Re: offensive language in the game
From: R Philip Dowds (rphilipdowdsme.com)
Date: Tue, 9 Mar 2021 06:25:30 -0800 (PST)
I’m not talking about being annoyed; at my age, I’m rarely annoyed.  I’m just 
groping for socially acceptable, usefully informative descriptors.  Like, for 
instance, when I thoughtlessly say “he / him” or “she / her”, am I being 
over-presumptuous, and potentially denigrating, by guessing at a person’s 
gender history and preference?  Clearly, describing everyone as an “it” is 
potentially insulting, and thus not a viable alternative.  Without a dictionary 
of acceptable characterizations, it can be hard to know what to say or write.

As for “handling” Ricardo, the very term “handling” suggests to me that a 
superior or authorized party is supposed to “do something about” the Ricardo 
Problem.  So maybe we’ve already objectified Ricardo in an inappropriate way?  
Even so, I’d argue that it’s helpful to understand whether Ricardo is shouting 
because of one specific, identifiable grievance … or instead, because of a 
quality or change in his … I now grope for words … intrinsic nature.  ???

I’ll return to my earlier point:  I agree that language counts, and words 
matter.  But as we all try to learn the most constructive way to say things, 
maybe we should cut each other some slack?

Thanks,
Philip Dowds
Cornerstone Village Cohousing
Cambridge, MA 02140

mobile: 617.460.4549
email:   rphilipdowds [at] me.com

> On Mar 9, 2021, at 8:17 AM, Elizabeth Magill <pastorlizm [at] gmail.com> 
> wrote:
> 
> The guideline I'd offer is don't try to guess why people act the way
> they do. If someone is annoying you, describe what is annoying, rather
> than guessing what prompted it.
> 
> "I need help handling Ricardo who suddenly shouts at me for seems to
> be no reason" rather than "I need help handling Ricardo's [made up
> diagnosis]."
> 
> Liz
> 
> 
> On Tue, Mar 9, 2021 at 8:05 AM R Philip Dowds via Cohousing-L
> <cohousing-l [at] cohousing.org> wrote:
>> 
>> I’m still not tracking very well (cognitive dysfunction?).  But should I 
>> understand that I *can’t* describe someone as having a "personality 
>> disorder”, but I *can* describe him/her as “mentally ill”?  (Personally, I 
>> don’t like “living with mental illness”, because it implies having made the 
>> choice (like living with pets), rather than being afflicted and deserving 
>> help.  But maybe that’s just me …)
>> 
>> Thanks,
>> Philip Dowds
>> Cornerstone Village Cohousing
>> Cambridge, MA 02140
>> 
>> mobile: 617.460.4549
>> email:   rphilipdowds [at] me.com
>> 
>>> On Mar 7, 2021, at 4:54 PM, Clara Lovatt <claraagnes48 [at] gmail.com> 
>>> wrote:
>>> 
>>> I can't respond definitely because I don't have the game and I'm not sure
>>> of the context. (And it sounds like a fun/useful game:)   But generally I
>>> find the term 'personality disorder' offensive because  1 -it is a
>>> diagnosis, true  - but a diagnosis that in recent years has been questioned
>>> as having enough specificity about it to be useful-. and  2 - it is an
>>> overused term to mean a whole range of negative things - like the term'
>>> crazy'... which is derogative and difficult for someone living with mental
>>> illness.  Generally I find that if someone raises a flag on an offensive
>>> word - there are others who don't like it as well and may not speak up.
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>> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> -Liz
> (The Rev. Dr.) Elizabeth Mae Magill
> Pastor, Ashburnham Community Church
> Minister to the Affiliates, Ecclesia Ministries
> www.elizabethmaemagill.com
> 508-450-0431

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