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zorblax wrote (edited )

I think people go way overboard sometimes with classifying insults as problematic. Like, yeah, calling someone 'gay' or 'pussy' or 'faggot' as an insult is obviously not okay, but 'lame'? Will that ever reinforce or perpetuate ableism? Its connection to actual disability is mostly etymological, and in casual usage there is no implication.


An_Old_Big_Tree OP wrote

I think I'm interested in words that completely avoid even what you've called mostly only etymologically problematic words for two reasons.

1 - different places use different words differently and so while it may only be obscurely problematic in one place, it may not be in another. For example, where I'm from, 'lame' does get used in the older ways.

2 - I think it's interesting for its own sake to see the huge range of words available that aren't bound up in shitty histories. And then also to ask what the point of using words with bad histories when we have so many that don't.


sudo wrote

This. If a word used to be problematic a long time ago, but it isn't used that way anymore, then there's nothing wrong with saying it. I've asked every disabled person I've met if they think calling something "stupid" or "dumb" is ableist, and not one has said they think it is. One of them told me it was overly-cautious allies who decided those words were ableist (without actually asking disabled people first), and then all the other allies decided not to say them, just to be safe.


MC_Cookies wrote

I generally think with terms like that, it's more of a warning to be careful using it. So a term like "lame" might be okay to use in like 99% of online discourse, but you have to be understanding if you hit the 1%, whereas a term like "f*g" will probably be problematic in effectively all contexts.

Or at least that's how I understand it. Imo, it's not that you should never call something "lame" or "dumb" in a disparaging way, but rather that you should understand that that usage has a problematic origin, even if it's almost guaranteed not to offend people, and that you should just be careful.