Tuesday, January 05, 2010

"It's from a movie!"

Today I needed a ride to my mom's job because my doctor appointment... blah blah blah.

I had to ride with Becky and her friend.

They watched "The Hangover" last night.

Within a couple minutes, Becky used the word "retarded" (or "retard") in a derogatory manner. ("That's so -" or "You're such a -") I objected and asked her not to use that word.

Her response?

"It was in the movie!"

It wasn't even a clever insult using derogatory, cruel language. Just a plain ol' insult. Used everywhere. (They also said other things from the movie about casinos - nothing funny to me, the third party who hadn't seen the movie. If you're going to quote a movie, shouldn't you use a funny or interesting quote to make somebody want to see it and not just go "Hee hee we have an in-joke!")

I didn't tell her this, because she doesn't care. But I wanted to say it. And hey, here's my blog. (She would see it if I said anything on Facebook.)

If you quote a movie, you are endorsing the use of the language in the quote. If I watched the Hangover and liked it, I would like it despite the use of the word "retarded." I would not go around using it, saying it's the movie. This was a phrase my sister liked and felt comfortable saying.

I can analyze a character's use of a word or bigoted thinking without endorsing it. (The difference between agreeing with the sexist BS on "The Simpsons" and analyzing it.) And I think that just repeating it is an endorsement. (Of course, you could be repeating it to go "WTFOMG can you believe they said that?" But that's not what happened.)

Another thing - using song lyrics as a status on Facebook, or anywhere else. My sister and my cousin and some friends do it all the time. I hate it. Some of the lyrics are disturbing, so my mom will ask her about it. "It's just a song!" If you felt comfortable enough to repeat it, you better be ready to explain it.

To sum up - do not hide behind the fact that you are using someone else's words when you say something offensive. You felt comfortable repeating it, that is the problem.

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