Results are out! Find what you need...fast. Get quick advice or join the chat
Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

Open Letter to The Student Room

Announcements Posted on
    • Thread Starter
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    To Whom it May Concern,

    In the most recent newsletter from yourselves you have included a link to a post about someone who had made a mistake in an exam. Whilst I understand that people should be free to express themselves I find it very surprising that you are promoting a thread that uses such a derogatory word. Would you have promoted it or even let it stay on the site if it had been racist, religion etc based discrimination? Indeed I believe that in your terms and conditions that you state that you 'Do not condone or encourage illegal activity' Is descrimination not illegal?


    I would be interested to hear your views on this.

    Regards
    • 47 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Could you link to the thread please?
    • 10 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Idle)
    Could you link to the thread please?
    Here: http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show....php?t=2002325
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    may i ask what the derogatory word was?
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by im so fresh)
    may i ask what the derogatory word was?
    Did you read the thread title?
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Scatach)
    Did you read the thread title?
    'Retarded'? I'd think that was OK seeing as she used it to describe herself?
    It's actually used quite commonly in normal speech these days.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by HelenaH)
    To Whom it May Concern,

    In the most recent newsletter from yourselves you have included a link to a post about someone who had made a mistake in an exam. Whilst I understand that people should be free to express themselves I find it very surprising that you are promoting a thread that uses such a derogatory word. Would you have promoted it or even let it stay on the site if it had been racist, religion etc based discrimination? Indeed I believe that in your terms and conditions that you state that you 'Do not condone or encourage illegal activity' Is descrimination not illegal?


    I would be interested to hear your views on this.

    Regards
    Here's my open letter to HelenaH:


    The term retard is clearly used these days not to insult someone with a disability but to describe something stupid, a mistake, something foolish.

    If you can't see that you're as bad as the LGBT lobby who think its homophobic for a child to call their homework gay.

    If it's not meant to be offensive, get a life and don't be offended by it.

    Regards,

    Sland.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by sland)
    Here's my open letter to HelenaH:
    The term retard is clearly used these days not to insult someone with a disability but to describe something stupid, a mistake, something foolish.

    If you can't see that you're as bad as the LGBT lobby who think its homophobic for a child to call their homework gay.

    If it's not meant to be offensive, get a life and don't be offended by it.

    Regards,

    Sland.
    :facepalm:

    It can be interpreted this way. If a child was to call their homework 'gay', the choice of the word would infer a negative attitude and therefore devalue the term. Should we alienate certain groups in society based on this? !

    In terms of the use of 'retard', I think it depends on where you're from, I mean, in the UK, someone with mental disabilities would never really referred to as 'retarded', it would be simply pejorative. I think in the case of the USA, I think the word 'retarded' doesn't have derogatory connotations ? Or certainly not to the extent that the UK would perceive (I'm not really sure ).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mental_retardation - I guess it may have been adapted from a genuine medical term.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by youjennatsix)
    :facepalm:

    It can be interpreted this way. If a child was to call their homework 'gay', the choice of the word would infer a negative attitude and therefore devalue the term. Should we alienate certain groups in society based on this? !

    In terms of the use of 'retard', I think it depends on where you're from, I mean, in the UK, someone with mental disabilities would never really referred to as 'retarded', it would be simply pejorative. I think in the case of the USA, I think the word 'retarded' doesn't have derogatory connotations ? Or certainly not to the extent that the UK would perceive (I'm not really sure ).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mental_retardation - I guess it may have been adapted from a genuine medical term.

    That's rubbish though. If a kid calls something 'gay' eg homework, they don't even think about the homosexual context. The word has been adapted in a way that has no homophobic connotations. I call my friends 'puffs', it has nothing to do with homosexuality, its about being scared of something. Black people in america have in many areas reclaimed use of the word '******', and in the context they use it, the word isnt racist.


    Same re. retarded. If I say I've made a retarded error I'm not insulting anyone, or trying to insult anyway, the use of the word is totally different to swearing at a disabled person.


    Does anyone really get offended by this nonsense? I actually don't get it.
    • 39 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Retarded? my word, this place gets more pedantic day by day.
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Spontogical)
    Retarded? my word, this place gets more pedantic day by day.
    Yeah I agree, this is very pedantic




    Honestly . . .

    Now if you don't mind I'm trying to get on with some nigging revision
    • 84 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by HelenaH)
    To Whom it May Concern,

    In the most recent newsletter from yourselves you have included a link to a post about someone who had made a mistake in an exam. Whilst I understand that people should be free to express themselves I find it very surprising that you are promoting a thread that uses such a derogatory word. Would you have promoted it or even let it stay on the site if it had been racist, religion etc based discrimination? Indeed I believe that in your terms and conditions that you state that you 'Do not condone or encourage illegal activity' Is descrimination not illegal?


    I would be interested to hear your views on this.

    Regards
    Hi HelenaH,

    It's myself that's responsible for content in the TSR newsletter so I wanted to reply back to you.

    Firstly I wanted to say the user in question doesn't break any site rules in their thread title. The context and use of the term (defined as: a stupid or mentally slow person) made clear to myself that there wasn't any question of it intending to offend. Had the term, which I agree could be used in a derogatory manner, was aimed at an individual or group this would have been removed and the user warned. Given the usage I deemed the title to be inoffensive and within the site rules.

    Apologies if you or anyone else have been offended by its use.
    • 3 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    'retarded' simply means 'delayed or behind in development'.

    It is regarded as a derogatory term in the UK, but this usage comes from America, where it is a perfectly acceptable word. I don't agree with the masses of idiots out there who believe that using derogatory words in situations where they do not apply is somehow not offensive (substitute the word 'gay' or 'retarded' for 'negro' for example and you can see just how ridiculous that argument is) but in this case it really is not used to refer to the mentally disabled in the majority of cases.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by sland)
    That's rubbish though. If a kid calls something 'gay' eg homework, they don't even think about the homosexual context. The word has been adapted in a way that has no homophobic connotations. I call my friends 'puffs', it has nothing to do with homosexuality, its about being scared of something. Black people in america have in many areas reclaimed use of the word '******', and in the context they use it, the word isnt racist.


    Same re. retarded. If I say I've made a retarded error I'm not insulting anyone, or trying to insult anyway, the use of the word is totally different to swearing at a disabled person.


    Does anyone really get offended by this nonsense? I actually don't get it.
    I'm sorry but the use of words such as 'gay' to describe something negative suggests that people find being gay to be a negative thing and I really don't see how anybody can not understand that.

    You need to think about where the usage of the word in that context came from and then think about how it might be insulting to a group of people.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by sland)
    That's rubbish though. If a kid calls something 'gay' eg homework, they don't even think about the homosexual context. The word has been adapted in a way that has no homophobic connotations. I call my friends 'puffs', it has nothing to do with homosexuality, its about being scared of something. Black people in america have in many areas reclaimed use of the word '******', and in the context they use it, the word isnt racist.
    The fact that the child doesn't think makes the use of the word homophobic. Although the child isn't using the word with homosexual connotations, it is using it with negative connotations. When children become more mature and develop an understanding of homosexuality, they may think of gay people negatively. Simply, if we call someone gay for being/doing something negative then we create a climate in which we should perceive all 'gay' things - including people - negatively.

    I think the argument about Black people using the 'n word' is devoid. Although black people have made the 'n word' self-referential and thereby accepted it into there culture, people who are not black would never use the word and therefore it's become something only they will use (as shown by your choice to blur it out above). If homosexuals chose to refer to things negatively as being 'gay' then the word wouldn't really be pejorative anymore. The fact that - arguably more often than not - people who aren't gay use the word and are referring to things negatively, means it can be viewed as something that devalues that group. The 'n word' is something now used positively - showing affection and acknowledgement, meaning that the word is no longer (mostly) used derogatorily.
    • 63 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by sland)
    Here's my open letter to HelenaH:


    The term retard is clearly used these days not to insult someone with a disability but to describe something stupid, a mistake, something foolish.

    If you can't see that you're as bad as the LGBT lobby who think its homophobic for a child to call their homework gay.

    If it's not meant to be offensive, get a life and don't be offended by it.

    Regards,

    Sland.
    I don't think the two are comparable. Retard is not a word that many would use to describe someone with learning difficulties - I'd even suggest that it's not an appropriate word in this day and age. Its usage has changed in common parlance.

    The issue with the use of the word "gay" in the pejorative sense is that it is the accepted term to describe homosexual men. In schools, this makes it very inappropriate because it reinforces the idea that gay = bad, making it very difficult for young people to deal with their sexuality while they're in school, which is demonstrably harmful.
    • 35 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by sland)
    Here's my open letter to HelenaH:


    The term retard is clearly used these days not to insult someone with a disability but to describe something stupid, a mistake, something foolish.

    If you can't see that you're as bad as the LGBT lobby who think its homophobic for a child to call their homework gay.

    If it's not meant to be offensive, get a life and don't be offended by it.

    Regards,

    Sland.
    It is offensive to many people who have family that is mentally disabled or know someone that is so. It's been a derogatory word for such people and I'm pretty sure that the term has been used as a derogatory term used for others (in a general sense) to mean doing something silly, daft, or even stupid. Therefore it's not only misusing the world but insulting people who do have disabilities.

    It isn't an appropriate word to use in that way and if someone isn't clever enough to be know that, and if someone isn't clever enough to think of alternative word that isn't quite so derogatory and quite so inflammatory then they can't be that clever. It's not funny to use it that way, it isn't cool and it isn't clever. It's saddening that such a word has been used so much in that sense that people now think it's acceptable. It's not.

    The fact that you tell someone to "get over it" like it's nothing shows you don't understand. Which is a shame. Maybe you oughta educate yourself.
    • 35 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Copperknickers)
    'retarded' simply means 'delayed or behind in development'.

    It is regarded as a derogatory term in the UK, but this usage comes from America, where it is a perfectly acceptable word. I don't agree with the masses of idiots out there who believe that using derogatory words in situations where they do not apply is somehow not offensive (substitute the word 'gay' or 'retarded' for 'negro' for example and you can see just how ridiculous that argument is) but in this case it really is not used to refer to the mentally disabled in the majority of cases.
    In the case of the thread it was an obvious misuse of the word so even if it wasn't a reference to the mentally disabled it was still not appropriate.
    • 3 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by thunder_chunky)
    In the case of the thread it was an obvious misuse of the word so even if it wasn't a reference to the mentally disabled it was still not appropriate.
    Why not? It was a stupid mistake. Indeed, the word 'stupid' is arguably also derogatory towards stupid people, according to the logic of the OP.
    • 35 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Copperknickers)
    Why not? It was a stupid mistake. Indeed, the word 'stupid' is arguably also derogatory towards stupid people, according to the logic of the OP.
    It was a mistake yes, but still a misuse of the world. The word "stupid" isn't really the same as the word "retard" or "retarded" in terms of misuse and offensiveness. I don't think the two are comparable in that sense.

Reply

Submit reply

Register

Thanks for posting! You just need to create an account in order to submit the post
  1. this can't be left blank
    that username has been taken, please choose another Forgotten your password?
  2. this can't be left blank
    this email is already registered. Forgotten your password?
  3. this can't be left blank

    6 characters or longer with both numbers and letters is safer

  4. this can't be left empty
    your full birthday is required
  1. By joining you agree to our Ts and Cs, privacy policy and site rules

  2. Slide to join now Processing…

Updated: June 7, 2012
New on TSR

GCSE mocks revision

Talk study tips this weekend

Article updates
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.