We went to the movies today and saw Ted, it lived up to its previews and had lots of raunchy, potty humor. I must say that I did laugh quite a bit and actually enjoyed the movie up until the last part. As I was thinking I could not wait to come home and tell my online friends what a great and funny movie we had seen… there it was…Ted used the R-word. 😦 One word ruined the entire movie for me. I expressed my displeasure and unhappiness at hearing the word as soon as it was spoken. I was very glad it was at the end, because I am not sure I could have sat through the movie had it been at the beginning. I have been told that I am overreacting by people who simply do not understand how hurtful words can be. Perhaps this is Hollywood’s stance as well, and they do not want to admit the harm they are causing. I refuse to believe that they do not know, I simply think they do not care. It seems since it has always been used in a slanderous way, it just makes it okay in most people’s eyes. My question is… Why does it have to be demeaning and hurtful to be funny?
I will never understand why Hollywood continues to use such an offensive and hurtful word. Although the movie did not pull any punches and left no religion, ethnicity, stereotype, etc… unscathed, I guess I just expected more due to all the campaigns and awareness that have been occurring over recent years.
I have always detested the R-word, but as I have grown older, and more sensitive to others feelings, I simply HATE it! Now there is this big “negative attention feeds my image” crap going on in Hollywood, where celebrities are trying to make “Autistic” the new R-word. It is sad that people who could make such a positive difference in the lives of many, choose to use their “star power” to hurt and demean wonderful people. It not only saddens me, it sickens me, which is why I refuse to share any of the stories of outrage against their supposed ignorance, they know what they are saying and doing is wrong. It appears that they are only saying it to get attention, and I will not reward abhorrent behavior by spreading their name more. I cannot help but feel that they are simply cruel people who would throw anyone and anything under the bus, including making fun of innocent children, to add a few more dollars to their pockets.
I have been guilty in the past of alluding to developmental delays, disabilities, etc… when dealing with less than desirable interactions with people. Although I can look back now and see how horrible I was, and am thankful that only few heard my words, I am still very ashamed. I have had so many extraordinary individuals, who are part of the Special Needs Community, come in and out of my life, that I know I would not be the person I am today without them. My daughter and Goddaughter are proud members of the Special Needs community, and I support them with all that I am.
I pledge that I will no longer be the hypocrite who provides compassion and understanding, while still laughing at the hurtful, demeaning, ignorant references that are so accepted by society. I pledge that I will be that person, who reminds people that if they cannot use a word around anyone, at anytime, then perhaps they should not use that world at all. Until the rest of the world realizes the negative stereotypes and pain they are creating by demeaning others in the name of comedy, I guess I will have to stick to getting my laughs the good old-fashioned way, through my beautiful children who are not only my best teachers, but also wonderful motivation to be a better person. I pledge to be more mindful of the powerful weapon my tongue is, and to always Think before I Speak.
There is no better way to express how important ending the R-word is than to read the material on http://r-word.org/. Here is a sample from their FaceBook page: “Respectful and inclusive language is essential to the movement for the dignity and humanity of people with intellectual disabilities. However, much of society does not recognize the hurtful, dehumanizing and exclusive effects of the word ‘retard(ed).’ Language affects attitude. Attitudes affect outcomes. Make your pledge to use respectful people first language. http://r-word.org/”
Autism Proud – Journey With Us – by Jest Tu Positive by Dorothy Stronglove is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.