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Old 02-23-2007, 05:15 PM   #61
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Originally posted by joyfulgirl


I say "that's so retarded" too sometimes and it has absolutely nothing to do with the handicapped. I am also a fairly left-wing liberal as most of you know and even have neices with Down's syndrome. I just think these words have evolved past their original derogatory meanings and unless used in a pejorative way directly towards gays and the handicapped they really have no connection anymore.
Hmm...I think I would tend to disagree. If the term "retarded" had evolved so much that it no longer would be applied to someone with mental handicaps, I'd probably agree with you. But that's not the case. It may not have a connection for the person who is using the term as a slur, but it very well may for someone who is mentally retarded, or someone who is gay. Thus, I think it's a great idea to try and show kids that saying "that's gay" or "that's retarded" is an insensitive, potentially offensive way of communicating. Should we prosecute people for saying these things? That's ridiculous.

Am I devastated when one of my students tells his friend who is acting like an idiot that he's "retarded"? No. I know that he doesn't mean that his friend is actually mentally retarded. But depending on what I've been going through that week with my daughter, it's sometimes upsetting. There's a good chance my daughter will wear that label some day (she's still too young to be diagnosed anything other than "Globally Developmentally Delayed"), so I would honestly be more at peace if fewer 8th graders were throwing that term around at each other.
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Old 02-23-2007, 05:16 PM   #62
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Let's all go read Baudrillard's Simulacra and Simulation.

Good times, guys.
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Old 02-23-2007, 05:20 PM   #63
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Originally posted by Justin24
Yes. I don't know why you get so offended so easily.
Who said I was offended? All I've done is ask you questions as to why is this word being used synonymous with 'stupid'. You've chosen to ignore those questions.



Quote:
Originally posted by Justin24

If people get offended by words, why not be a mute society?
Sometimes your leaps of logic confuse me. Do you honestly think words don't hurt?
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Old 02-23-2007, 05:21 PM   #64
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Originally posted by Justin24
Yes. I don't know why you get so offended so easily. If people get offended by words, why not be a mute society?
If people get offended by words, why not use different words?

Or to put it more generally, why not put someone else's good ahead of my own?

Just asking questions here.
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Old 02-23-2007, 05:24 PM   #65
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The school district in question added "that's so gay" among other phrases to their offensive language policy after a gay student was assaulted by another student. So in their case it's not simply a question of words, I don't think.
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Old 02-23-2007, 05:26 PM   #66
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar


Who said I was offended? All I've done is ask you questions as to why is this word being used synonymous with 'stupid'. You've chosen to ignore those questions.

Sometimes your leaps of logic confuse me. Do you honestly think words don't hurt?

Word's do hurt but I don't think what she said was in anyway offensive.

Why is Gay synonymous with stupid? Because words can have different meanings. If you go to Mexico they have different meaning for words, if you go to guatemala, same deal.
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Old 02-23-2007, 05:27 PM   #67
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Quote:
Originally posted by yolland
The school district in question added "that's so gay" among other phrases to their offensive language policy after a gay student was assaulted by another student. So in their case it's not simply a question of words, I don't think.
Ok but why go after this one student only, instead of having a school wide assembly?
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Old 02-23-2007, 05:32 PM   #68
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Not sure I understand the question...I don't have any reason to think she's the only student who ever got in trouble under this policy. I do gather this is the first time anyone has sued over it however.
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Old 02-23-2007, 05:35 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally posted by Justin24
If people get offended by words, why not be a mute society?
People will still be able to speak, through sign language or just by pen and paper, or by using the computer. You don't have to be able to speak to offend someone.
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Old 02-23-2007, 05:37 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally posted by yolland
Not sure I understand the question...I don't have any reason to think she's the only student who ever got in trouble under this policy. I do gather this is the first time anyone has sued over it however.
But why now?? I would hope the bring more suits to people who use other language deemed offensive and not just her.
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Old 02-23-2007, 05:39 PM   #71
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Originally posted by Irvine511
okay, so i have a weird time with this stuff.

i remember a year or so ago a friend of mine was finishing up his undergrad and was working on a group project at his house. i was over at the time, and someone said something to the effect of, "yo, what's up with all this gay-assesd weather?"

i mean, honestly, what does that mean? needless to say, it became a joke from then on in between myself and my friend. everything was "gay-assed" -- coffee, the news, socks, cell phones -- because it was so silly.

it's not hateful, but it is derogatory, and it makes you sound like a fucking fool to think that "gay" is a word that can be used in the pejorative.

however, i am fine with using "gay" to describe somethings. i'd call "Dreamgirls" gay, as well as "African-American." i'd call Drag Shows gay. i'd call many Westerns gay. i'd call nearly half the clothes in Banana Republic gay. gay is now a very clear cultural niche, and a straight person can wear gay, or see gay, or listen to gay, and not have it mean a thing about his sexuality.

so, to extend this, i would say that i did just buy a really gay pair of Pumas yesterday at DSW. wow, what a gay sentence. and i'm fine with that. because i'm acknowledging the stereotype/niche while i am fully aware that it's not all-encompassing, and that the non-gay can easily consume that which might be termed gay without much of a problem in the same way that i get tremendous (guilty) pleasure out of the new Beyonce single (which is also kind of gay).

so ... yes, if i were a middle school teacher and i heard someone using "gay" as interchangeable with "stupid" or, worse, "retarded," then i'd call him out on that. it's inappropriate, and it's less for the benefit of someone in the class who might have a gay uncle or lesbian mothers and more to make sure the kid doesn't walk around thinking that kid of language is acceptable and he makes an ass out of himself.

but it is slippery. when someone says "gay-assed shit," they don't mean gay as in homosexual, unless they're saying that "Moulin Rouge was a really gay-assed movie," which it kind of was, but then just how derogatory is that?

whatever. y'all can puzzle out this gay-assed shit yourselves.
Good one.
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Old 02-23-2007, 05:42 PM   #72
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Originally posted by Spiral_Staircase


Hmm...I think I would tend to disagree. If the term "retarded" had evolved so much that it no longer would be applied to someone with mental handicaps, I'd probably agree with you. But that's not the case. It may not have a connection for the person who is using the term as a slur, but it very well may for someone who is mentally retarded, or someone who is gay. Thus, I think it's a great idea to try and show kids that saying "that's gay" or "that's retarded" is an insensitive, potentially offensive way of communicating. Should we prosecute people for saying these things? That's ridiculous.

Am I devastated when one of my students tells his friend who is acting like an idiot that he's "retarded"? No. I know that he doesn't mean that his friend is actually mentally retarded. But depending on what I've been going through that week with my daughter, it's sometimes upsetting. There's a good chance my daughter will wear that label some day (she's still too young to be diagnosed anything other than "Globally Developmentally Delayed"), so I would honestly be more at peace if fewer 8th graders were throwing that term around at each other.
Point well taken. I should have clarified I only use phrases like that with my friends in casual conversation. My point was that these words can be used in ways that have nothing to do with sexuality or mental aptitude. But when I am in a situation in which I could be viewed as a role model, I certainly would not use them. And it's rare that I use "retarded" at all.

I guess I tend to get a bit exasperated in general with PC language. The Native Americans I work with (many people from many tribes) prefer to be called "Indians" and I guess I don't see how that insults people from India. My black friends prefer to be called "black." My gay friends don't mind the word "fag" if it isn't mean-spirited.

But your point about why not simply use another word if it could avoid offending someone is probably the best bet (and the most selfless and compassionate) and one I can't argue with except to say that amongst friends we just aren't always so cautious with our language.
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Old 02-23-2007, 05:44 PM   #73
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Quote:
Originally posted by Justin24



Word's do hurt but I don't think what she said was in anyway offensive.

Why is Gay synonymous with stupid? Because words can have different meanings. If you go to Mexico they have different meaning for words, if you go to guatemala, same deal.
You aren't answering the question. I'm well aware words have different meanings.

But WHY 'gay' with 'stupid'? So tell me the WHY!!!
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Old 02-23-2007, 05:46 PM   #74
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a serious question: don't we now say "special needs" instead of "retarded"?

my mother was a special ed teacher, so we grew up never, ever using the word "retarded" to mean anything bad (it was the equivalent of the n-word in my house), but it does seem as if that word isn't used to describe mentally handicapped/special needs people any more.

i still don't use retarded much at all, and it's interesting, but i would never use it to ever describe a person, but i might use it to describe a situation -- i.e., "these MapQuest directions are retarded!"

but even then, not so much.

that said, in light of my earlier post, i'll boil it all down: i don't like it when people use gay to mean stupid; but i'm fine if people use gay to describe things that are indeed a part of what's known as gay culture, and the more insulting thing is to scold someone for calling, say, "Moulin Rouge" gay, because the assumption, then, is that gay things are bad.

if that makes any gay-assed sense.

also, as for what JFG said, i find it okay amongst those who i'd consider socially savvy, to use the word "fag," and when i use it i am referring to a very specific kind of gay person.

take Scissor Sisters.

to a gay person, i'd refer to Jake Shears as a skinny fag, and not mean anything bad about it, because that's what he looks like and that's the role he's playing:



and, likewise, i'd refer to Babydaddy as a bear, because that's what he looks like (and the bears do love him).

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Old 02-23-2007, 05:49 PM   #75
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar


You aren't answering the question. I'm well aware words have different meanings.

But WHY 'gay' with 'stupid'? So tell me the WHY!!!
I don't know? You answer that. will it be because they think gay people are stupid? Will that be your answer?
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