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Forums - General Discussion - Using "autistic" as a derogatory term; please don't

I hate to be "that guy", but just today I've come across multiple posts on VGC using the term "autistic screeching" to mock a company/person's position or behaviour.

Just thought a reminder was in order that it's kinda a bit rude to VGC's multiple autistic members. Autistics are people too, and nobody likes to be demeaned. 

VGC is generally a lovely and welcoming forum, so let's all do our bit to keep it that way.

Thanks for your consideration, and remember to...

Last edited by curl-6 - on 22 June 2018

Bet with Liquidlaser: I say PS5 and Xbox Series will sell more than 56 million combined by the end of 2023.

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i agree but you shouldn't take words as if people really mean them

otherwise everything we say looks robotic



I have always been fascinating with this topic. The ability of a word to have an inherent offensive value in the eyes of some people is a very interesting thing to discuss. A word is a concept, a human construct used to convey certain information, and in this cases, at some point they become "toxic", for lack of a better description, and their use becomes taboo in general, either for the general population or for certain groups of people. In moments like this, I like to put forward this book as an interesting case:

This book is a psychology text called "Trato Familiar del Subnormal", which translates to literally "Family Treatment for the Retarded". Now, this is quite old, as you can see, and it was written in the 70s, back when the word "Subnormal" could be used freely and with no real inherent toxicity. Back then, it was used as an insult too, but there was no real objection with using it in a professional term. Now you'd probably be sued if you used it like that, even if it's in a medical context. There seems to be a process whereas some words acquire negative implications, regardless of context, and I don't know if that's allright. And the curious thing is, this applied only to certain concepts, and not to others. Do blind people feel offended when you call it that to someone who's not paying attention? Do deaf people feel offended when you call it that to someone who's ignoring you? You could say it's a "different context", but then we'd have to discuss where's the line between acceptable and unacceptable. A word should be just that, a word. It shouldn't have that much power regardless of context. And I think context is the key here. Friends insulting each other during a friendly conversation can say absolute obscenities to each other and not feel offended, but those same words can become suddenly aggravating when the same people use them in a completely different context. A word isn't inherently offensive, it's just offensive when the context of that conversation really makes it so.

Last edited by Darwinianevolution - on 22 June 2018

You know it deserves the GOTY.

Come join The 2018 Obscure Game Monthly Review Thread.

Multiple posts? Wow. That was really popular today. Just like "a sense of agency" and variations of that term using the word "agency" have become popular in recent weeks.



Chinese food for breakfast

 

 

Darwinianevolution said:

I have always been fascinating with this topic. The ability of a word to have an inherent offensive value in the eyes of some people is a very interesting thing to discuss. A word is a concept, a human construct used to convey certain information, and in this cases, at some point they become "toxic", for lack of a better description, and their use becomes taboo in general, either for the general population or for certain groups of people. In moments like this, I like to put forward this book as an interesting case:

This book is a psychology  "Trato Familiar del Subnormal", which translates to literally "Family Treatment for the Retarded". Now, this is quite old, as you can see, and it was written in the 70s, back when the word "Subnormal" could be used freely and with no real inherent toxicity. Back then, it was used as an insult too, but there was no real objection with using it in a professional term. Now you'd probably be sued if you used it like that, even if it's in a medical context. There seems to be a process whereas some words acquire negative implications, regardless of context, and I don't know if that's allright. And the curious thing is, this applied only to certain concepts, and not to others. Do blind people feel offended when you call it that to someone who's not paying attention? Do deaf people feel offended when you call it that to someone who's ignoring you? You could say it's a "different context", but then we'd have to discuss where's the line between acceptable and unacceptable. A word should be just that, a word. It shouldn't have that much power regardless of context. And I think context is the key here. Friends insulting each other during a friendly conversation can say absolute obscenities to each other and not feel offended, but those same words can become suddenly aggravating when the same people use them in a completely different context. A word isn't inherently offensive, it's just offensive when the context of that conversation really makes it so.

 



Chinese food for breakfast

 

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Reminds me of "gay" or "retard" being used as slurs, which is also generally frowned upon. So, for the moment, I endorse this idea.

That said, I won't Moderate it at every corner. In a case like this, some people may genuinely say it as a means of kidding around (again, similar to the words above). They may not truly understand the word's meaning, origins, or what sufferers of it have to go through. It also isn't as direct as something like "fanboy", so it can be a trickier thing to act on.

I'll review it further and try to come up with a way that makes sense for everyone.



                                                                                                             

COKTOE said:

 

Darwinianevolution said:

I have always been fascinating with this topic. The ability of a word to have an inherent offensive value in the eyes of some people is a very interesting thing to discuss. A word is a concept, a human construct used to convey certain information, and in this cases, at some point they become "toxic", for lack of a better description, and their use becomes taboo in general, either for the general population or for certain groups of people. In moments like this, I like to put forward this book as an interesting case:

This book is a psychology  "Trato Familiar del Subnormal", which translates to literally "Family Treatment for the Retarded". Now, this is quite old, as you can see, and it was written in the 70s, back when the word "Subnormal" could be used freely and with no real inherent toxicity. Back then, it was used as an insult too, but there was no real objection with using it in a professional term. Now you'd probably be sued if you used it like that, even if it's in a medical context. There seems to be a process whereas some words acquire negative implications, regardless of context, and I don't know if that's allright. And the curious thing is, this applied only to certain concepts, and not to others. Do blind people feel offended when you call it that to someone who's not paying attention? Do deaf people feel offended when you call it that to someone who's ignoring you? You could say it's a "different context", but then we'd have to discuss where's the line between acceptable and unacceptable. A word should be just that, a word. It shouldn't have that much power regardless of context. And I think context is the key here. Friends insulting each other during a friendly conversation can say absolute obscenities to each other and not feel offended, but those same words can become suddenly aggravating when the same people use them in a completely different context. A word isn't inherently offensive, it's just offensive when the context of that conversation really makes it so.

 

I like this example too, although it's a bit far from the offensiveness discussed here.



You know it deserves the GOTY.

Come join The 2018 Obscure Game Monthly Review Thread.

It's homophobic seal all over again.

Language is volatile and meanings change. Which is why no one thinks about homosexuals when they call something lame "gay". It's only a matter of time until they rename the disorder into something else, because people will consider using the word even in context as "demeaning". And then people will forget even the meaning of autistic when using the "slur" and we will all move on.

THE CIIIIIRCLE OF SLUUUUUURS!

Last edited by vivster - on 22 June 2018

If you demand respect or gratitude for your volunteer work, you're doing volunteering wrong.

Cheers CGI.

I'm not calling for blanket moderation of the word or anything, just asking that people remember before posting that we do have autistic members here, and that a little bit of courtesy goes a long way.

I've been a member of many forums over the years and VGC is perhaps the most hospitable and well managed I've encountered, and that's in large part due to both a great mod team, and just as importantly a generally welcoming and courteous community.



Bet with Liquidlaser: I say PS5 and Xbox Series will sell more than 56 million combined by the end of 2023.

I don't really think that's a reasonable way of looking at it ... not because you're expecting others to be nicer, but because it isn't something that logically should be offensive. It's the same as your momma jokes to people who are fat ... etc etc etc. However, our emotional responses do not have to make sense, and sometimes it is better to acknowledge that people feel uncomfortable from certain things rather than question it. I don't think I've ever used it on here, but I'll be sure to never use it from now on.