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!! OMG, we want your opinion: R-Word debate !!

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Yesterday when we posted Glee cast members Jane Lynch and Lauren Potter’s PSA for R-Word.org, we didn’t expect to get as much backlash in the comments section as we did.
It made us wonder about the different points of views on this issue, so we opened a discussion at !! omg social club !! about it.
Is it okay to call something “retarded” or would you be worried about offending people? Please come share your views on the R-Word.

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comments

    It’s always interesting how debates like this tend to provoke angry responses – and I was struck by the aggressive and offensive language in comments in the original thread by some people who think there’s nothing wrong with calling people “retarded”. Unfortunately, when you resort to name-calling, you kind of lose the argument.
    I won’t be using “retarded” because, despite the origins of the word, it is now strongly associated with people who have learning difficulties. It’s picking on an easy target, who can’t fight back.
    Some people will continue to use it, and argue their right to use it – just as some people argued their right to have slaves or imprison gay people. Social change is always difficult, especially if you’re the one getting left behind. And I kind of feel sorry for those people on this one – intellectualise your “right” to be offensive as much as you like, but offensive people aren’t generally much fun to be around, and you can’t take them anywhere.
    They’re even less fun than the boring “PC” people who they think are trying to take over the world.

    Hi Mike,
    You make an interesting point. The main reason I invited discussion on this topic is because the R-word is in such common usage. Most people have said it or still say it, and awareness of its potential to offend is still relatively small, compared to “faggot” or the N-word.
    I made our official position clear. We used to use it, now we don’t, primarily because we were made aware of its hurtfulness by our readers.
    We don’t always change our editorial policy when someone is offended, but we view this particular word on the same level as slurs leveled at gays and racial minorities.
    However, I think given how intertwined the R-word is in popular culture (I would argue that it’s more commonly used than the mainstream derogatory use of the word “gay”), it’s worthy of a discussion. I personally don’t think you can change someone’s point of view through preaching at them, and that’s not our style anyway.
    What’s interesting is that many of the most outspoken people in the discussion think that using the R-word is okay. Would you like to offer your point of view?
    Please do join the discussion here:
    http://www.omgsocialclub.com/forum/topics/is-the-rword-inappropriate
    xo Frank

    What if a non-gay site opened up a discussion thread for “different points of view” on using the word “faggot”? Would that be appropriate? If not, why are we doing that with the word “retarded” here?

    When we are asking people not to use ‘gay’ to describe things that are lame, then surely we need to stop using ‘retarded’ similarly when we know how much it bothers many people.
    I’ve done my best to banish it from my vocabulary, and find plenty of other words left to use. Have even reacquainted myself with some old good ones: asinine, absurd, and ridiculous.

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