Submitted by extremecouponing in Ability

Hey everyone, I am still struggling to understand why words such as, "dumb," "crazy," and a number of others are harmful. I kind of understand but would really like some more resources on this because I am really tired of hearing my partner say those words, amongst others, and would like to educate some other comrades of mine, as well as just regular people in contexts where it makes sense. Really appreciate all of you!



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snack wrote

while i don't have any specific resources on hand (maybe someone else can help out with that), i can offer to share what i have learned so far:

Regarding "crazy": i'm sure you are aware of the stigmatization of mental illness or stigmas that surround mental illness, and how those can make it hard for individuals who suffer to get help. Sometimes people feel weak and ashamed for being depressed/anxious and therefore do not seek the help of a mental health professional, as they would with an eye doctor. (which can make their condition even worse) One of the reasons this happens is because society thinks it's okay to use "crazy" as a swear word, as something negative, that is: something which no one wants to be.

This is a complex topic and there are many more layers to it and perspectives to explore, so it's understandable if it gets confusing. I tried to open an entry point into the subject matter, if you want to discuss further or have questions feel free to ask/comment!


extremecouponing OP wrote

That's mostly how I understand it as well, for right now. The part I'm somewhat confused by is when these words are used in positive contexts, such as, "this is crazy hood!" Curious to hear your thoughts on that


snack wrote

That is indeed a difficult example, because it sounds positive. If i were to approach it purely analytical, I'd say that "crazy", in this context, is still used as something out of the norm, so far out that it is very noticeable or stands out very much - now that in and of itself isn't something bad, but if you keep in mind that you are talking about the living conditions of a human being, something that is considered to be wrong with their body or mind (in the case of crazy), just to describe something as outstanding - at the cost of hurting or triggering a person and maintaining an oppressive system - then i think it's not worth it to use "crazy" when you could just as well use "unbelievably" instead.

I'm not sure i could sufficiently explain what i meant, so ask about parts that are incomprehensible, that always helps me to word my ideas better.


inthedustofthisplanet wrote (edited )

Considering certain people in this thread are trying to make you think a certain way I will leave you with one thing...

OP is clearly very concious of the systemic inequalities built into our world. I see a lot of well off people blaming poor people for being poor due to their lack of an education, which has very little to do with their actual ability to learn and grasp concepts. They aren't poor because they're stupid, they are poor because society is built against them.

The entire premise of eugenics is based on the idea that there are those who are more deserving of life than others. The system is rigged in such a way that only those who are deemed worthy are given virtual free-rides, while others have to scratch and crawl their ways out of a cycle of poverty they will never escape.

As someone who is trans I am considered to be stupid and often crazy due to simply existing in a way that extends outside of normalcy. This language is used to diminish, divide, and most importantly distinguish between those who are worthy of moving into the future... and everyone else who should be left behind.

Do not listen to the edge lords trying to make you feel bad for caring about those around you. You are more aware of how shit this world is then they are.

p.s. I'm not a leftist. I'm just a decent fucking person.


fool wrote

While I personally am not insulted, both words can be used to invalidate or write off someone's opinion, as statements to say 'your input does not matter.'

Crazy is interesting, I feel for a lot of people this a reclaimed word and positive. "let your freak flag fly", etc. However the literal connotations are something anarchist should be well aware of; being deemed outside the norm as a way to write off the views of the individual as invalid. To say that their input can't be trusted.

Dumb really goes back to the original meaning, that is being unable to talk. For nonverbal neurodiverse people this word has been used to invalidate them, defining them as unintelligent since they have difficulty articulating their thoughts. Nonverbal people face a significant amount of unintentional oppression, from being misunderstood.

For many people, it can be very draining to pretend to fit in and act "normal" due to fear that if they don't they will be excluded from society. These words are both ways of invalidating the input neurodiverse people and people with other "mental health" conditions.


celebratedrecluse wrote

beyond ableism, it can be helpful to draw the connection to gender and race politics. there is a long history of both in the history of disability and medicine, for example it is practically impossible to understand schizophrenia in modern psychiatry without understanding the white supremacy in psychiatry and the way that diagnosis was used against black united states people. The influence was global in scope: although this type of bad politics are more extreme in north america, where they are firmly entrenched more than other places on earth.

As for gender, you're probably familiar with women and non binary people being labeled "crazy" whenever a man is offended.

it is difficult to get free of something terrible, except all together. which means, it is good to understand why the multitude of us, can all benefit from deconstruction, which is not something that has to be either academic or moralistic.


MHC wrote

American egoist anarchists are rightwing assholes! To them anybody sick is a weakling. And there shoudn't be any safety net. Because the strong shouldn't be burdened by the weak!


MHC wrote

The Skinnerian approach is to reward responses that you want, while ignoring those that you don't.