Spread the Word

There’s a word you probably heard it on the playground when you were a kid, tossed around like any other insult.   “Stop acting so retarded.”

 You may have used it yourself to refer to something stupid or something you didn’t want to do.   “I hate this homework, why do I need to learn this? Math is retarded.”

 You may have even used it to refer to a person with a disability. But why use it at all?

Spread the Word to End the Word

 The first Wednesday of March, every year, Best Buddies and the Special Olympics sponsor the Spread the Word to End the Word awareness day. It’s a cause close to my heart. Many people, especially those of us who grew up with the r-word as part of their everyday speech, don’t realize just how hurtful this word is. The term “Mentally Retarded” began as a medical term, but over the years, the r-word has become a synonym for so many things, all with a negative connotation. I’ve heard it used in so many places where another word would work just as well, if not better.

To be honest, I don’t even like typing the word, much less saying it aloud. It’s hurtful to anyone, especially someone with a disability. It’s hurtful to them and to the family and friends that care about them. It really should be offensive to you.

I started to write more about why this is so important to me, but to be honest, words fail me. So many other people have said it more eloquently than I ever could. I highly recommend this post on The Mighty, for one.

So today, I challenge you. I challenge you to stop using the r-word. I challenge you correct others when they use it. Think before you speak.

For more information on Spread the Word to End the Word and to take the pledge, head over to http://www.r-word.org/.

About Jess

About Jess

Jess Beer is a full-time working mom of two girls who writes about motherhood, wellness, easy meals and style.

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2 Responses

  1. Thank you!! It is definitely one word I do not say. I find it extremely offensive and correct my students when they say it. Unfortunately there are teachers in my school that use it to describe a test, a math problem, etc., and I can’t believe they don’t know better. When I used to teach French, some of my students would snicker and laugh when I taught the expression for late/tardy, “en retard”, and it would aggravate me. My husband’s late sister had Down’s and I’ve taught low IQ children, and they don’t deserve that word. Sorry for the rant!

    1. Don’t apologize! I feel exactly the same way, but it’s so hard to put into words just how angry it makes me. I’m not one to correct people (or be confrontational at all), and I ALWAYS correct this.

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I’m Jess! I’m a working mama of two sweet sisters living in the DC area. This is my space to share inspiration, real stories of working motherhood, recipes, style, and more! I can’t start my day without coffee and always try to show the real side of motherhood – the good and the challenging. I’m so glad you’re here – thanks for following along on my journey!

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