6 responses to “Ableist Word Profile: Weak”

  1. MomTFH

    Thanks for another great installment.

    AS much of a fan as I am of the Rachel Maddow Show in general, her pop culture and comic relief sidekick Kent Jones is usually not as aware or sensitive as she tries to be. He has an ongoing bit where he identifies events or people as “weak!” in a pun on news of the week. It makes me cringe every time.
    .-= MomTFH´s last blog ..Reply turned post, conscience clauses can be OK style =-.

  2. Personal failure

    I am unable to lift more tham 10 lbs. Accurate, concise and a lot more descriptive than ” weak”.

  3. Jennifer Kesler

    I use “weak” to refer to people who lack moral fortitude, which is a bit different from any of the contexts you described, and so I’m still searching for a better alternative. For example, I’ve gotten into discussions with people who thinks bullies are “strong” people, and I say, no, bullies are “weak” and over-compensating for their lack of strength by mounting all-out offensives whenever they feel the least bit threatened.

    I think the concept I’m getting at there is “weak-willed.” What might be a good alternative? (That isn’t ALSO ableist, since as you point out, several of the synonyms are at least as bad.)
    .-= Jennifer Kesler´s last blog ..Links of Great Interest 11/06/09 =-.

  4. Jennifer Kesler

    This is a great discussion of the classical concept of characters being morally weak or strong, and how their moral character must be differentiated from their actions or effectiveness – i.e., a morally “strong” martyr may look less effective than a morally “weak” tyrant who takes over half the planet. Unfortunately, even Cherryh offers the terms “morally weak/strong” in quotes because, I assume, she can’t find a better term in English for it.

    (Which may be very telling, in an Orwellian sense. I’ve long felt US culture (and possibly others – I can only speak to my own country) has trouble distinguishing the quality of one’s achievements from the quality of one’s character.)
    .-= Jennifer Kesler´s last blog ..Links of Great Interest 11/06/09 =-.

  5. Jennifer Kesler

    Sorry for double-posting, but a link to the article I was talking about might have been helpful. 😀

    .-= Jennifer Kesler´s last blog ..Links of Great Interest 11/06/09 =-.