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Outrider

Mental retardation

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Is an obsolete medical term.

https://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/intellectual-disability-mental-retardation

 

Quote

 

Intellectual disability (ID), once called mental retardation, is characterized by below-average intelligence or mental ability and a lack of skills necessary for day-to-day living. People with intellectual disabilities can and do learn new skills, but they learn them more slowly. There are varying degrees of intellectual disability, from mild to profound.

What is intellectual disability?

Someone with intellectual disability has limitations in two areas. These areas are:

  • Intellectual functioning. Also known as IQ, this refers to a person’s ability to learn, reason, make decisions, and solve problems.
  • Adaptive behaviors. These are skills necessary for day-to-day life, such as being able to communicate effectively, interact with others, and take care of oneself.

 

As such it troubles me to see several members use it in insulting ways. Please do not do this! 

 

http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/110774-harvey-weinstein/?page=6

DrP said

Quote

Totally fucking retarded law (by proper definition of the word - retarded, held back, out of date, backwardly progressive, behind with the times etc..).

 You had plenty of synonyms. Why did you go with the most offensive term.

http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/110774-harvey-weinstein/?page=7

iNow said

Quote

 

Yeah yeah. MSNBC bad. Stupid libtards. Haha. I’m acting like a 12 year old... Two steps forward, one step back, I suppose. 

 

 

 

 

I know you were mocking others and you would never intentionally hurt defenseless innocents. But cause pain you almost certainly did.

http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/110513-breaking-the-rules-heavy-chemical-elements-alter-theory-of-quantum-mechanics/?page=3

Dubbelosix said

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Ok I am sorry, but I didn't say he was retarded, I asked why he was acting like he was when I knew he wasn't. Bad judgement call, sorry.

Not to speak to much for Phi for All here but I think the use of the word was as much of a problem as the insult was. IMO it was.

https://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/4896444
 

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As these two words are now commonly used? They are (at all times), meant as a euphemistic put-down. And the genesis of the “put-down” itself is based on disparaging a population of special needs individuals who have always been viewed as inferior to the person mouthing the words: “retard” and “retarded.”

snip

Those being used are the original population of special needs individuals who served as the catalyst for this kind of disparaging vitriol in the first place. They are those kids who ride on the smaller school bus. The ones who have personal space, proximity issues. The ones who talk funny. The ones with flat faces. The ones who drool. The ones who talk to themselves. And most importantly, many of those with intellectual disabilities are defenseless to this 

Quote

 

Edited by Outrider
Still can't get rid of the empty quote box.

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I neither invented the term libtard nor was casting aspersions using it. I was instead parodying the person to whom I was replying in that thread.

Now, to be quite clear, I agree 100% with the need to fully abandon the term retarded and also fully support your core request in this thread... myself having regularly castigated and requested the exact same thing of others repeatedly through the years. 

Retarded is a term that belongs in the graveyard of human linguistics, and I very much applaud the fact that you stood up here to openly say so. I’m just sorry that you took my quote in the context you did. 

Edited by iNow

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And parody is usually an insult. If you are saying there was no other way to make your point I will say ok. I won't believe you but I will say ok. By your own admission the word and all related words should be abandoned. I believe there are words for which there is no context that makes it ok. I believe this is one of those words.

 

iNow it was just a mistake and you make very few and I have tremendous respect for you but if you can't admit it. I will lose some of that respect.

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I, for one, don't see the fuss about using the word. I've used it here and I use it in my daily life. 

The word literally means ''slow''. Did you know that ''idiot'', ''moron'' and ''cretin'' are synonyms? As far as I know, they also used to be medical terms which all referred to people of low intelligence until they became general terms for insulting. So why is there a fuss about ''retarded'' and not ''moron'', for example?

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Indeed. It is a word that is very widely used in engineering and other fields. I don't see that changing just because it is also used as an insult. 

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46 minutes ago, Lord Antares said:

 

The word literally means ''slow''. Did you know that ''idiot'', ''moron'' and ''cretin'' are synonyms? 

As a medical term, strictly speaking, Cretin meant someone  who suffered from congenital hypothyroidism. They had other symptoms alongside learning difficulties. The word is derived from "Christianus".

The other words have also been used to describe particular degrees of impairment.

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1 hour ago, John Cuthber said:

The word is derived from "Christianus".

Is that rather like the modern euphemism "Bless [your heart]"to imply that someone isn't too bright?

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There are valid uses of the term, no doubt, but our OP seems to be referring to the uses intended to insult and we should likely focus this discussion there.

I, for one, agree with him and am deeply sympathetic to his request having changed my own usage of the term after someone with a disability maturely and bravely explained to me the hurt I was causing in them. I respect the character it took to speak up and respected them enough to adjust my behavior accordingly  

There is a vast spectrum of mental abilities and handicaps. In our recent past, we lumped them all together and threw them into asylums calling them each retarded... one broad generalizing brush that caused us to miss their individual talents and capabilities. This happened whether they had severe deficits or minor ADD or OCD or landed somewhere on the autism spectrum.

We’ve been told that the term retarded is both inaccurate and hurtful. For all but the biggest idiots among us, that should be enough to change... shouldn’t it?

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21 minutes ago, iNow said:

There are valid uses of the term, no doubt, but our OP seems to be referring to the uses intended to insult and we should likely focus this discussion there.

I, for one, agree with him and am deeply sympathetic to his request having changed my own usage of the term after someone with a disability maturely and bravely explained to me the hurt I was causing in them. I respect the character it took to speak up and respected them enough to adjust my behavior accordingly  

There is a vast spectrum of mental abilities and handicaps. In our recent past, we lumped them all together and threw them into asylums calling them each retarded... one broad generalizing brush that caused us to miss their individual talents and capabilities. This happened whether they had severe deficits or minor ADD or OCD or landed somewhere on the autism spectrum.

We’ve been told that the term retarded is both inaccurate and hurtful. For all but the biggest idiots among us, that should be enough to change... shouldn’t it?

But why? For example, you've used the word ''idiot'' instead here. Taken from the Merriam-Webster dictionary:

Quote

Definition of idiot

1dated, now offensive :a person affected with extreme mental retardation
2:a foolish or stupid person

What is the difference? They may not be 100% synonymous, as John pointed out, but they're very close. Why is ''idiot'' so widely accepted and ''retarded'' is not?

25 minutes ago, iNow said:

I, for one, agree with him and am deeply sympathetic to his request having changed my own usage of the term after someone with a disability maturely and bravely explained to me the hurt I was causing in them.

This is a special case. It might not be appropriate to say the word in front of him, the same way you wouldn't talk about rape in front of rape victims. It doesn't mean one must never mention it.

Also, he should be affended by saying ''stupid'' or ''idiot'' but he isn't.

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6 minutes ago, Lord Antares said:

But why? For example, you've used the word ''idiot'' instead here.

I'm just wondering about the suggestion that Americans don't understand irony.

The fact is that none of the posters here are idiots in the technical sense, but most of us are (from time to time) in the colloquial sense.

iNow's use of the word was deliberately (a bit ) offensive to people who can't be truly offended by the description- because it's plainly not true.

 

However people use  the word "retarded" as both an insult and a euphemism.

20 years ago that was legitimate, but the language has changed (as it always does) and now it is linguistically correct* to use "retarded" as an insult, but not correct to use it as a genuine  description of an individual.

It's a bit like calling someone a w*nker- it doesn't mean what it actually means. Most people understand the intention- that it's an insult- even though, in most cases, it's a technically perfectly accurate descriptor.

 

The  issue of "calling people names" gets even more stupid when absurd when people use the word "bastard" as an insult. Either you are, or you aren't- and if you are, it's your parent's responsibility, and nothing to do with you.

 

* that doesn't mean it's OK to do it.

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6 minutes ago, iNow said:

There are valid uses of the term, no doubt, but our OP seems to be referring to the uses intended to insult and we should likely focus this discussion there.

I, for one, agree with him and am deeply sympathetic to his request having changed my own usage of the term after someone with a disability maturely and bravely explained to me the hurt I was causing in them. I respect the character it took to speak up and respected them enough to adjust my behavior accordingly  

There is a vast spectrum of mental abilities and handicaps. In our recent past, we lumped them all together and threw them into asylums calling them each retarded... one broad generalizing brush that caused us to miss their individual talents and capabilities. This happened whether they had severe deficits or minor ADD or OCD or landed somewhere on the autism spectrum.

We’ve been told that the term retarded is both inaccurate and hurtful. For all but the biggest idiots among us, that should be enough to change... shouldn’t it?

Whilst I agree with both you and the OP, but any and all labels have the potential to become an insult, for instance, 'The Spastics Society' was forced to change its name to scope because spastic was used to insult almost anyone different from the considered norm.

I have worked and played with people of differing abilities for 35 years or so and have heard all the above used to insult my friends. My conclusion is not the labels that need changing, we need change our approach to education and integration, stop separating these people from the main. We're all human and we all have differing abilities, it's only when we consider the first before we consider the second will the labels be a description rather than an insult.

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13 minutes ago, John Cuthber said:

I'm just wondering about the suggestion that Americans don't understand irony.

The fact is that none of the posters here are idiots in the technical sense, but most of us are (from time to time) in the colloquial sense.

iNow's use of the word was deliberately (a bit ) offensive to people who can't be truly offended by the description- because it's plainly not true.

 

However people use  the word "retarded" as both an insult and a euphemism.

20 years ago that was legitimate, but the language has changed (as it always does) and now it is linguistically correct* to use "retarded" as an insult, but not correct to use it as a genuine  description of an individual.

It's a bit like calling someone a w*nker- it doesn't mean what it actually means. Most people understand the intention- that it's an insult- even though, in most cases, it's a technically perfectly accurate descriptor.

 

The  issue of "calling people names" gets even more stupid when absurd when people use the word "bastard" as an insult. Either you are, or you aren't- and if you are, it's your parent's responsibility, and nothing to do with you.

 

* that doesn't mean it's OK to do it.

I don't really see your point. As far as I can tell, you're saying that the word ''idiot'' usually isn't meant to have the original meaning of the word. It's simply a means to say that someone is being stupid. I get that. The same way that ''retarded'' is also usually not used in the technical form of the word. So I ask, why does no one jump at being called an idiot and they do at being called a retard? They have the same colloquial meaning and (pretty much) the same technical meaning.

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You have a good point. Why is it (more or less) OK to call people an idiot, but not retarded?

I think the reason might be that "retarded" still has connotations of being a technical (or euphemistic) term and therefore more likely to be associated with those unfortunate enough to have genuine medical  problems.

Everybody gets called a fool, twit, idiot or moron from time to time- unless they actually are.

"Retarded" until recently was  a quasi medical term used  politely by schools, lawyers and doctors. It stopped being acceptable in that context when it became a slang term.

How long will it be before "intellectually disabled" comes to be regarded as outdated and insulting?

 

It's a long standing problem- the acceptable nomenclature  evolves quite rapidly.
When I was at school there was a department set up specially for pupils who didn't learn as fast as their contemporaries. The official term was the "educationally subnormal teaching unit" it was (universally) referred to as "the Unit".

Kids who studied there were taunted by other kids walking behind the  chanting "unit unit". (aren't we a delightful species)

I was told a story by one of the teachers there.

On some occasion some bunch of visitors- I guess they were inspectors- were looking for that  bit of the school and they asked some of the pupils for directions.

They started with " Can you tell me where the special needs  children are taught?"

This was greeted with blank expressions.

They tried "Where do they teach the educationally subnormal kids" .

Again- no recognition from the kids they asked.

 They tried a few more euphemisms with the same lack of response.

Finally they realised what the problem was  and asked "Where do they teach the divvies".

They got the directions they needed.

The problem was that the "official" euphemisms had changed since the school was built (and the signposts  and labels produced), so none of the kids they asked recognised the "nice ways of putting it", but they knew the slang term just fine.

Edited by John Cuthber

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Yes, that's what I'm saying. I don't see the logic behind it. I would like to hear the justification from the people who think it's unnaceptable.

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What if I said locally for me the climate hasn't changed all that much in the last 50 years ergo climate change isn't a real thing. Would you point me to the experts?

Here is a list of the organizations who work with and for the intellectually disabled and support discontinuing use of the word.

http://www.r-word.org/r-word-supporting-organizations.aspx

Supporting Organizations

 

Quote

 

We, as organizations and self-advocates representing members of the disability community, recognizing the dignity of individuals with intellectual disabilities, the challenges they and their families face, and the meaningful and powerful contributions they make to their families, their communities, and their country.

    * Ability Beyond Disability
    * Accessibility for All Citizens Team "ACT Now"
    * ACCSES
    * Active Gray Matter
    * ADAPT Delaware
    * Advanced Youth Leadership Power
    * Advocacy for Kids, LLC
    * Advocates for Ohioans with Disabilities
    * Albany Advocacy Resource Center
    * Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts
    * American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry
    * American Association of People with Disabilities
    * American Association on Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities
    * American Council for School Social Work
    * American Foundation for the Blind
    * American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR)
    * American Occupational Therapy Association
    * Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD)
    * Attachment & Trauma Network, Inc.
    * Autism Connection
    * Autism Education and Training Center, Inc.
    * Autism National Committee (AutCom)
    * Autism Society of America
    * Autism Society of North Carolina
    * Autism Speaks
    * Autistic Self-Advocacy Network
    * Avenues To Independent Living
    * B&B Care Services, Inc.
    * Barber National Institute
    * Best Buddies International
    * Bethesda Lutheran Communities
    * Broward Coalition, Inc
    * CalTASH
    * Celebrating Abilities Inc.
    * Center for Accessible Living
    * Center for Disability Issues and the Health Professions, Western University of HealthSciences
    * Center for Disability Rights
    * Center for Self Determination, Inc. – Library and Training Project
    * Cerebral Palsy Association of the North Country
    * CHADD - Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
    * Chattanooga Down Syndrome Society
    * Community Access Unlimited
    * Connecticut Disability Advocacy Collaborative
    * Connecticut Down Syndrome Congress
    * Consumer Council of Bernard Fineson 

 

 

 

Thats just part of the list but please don't take my word for it just click the link. Why isn't it enough that the experts say it is unacceptable?

L.A. the answer to your last question is here.

http://www.r-word.org/

I can only show you the water I can't make you drink it.

21 minutes ago, John Cuthber said:

You have a good point. Why is it (more or less) OK to call people an idiot, but not retarded?

For me I don't really use that word either. What is so wrong with saying what we really mean? If somebody is being stubborn or deliberately obtuse why not call them that? Or instead you can hold up a picture of a drooling child on short school bus and say thats you.

26 minutes ago, John Cuthber said:

How long will it be before "intellectually disabled" comes to be regarded as outdated and insulting?

 

How long will it be before we just change our behaviour because a large segment says it's offensive instead of digging our heels in?

Edited by Outrider

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11 minutes ago, Lord Antares said:

Yes, that's what I'm saying. I don't see the logic behind it. I would like to hear the justification from the people who think it's unnaceptable.

I'm not sure you need to have logic.

If people find it insulting, don't do it.

 

8 minutes ago, Outrider said:

What if I said locally for me the climate hasn't changed all that much in the last 50 years ergo climate change isn't a real thing. Would you point me to the experts?

TBH, I'd possibly use some deliberately insulting term to question your intellectual capacity. I'd like to think I know better than that but...

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Hmmm... I'm starting to think I'm invisible, much like those we're discussing it's insulting since I've addressed most of the subsequent posts. 

Edited by dimreepr

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42 minutes ago, Outrider said:

Why isn't it enough that the experts say it is unacceptable?

Why would it be? I want a straightforward answer to my question. ''Because people say so'' isn't a real answer.

42 minutes ago, Outrider said:

L.A. the answer to your last question is here.

http://www.r-word.org/

All I can see here is ''some people were insulting my challenged relative by calling him retarded''. Obviously, it is not OK to insult mentally challenged people like that. This is not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about calling random people ''retarded'' vs. stupid or idiotic. What is the difference? Why is the former insulting and the latter isn't. I assumed that's what we were talking about. Because if you're talking about insulting actual challenged people, then everyone will agree with you.

32 minutes ago, John Cuthber said:

I'm not sure you need to have logic.

If people find it insulting, don't do it.

But if you want to call someone retarded or an idiot, you want to insult them. If you're talking about other people being offended by your usage of the word, then, again, I point to the word ''idiot''. Why wouldn't they be offended by it? 

32 minutes ago, John Cuthber said:

TBH, I'd possibly use some deliberately insulting term to question your intellectual capacity. I'd like to think I know better than that but...

You see, that's another thing I've been asking the mods and they haven't replied. It's actually very similar to what we're talking about here.

You've alluded that this person is stupid. If you had outright called him stupid, you would have (possibly) been given a warning. It's the same scenario. The intention is the same, only you haven't used the ''forbidden word'' - stupid. This doesn't make sense to me either. I've seen plenty of people get away with it when they play around with words a bit, yet they mean to insult. It is paradoxical.

BTW, I don't have anything against you, I just want to talk about this from a technical perspective. Does this make sense to you?

15 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

Hmmm... I'm starting to think I'm invisible, much like those we're discussing, since I've addressed most of the subsequent posts.

I have read your post and I personally haven't found anything which I've found to address the last few posts. Just to make sure, I've read it twice now. 

Edited by Lord Antares

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7 minutes ago, Lord Antares said:

But if you want to call someone retarded or an idiot, you want to insult them.

This rather misses the point.

There are lots of rude things you can call me, without upsetting another group of people with whom you have no disagreement.

Why choose the one that upsets them?
I accept it's not obvious why one word troubles them, but another doesn't. I have given my guess as to why it might be. (The use of a quasi medical term is "too close for comfort").

 

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10 minutes ago, Lord Antares said:

 Obviously, it is not OK to insult mentally challenged people like that.This is not what I'm talking about

 

But it is the topic of this thread.

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4 minutes ago, John Cuthber said:

This rather misses the point.

There are lots of rude things you can call me, without upsetting another group of people with whom you have no disagreement.

Why choose the one that upsets them?
I accept it's not obvious why one word troubles them, but another doesn't. I have given my guess as to why it might be. (The use of a quasi medical term is "too close for comfort").

 

 

15 minutes ago, Lord Antares said:

 If you're talking about other people being offended by your usage of the word, then, again, I point to the word ''idiot''. Why wouldn't they be offended by it? 

You agreed that this isn't right. I want to know the why, not the ''are enough people offended by this''.

2 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

But it is the topic of this thread.

You're missing the point. Is calling challenged people retarded the topic or is calling unchallenged people retarded the topic? Because I'm talking about the latter. Obviously, you shouldn't demean challenged people; no one will disagree with that.

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1 minute ago, Lord Antares said:

You're missing the point. Is calling challenged people retarded the topic or is calling unchallenged people retarded the topic? Because I'm talking about the latter. Obviously, you shouldn't demean challenged people; no one will disagree with that.

 

Since you aren't the OP and the intention of the OP is obvious, I'd suggest it's you that's missing the point.

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6 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

Since you aren't the OP and the intention of the OP is obvious, I'd suggest it's you that's missing the point.

You are wrong. Re-read the OP. He mentiones (and quotes) several members of the forum using the word retarded. None of the examples were directed towards a mentally challenged person. Hence, you are missing the point.

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5 minutes ago, Lord Antares said:

You are wrong. Re-read the OP. He mentiones (and quotes) several members of the forum using the word retarded. None of the examples were directed towards a mentally challenged person. Hence, you are missing the point.

This post:

1 hour ago, Outrider said:

What if I said locally for me the climate hasn't changed all that much in the last 50 years ergo climate change isn't a real thing. Would you point me to the experts?

Here is a list of the organizations who work with and for the intellectually disabled and support discontinuing use of the word.

http://www.r-word.org/r-word-supporting-organizations.aspx

Supporting Organizations

 

Quote

 

We, as organizations and self-advocates representing members of the disability community, recognizing the dignity of individuals with intellectual disabilities, the challenges they and their families face, and the meaningful and powerful contributions they make to their families, their communities, and their country.

    * Ability Beyond Disability
    * Accessibility for All Citizens Team "ACT Now"
    * ACCSES
    * Active Gray Matter
    * ADAPT Delaware
    * Advanced Youth Leadership Power
    * Advocacy for Kids, LLC
    * Advocates for Ohioans with Disabilities
    * Albany Advocacy Resource Center
    * Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts
    * American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry
    * American Association of People with Disabilities
    * American Association on Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities
    * American Council for School Social Work
    * American Foundation for the Blind
    * American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR)
    * American Occupational Therapy Association
    * Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD)
    * Attachment & Trauma Network, Inc.
    * Autism Connection
    * Autism Education and Training Center, Inc.
    * Autism National Committee (AutCom)
    * Autism Society of America
    * Autism Society of North Carolina
    * Autism Speaks
    * Autistic Self-Advocacy Network
    * Avenues To Independent Living
    * B&B Care Services, Inc.
    * Barber National Institute
    * Best Buddies International
    * Bethesda Lutheran Communities
    * Broward Coalition, Inc
    * CalTASH
    * Celebrating Abilities Inc.
    * Center for Accessible Living
    * Center for Disability Issues and the Health Professions, Western University of HealthSciences
    * Center for Disability Rights
    * Center for Self Determination, Inc. – Library and Training Project
    * Cerebral Palsy Association of the North Country
    * CHADD - Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
    * Chattanooga Down Syndrome Society
    * Community Access Unlimited
    * Connecticut Disability Advocacy Collaborative
    * Connecticut Down Syndrome Congress
    * Consumer Council of Bernard Fineson 

1

 

 
 

Suggests otherwise. 

Edited by dimreepr

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Yes, he's being contradictory, as I've pointed out. He has mentioned both cases. That's why I asked what we are talking about exactly.

But I think it's logical to conclude we are not talking about the case you're talking about. Everyone on this forum will agree that one shouldn't insult mentally challenged people on that basis alone. Everyone agrees with that so it's not an issue. His OP suggests otherwise.

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