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4 years ago I wrote a post called Retard. Read that one first, I guess.
I’m in all these special needs groups on Facebook. There’s rarely an absence of at least one person losing their minds because they heard/saw someone say “retard”. I recently saw a woman posting a huge load of screenshots of a public showdown she had with some guy on Facebook (a place known for facilitating the intellectual awakening of ignorant folk) and -man- did she tear him a new hole.
And it leads me to ask…
People, what is going on?!?
Exactly WHEN did we start being cool with policing everyone and waging holy war on anyone and everyone who doesn’t agree with us, behave according to our beliefs, adhere to our worldview, et cetera? When did it start being not ok to be offended once in a while?
Listen, retard isn’t a nice word to lots of folks. I imagine the ones using it like it just fine. But if one is not a fan, I’m guessing that one’s distain has something to do with the Golden Rule? That we shouldn’t use that word because we need to show care and empathy for others? So in what universe do we say “you’re breaking the golden rule and making me feel sad, you asshole! Stop using mean words, you contemptible dickwad! Be nice – like me!”
Model the behaviour you’d like to see. It’s a basic rule and even works on toddlers (but not husbands)
We simply cannot police others and force them to behave as we want them to. Not even our spouses. Anyone who’s been through couples therapy will know that trying to control another person is an illness. And yes, I do see irony in the fact that this post is about me policing people who are angry about the word retard. But to take on every person who uses a word you don’t like is to live your life in a constant state of anger and, frankly, I like to channel that emotional vigour into taking care of my special needs kid. And writing witty blog posts. If I have time on my hands, you’ll find me taking a nap. Not fighting online with an ignoramus I don’t even know.
The only person you can control is yourself.
If you hear someone say something you don’t like, maybe get some thick skin, grow up, (wo)man up. There are 7 billion people in the world. Some people don’t have the emotional intelligence to know that “retard” or “that’s so gay” aren’t phrases loved by 100% of people. And you know, lots of people use slurs on purpose because they know that it offends. They are trying to offend. Are you gonna give them what they want?