From Lizzo to Beyoncé, why does hurtful language persist for disability?

Disability Pride Month is over. You might not even know that this happened. You didn’t go to any parade (there was no parade). You didn’t buy any merchants or see any ads with brand sponsorships (no brand tie-ins, no companies proud to align themselves with struggle for disability justice either pretend for profit) and at the end of the month came the disappointing news that another beloved musician had left lyrics with a capable ghoul,

this time, it was Beyoncé,

On July 29, Beyoncé released the album “Renaissance”. Intended as the first part of a trilogy, it is also their first studio release since Groundbreaking.lemonade” in 2016. While the internet and critics raged, not all reactions were positive. The song “Heated,” co-written by Beyoncé and Drake, included a lyric with the word “spaz,” an old word that’s harmful. find.

The term originated from spastic diplegia, a type of cerebral palsy: a group of disorders that affect a person’s movement, posture, and balance. But it is often used as an abuse or a taunt. it’s the same word Lizzo Contains the original songs from their single “Grrls”, released a few months ago. In both cases, the word was used as a shorthand for losing control.

like Lizzo, Beyoncé Heard criticism of the song and responded swiftly. In Lizzo’s case, a few days after the single’s release, she changed the lyrics, re-recorded the song, and launched a new version on it. Youtube channel (and also released public statement,

Meanwhile, Beyoncé announced through her publicist that her song would also be changed, although the new version has yet to be revealed. “The word, not used in a deliberately harmful manner, shall be replaced,” his representative Told NPR.

More subtle aspects of criticism of Beyoncé and Lizzo’s songs include the fact that both performers are black women, and that the conversation should have been led by black women with disabilities. heavy, it was not, A rigorous standard is applied black artist compared to the white cast, and some fear the quick changes made by both Lizzo and Beyoncé won’t be enough to satisfy the condemnation. Not accepted by many critics different history The word in question may have been in the black community.

Why do you do Disabled Harmful Language Also stay up to date with knowledgeable people like Lizzo, who is an advocate for body positivity, What are capable words and phrases, and why are they bad?

Why does harmful language with disabilities persist even among people with knowledge of body positivity like Lizzo?

These are just words. Stop being so sensitive. Yet “equitable terms” of competence—discrimination and prejudice against people with disabilities—are actively harmful. They associate disabilities with negative qualities. Calling someone “tone-deaf” or something “falls on deaf ears” refers to being inattentive, distracted, and willfully oblivious to deaf people. “Blindfolding” means that blind people do not pay attention. How would you feel if your body or way of doing things was constantly associated with bad things?

Part of the problem with competent language is that it is dehumanizing. If you’ve often used derogatory terms for people with disabilities, you’re less likely to see them as human when you meet them, As something more than an abuse. This is a burning issue when the rate of violent crimes against people with disabilities is approx. four times more compared to the rate of violent crimes against non-disabled people. more than 80% women with disabilities Stayed sexually assaulted,

across all age groups and education levels, Handicap Huh very little chance of being employed compared to non-disabled people, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. people with disabilities live in poverty more than double The rate of the non-disabled population. It’s “just words,” but the way we talk about people contributes to our comfort with less than their status in society.

If something’s falling on my (deaf) ears, I’m laser-tuning it.

The words abelist are not only out of date but also extremely inaccurate. As a person who is partially deaf, I pay more attention, not less. I would have to: i read lips to communicate, and that not an easy skill Nor something you can do without concentration. So, “falling on deaf ears” means the opposite of what you might think it does. If something’s falling on my (deaf) ears, I’m laser-tuning it. Many of my non-disabled friends call me the best listener ever. The author as Hannah Devine tweeted In Lizzo, Divine’s cerebral palsy means “endless painful stiffness in my legs… ‘spas’ doesn’t mean passing out.”

The words able are not exact words. Instead of using precise and often better definitions, they fall back on disability stereotypes. The first word isn’t always the best word, and “easy” doesn’t necessarily mean “good.” Take the outrageous original song of the Black Eyed-Pease’s “Let’s Get It Started”, which was also a slang in the original title, and which made less sense in the context of a song about partying without a care. In the same way that Beyoncé and Lizzo’s earlier songs didn’t really mean “wild,” the often used “crazy” doesn’t necessarily mean “reckless.”

Lizzo (AP/Richard Shotwell)Words matter and how they are used can not only impact a person’s life but can also make a piece of art better by thinking more deliberately. As Glamour pointed out, by Lizzo turning the able word into the song “Hold Me Back”, which flows naturally in the song, “there’s also a reasonable argument to be made. new song is better Even if the original line isn’t offensive.” Not being able is also a chance to be more aware and creative, to get it more correct.

It is disappointing that able-bodied words currently continue to escape attention compared to other types of hurtful words, including sexist and homophobic language. So many disability slurs are still in common use – in mouth of celebrities, in documents of record, Disappointingly, slang for disability is often used in apologies, articles, speeches, and tweets about other types of prejudice: Bette Midler sorry For “tone-deaf” transphobic tweets; new York Times sorry For the “tone-deaf” racist article. ,Jimmy Kimmel’s lame apology for blackface” was part of the title of a Los Angeles Times column published only in 2020.


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The rest of that title refers to what it “reveals about the world of comedy,” but about what avant-garde reveals. We It’s that we still don’t care enough about people with disabilities to talk like people. With their prompt corrective actions, Beyonce and Lizzo are outliers. Black Eyed Peas took a year Remove slurs from their song titles and lyrics, which he never talked about publicly. and then he won a Grammy Award For this.

The first step to moving away from competence isn’t much: educating yourself, thinking about what your words mean. Beyoncé and Lizzo are taking it. When will everyone else be?

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