A brief PSA on language
So many people have complained that it is asking too much of abled people to stop using words they consider trivial: crazy, insane, lunatic, idiot, moron, dumb, blind, etc.
I beg to differ.
You know what is really damn easy? Erasing these words from your vocabulary. All you have to do is stop saying them.
You know what is really hard?
Confronting people on their use of same language.
We aren’t even asking you to do the hard work. We aren’t asking you to tell other people to stop using that language. We aren’t asking you to confront other people on their use of that language. We aren’t asking you to explain why it is problematic, to answer people’s questions, to deal with their redirection tactics, or to handle the attacks on and harassment of the people negatively affected by that language that such confrontations always seem to draw.
You don’t have to take the brunt of it. You don’t have to deal with the negative consequences. You don’t have to face employment discrimination, street harassment, caretaker abuse, and other people’s general cluelessness about our lives. You get to sit tight in your privilege, enjoying it without even realizing you’re doing it.
All you have to do is cut a few words out of your speaking and/or writing vocabulary. That’s it.
We’re the ones who are putting our safety on the line trying to change the cultural system that oppresses us.
Two seconds to reconsidering what you’re really trying to say? Easy.
Changing other people’s deep-seated attitudes? Really damn hard.
How do you think we feel when you complain that two seconds is just tooooo haaaaard for you to take on?
By amandaw 20 November, 2009. 101, activism, justice, language, social attitudes ableism, assholes, culture, essential concepts, feminism, fuck that, i thought you were supposed to be my ally, justice, language, privilege, privilege-check, problematic attitudes, shaming, social treatment, speak up, stereotypes, things people say