Thursday, January 19, 2012

Speaking Up...

I am not a person who likes to make waves. I tend to go with the flow and, I'm ashamed to admit, I care a little too much if people "like" me. Tonight I casually and quickly spoke up in an online group I've been a part of since before Gavin was born after an online friend used the word "retarded". She didn't mean any harm and was talking about something totally benign. I didn't mean to make her feel bad (as I know that word is often casually used...as much as "gay" is used) but I had to speak up. I will never change the world...this I know. But I'd like to at least TRY to tell those closest to me that the word "retarded" is something that offends me...and my family. I'd just like to feel I'm doing my part...one friend at a time...to change people's feelings about that word. There are so many other words to use in so many different languages.

I can't be eloquent describing why I feel strongly about that word tonight. My comment ended up being taken the wrong way and after listening to someone defend their use of the word "retarded", I felt it was best I leave this group. So I'm a little shocked...and sad...and scratching my head wondering what year this is. I hope that the next time I actually have the courage to make waves and stand up for something I feel strongly about it won't go this poorly.

Since I am not feeling eloquent, but want to spread the word...please read one of my favorite posts by my favorite blogging friend, Ellen. And please...no one is perfect, certainly not me. But please try to be aware of hurtful words in your vocabulary. If not for me, then for Gavin.


And please, I beg you, don't leave any mean comments.
I just can't handle it.



7 comments:

  1. Kate, as witness to the exchange you're referencing, I want to say I'm sorry. I'm sorry we don't live in time where someone can *very* politely voice a concern over something, and not be met with criticism and rudeness. It just plain isn't fair. For what it's worth, I'm proud of you for standing up for what you believe in.

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  2. I love you, Kate. I hope that you'll rejoin if and when you are ready. If not, I'll just have to look forward to my morning email from Chasing Rainbows and add you to my "Stalk on Facebook" list :-) .

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  3. I feel you, Kate, and am proud you stood up strongly. Words and phrases like "retarded," "that's so gay," don't fly in our house either. In the 70's, when affronted with the over (and insulting) use of the term "cripple," my Dad had very colorful ways of handling users of it... and a particular shirt, that I have no idea where he managed to find it (not suitable for this website, LOL)

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  4. I'm sorry you had to endure that, proud of you for speaking your mind, and shocked that this became a "thing." Why is it so hard to understand how this word can be hurtful?! Why do people get so defensive? I can only imagine how polite you were when you said something. I know what happened is haunting you, but you should feel good that you made your point.

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  5. I spoke up about this same issue on a website that calls itself "Laughter is the best medicine" or something like that. I thought that by liking their page, I would see something to make me laugh. I saw the R word on a picture and told them that I was going to dislike their page. They told me that they were glad that I was going to follow them anymore. They said that I was easily offended. I have a good friend with a special needs child, and I will continue to defend that word for as long as I live. Unfortunately my boss uses it, and I can't afford to lose my job, so I am not sure what to do when she says it. Any advice would be great!

    I love your blog by the way and I pray that you get everything that you want in life!

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  6. Dear Kate,

    I applaud you for speaking up too many of don't want to offend anyone so we trap our own voices.

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