What is the offensive part... Is it the words, the historical intent
behind them ? Or denial of whom we have fought to be?
Forgive my line of reasoning, but... what is the point of having people
with or without disabilities, use words that have no meaning for them? For
me using "woman with disabilities" reflects my own analysis of having
reclaimed the identities of womanhood that I felt had been ignored, and
denied in the past and the reality of multiple impairment(s) . This is my
understanding, my realities, and not the politically correct thing. Often I
hear/ see people using the same words, but then their analysis is so 1940
about the "real place" of people with disabilities in all area of life that
I wonder what's the point of using politically correct language without a
real understanding and self-analysis? The point in fact is that it masks
ableist behavior and thinking in certain individuals, some of which ended up
in position of power in organization or worse in front line work and
continue by way of their prejudice to abuse the least powerful among us. As
a community organizer, I'm aware that language is an important tool for
change, By the same token, sadly, its also a way to keep control. I rather
know my true allies with or without share characteristic.
I realize that the initial question was about journalism students. They will
in fact be in position of power. What if they wrote:
"People with disabilities, are stealing work from non-disabled people...
does it make a difference if that read the disabled or other pejorative
----- Original Message
----- Original Message -----
From: David Pfeiffer <[log in to unmask]>
To: Disability-Research <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, January 27, 2000 10:45 PM
Subject: Re: disability language
> I must make a comment about so-called politically correct language.
> Handicapped, challenged, disabled, and special are just as offensive to me
> (to hell with correctness) as nigger, boy, colored, chick, babe, faggot,
> oriental, and the list could go on.....David
> David Pfeiffer, Ph.D.
> Resident Scholar
> Center on Disability Studies
> University of Hawai`i at Manoa
> [log in to unmask]
> Center on Disability Studies....maximizing individual
> potential by encouraging independence, self-determination,
> and full participation in the community.