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

Super_Boom said:
Shaunodon said:

It's not about negatively calling someone else autistic. It's about people using the word autistic as part of a joke, but they're not intentionally trying to insult anyone.

As the OP says, people should have the general courtesy not to use it if others are bothered that much, but you can't ban people for a word if they're not being intolerable or abusive.
People have different views on what's appropriate or how sensitive they should have to be, but if they're not being malicious I don't see why you can't just ignore them.

Hanlon's razor: "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity."

A good read: https://medium.com/personal-growth/hanlons-razor-how-to-avoid-common-missteps-in-judgment-c83afc4e2168

" Hanlon’s Razor is an effective check on a tendency that we humans have: to quickly judge that something bad that happens to us is the result of an intentional evil action. This kind of thinking is mistaken for 2 reasons:

  1. Intentionality of the robust kind we assume is rare.
  2. Evil intentionality is even rarer. "

In other words, people who use memes like "autistic screeching" are just having stupid fun. The chance of them actually thinking ill of autistic people is pretty low.

Sure, I can see that, chances are you aren't actually saying someone has a mental condition. It all comes down to how you're using it I guess. I'm probably guilty of using "retarded" to describe...say...manga endings I disliked, but if I used that word to describe someone then I'd expect to be moderated. No one has the right to be a jerk, even if your intention isn't literal, there's no mystery what the implication is.

As far as the example you cited...honestly it seems classless to me and I don't find it very funny, and not sure why describing it as 'autistic' drives the joke home better. Maybe I'm just crazy. I think empathizing with people who might actually have that condition is never a bad thing though.

I'd agree, but not everyone is an empathetic person. It doesn't mean they hate autistic people or that they like to demean them, but some people just don't care enough to change the way they live.
If you want people to be understanding of you, then you have to try and understand them.



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Pemalite said:
vivster said:

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 all really depends on the context you leverage such words in... As often certain derogatory homophobic-insults are leveraged as greetings in the LGBT community... (I know this, because I am part of said community.)
But if you have someone with a little more malice in their intentions, such wording can be extremely derogatory and in some instances, harmful rather than a friendly greeting.

vivster said:

Do poor, stupid or fat people get upset when you call other people by those descriptors? What if I called you a woman? Will women get upset? They probably would but that's not the point.

Again... Context is key. There is a time and place for everything.

So what you're saying is that contrary to the mod note the use of said meme was perfectly fine. Because the context was completely arbitrary and there was no intent or malice towards autistic people.

I guess the big question here is if someone has the right to demand action for being offended at something that neither was directed towards them nor was intended to be offensive.

The loudest voices in the current society seem to think the answer is a resounding yes, though it's questionable if they reflect the opinion of the majority. My personal opinion on this is that actual intent should have a lot more weight in these situations than it currently has.

Last edited by vivster - on 25 June 2018

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vivster said:
Pemalite said:

It all really depends on the context you leverage such words in... As often certain derogatory homophobic-insults are leveraged as greetings in the LGBT community... (I know this, because I am part of said community.)
But if you have someone with a little more malice in their intentions, such wording can be extremely derogatory and in some instances, harmful rather than a friendly greeting.

Again... Context is key. There is a time and place for everything.

So what you're saying is that contrary to the mod note the use of said meme was perfectly fine. Because the context was completely arbitrary and there was no intent or malice towards autistic people.

I guess the big question here is if someone has the right to demand action for being offended at something that neither was directed towards them nor was intended to be offensive.

The loudest voices in the current society seem to think the answer is a resounding yes, though it's questionable if they reflect the opinion of the majority. My personal opinion on this is that actual intent should have a lot more weight in these situations than it currently has.

Just because something is completely "arbitrary" doesn't mean it is without harm, which is why a degree of interpretation is required.

And for the record... I -AM- a minority so I know -exactly- what it is like to be on the receiving end of the stick or having your descriptor used in vain, my life also revolves around helping others.
So again... I reinforce the idea that context is most certainly everything.



--::{PC Gaming Master Race}::--

 

forest-spirit said:
I'm not sure about building a list of restricted words, because there's a whole lot of words that could be used in inappropriate ways and I feel like such a list would become unsustainable as more and more words gets added to it. Don't get me wrong, I certainly believe that using words like autistic as an insult is worthy of moderation, I'm just not sure if that's the best way of handling it.

i would also thinks such a list would vary from person to person which would make it almost impossible to keep track off and uphold. im not easily insulted or offended myself but for some strange reason people saying goodmorning to  me anoys me and adding that to a list would be insane and wouldnt help anyone. i believe people can say whatever they want as long as its nothing thats against the law like inciting violence or hatred  towards certain groups of people. other than that the moment someone says something you dont like or offends you speak up to them or ignore, mute or block them. but if we start making lists with words we cant say it will become a very long list.

Last edited by iamsomeone - on 25 June 2018

SpokenTruth said:
You don't need a list. It's simple. Don't be an asshole to others. Be respectful and empathetic.

If you can't make a meme funny without being an asshole, it's your own fault for the limited vocabulary and creative expression.

Did you just put 'meme' and 'creative expression' in the same sentance lol?



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CGI-Quality said:

📢

I had a discussion with The Mod Team about this. Many of them feel like the term "autistic screeching", whether a meme or not, is inappropriate. They also feel the word "autistic", as an insult, is just as bad as other words we find inappropriate around here. My personal input? While there are surely words/terms/phrases that can be seen as jokes and what not, people with genuine autism (or with a friend/relative who suffers from it) don't find it funny at all. No different than calling someone a "retard". Because these things have lasting consequences on the sufferer, I get where The Team, and curl, are coming from, though I don't feel quite as strongly about it.

So, here's what I'll do. From this post on, I want genuine responses to this. How do you feel about a Global (Sitewide) restriction on words like these? This is simply to know where many of you stand.

I don't think the word itself should be outright forbidden, as much like "gay" it has many applications that are perfectly reasonable and civil, such as discussions about people who are genuinely autistic or gay. 

Nor do I think using it in a derogatory way should be a "one-hit-kill" and lead to an immediate ban. I feel like it's more one of those things where the person using it as such probably needs a heads up that it's not appropriate first, and that if they then continue to use it in an intentionally malicious way, then further action such as a temp ban may be appropriate.

In my experience, a gentler approach like this is more helpful than zero-tolerance prohibition.

Just my 2 cents.



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

Just dwell on that bolded bit, though. Facial expressions and other such body language only come through in conversation if the medium of communication allows it, and if the participants choose to use it. There are alternatives - though they are not as honest, instant or functional - and they are apparently not available in this particular internet forum groupfuckspace.

Tthrough the written word we do have the opportunity to elucidate, and through participation, the opportunity to expound on - or concede - talking points. It doesn't hurt to be wrong, and you're not going to lose anything of real value if you are, and there's a chance to develop valuable pragmatism and look at a thing from different angles each time you drop your guard. To place the responsibility on ONE participant for an undesirable tangent to a discussion is retroactive.

But what the fuck do I know, I'm autistic.



WHERE IS MY KORORINPA 3

Mummelmann said:
As someone who works with autistic kids; I agree with OP. I'm very, very far from being politically correct as a person but I really dislike this term being used this way.

This

It's very easy for people to misunderstand where we are coming from when we simply reject the use of a word in certain context due to the nature of our work, culture, religion etc. While I myself don't let words bother me so much, using "autistic" as an insult really gets under my skin because I know and work with adolescents and adults with varying levels of autism and all most of them want is to desperately be accepted by society like any other person. 

To an uninformed, immature person, autism is a "fun jab" or "joke", but to an autistic person it's another reason for them to continue believe that society views them as different. I mean using the term as mere insult implies that autism is bad thing by default. 



I am the black sheep     "of course I'm crazy, but that doesn't mean I'm wrong."-Robert Anton Wilson

A word only has as much weight to it as someone wants to give it. I don't have an issue with using the word. I haven't used it myself because it's not something I even considered using, maybe one day, but haven't yet. Words are meaningless until someone who is looking to make a point or take offense decides to do so. Are there things that are awful to say? Of course, however like everything else in life doing so speaks more to the person saying those things and their juvenile attempt to create a shock.

So many other things to point out and say about the screeching masses of bull hair cuts, unshaven arm pits and neck beards. Autistic isn't needed to get the point across.



Cubedramirez said:
A word only has as much weight to it as someone wants to give it. I don't have an issue with using the word. I haven't used it myself because it's not something I even considered using, maybe one day, but haven't yet. Words are meaningless until someone who is looking to make a point or take offense decides to do so. Are there things that are awful to say? Of course, however like everything else in life doing so speaks more to the person saying those things and their juvenile attempt to create a shock.

So many other things to point out and say about the screeching masses of bull hair cuts, unshaven arm pits and neck beards. Autistic isn't needed to get the point across.

i always say the moment you say something someone is bound to be offended. its the intend behind the words that count the words themselves are meaningless