Friday, March 7, 2014

An Open Letter To John C McGinley About His Article 'What Really Happens When You Use the R-Word'

Mr McGinley, I think you're an excellent actor. One example: your work on "Scrubs." Let me ask you something: what do you think of the hundreds if not thousands of times over the course of that series when your character called Zach Braff's character a "girl" and/or called him by a woman's name? It wasn't the high point of the series for me. The clear implication was that there was something wrong with being a girl and/or a man's being effeminate and/or emotionally open and sensitive. These sentiments were constantly slung af Braff's character in order to get laughs. I suppose we should stop using the word "girl." Clearly, using the "G-word" is hurtful.

What's that? I'm being ridiculous? You're right, I'm being completely ridiculous.. And you and all other advocates of PC speech are being just as ridiculous, because the problem is not particular words, it's how those words are used. It's racism and sexism and other forms of prejudice. The problem is a lack of love and a lack of common decency. It's using words to hurt. The words themselves are not the problem, and focusing on them in this way is only a distraction from the actual problem, and the entire PC-speech movement a huge waste of time. And I say all of this as an autistic who is occasionally called the "R-word," and who happens to find the word "autistic" very useful and doesn't want to see "the A-word" be tabooed. But that's the direction we're headed in.

We want the same thing here: more respect for each other, more caring in the world, especially for people who are relatively defenseless. Please don't think I would ever wish any hurt to your son. I wish you all the best, and I wish him a long life full of love and joy, surrounded by people with hearts as good as yours.

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