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Build Up, Put Down

Calling the weather “Bi-polar” is akin to calling a situation gay or retarded.

No, hear me.

Weather is not a sentient being.  It does not have feelings or moods.  So saying its behavior is “bi-polar” and meaning it as a put down or a sign of craziness, is demeaning to those who have bi-polar, or really, any personality disorder.  If you say it to be demeaning, then it is demeaning across the board.

Just as calling a situation you find to be stupid “gay” is in-effect, calling gay people stupid.  It is the same.  These sentient beings with feelings, thoughts and love may well be stupid, some of them, but it has naught to do with their sexuality.  Maybe they turned their nose up at education, or aren’t wise.  But that is intelligence and lack of intelligence can mean stupidity.  But not sexuality.  Sexuality is something you are born with.  Sexuality is who you love.  And love is never stupid.  It may make you do stupid or foolish things, but love is not stupid.

And the word “retarded” has been fought over all over the internet.  I’ve tried to avoid that can of worms, but it’s time.  There was a time that those who were born with a certain lack of intellectual qualities, were declared “retarded”.  But let’s be clear on something:  Your friend goofing off and doing stupid shit isn’t retarded.  He is dumb or unwise or unintelligent or just blowing off steam and actually the valedictorian of your class.  Who am I to know his story.  That kid with downs (as one of many examples)?  S/he has had to fight harder than you could ever possibly understand to get where s/he is in life.  And maybe that life won’t lead him or her to being a CEO or “successful” by societies standards, but the fight they have had to get to where they are is a success that far surpasses access to dreary board meetings.  And having what it takes to fight hard for that and still wake up every goddamn morning loving life and all it has to offer, is a sheer brilliant you can’t possibly seem to come to terms with.  Not if you are calling your jackass of a friend “retarded”.  Honestly, your friend isn’t worthy of that label.

For what it’s worth, I despise that label because of the ass-backwards connotations it holds.  It should be a label akin to “mood disorder” or “personality disorder” or “heart trouble”.  Something that covers many actual diagnoses, this one happens to deal with learning set-backs.  But no, people have turned it into a dirty word, so a dirty word it seems to be.

Not so very different from the connotations in calling the weather bipolar.

One Comment

  1. Comment by Julie You Jest:

    Love this one too! My step-mother is bi-polar and it makes me all stabby when people use it as some kind of a put down or an attempt to be witty. The same goes with gay and retarded. One of my nephews used those words last summer in my presence and I’m pretty sure he won’t use them in the same way again. He was subjected to a lot of lecture time.

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