Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Language, Privilege, And Stuff ...

word cloud around the word IDEAS
Sometimes its helpful when people write ridiculous things, because in response, other people write non-ridiculous things that actually move the discussion along:

Jonathan Chait says he's worried about Political Correctness and Social Justice Warriors”.

On the bright side:

John Hodgman responds.

Andrea Shettle doesnt directly respond, but her comments about ableist language do seem to relate in several ways.

In addition to liking the three responses above, heres what I think:

The ultimate privilege is to be a regular person.

Regular people” who are mean make jokes about other kinds of people, and use whatever words they want to describe them.

Regular people” who are nice analyze and explain other kinds of people to other regular people  and to those other kinds of people, too.

Regular people become uncomfortable when the concept of “regular” seems to be dissolving, and when other groups express opinions of their own … especially when those opinions differ from those of “regular people”.

Regular people should probably just relax a bit. Its very unlikely that they will truly lose much status in the end  apart from maybe the right to have all their jokes duly laughed at, and their ideas automatically taken seriously, always.

All this is quite applicable in the disability sphere. In one sense, disabled people are not “regular people” ... we are one of those “other kinds of people."

At the same time, there are a lot of disabled people who are, in every other respect, “regular people”. I’m pretty close to being “regular people” myself. One way you can tell is that I have a blog where I pontificate about my sensible, serious opinions every day.