What’s Retarded?

Pot, meet Kettle.

I’ve seen this in numerous blogs that I read, and I have never felt offended by the use of the word in the context of which it is used, because it is a real word, with a real meaning.  I do not like it used in the non-PC manner in which it was used until the 70’s or 80’s when disabled became less of a misnomer than retarded.

Yesterday a blogger I read & enjoy on a daily basis, posted a gripe about her neighbors leaving their garbage cans out in front of their house 24/7.  The blog entry has gotten nearly as many comments as the entry she wrote about the over publicity that Luna, the dog, got back when.  Since that entry, I’ve gotten used to the rude comments, and personal attacks people make behind a computer screen.  Kristi even discussed having a thicker skin & not taking things personally at the Media 2010 conference.  It’s great advice.

Today, things got REALLY personal with the use of the word, retarded. 

I understand some people are offended by its use, much like I am offended with the use of the “N” word, although I am not black.  I am not offended by the use of the word, retarded, unless it is aimed as a direct slam against a person with a disability.  People who say things like, “that was so retarded,” or “I can’t believe you said something so retarded,” does not bother me.  Today an individual online made the comment, “i believe on one of the topics in the past you said one of your best friends had MS, i’m sure they would appreciate you using the word.”

As an individual with an illness that many times is a precursor to MS, as well as a family member with severe MS, I was offended by this, so much so that I had to stop myself from crying.  The individual that is so upset about using the word, retarded, in its proper context just referred, albeit indirectly, to an individual with MS as retarded.  Really?  Why would someone with MS be offended specifically outside someone without MS?

I am offended by this assertion!  People, get it together!  I understand that some people are offended by some things that others are not.  Hell, if we all verbalized our displeasure about certain words, comments, and attacked others based on their use of said offensive term, we would not be able to get along as a society AT ALL!

I admit that I’ve used a term that I was called out for by a friend of mine, who actually gave the reason why it offended her, and not the simple “that offends me.”  It is so easy to say that something offends you, but why?  It would help some of us understand why a certain word or phrase offends you so much that you need to say something about it, and harp on people about saying it.  When you’re rude about it, people, by nature, are going to continue to use it as a mockery.  Yeah, it’s childish, but it happens.  So, be the bigger person and just move on.  We aren’t forcing you to read, or comment.

I know that when someone says something that offends me and I tell them why, they are usually cool with that, and will keep it in mind.  If they use it again, I’m not going to harp on them.  I will assume their either being an insensitive ass, or simply forgot it, because some people have been using certain terms for several years, and it’s difficult to get out of the habit.

So, what is offensive to you & why?  I’m always wanting to know these things.

Here’s #1 for me – as stated above:

The N-word. Why? Because it is used as a derogatory term describing people of a certain race/nationality.  The ONLY definition I find for it is: (ethnic slur) extremely offensive name for a Black person.  It has NO OTHER USE!  This is why it offends me, so if you ever meet me, and are simply talking about things that you like/don’t like, even if you’re black, please don’t use that term.


About Kari

I live in the Capital Region of NY, work for NYS, and am just beginning to blog. I was recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, so that's going to take up some content. I've been writing for as long as I can remember, and I am an opinionated person. Thus there will be some items that burn me up, that I simply want to play devil's advocate, or daily/personal items. I also Tweet (@Marilyth) when the mood strikes me in 140 characters or less. I'm doing this for fun, and I hope other appreciate the information and contribute!
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4 Responses to What’s Retarded?

  1. The comparison says more about the person making it than any aspect of their argument. It says that they’re typical of the internet: arguing for the sake of arguing. Nobody who would truly be offended by the term “retarded” would in turn make the insinuation that people with MS fall into that category.

    • By the by: you already named one of my peeves. The other two are “Sp*c” and “Ch*nk”. There’s just so much hate and bile in those words whenever they’re said.

      • Kari says:

        Kevin: I agree with those words. I wonder how I grew up to be half-way decent sometimes, as my dad and his friends (who were products of the 50’s & used the terms openly in Vietnam)then would use it on a regular basis when they got together. When I was older, I actually told my dad not to say it. That was hard!

  2. Jessica R says:

    Ok, I have to say it. Even though I know V-day is about “reclaiming the word” – I despise the use of the word Cunt.

    I am still trying to wrap my head around that person’s comment. Are the dumb, and think that someone with MS is mentally disabled (the PC word for “retarded”), or are they saying that someone might see someone with MS on the street and assume that they were mentally disabled? If it’s the later, it’s a VERY insensitive viewpoint, and it seems like something that was said just to get to Kristi.

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