The R-Word ~ Part I

*I feel a little weird writing this. But I’m going to say what’s on my mind, because I am brutally honest. Brutally brutally honest.*

I use the word retarded. A lot. That’s hard to admit. But for the sake of my argument here, I have to admit it.

I have deleted what I’ve written like four or five times. I have hated everything that I’ve written because it either sounds flippant or like an apology. And I don’t need to apologize for how I feel.

 

To start. I find the fact that the movie to boycott at the moment uses the word retard over and over again, in a negative way. (Stay with me!) The blatant disregard for the fact that the word offends some people is unacceptable. I can’t stand that we find it completely unacceptable to poke fun of one group of people (which this movie thinks it was doing) but not another. We need to get equal opportunity hater-ade going. The movie repeatedly used the R-word, but removed the N-word, not just from the film, but from the script entirely. Because it didn’t want to offend people? What the hell?!

 

I was/am a fan of Carlos Mencia. He makes fun of EVERYONE. Which for the most part, is good. Laughing at ourselves is good for the soul and the self esteem. The problem is, we’re making it harder on ourselves to not take things so serious when we get scared of being sued. Of offending one group of people and not another. Don’t tell me one group of people’s feelings are more important than another simply because one group is bigger. I don’t care if you are white, black, purple, a member of Mensa, have downs syndrome, or are only three feet tall. If it’s okay to offend one, it HAS to be okay to offend the others.

 

The use and “meaning” of the R-word in the film is unacceptable. There is no need to reiterate some “point” and demean so many people. If the film so blatantly and verbally made fun of everyone else (which in my mind they don’t, simply by saying the N word crossed the line) I honestly don’t think I would be so upset.

 

One of my favorite movies? The Ringer. With freaking Johnny Knoxville. Whom I can’t stand. At first, I was sooo nervous to watch that movie. Because I hate when people make fun of my peeps. But when I watched it, it was good hearted ribbing, and was awesome! It wasn’t a touchy feely feel good movie. It wasn’t a tear jerker (I am Sam makes me bawl. Hysterically.) It was just a good, good hearted movie. I seriously found it a step in the “right” direction.

Black people are in movies with the stereotypes of their race, and they are funny. White people, well, don’t get me started on white people…

 

Although I believe words have no weight by themselves, not everyone feels this way. Words can hurt. And they do. And if we are going to tiptoe around some words because people get upset, let’s tiptoe around all the “hurtful” words. Equal opportunity hater-ade people.

 

Now let me tell you how I use the word retarded. The stupidest of the stupid. Not people. Mainly things, or rules, or crap people spew out of their pie holes when they don’t know what they are talking about. I was raised by my single father who probably has some sort of disability. But 55 years ago, he was just slow and didn’t want to learn. My sister was in MiMH classes my whole life. I helped out with Carl Erskine’s softball league for mentally and physically handicapped kids. I attended more Special Olympics that I can remember. Half of my world is “challenged”. And mostly I forget. Because I don’t care. I don’t befriend people who are at or above “my level”. It’s heart and soul and love and all those other cheesy chick flick things that make me befriend people. I do not have a friend that isn’t who they are 100%. I don’t know why I turned out this way.

 

I do know I want to raise my kids to have this part of me. Because it’s a part of me I love. And that’s what we pass down to our kids.

 

(Little Bill had a great response to name calling the other day. For all our children. No matter what. The response to name calling is simply “so”, because it’s just not true…unless you’re Little Z and call your sister a girl. Because that is such an insult!)

 

*For more on this, you can check out Melody, who has three boys that I want to steal. And Tammy, who also has a little boy I want as my own (Her actual post is here). Hubs says I need a son. I told him good luck with that.

~~I can’t leave this at just this. I’ll have another post about it later, because I think it’s important!~~

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3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Megan said,

    Tropic Thunder? I read about that. Dreamworks even met with groups, told the media it was so productive, and refused to do anything. They also said it’s meant to be ‘way over the top’. To each their own I guess? The movie just looks stupid altogether, so it’ll flop anyways.

    As for equal hatorage… Thank you. Yes.

  2. 2

    Faerylandmom said,

    I have to second your motion for equal opportunity hater-ade.

  3. 3

    Linda said,

    There’s nothing wrong with using the word retarded…if it’s used in context and properly. My friend has a son with Fragile-X – he’s moderately retarded and austistic to boot. She has blogged about the fact that he is retarded…because when you look up the word in the dictionary, it says:

    sometimes offensive : slow or limited in intellectual or emotional development or academic progress (from m-w.com)

    The word retard:
    1 : to slow up especially by preventing or hindering advance or accomplishment

    So…if your child’s accomplishment or advance is hindered, it is retarded…if your growth is slow or stopped, it is retarded.

    Those are proper contexts…and while the word does make people cringe, most are not offended by the PROPER use. But when one uses the word retard to describe someone, it becomes offensive. And that’s where this movie crosses the line. As was said in Melody’s post – there was no need to bring the “Simple Jack” story into this movie…but they did…and they push the boundaries of acceptable society by allowing this word to be used over and over and over.


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