With all of the discussions about language and breast cancer ads yesterday, I want to just reiterate how
important language is in our society. Really, it’s all we have when we relate to each other, especially when all of our communications are online and completely centered around words. If we make writing our trade, even if we just blog as a part-time thing, we need to watch our language. And as someone interested in literacy practices and language in this feminist community, it disturbs me to see abelist language in popular community sites like Feministing.com.
The Open Letter to Feministing on this ain’t livin’ has drawn attention to this important issue, and you should all read it and cosign it. Consider me cosigned.
And this goes for all abelist language. This is my big deal in my classroom: I don’t want my students using phrases like “That’s so gay!” or “That’s retarded.” I have very personal reasons behind those two, but I believe it is my job as a teacher to promote tolerance, especially in language, by explaining to them why these phrases and ones like them are offensive and why we shouldn’t use them.
So, please, be a good example. Cosign the letter and don’t use that kind of language. Please.