Yesterday I wrote a post claiming that a guy who doesn’t want to date me must be a retarded person. The word seemed to fit. I wanted to convey that such a person would have diminished mental capacity such that they could not understand the cost benefit analysis of being my boyfriend weighs heavily to one side. Since that math is pretty easy, the IQ of the person not able to make the correct decision must necessarily hover around 40, or what someone who employs a tasteless, non-PC vernacular would call ‘full retard.’
So anyways, it being the internet and all, people got offended. Logically, I don’t get it. Despite what commenters said, it is not at all like saying ‘that’s gay.’ In doing this you’re equating gay people with something that sucks. In my metaphor I was equating intellectually disadvantaged with intellectually disadvantaged. Being gay or straight doesn’t really have a right/wrong, good/bad connotation for me. But it’s clear that with intellectual ability, we would all prefer to be abled rather than disabled.
So, logic aside. Someone asked me if I would say that word in front of someone with Downs Syndrome. I thought about if I feel anything when, as a somewhat crazy person, people say ‘that’s crazy.’ Not really, I guess. Then I thought of a better analogy than people who say ‘that’s gay,’ classism. Like the issue at hand this is easy to understand. It’s better to be a ‘have’ than a ‘have not’ but its not a meritocracy. You get born into a rich family or into a kind of family and sociopolitical place that gives you the tools to make yourself rich. Similarly, if you’re born dumb you can study hard and go to college but there’s only so much you can do.
Because it’s out of your hands at some point, it’s not really anything to brag about. I get mad when people say things like “that’s not classy” because I think they just hate poor people. That made me get it. It’s a matter of the heart, not the head. You shouldn’t do something that’s going to make someone feel sad about themself just because you can.