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  • Hello lovely people!

  • Today we're going to be discussing:

  • am I dumb?

  • Are you dumb?

  • Are we both dumb...?

  • Is anyone dumb?

  • I'm Jessica and if you're new here then welcome to the channel, please subscribe for

  • amusing educational topics. By clicking the 'join' button next to the 'subscribe'

  • button you can also become a member of The Kellgren-Fozard Club where you'll receive

  • behind-the-scenes access to extra videos and entry to an extra section of my Discord board-

  • which is a thing that I now have...

  • which you can find by clicking the link in my description.

  • Also, while you're down there, make sure to suss out the merch shelf

  • - which only shows up if you have your ad blocker off, FYI.

  • There is currently a sale going on in my shop as we're going to be changing things up

  • very soon and since not all of the items will be migrating over this is a good chance to

  • buy anything you like now as it might not be available later! You can also find various

  • merch pieces in the 'shop' tab of my YouTube channel, which will be visible on desktop

  • or devices. Remember to use SHOPCLEAR for 15% off.

  • On with today's video: a few weeks ago I was recording for Rick Edwards' podcast

  • 'Who Says You Can't' and when we reached the end everyone in the room smiled, said

  • thank you, that went really well and one of the technicians asked whether there were any

  • lines we wanted to record again or anything we wanted cut.

  • I was happily about to say 'no' when my sign language interpreter lent over and voiced

  • you said 'dumb'.”

  • [record scratch]

  • Whoops!

  • I called myself 'dumb' for forgetting something I think

  • In the age of the internet, with increasing awareness of diversity and inclusion, we know

  • we need to address racist, sexist, homophobic and classist language but ableist language

  • all too often creeps through.

  • Maybe you don't realise but words like spaz, lame, crazy and retard are considered problematic

  • in some circles due to their difficult history.

  • I say some circles I mean that's just problematic to be honest.

  • The term 'dumb' is included in this and

  • in this video I'm going to explain why.

  • It's a complex thing and you were probably not aware.

  • Were you aware that the word 'dumb' is more offensive than just calling someone unintelligent?

  • Click the card at the top of your screen to answer the question and see whether your answer

  • is different by the end of the video.

  • It was important to me to re-recorded the line for the podcast because as someone who

  • went deaf in my teens

  • - yes, deaf-deaf. Like, actually deaf. The kind of deaf who can't hear anything without

  • hearing aids.

  • deaf

  • I know that I'm not as culturally aware of words and phrases that aren't acceptable

  • in Deaf society as I likely would be had I grown up deaf.

  • One in six people has some form of hearing loss- which isn't that odd when you really

  • think about it. How many people do you know who struggle to hear or understand everything

  • that's going on? There is obviously a spectrum when it comes to hearing loss and it often

  • affects people as they get older but it's important to remember that deafness is not

  • just a loss of sound perception, it can also be socially isolating and interfere with your

  • ability to interact with the world.

  • BUT there is also a thriving group of deaf people who consider themselves to be 'deaf'

  • with a big 'D', that is: part of Deaf society. Picture it: if you're a deaf person

  • who knows sign language in a room full of other deaf people who know sign language then

  • you're not going to feel socially isolated by your lack of hearing and nor is it going

  • to affect your ability to interact with the world in that room.

  • Historically however, deaf people, whether they be deaf with a big D or deaf with a little

  • d, haven't been given the agency to make their own choices, including choosing how

  • they would like to be referred to.

  • Overwhelmingly, deaf and hard of hearing people prefer to be calledwait for it

  • 'Deaf' and 'hard of hearing'!

  • - gasp(!) I know, plot twist (!) no one expected it(!)

  • Yet antiquated phrases such as 'deaf and dumb' and 'deaf mute' are still in use

  • and can be found even in mainstream media- let alone casual conversation!

  • But why are they offensive?

  • As we all know, the meanings of words change all the time. “Gayused to mean merry

  • and light-hearted and now means… 'gay'. But some people also use it to mean 'bad'.

  • - don't do that.

  • But fun fact: 'meat' used to refer to refer to any type of food, 'silly' used

  • to mean 'blessed' and 'dumb' was a word for someone who couldn't talk (not

  • neccessarily someone deaf) but now is used negatively, to insult someone's intelligence

  • or to suggest a decline in standards: 'dumbing down'

  • Many derogatory words for people with disabilities, like moron or idiot, began as medical definitions

  • used to categorise people with disability as lesser humans. At a time of widespread

  • eugenics these terms, used in medical textbooks and scientific journals, were used to give

  • justification for institutionalism and forced sterilisation.

  • As you can imagine, these terms being used clinically doesn't mean they are okay to

  • use in everyday conversation, especially when the clinical usage was so terrible.

  • The term 'deaf and dumb' is an ancient and offensive term. The Greek philosopher

  • Aristotle labeled deaf people as such because he felt that deaf people were incapable of

  • being taught, of learning and of reasoned thinking. In his mind, if a person could not

  • use their voice in the same way as hearing people, then there was no way that person

  • could develop cognitive abilities.

  • We know this now to be untrue.

  • - I say 'now'. I'm pretty sure deaf people at the time were using their cognitive

  • abilities to think about what an arse he was.

  • It was only once 'dumb' had been attached to deaf people that it then came to mean 'silent'

  • and the definition has continued because this is how many see deaf people. But that's

  • clearly offensive because it implies not only that deaf people can't take part in a conversation

  • but also that they have nothing of value to add anyway.

  • Deaf people aren't silent however. And if you think they are, well it's not that they

  • don't use YOUR language, it's just that you don't know theirs.

  • Sign language is

  • a completely valid form of communication. It's a language in itself. Using your voice

  • is not the only way to communicate.

  • We then come to the second meaning of the word 'dumb' and the one I'm really struggling

  • to shake from my vocabulary: stupid.

  • - boy do I wish I could stop saying that.

  • There are plenty of people who believe that someone's inability to use their voice well

  • means there is nothing going on in their brain. From people who stutter to those with a heavy

  • foreign accent,

  • even extreme classicism

  • or my exhausted brain fog moments whereeverythingslowsdown

  • we've all come across those people who think that a difficulty in outputting means there

  • is nothing going on inside.

  • And anyway, some deaf people have really excellent speech.

  • - hello. Yes. That's me. [bell sfx]

  • FYI, being able to speak does not make you any less deaf. That's… not how ears work.

  • Just because I can communicate TO you does not mean I can communicate WITH you. I'm

  • very guilty of letting people put the burden for communication on me. I bend over backwards

  • to lipread, asking for subtitles or assistive technology that can translatebut I don't

  • then hold people accountable for how little they are doing in return to make it easier

  • for me to understand them.

  • And that's on me.

  • You speak so well, I forget you have hearing problems.” isn't a compliment and doesn't

  • mean that you get to treat me like I don't.

  • - just saying.

  • We can relate a belief that difficulty outputting means there is nothing to be shared back to

  • dyslexia and similar conditions. After all: just because you can't write it down doesn't

  • mean you can't produce beautiful poetry.

  • It's an ill-informed and false conclusion. Everyone has the ability to contribute to

  • society.

  • The alternative term 'deaf-mute' isn't seen as much better either. It's an offensive

  • term from the 18th century meaning to be silent and without a voice. Again it implies that

  • deaf people have nothing to bestow. It's a technically inaccurate label anyway since

  • deaf and hard of hearing people generally have functioning vocal cords. Yes, for many

  • people who were born deaf or lost their hearing at a young age, there may be a difficulty

  • in modulating their voice but in no way does that imply they have nothing to say!

  • Communication is merely being understood by others who can then respond and that is by

  • no means an impossibility for deaf people.

  • If you're kind enough to be watching this video, to have clicked on the link, to be

  • interested in expanding your knowledge, you probably already knew that 'deaf and dumb'

  • and 'deaf-mute' weren't the most 'PC' of phrases. But did you know the same applies

  • to 'hearing-impaired'?

  • - I know, you might have even thought that WAS the PC term!

  • Society is confusing sometimes.

  • 'Hearing impaired' was once considered the go-to term because using the word 'deaf'

  • was seen as rude or too bold. It's a well meaning term but it is innately negative...

  • it focuses too much on what can't be done. It establishes the standard as 'hearing'

  • and anything different as substandard or damaged: not good enough. I don't know anyone who

  • wants to wear the label 'not good enough'.

  • You might argue that the terms 'deaf' or 'disabled' are innately negative but

  • to my mind that's merely an issue of perception. I'll put a video in the card above that

  • explains more but to me the word 'disabled' really isn't awful. It's just a part of

  • me- a bit of who I am. It's neutral. I can choose to be proud of it just as I can choose

  • to be annoyed by it, but it isn't someone else coming into my life and telling me I'm

  • 'genetically impaired'.

  • Which

  • - is harsh but true.

  • Still don't say it though.

  • - I can say it. Because it's me.

  • But you can't.

  • - unless you're genetically impaired too, in which case we can high five through the

  • screen!

  • I'm going to work really hard from here on to completely eradicate the word 'dumb'

  • as a prejorative from my vocabulary.

  • Our culture systematically devalues people who have disabilities: we're disproportionately

  • subject to discrimination, violence and underrepresentation.

  • Those are big, significant problems- so what

  • difference do a few little words make? Well, the common language of ableism, labels and

  • slurs, contribute to the cultural acceptability of the dehumanisation of disabled people.

  • So please, now you've been told, raise awareness that the termdeaf and dumbis no longer

  • acceptable and that calling someone 'dumb'- even if it's yourself, as I did in my podcast-

  • isn't on. No one is devoid of interesting thoughts or things to say: not you, not anyone

  • else.

  • 'Dumb' implies we don't need to listen to that person or that idea, that it isn't

  • worth the time, but no one deserves to be ignored.

  • You have an opinion, you have a voice. You are unique and you deserve to be treated with

  • respect.

  • Show your respect for people by refusing to use outdated or offensive terms and when in

  • doubtjust ask the individual in question how they identify.

  • And remember: however you identify, you're very welcome on this channel.

  • Thank you so much for watching and I'll see you in my next video!

Hello lovely people!

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

B1 deaf deaf people dumb hearing people offensive

Am I dumb? [CC]

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/04/26
Video vocabulary