The review for A Season of Eden went up yesterday and as we could tell, I had an issue with it.
What was the issue? The overuse, and illuse of the word: Retard
Now of course it is understandable that in a teenage book the characters would use teenage terms. But the use of this term really grates on my nerves as even if you are writing for the mind of a teenager, many other words could have been used.
Definition: a generalized disorder, characterized by significantly impaired cognitive functioning and deficits in two or more adaptive behaviors with onset before the age of 18.
Now, I don't expect anyone who hasn't been affected in their everyday life by someone who is "special" to even begin to understand how offensive it is to use the word "retard" as a derogatory term.
But guess what, I do know what it feels like.
My younger brother is what you may call "retarded", after a stroke at birth he developed a little slower than others. But I can tell you now that he is not only the nicest, gentlest, caring human beings I've ever met, he also isn't stupid. The look on his face everytime he hears someone using the term "retard" is absolutely heart-breaking.
Knowing how that affects not only a child but his family and friends, it really disgusts me when people use the term "retard". For a mature adult to do it though, that just sets a bad example.
Do we make fun of people with cancer? It feels wrong to even contemplate making such a joke, doesn't it?
Well then why is it ok to make fun of retards? Why is it ok to throw the term around so easily. Is retardation not a sickness? Is retardation beneath those that feel the need to insult people with such a term?
There are going to be those that don't take anything from this post, and guess what...Karma's a Bitch.
For those that do take these words in though, think about what you're saying the next time you go to say it.
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