Ableism is discrimination against disabled/neurodivergent* people. It can be a company paying a disabled employee less than an able-bodied one (like Goodwill Industries), refusal to make a business accessible, etc. But the acts don't have to be large. Sometimes, just words are ableist.
We all know not to use the word "retarded" to describe or insult a person or thing. We all know why it's bad. But we often use other words steeped in negative history without thinking about it. We know what the words mean now, so we use them with permissible intent, not thinking about what message they convey to someone else,
Stupid, dumb, crazy, insane... all have dark pasts for those with cognitive disabilities or mental illnesses. Regardless of how they're currently said by the masses, those words are still used too often to belittle, mock, pain, or dismiss certain sections of the disabled community.
I, myself, say these words in normal conversation to articulate my feelings on a ridiculous or foolish decision or circumstance. You will surely find such instances right on this blog. But it is wrong for me to do so. With that in mind, I'm going attempt to revamp my language. I may not always remember to pick the better word or phrase, but it is important to me to try. (The caveat being in my fiction, as most people say the words.)
Are there any words or phrases you've stopped using? Why?
*Neurodivergent people are those on the Autism spectrum, people with bipolar, A.D.H.D. etc.