Fan mail, hate mail, concern trolling, and mutually contradictory criticisms.
So! Let's clear some things up.
Stop fucking using it as a censored word list.
Its purpose is to inform and educate, not enforce increased policing/surveillance of random people's language.
It's meant to be available to help folks who would like to take a close look at their own language think about their everyday use of words with ableist pasts or presents.
- new to activism
- just figuring out their identity as disabled, chronically ill, mad, neurodivergent, etc.
- not even fluent in English
- speaking English as a second/third/etc. language
A word being ableist is not the same thing as it being a slur.
The list includes slurs (a narrow category) and otherwise ableist words (a broader category).
In fact, I utterly despise the term "offensive." I don't find it useful or helpful. It's imprecise.
It's a list of words with ableist histories or current use or both.
Some of them don't even apply to specific disabled people because they only reference a different disability.
It's not a generally applicable list.
Was someone upset, hurt, or outright triggered about a word choice you used?
Then the decent thing to do is apologize and if you *can*, make an effort not to use that word around them.
Sometimes being disabled can make language hard, and can make changing language even harder.
Ableism exists in all aspects of language and communication, because ableism is ... well, everywhere.
But ableism is so incredibly vast and all-encompassing beyond this list identifying a specific manifestation of it.
Sometimes we use ableist language when we could be more precise+specific about what we actually mean.
e.g. instead of "crazy" maybe we mean wild, unpredictable, unbelievable.
There are many ways to show allyship and to deconstruct ableism. Language is just one of them.
It's literally just about identifying how language has been/is used as ONE tool of oppression and emotional harm.
Use the list to change your vocabulary. Use it to better analyze texts. Or don't.
And stop using it that way.
(I created it. And way too many of y'all are doing things with it that it is not meant for+that contravene its purpose.)
I'd probably be less annoyed about this if folks would stop using it as the basis for every flavor of strawman attack on me.
Yes, folks ranging from alt-right to leftist.
It is a tool. Not a panacea.
It is about one aspect of ableism. Not the whole of what ableism is.
Ableism is, at its core, a system of violence.