Tuesday, 21 September 2010


Facebook entries:

Glenda - Going to the Minister does not work for ordinary crips...

Others - ‎"crips"?? way to put the cause back 20years, Glenda!!
Glenda if we dont refer to ourselves in a positive manner, how can we expect anyone else to?
That is a very offensive term.

Glenda - I am reclaiming the word. It's strong and punchy. The homosexuals call themselves "gay" now, and so do we. Once that was an insulting term but the gays reclaimed it and made it strong. They even proudly call each other and themselves "poofs" in certain situations. I know many crips who call themselves crip and do so proudly. I know what "disabled" means and I am not gonna call myself that cos I do function and work!

Here is a blog post where the woman refers to herself as a cripple and you will see how powerful it is!!


Do read it and you might just see where offensive really begins and ends.

By the way crip is also:
computer software
a gang or gang member
acronym, Continuous Revolution In Progress
acronym, Class Rebels Immortalizing Paint Spray.

I don't find it offensive because it means positive things to me and many fellow crips.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I have thought about this many many times over the past few years and have been again today. I don’t use the word “crip” lightly. I was appalled as a child to be called a cripple. I lived at the bloody Somerton Crippled Children’s Home and was appalled. I hated hated the Down Every Street Appeal for the Crippled Children’s Association. Been there done all that.

Is “disabled” any better? No. Is “handicapped” any better? No. Is “impaired”? Is “differently abled? Is “physically/intellectually challenged”? No!

I wish we didn't need labels to identify minorities but it seems we still do at the moment while we fight for equity. However I AM a person, woman, human.

Tonight on Good News Week, Josh Thomas (who is gay) kept repeating with glee the phrase “suck on that faggots” that Stephanie Rice said recently which shocked ‘everyone’. He said it was great that a sportsperson actually SAID something real. Josh was smiling and laughing and delighted in repeating the phrase. He said it at least 5 times with emphasis and then one of the others said “You, you can stop saying that now thanks Josh!” with squirm of discomfort. Josh was revelling in it. The discomfort was in the non-faggot man because he was ashamed of how it has been used to vilify, marginalise and abuse gay men.

I see the above with Josh as the same as when I use the word crip and the woman in that Train blog used the word cripple. The discomfort is in how you perceive the word. If you believe that “crip” is a put down then you let that old judgemental power be put on you forever.

Continuous Revolution In Progress


  1. I like when a population is able to reclaim a word. But I fear you have misunderstood the history of the word "gay" -- it's almost the opposite of how you present it here.

    For a long time, the word "gay" simply meant "happy." This is why some old Christmas carols use the word "gay" with that meaning in mind. The only people who used "gay" as a nicer word for "homosexual" were gay people. Most straight people had no idea of this alternate use of the word "gay" until gay people gradually became more visible and "out" during the late '60s and '70s. By about 1980-ish, it became so well known that the word "gay" didn't just mean "happy" any more that people basically stopped using the word with the meaning "happy" in mind and retained it as a polite way of saying "homosexual." Certainly when I was younger, this was the only meaning I understood for the word "gay" -- I'm too young to remember it being used to mean "happy" but old enough to remember the word "gay" NOT having the negative associations it has today.

    Only *THEN*, during around the '90s, did people start to use the word "gay" as an insult. I remember being bewildered the first time I heard a story from a parent of kids on the playground using the word as an insult. It probably became an insult precisely because anything associated with people who aren't heterosexual is perceived very negatively by some people, so the terms most widely used and known to refer to them, for many people, were perceived as just inherently negative by association. This is one reason why I tend to have mixed feelings about any campaign that tries to coin new, "politically correct" terms to supposedly replace older, less "PC" terms: usually it just leads to the new term acquiring negative connotations because as soon as people understand what it means, it becomes the new insult. Not because there's anything inherently bad in the word, but because it's associated with PEOPLE toward whom they have a negative attitude. Some people think we can encourage positive attitudes by encouraging the use of correct terminology, but I suspect that is precisely backwards. We cannot change attitudes through language because language will then simply shift in meaning to match the attitudes that are already there.

    If you want an example of "reclaiming" a slur from the GLBT community, then the word you want is "queer", not gay. For a long time, the word "queer" was an insulting way of referring to GLBT people. In fact, many older GLBT people still dislike the word "queer" because of the strongly negative associations it still holds for them. But younger GLBT people often like it, partly because it gives them a sense of power to reclaim the term and partly because they perceive it as being more broadly inclusive than terms like GLBT etc.

  2. Referred from davehingsburger.blogspot.com...I get what your point is, but where is the line on reclaiming? I mean, does it extend to "retard"? If a DS person started calling themselves a 'retard', what would happen? What would Dave say for instance?

    I'm just not convinced it's healthy. It's like greeting your girlfriends by saying "hey slut" or "what's up, bitch".

    I don't know.

    Stopping talking now...

  3. the other guy sad that to josh because you can only whip a dead horse so many times before putting it into a tin of dog food .. the squirm of discomfort was because GNW is supposed to be comedy .. the same joke five times? give me a break!

    as far as i take it the word "crip" is used in reference to gangs (specifically in los angeles, USA) and gang members who wear blue (as opposed to "bloods" who wear red) .. the words that really offend me when used as derogatory are "gay" and "faggot" as outlined above as well as "tard" which is short for "retarded" ..