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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Watch your language!

Anonymous asked: I’ve been having a bit of a problem with an acquaintance of mine. I don’t know this person very well but we run in the same circle of friends. When I think I’m in a space that makes me feel comfortable and safe, he’ll use words like “retard” and will constantly whine about people around him. Not even in a funny way, but in a malicious way. It makes me very uncomfortable because I feel as if I’m in a position where I have to agree or at least acknowledge his offensive comments. How am I supposed to react? I’m not a confrontational person but I want him to know that I don’t appreciate the way he acts. 

Make him a dunce cap with the word “retard” crossed out, so when he uses it offensively you can put it on his head and run away!

Jokes aside, it’s not cool that this person is making you feel so uncomfortable, especially within a space that makes you feel safe. You shouldn’t have to go out of your way to find another space, but maybe you could go someplace else if you know that he’s there at a certain day and time. Or perhaps you could reach out to a mutual friend to figure out of there’s a way to address the issue with him and avoid an awkward confrontational situation.

Another option would be to ask him not to say the word when you’re around, so it deflects your criticism of his language use and makes it into a matter of personal preference thereby making it so that you don’t feel like you’re being patronizing.
I don’t condone the use of that word as a pejorative. To me, it’s on the same level as saying “that’s so gay” or using the n-word. The use of those words displays a certain degree of ignorance and apathy that I simply do not tolerate.
Aside from the fact that this sort of talk is highly ignorant, it’s also lazy and unimaginative. There are other, more creative ways to express annoyance at someone’s stupidity. Why don’t people say “that’s asinine” or “my professor’s such an pedantic dunce.” There are so many words in the English language, we should take advantage of them all!