They say that sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never harm me. I say codswallop! Words are a scathing business. Cruel words such as gimp, and cripple affect people with disabilities dignity and pride every day. The exciting part is that people are staking a claim to these words in a new way. Blog names I’ve seen like The Gimp Avenger lay a gauntlet for the ignorant! It’s a grassroots movement that takes ugly words and crafts them into something more. A powerful and positive ownership of what it means to be discriminated against as a minority and how to rise above.
I cringe when I hear people use the word retarded casually. Not only is the word misapplied but it highlights a deep societal prejudice. It’s so widespread that many people don’t register it as a negative. The design community has caught on to the challenge and this poster caught my eye.
Alison Rowan is a young and talented graphic designer. She’s recognized how people use retarded as a stand in for all kinds of negative words and just how misguided that is. I love her message, “Go buy a dictionary!” She’s encouraging people to think about what they’re saying and why.
Starting as low as nine bucks a pop I think they should be everywhere! This Christmas purchase one for the teacher in your life. These should be in classrooms across the country!
What are your thoughts on cruel words and helping society redefine them?
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