We live in a society where at times everyone can seem hypersensitive. It seems like almost everything offends at least one person, and that it can be impossible to win. However, it is 2018, and there are some words we should just stop using. Retarded is one of these words.
I don't think people who use this word in the general sense mean to be offensive. I don't think they honestly think about their word choice at all. They don't realize that they are using a derogatory term that makes me cringe every time I hear it. They don't realize that by saying this they just sound ignorant. They also don't realize that when they say this they are typically talking about something in a negative way or implying that something is "stupid."
I've had friends ask me if I get offended whenever they say it. I have always said that I don't, but I would never personally use that word. Although I said I don't personally get offended, I make a mental note every single time I hear someone say it. I think I do actually get offended. More so because I don't think they understand the implications of their words, but also because we are so fortunate to live in a society where we have the ability to learn and grow and people are just refusing. That's what irritates me the most. People are choosing to sound ignorant.
As a girl who has an older brother with autism, when I hear someone describe a person or something as retarded, my skin crawls. I want to tell them this word has so many negative connotations that it just isn't necessary to use. Don't get me wrong, I am not perfect in the way I talk. I am sure I have used words that offend people, but there is nothing wrong with being more aware of the effect your words have on others.
If you are choosing to say the word to describe a person with a physical or mental disability, please know that you are wrong. Point blank. You are wrong. I don't care if "that's what they used to say." This logic first off is silly because did YOU personally grow up in that time period? Oh, you did? Well, the world has changed, and it would be great if you could change along with it.
Let's say you chose to use retarded to express your disdain for something.
For example, "That class is so retarded." You are trying to say you think that class is stupid. Surely you can see the issue when people are using this word simultaneously to describe a person with a disability. There are so many other words that exist that you can use instead of a word that is offensive. Obviously, no one is perfect, but taking the time to realize and understand why the word retarded is offensive is necessary.
If you agree and want to stop saying the word retarded, or are just curious as to why this word is offensive, click here to learn more.