The R word

This is my friend, blogger, mother to the divine Parker and activist Kat Abianac.

r-word

This beautiful woman is always friendly, caring and considerate.

She first contacted me when I was thrown into the spotlight for ‘going viral’, so to speak.

In a time where I was being contacted non stop by people who wanted something from me, she was this shining little light and out of nowhere contacted me to help me and guide me out of the ‘what the fuck is going on’ state I had found myself in.

Amongst other things she showed me how to get my Facebook account verified (that blue tick near my name.. I had no idea what that even meant before she called me) and become a big deal public fucking figure and shit.

You know those people that just help and don’t want anything in return despite you being all inspector suspicious they just actually are.. like kind and sweet, for no reason…

Well that’s Kat. So now that we have established what a genuinely Queenly human she is… I want to tell you… that she, our beautiful Kat spent last week genuinely fucked off.

Kat has a son, he has Down syndrome and nothing gets the Queen riled quite like hearing the term “retard” thrown around like some kind of flippant insult.

And that’s exactly what happened last week.



Last week, Australian Tennis hero (I use the term hero because I have no idea what we actually call sporting champions these days) Bernard Tomic in a post match media conference said the sentence “Unfortunately I had to stand on the court like a retard.”

And fuck me, Ive never seen Kat so mad, actually I’ve never even seen her a bit mad… But she was really mad.

Because as Kat said to me, Bernard wasn’t saying “fuck wit,” he wasn’t saying “dick head”. He was saying that the biggest loser you can be is a retard.

Now I used to use the word retard, Kat has even admitted that she used to use the word retard, Allan from the hangover brought it back with his interestingly pronounced version of the word Retard…. It was funny..

But guess what? The word nigger was probably funny to someone once too. However now you’d get glassed for even whispering the word in most places.

It’s kind of hard for anybody whose children don’t have any disabilities to understand what the word ‘Retard’ really feels like to a mother of a child with a disability. You have to really put yourself in her shoes.

I did so by asking myself, when someone in my house uses that word (I have teenage brothers, I hear it a lot,) what are they trying to say…. Well they are trying to point out that something or someone was uncoordinated? Fucked up? that it was ‘embarrassing..? that you should be embarrassed for doing it? Stupid?

You see I’m not a precious mum, my son Arlo is a red head and I joke that he’s my little ranga all the time, I teach my kids to laugh at themselves, to not take the world so seriously…

And then I really put myself in Kat’s shoes….

I envisioned that 2 famous important tennis players in the one week, stood on national television, in the spotlight as we all worshipped them and they stated,

“I was forced to stand around like a fucked up little uncoordinated Embarrassment, like a stupid Arlo.”

And my heart broke. Not just for Kat, not just for Parker. But for anybody with a disability, for all of us and our ignorance.

So Kat did what fierce, lioness, warrior bitches do and she started a petition, asking for an apology. Not trying to get the guy fired or ruin anyone’s careers. She wanted it to be known that this isn’t ok, because do you know what? It isn’t ok. It just isn’t.



Then a second player, Nick Kyrgios, said it as a throwaway comment on court in the same week and had to address it publicly at a press conference.

Can you imagine the hurt you would feel? If that was your happy, unassuming little boy? Forced to live in a world that doesn’t stick up for him?

Well you don’t have to, coz Parker has Kat and she does not stop, we saw an apology from Bernard. An apology from a 23 year old who should have known better, but it doesn’t stop here. We want a policy change. We don’t think it should be up to Australian disability organisations to police when these terms are flippantly thrown around in the public eye by sports figures.. Tennis Australia has policy against racial slurs, discrimination, they even have one against derogatory language, now we want them to have a public conversation about it, and if they STILL don’t think minority slurs are covered they need further policies, to prevent hurtful stabs at our disabled community.

Because they more than matter.

Kat, I am promising you that I wont use the R word ever again. As a woman who freely throws around the word cunt, the R word is now a step too far, even for a foul mouthed swearer like myself.

Kat is hoping that people in the spotlight, playground, sports field and well people everywhere learn that the ‘R’ word, may seem like shits and giggles, it may seem a bit of fun.. But for a hell of a lot of families out there.. It’s poison, plain and simple.

Let it be poison to all of us and stop making fuckwits out of ourselves by abolishing the term.

Con

 

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9 Comments
  1. Profile photo of Amber Burnett
    Amber Burnett 7 months ago

    Done. Goodbye ‘R word’.

  2. Profile photo of Bronzze
    Bronzze 7 months ago

    I feel this. I have had someone refer to my 4 year old with ASD as fuck boy because she is not capable of dealing with his intensity
    Having kids with disabilities is hard when other think they have a right to judge you or your children. A slur is a slur and no matter how it is delivered it is meant to be hurtful

    • Profile photo of Queenofsleep
      Queenofsleep 3 months ago

      I totally get it!
      My 5 year old has been diagnosed with ASD. I have had a ‘close’ friend tell me she doesn’t like my child because she is too intense and demanding. I have never felt more hurt than I did in that moment. How dare she dislike my beautiful, amazing, funny, charming child. Yes she can be a shit but fuck she is a child!
      A few weeks ago my gorgeous girl was having a meltdown at school about fuck knows what and refusing to enter the classroom. One of the mother’s asked me if they know what’s wrong with her. It hurts that these words are coming from adults who should know better!!

  3. Profile photo of Kel
    Kel 7 months ago

    Yip goodbye r word. I feel like, etc a real fuckwitt for ever saying it actually given that my wonderful gorgeous nephew has AND and I would push someone in the throat if they ever referred to him in that way

  4. Profile photo of Kel
    Kel 7 months ago

    ^^^^^ ASD not AND stupid autocorrect

  5. Profile photo of Victoria
    Victoria 7 months ago

    I don’t think I’ve ever used that word……but I’m British and we tend to be a bit more politically correct (for better and worse!) than our wonderful Aussie cousins. You’d be ostracised if you used that word in company in the UK I think. But today at work (in Sydney), a girl was laughing at her own mistake and said , ‘What a spastic!’ – I almost spat out my tea. WHAT? How is that okay, in any way?

    Thanks for this article, Con, and Parker, and Kat. I see my own little boy’s face in Parker’s face and I can just imagine the two of them playing happily together, safe from judgement, probably fighting over some battered old tin Holden, not caring about anything more challenging than who got the red car and who got the black one. And arguing about which one was faster.

    Because let’s face it, its not our kids who see the differences, is it?

  6. Profile photo of Bel
    Bel 7 months ago

    I am a teacher, and I had so many amazing ones, I’m sorry you didn’t. But you know what, becoming a Mum made me a better teacher because I get Mums more now! The day I sent my daughter on her very first excursion in Prep (with my colleagues mind you) I was terrified, and I realised how much trust parents put in us every day…..ever since then, everything I do at work I approached differently. I hope I make other Mums feel at ease and I know that I’ve already become a role model for some former students, which makes my job so worthwhile!!

  7. Profile photo of Melinda Hunt
    Melinda Hunt 7 months ago

    One of my daughters has special needs and whenever I hear the ‘r’ word or ‘spastic’, it upsets me so very much. It ruins my whole day. It is offensive, especially when our ‘friends’ and people we know all use those words. They hurt.

  8. Profile photo of Exhausted Pigeon
    Exhausted Pigeon 6 months ago

    I actually came to read this blog “The R word”, because I didn’t know which word we were referring to. I agree, the term retard is way overused and in a PC manic world, this is one of the first that should have been highlighted and abolished. You’re right queen – if it were the N word, there would be hell to pay. But usually, the people that are being targeted are the little tikes that have no voice, and it’s the parents that have to take on these supposed “role-models” and voice that while their tennis skills are gaining them national praise, their language is letting them down.

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