Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I Am My Daughter's Voice

Recently, a movie was released called The Change Up.  I have not seen it myself, & will not be going & I hope that my family friends, & readers of my blog will join me in boycotting this movie.  Although I haven't seen the movie, I've heard numerous reports about one particular scene. I am not quoting the scene word for word, but basically one character asks about his friend's twins & why they are not talking yet.  Then he asks" Are they retarded?  This one looks a little downsy"

Why is this funny?  How is it a joke to make fun of a group  of people who often can't defend themselves?  Why is it OK for Hollywood to behave like an obnoxious, pushy brat on the playground?

As parents, friends, & loved ones of people with developmental delays, we need to stand up for our loved ones.  It is not OK.  Any other group being discriminated against in this way would create such an uproar that the word would fall out of general use. 

At the age of 4, my daughter does not understand about the "R" word.  Until she does, I will be her voice.  I have spoken out many times to help people realize why they shouldn't use the "R" word, but today I am putting a promise in writing to my daughter.  I hope you will join me in promising your loved one that you will stand up for them as well.

My promise to my daughter:

I will be outraged for you.

I will be strong enough to stand up & say "You cannot treat my daughter that way!"

I will gently correct our friends & loved ones who don't understand the true implication of their words.

I will explain to strangers why it isn't funny to make fun of those who are often unable to defend themselves.

My precious daughter, when you are old enough to understand the implication of this word, I will help you learn how to stand up for others who don't have a voice.

Love you,



I am adding this footnote a few days later:

Several times, when politely explaining to people why they shouldn't use the "R" word, they have responded the they don't consider K to be MR, so they didn't connect that word to her at all.  I don't consider K to be MR either, but think about it - does that mean really OK to make fun of others who they do consider to be delayed?  Grrrr................ 

1 comment:

  1. I am right there with you! My husband and I were talking about seeing that movie (we like the actors in it and thought it would be good because of them) until I heard of that scene (and other similar scenes in which other groups of people were made fun of).

    I am not surprised by my "mama bear" feelings towards my daughter (and actually my boys too - I shocked myself last fall when I stood up to a dad at the baseball park after his thoughtless words to my son's coach upset my son in the process), but I am so amazed by those around me and their "mama bear" protection of my daughter as well. It seems that when having a child with special needs, you really find out quickly who truly is on your side, who is there to fight the fight with you. And being part of the Ds community now, I am realizing that not only do I have quite a few people that I know personally fighting that fight, but there are thousands of other families out there and their personal people fighting with me. And that gives me so much hope.