I read the following article on the word “stupid”:
The writer, Jenny Crofton, explains how the word demonstrates ableism–discrimination against disabled people. Prior to reading it, I did not know what ableism was or how the word was such. Afterward, I understood Jenny’s viewpoint as she made valid points: among them is it degrades those with cognitive issues ranging from autism, ADHD, and Down’s Syndrome, among others.
What strikes me the most, though, is her statement about words and speech in general: changing how we speak requires reframing our minds for words are the fabric of our thoughts. True. I appreciate that statement because I, too, believe words carry impact. I composed multiple posts about swearing and discontinuing those four-letter words requires mindfulness because, according to Jenny, we are accustomed to using and hearing the word “stupid” that it eludes our attention; we’re unaware of its effect on others.
Before this article, I never considered the word to be dehumanizing. Though it’s not an expletive, Jenny explains the word enforces systemic and institutional bias by citing an example of the U.S government sterilizing 70,000 people, including women, because they were labeled as “imbeciles.” Additionally, women and children with intellectual disabilities are susceptible to abuse, sexual assault, and domestic violence and underserved by inaccessible support programs. Never knew that. She suggests using alternate words as various words exist to express someone or something as foolish, prompting her to question why people choose to use that word instead when more accurate, potent words are available. I agree with her logic and viewpoint.
As Jenny dislikes the word “stupid,” I express frustration and anger with people’s habit or preference to using expletives in previous posts about swearing. Why resort to overused expletives when more creative, potent words exist?
We must consider the impact the word carries before we yell…