Last week, Maria wrote a post titled “Things to do When the Internet Makes You Crazy“.
Then we got a commenter who pointed out that “crazy” isn’t a very nice term, that it’s ableist and belittling to people who suffer from mental illness. Maria changed the word “crazy” in the title to “enraged”. But the comment sparked a lot of discussion behind the scenes over PC-ness of terms and whether the nuance of language makes it more or less acceptable to use words that others object to. And whether every instance of “un-PCness” is fair.
We discussed whether certain terms are really worthy of extra thought and care. Who can reclaim a term. When terms can and cannot be reclaimed.
In the end it was a really interesting discussion, and I’d like to think I came away as a more compassionate person. That maybe, if someone tells me that a term hurts them, I don’t get to decide whether or not I’m actually hurting them. I know they’re hurt. My only decision is whether or not I want to keep hurting them or not. Usually, the answer is no.
In fact, I went ahead and coined the term “Kirksy”. Because I use the word “crazy” a lot. And, really, it’s not the best word to describe most “crazy” shit. You know, is what went down really analogous to mentally illness? Or is it super bizarre or illogical or flies in the face of all that is reasonable? Would that “crazy” thing be better compared to, say, Kirk Cameron? The answer is yes.
Remember when Amy replaced gendered swears with “crotch”? Let’s try to do the same thing with the word “kirksy.”
“That’s some kirsky shit Mitt Romney said.”
“I am kirksy in love with you.”
“Hey, I just met you, and this is kirksy, but here’s my number… banana phone me maybe.”
So, what do you think? Is remembering not to use words like “gay” and “retard” too much trouble? Is PC-ness a legit thing? How do you plan on working “kirksy” into your day to day language? Do you think “kirk-kirk” will be as catchy as “cray cray”? Instead of twirling your finger next to your head should you mimic peeling a banana? What’s your favorite example of Kirk Cameron displaying his Kirksiness?
The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3pm ET.