Earlier today I posted this on a social media page (of which I am NOT linking — yes I very much value anonymity, especially since most of my followers are those who are not acquainted with me; and the few friends very dear to me which have been furnished the link to this blog, find it too je ne sais pas because not one has remarked with feedback once they have the link).
“Mental Retardation” replaced by “Intellectual Disability” — For all those who gripe about “politically correct” words, if you don’t understand why words are important and can hurt, you obviously have not been subject to a minority experience. This should have been changed two decades ago. At least it’s progress. Read Change in Terminology: “Mental Retardation” to “Intellectual Disability”
Man 1 of whom is not someone I know beyond the social media site commented:
Initially being mentally retarded was a medical condition. Someone then used the medical definition as an insult. Changing the name of the condition does little to stop people from insulting one another.
It does, however, give rise to new insult.
Man 2 also someone I do not know beyond the social media site added his comment: Oh, this is just silly.
This is what I officially responded with:
I wrote a long passionate response, and decided not to post it in this medium. If one chooses to make oneself look like a jerk, the freedom of speech does permit that. By all means, speak your bigoted mind. It needs some exercise.
Here’s what I wanted to say and then decided to bite my tongue and keep the biting remark simple and short. I wanted to publish it somewhere. I’m sure it’ll offend. I won’t apologize for this one.
Good points. Yes, I’m very aware of the history of the diagnosis of mental retardation in the medical field and it’s manipulation and improper use of it by the common person. I chose to express my support for the official change, and to those that know me well know I’m decently educated on the history of mental retardation, mental illnesses, and mental disabilities. All of which are now grouped as Intellectual Disability. A few sources mentioned people if authority labeled Einstein as mentally retarded in his formative years. Medical diagnosis and the health service industry are not always sensitive. Just because someone holds a nice title or rank does not justify the use of established bigotry by them or by others. Especially when they are not informed of the context and connotations.
There’s always a way to insult people. If such behaviors are chosen, at least the new term makes the jerks have to think of a better insult, thus exercising their brain rather than regurgitate age old bigotry. Telling someone “U R returded” is a poor delivery of and insult. Too many times have I corrected insults I received to the point where the originator looks stupid and I look like the bully.
I don’t mind feedback. Glad to see people use their brains even if it’s not in ways I agree with. I politely decllne on further responses to the subject. I’m okay with people having prejudices, stereotypes, and crap. It’s sort of like religion, I gave up trying to educate people on how their views suck and wanting to make waves of change. I’ve resolved to asserting when confronted.
On a side note, I’m pretty sure Intellectual Disability is going to be subject to remarks tied to Freud since Freud’s work explored the ego and the ID, so abbreviations are going to be tossed around and the common person will find ways to not only make fun of Intelletual Disabilities, but also Freud and sexual dysfunctions — all because they are not informed and don’t attempt to be.
I’m not sure Intellectual Disability is a good term either. I’m afraid the alternatives are worse.