensitive to the feelings of others if you are not prepared to moderate your view/behaviour a little. Does that make you wrong? Well, that is in the eye of the beholder. Personally, I think that if others have expressed that they are offended, and it is commonly referred to in urban legend/dictionaries as an offensive slang term, well, maybe you could moderate a little, but you may think otherwise. Who is right? It really is only a matter of opinion, culture, upbringing, religion and all the rest.



As I have said, I don't like the term myself, but unless it is directed AT a person, I would not bother saying anything or spending 2 minutes feeling butt hurt about it, but I CAN understand why others might.



And yes, it may be just a word, but think about it, it is a word that was only removed from use to refer to the mentally impaired in recent years. Other terms people have mention were removed from use, MANY years before, so it is less likely to induce an emotional response from anyone if you use the term "idiot". Retarded happens to be a term that is still pretty recent, and the derogatory references fairly raw.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 05/30/2012

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LOL - that was at first, Jodi and I was still distraught from the previous thread. Yes, that is on me, my own problem.



However, I have said time and time again, that I only use it at home or in my circle. I have said there are many words, especially ones that are derogatory in the face of Public, IRL, that I do not use. I have also stated several times, now that I know others here (on COM) are offended by the use of the word, I would refrain. Sorry, it wasn't apparent for you.



How about this. Each one of you are right and I am wrong. Does that make it better for you guys? I don't have a problem with being wrong, in others' eyes. It's quite fine, actually. I am in no way trying to say I am perfect or better than anyone else. I have my faults and I also know some things I do or say, may and will be taken other than they are meant. I am not going to expect everyone across the world to agree with me or accept my intentions or idea's. However, I do not expect for everyone to think all others should do as they want, either. If they want to expect that, well I can guarantee, they will be let down. I am much more curteous that some people and am willing to refrain for the sake of each of you and your feelings. Someone else, just may not be willing.



ETA - "that I do not use".

Jodi - posted on 05/30/2012

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"Yes, good read Jodi. Although, obvioulsly people here are simply not getting what I have been saying. Maybe this is my problem?



I have said, I do not use it outside of my home or circle. I honestly feel this is apparent, since I have only ever used it once on COM."



No, it wasn't particularly apparent. Especially as you have made your point that anyone who asks you to respect their feeling about it can "go fly a kite" (I think that was the phrase) in a thread that is about the use of the word in general. But I do know now.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 05/30/2012

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Oh, I should state, that just because some here think others should stop using the word because they are now an adult. It just doesn't work that way. Just like I am sure you do things others find offensive but don't bat an eye lash. Unless, of course, you are trying to say you are perfect.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 05/30/2012

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Yes, good read Jodi. Although, obvioulsly people here are simply not getting what I have been saying. Maybe this is my problem?



I have said, I do not use it outside of my home or circle. I honestly feel this is apparent, since I have only ever used it once on COM.



Actually, I do not use many words outside of my home or my circle. I do NOT swear in public, IRL. I never call people names, regardless of where I am. I will speak to an action or behaviour but never the actual person them self by name calling. So, really, I suppose I cannot tell any of you any more than I have. It would be very difficult for another person IRL to be offended by many words I use, when not in random public areas, IRL. Since, I do not use them. I do not use them because I am not disrespectful. I realize there is no need to be rude. I am talking about many words, not just "retarded". Anyhow, this is a virtual space, where most people tend to feel that they can be loose and themselves in every aspect of the thought. I realize now, some here find the term "retarded" offensive. Great, thank you for sharing.



I am out of the thread. Thanks for a great few pages, all.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 05/30/2012

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Jodi---So I just find it a little ironic that you are trying to argue that it is not an offensive term, but even your own reference makes it clear that it is offensive slang :D

I have said it is a derogatory use of the term, the way most use it, including me. At first I was feeling it wasn't but someone (perhaps Karla, not positive) got me to see it differently.

However, even with it being a negative term when being referenced what I am saying is it is not being referenced or even thought of in the light toward the mmentally disabled. Yes, that is a section in the definition I gave but as you can see, there were several entries. Meaning this term, like others, has more than one way of it being meant.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 05/30/2012

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Kel80---Where I live,people often say to other people who are behaving a little crazily.... "do you have ADHD or something?"....Meme,out of interest...would you be offended if you were acting in this way and i questioned you about whether or not you have this condition? Is it something that would hit close to home considering your daughter suffers from this or would you think nothing of it?

Actually Kel, no I would not take offense. Since I know I do not have ADHD and I know what it really is. I also would take offense if someone said I was retarded. I know who I am.

Jodi - posted on 05/30/2012

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I haven't had a total chance to catch up yet, just been scanning through, so maybe someone else has made this point, but....this caught my eye:

MeMe posted the definition of Retard from somewhere, and interestingly it DOES make the point that it is offensive:
"n. Offensive Slang
1. Used as a disparaging term for a mentally retarded person.
2. A person considered to be foolish or socially inept.---Here is what I use it as. Although, I use it toward a concept, rather than the person them self."

So I just find it a little ironic that you are trying to argue that it is not an offensive term, but even your own reference makes it clear that it is offensive slang :D

Karla - posted on 05/29/2012

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Meme, ” Also, please remember, you started this thread within 30mins or so of the mishap in the other thread.

I know I shouldn’t open this can of worms but:

You are just a plethora of over exaggeration!

Surprise, I feel defensive sometimes too, and for good reason if you check the times posted, aka facts.

[deleted account]

Where I live,people often say to other people who are behaving a little crazily.... "do you have ADHD or something?"....Meme,out of interest...would you be offended if you were acting in this way and i questioned you about whether or not you have this condition? Is it something that would hit close to home considering your daughter suffers from this or would you think nothing of it?

Michele - posted on 05/29/2012

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I said in a different thread (oops-it got a little confusing there for a while), the following:
I must admit I don't like reading when it gets to the point of endlessly repeating disagreements. I know that they will never convince each other, and each of them could have valid points. They each have their own unique perspective that has brought them to their current opinion. It seems to me that there is some way to find a way forward for example - I understand that some people find a word offensive so I will respect that. AND I understand that some people don't think the word is offensive so I will let them know that it could be considered offensive without thinking they are a horrible person, and realize that they are not trying to offend.

I do understand where you are coming from, Meme. The fact that the Special Olympics has a current campaign to get people to stop using the word altogether is what causes me to disagree with your viewpoint that the word is not a big deal and only refers to people acting in a stupid way (sorry - couldn't think of a different word to use there), instead of the cognitively disabled.

Karla - posted on 05/29/2012

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Oh gosh, Meme. I think most people here have acknowledged that they know for some it is not seen as offensive as it is for others. I’ve seen it several times in this thread; and several have said they don’t think it’s that offensive, but they don’t use it because they know others do find it offensive.

You ask too much from me though, because even IF saying “that’s retarded” is like saying “that’s stupid” (your meaning in using it, right?), that is a cut-down – I think we covered that. Even by your definition it is meant to offend or judge.

As I said, I was not allowed to use “retarded” as an insult when I was a child, because at that time the word was used to describe those with mental disabilities and it would be rude to those disabled people for us to use that word to insult. And I’m sure my mother would then say, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”

Point being, I am not going to be able to say it’s not offensive. It’s not a judgment on you, it’s that my life, and experiences, and personality, are different than yours. I cannot see why you would expect a consensus in opinion.

Janice - posted on 05/29/2012

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I am in the US - NY to be specific.
I do think that the term is being phased out. However, it has been used recently enough that people could definitely find it quite offensive as a reference to the mentally disabled.

The word has not reached the point in our language in which the word "dumb" has. at least not where i live.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 05/29/2012

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Ah, well, that makes sense, I suppose. Since, it isn't used in Canada, as far as I understand it.

Karla - posted on 05/29/2012

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Janice,

What country are you in? I'm just curious because I recently read this:

The American Association on Mental Retardation continued to use the term mental retardation until 2006. In June 2006 its members voted to change the name of the organization to the "American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities," rejecting the options to become the AAID or AADD. Part of the rationale for the double name was that many members worked with people with pervasive developmental disorders, most of whom do not have mental retardation. In fact, a high school in Texas recalled their yearbook because of the use of the word to describe certain special education students.

I knew as recent as 2006 "Retardation" was used by an organization, but I didn't realize the medical community was still using it. Thanks for the info.

Oops, my source also says this:
In the United States, however, in school-based settings, the more specific term mental retardation is still typically used, and is one of 13 categories of disability under which children may be identified for special education services.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 05/29/2012

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Mental retardation is a basic term, when they are unsure of what it is exactly or they are lumping several mental disabilities into one, like for the purpose of a course or generalized explanation. A doctor does not diagnose with "mental retardation". Once they do more testing, they get a better understanding and they give a correct diagnoses.



ETA:

As I said, you are not going to be labeled as "mentally retarded" as a single person. Which is what my understanding is of using the word "retard". It is singular. I suppose it may be different if you were speaking of a group of people and used "retards". Again, as individuals they now have accurate labels, which is not "mentally retarded".

Janice - posted on 05/29/2012

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Meme "If you brought your child to the doctor due to an impairment, the diagnoses written on paper, is not going to be "little Johnny is retarded". It just isn't used this way anymore. Trying to say it is still a term used to define these individuals is incorrect."

I'm going to have to disagree. Just about 2.5 years ago I took a course named "Individuals with Disabilities and Exceptionalities in the School and Community." In this class we specifically talked about mental retardation and the vary degrees of it, from mild retardation to profound retardation.
Mental retardation is still a very real term for those with limited brain capacity/ low IQ.
http://www.projectidealonline.org/mental...
http://www.naset.org/mentalretardation2....

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 05/29/2012

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No, it's all good. The only reason I am referencing the other thread is because it is the only time I have ever used it. Also, to show that I actually do not use the word for name calling, since I didn't then either.

If it was something I did constantly or even, every once in a while on COM, I could not reference anything. It really doesn't matter. I was just looking for clarification on why one side deserves understanding (which I agree on) but the other side does not. ;)

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/29/2012

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Really though, if you want to continue talking about another thread, lets take it to pm. We are NOT suppose to bring threads and debates from one thread to another. So really, lets end that part of this conversation now please.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/29/2012

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MeMe, I really think you need to re-read how that whole situation went down. I simply and clearly stated I do not like that word and please don't resort to calling people names. It went from there. It was no "freak out" or overly dramatic anything at that point....but it continued on both sides. It starts on page 11 as of now. The more people type, the further the pages go back.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 05/29/2012

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Karla---Meme: you brought that incident to this thread. Your use of it elsewhere only brought to my attention that anyone still uses the word to insult others or their ideas thus prompting this discussion. But you brought your use of it here.



You're correct. However, I am not just speaking of how I used it in the other thread. I have referenced it from the other thread but in general, I am speaking as well. Also, please remember, you started this thread within 30mins or so of the mishap in the other thread. Of course, I am still thinking about it. It was off topic in the other thread, so this was more appropriate. No?



Karla---Oh gosh, can you please explain how you could possibly know they were “being difficult” and not truly offended at the use of the word? Just because you explained yourself after the fact doesn’t erase the view that the word is offensive. Why would it? I haven’t changed my mind and I’m not going to start using it now, and your definition offers me little or no peace of mind that the word is harmless just ‘cause you say it is.



The way I see it is that, if someone uses a word, that another finds offensive, it is one thing to state that you don't like it but it is another to not consider that the person that used it, did not mean it that way. Yes, I get that "some" people find it offensive. I have no issue with that. What I am trying to get at is, to completely freak out because a term was used, rather than allow both sides to quickly say there piece and than move on with both sides understanding each other, would seem to me, to be more appropriate. I would still have known how someone else felt and I am not evil. I would have taken the hint right there and not used it again. I am considerate, especially when someone lets me know, when I have no way of knowing. However, I expect the chance to explain myself and I tried to do this, in the other thread but it was not good enough. I was just plain wrong! Which is a bit hard to swallow, since in my view I did not and do not feel I was. I could have swallowed it, IF the reaction was "I understand for you it is not offensive but for some of us it is". Unfortunately, this is not how it went. Instead, I was made to feel as though I was a bad person, which I know I am not, so I defended. Does this make sense? I hope so because it is a lot of typing...lol



This is no different than me not liking being referred to as "lady", when my name (or pseudo) is known. I did not dwell on it. I accepted your explanation and moved on. You now know I do not like it and I know how you truly meant it. ;)



Karla--If you would read this whole thread you would see that Lil Miss is NOT the only one who finds the word offensive. It’s not crazy, and it’s not acceptable to call names.



I get this too. There are also those, that do not find it offensive. Which should show both sides the difference of opinion. I get it. I get others can be offended. Which is why I have said I will refrain while on COM. I have yet to read anyone from the offending side, say they get that some people do not find it offensive and they understand it is not being used in ill thinking of the mentally disabled. If someone did write that, I must have missed it and I will apologize now.



So, please someone tell me now why the offended side thinks, those of us that do not find it offensive should understand where you are coming from but you do not want to even remotely understand, where the non-offended side is coming from? I think this is what I have been waiting for. Perhaps, it isn't going to happen. Which truly gives me a full understanding of consideration, I suppose. I mean saying, "well I guess it depends on the culture" but then turning around and demanding that it is offensive, doesn't quite cut it. I am not saying that you are in turn responding with it is "OK" to say but in all fairness, wouldn't it just make sense for the offended side to try and understand the non-offended? Just to notice that not everyone does take offense or use it in offense toward the mentally disabled? Maybe not and well, that is fine.



ETA:

I agree with shut up. It is not allowed in my home by anyone. It is disrespectful and I won't tolerate it. Actually, I don't tolerate any name calling per se. I have no issue when talking about an idea or thought but when it comes to be directed at an individual, no, unacceptable. I don't mind using they are "acting" like a loser or something like that, since it is in reference to an action. Never in reference to the actual person.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/29/2012

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OOohhhhhh...Karla I forgot the "shut up"!!! THAT was a trouble maker for sure when I was young. It was like BEGGING for a whooping!

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