Monday, February 23, 2009

What do you say to the 'R' word?

I noticed a couple of other bloggers have blogged about having to deal with the 'R' word.I attended a womens breakfast on Saturday and a young woman in her 20's commented on something being"So retarded." I didn't say anything to her and I thought of all my bloggy friends and wondered what would some of you have done?So,what would you have said and when?

10 comments:

SunflowerMom said...

You know, I wince when I hear it and if it is someone close to me that I spend a lot of time with I might say something just to hopefully avoid hearing it again. For a random person, I just try to ignore them.

It is definitely something that I didn't feel sensitive to before my son was born, but now I am.

Lovin Mama said...

My dad used it yesterday when we were on the phone. I said "Daaaad?!" His brother is mentally challenged so you'd think he would know better. If you've seen Gran Torino my Dad is a lot like Clint Eastwood's character.

My brother has said it a couple times and then he gets very uncomfortable like he realizes he shouldn't be saying it.

JaybirdNWA said...

I try to ignore it and then proceed to ignore/avoid the person/s who use the word. Then again, I don't have a lot of tolerance for people who use words incorrectly. The word is still offensive but I am better able to tolerate it when it is used in context with its correct meaning. But then again, there are many words that are used incorrectly.

Lisa said...

Hmmm, this is a tough one. Honestly, I think my 12-year-old son probably has more cajones than I do. Shortly after Finn was born, I was on the phone with someone - someone who KNEW that Finn has Ds - and she said something like "I'm so retarded . . ." and I just froze. I felt angry and hurt and all kinds of other stuff, but I didn't say anything. I'd like to think that now that I am farther along on this journey that I could be a better advocate and not freeze up if someone used the term in my presence, but I just don't know.

It's hard, Cheryl, just hard.

Linda said...

I try not to let the word bother me that much. Most of the time the person using the word is ignorant, or unaware. They haven't even thought about what they're saying. They don't realize that the word might be hurtful to someone, and they're not talking about anyone that has any type of delay. My sister used to say retarded all the time until I talked to her about it. She was blown away that I talked to her about it because she said that she didn't mean anything by it and she MOST CERTAINLY wasn't talking about my daughter. I told her that she was actually talking about my daughter whether she knew it or not as people with DS have either mild or severe mental retardation. She doesn't say it anymore. I haven't found a way to say anything to someone that I barely know without making a huge issue out of it. That might do more harm than good. It is hard. I just try to consider people's intent. If their intent isn't to hurt, and you know that, maybe try not to let it bother you so much. Which is still hard. Just my opinion, and most people think I'm wrong about this.

Cathy said...

If it's someone who I don't really know and who probably won't ever have a relationship with Lily, I usually keep my mouth shut. Oh, don't get me wrong, I'm ticked on the inside...just not all that confrontational.

On the other hand, if it's someone that we are close to, I do talk to them. I try to do it in a matter of "educating them"...not putting them down for using it.

COOLWHIP said...

It doesn't bother me. I think that people are not saying it to be disrespectful. I wouldn't want them to stop being who they were just because I have a daughter with DS. Or, change what they feel comfortable with. I guess I'm a minority when it comes to things like that, but I chose a long time ago, I can be bothered by other peoples words and actions, or I can chose to not worry about it. It's much different when someone is saying it about my daughter, to be mean. But that has never happened, and I don't count on it ever happeneing. Having Eva, did not automatically sign me up for a cause. It takes all sorts, and not every one thinks the way I do, and I don't expect them to abide by my rules.

Jill said...

I don't consider my son 'retarded' anyway, so it doesn't bother me at all. I have a brother who is homosexual, and I sometimes say...'that is so gay!' right in front of him....erp....who's retarded?

Debbie Yost said...

I don't know in that situation. I really don't hear that word much, thankfully. However, my daughter hears it a lot and she usually speaks up. She's 12. She did overhear a teacher say it recently, but since she didn't know that teacher she didn't say anything. I did call the school and talk to the principal about it. To some extent it's how they use the word. I don't want to hear it, ever, but if it's used as in that's stupid, I'd probably let it go, but if someone said he's acting so "r" then I hope I will speak up.

Chrystal said...

Ugh. My comment got "eaten."

In a nutshell, I let people that I know well or come in contact with often know that when they use that word it hurts me. I feel I owe them that because if they care about me, they wouldn't knowingly put me through that kind of pain.

My theory on this topic continues to evolve as I move through this journey.