Incident at the county fair - Page 4 - Mothering Forums

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#91 of 102 Old 07-25-2007, 09:26 PM
 
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At first I was miffed about the 'she works at a CARNIVAL' comment, thinking it was a slam on carnies (is that term offensive ??) Then I thought she was just expressing shock about someone working at a position which caters to children - a carnival - not knowing how to deal with kids.

Not sure what she really meant, though...
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#92 of 102 Old 07-25-2007, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by limabean View Post
I'm reading words like "rage," "screaming," and "cruel" to describe the woman's behavior toward the boy. Am I missing something? As I understand it, the woman's exchange with the boy went like this:

Boy: You're a midget.
Woman: That's insulting.

I think I read all the responses -- did I miss a significant one?
Yes, you did, where she threatened to not let a 5year old on the ride that his parents paid for, overstepping her boundaries (and just being plain nasty).

I'm not sure anyone here is against her telling him "That's insulting". I must have missed all those.

PS, for all of you chastizing the OP for not using this as an educational moment, please refer to Post #1 where she asks
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What do you think? And I don't mean to be stupid, but what is the politically correct way to tell the kids why she is so short?
. She wants to teach her son but isn't sure of the way in which to do so. To the OP-if it were my son, I'd explain that everything in nature is a little different. In the case of a Little Person, they stopped growing after getting to a certain hight, and they won't grow anymore (maybe you could touch on genes and say 'there's something in their body that tells it to stop growing before most people'). It's not something you can catch, it's something that you're born with. I'd explain that their brains are the same, they can have all types of jobs and do pretty much anything that someone of an average height can do, and that some have been teased for their height/appearence. the right thing to call them is a Little Person, because Midget is not a nice word to use. I'd also explain that they know that they're a Small Person, so there's no need to point it out (same with someone who has no legs....a facial deformity, etc).
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#93 of 102 Old 07-25-2007, 09:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LilyGrace View Post
Yes, but what if the 5 year old called you a n****** or a sp***?

I don't think she overreacted. I think there are some underreactions here. Personally, if I was called a slur, even by a child, I would be horribly offended because he learned it from somewhere- and how to use it.
I think ultimately the problem is how bad we think the word is, and this is a sticky issue. There is a lot of people complaining about something being offensive and other people telling them they are overreacting and not to get their knickers in a twist and no one meant to be insulting and so on. So I don't want to get into that argument, but the bottom line is that some words just don't strike the majority of the public as badly as other words. I think what the woman was trying to do was reinforce the idea that the word midget really is a slur, even if a lot of people don't see it that way. And maybe one day midget will carry the same emotional impact as n**** or sp**** But right now it just doesn't.

So I think the worker was right to say that was an insulting term so she can work at the goal of eradicating it from polite language, but in no way do I think it is comparable to a child using the n word. I am a morbidly obese person and I would feel offended if a child called me a tub o' lard and I'd say something, but it wouldn't be the same as being called a n*** or a sp**
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#94 of 102 Old 07-25-2007, 09:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
Thoughtful adults don't throw children under the bus when they make mistakes.
I haven't read a SINGLE post where someone said it was okay to yell at the child or it would be warranted to "throw the child under the bus."

I think the posts, such as mine, that speak to the woman's point of view are trying to point out, hey, an ethnic(?)/derogatory slur was used, the woman got seriously offended. She has a RIGHT to be offended even if used by a child, and try to look at it from HER point of view. And also that she was owed a sincere apology for her hurt feelings.

That's it. Anyone reading into that that bashing the child is okay is way off.
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#95 of 102 Old 07-25-2007, 09:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MadWorldSonnet View Post
Yes, you did, where she threatened to not let a 5year old on the ride that his parents paid for, overstepping her boundaries (and just being plain nasty).
That was in the OP, too. And, as it is written, the woman said that to the mother, not the child. I agree that that was overstepping, but she did take the worst of her annoyance out on the mom, not the child. To the child she simply said "that's very insulting".
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#96 of 102 Old 07-25-2007, 09:59 PM
 
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Not all 5-year-olds are even going to know what "insulting" means. I'd chalk this up to the woman not knowing any little kids that well and therefore having unrealistic expectations of what they'd know. I understand her being hurt, but I don't understand her having so little patience with a young child unless she just doesn't have much contact with them. Even if she works at a carnival, she wouldn't necessarily really know many children, and you have to know them a bit to understand what's normal for any given age. The things my daughter said to people when she was younger! Luckily everyone understood she was just a little kid who didn't understand what she was saying.
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#97 of 102 Old 07-25-2007, 11:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by blessed View Post
I didn't know the term 'midget' was insulting, although I did realize that 'little person' is more en vogue right now. Of course, as an adult I wouldn't be calling a person any name. But I could have easily used the term in conversaton without realizing it was offensive.

I think the woman could have handled the situation much more gracefully than she did. She could have smiled at him and said "We prefer to be called 'little people'. It's a nicer term!" He is a child, after all.
Glad I wasnt the only one. And I agree with your solution as well
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#98 of 102 Old 07-26-2007, 12:05 AM
 
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#99 of 102 Old 07-26-2007, 12:10 AM
 
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Originally Posted by LilyGrace View Post
Yes, but what if the 5 year old called you a n****** or a sp***?

I don't think she overreacted. I think there are some underreactions here. Personally, if I was called a slur, even by a child, I would be horribly offended because he learned it from somewhere- and how to use it. It wouldnt matter to me right at that moment that he was 5 years old - I would be absolutely appalled and take steps to not have that child near me.


Half of the adults posting on this thread have made it clear that they were not aware that the term midget was offensive but we are all aware that the N word and the SP word ARE offensive and EVERYONE knows that.

I think the worker was mean, rude, and shouldnt be working around kids. That was such a learning moment not just for the child but the whole family.

Child : Are you a midget?

Worker : Well I am a little person, and we do not like being called Midgets.

Child: oh

And my guess is he would have just gotten on the ride and it would have been over and done with.

Was it nessary that she be mean and rude about it? Not at all. So now the mother is upset, the child is upset, the workers is upset and now the boss is ticked off at the worker.. How was her reaction helpful?
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#100 of 102 Old 07-26-2007, 01:13 AM
 
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Originally Posted by blessed View Post
At first I was miffed about the 'she works at a CARNIVAL' comment, thinking it was a slam on carnies (is that term offensive ??) Then I thought she was just expressing shock about someone working at a position which caters to children - a carnival - not knowing how to deal with kids.

Not sure what she really meant, though...
Yes, some consider being called carnies a slam. Others don't.

It is as you say, AND it is that if one intentionally takes a job that would probably be the most likely job on the entire planet to be associated with a particular word.....it should not be a surprise that people know it.

Also, being a person with dwarfism isn't like being a person who is of a different ethnic, racial, regional morphology. It isn't even close to be as common anywhere at anytime. That everyone hasn't been introduced to the concepts surrounding the little-people-cultural-sensitivity is FAR from surprising.

To expect that a FIVE YEAR OLD knows that people with dwarfism don't like to be called midgets is ridiculous to the point that the person is LOOKING to be a j*****s.
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#101 of 102 Old 07-26-2007, 01:51 AM
 
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Well, I knew that midget and dwarf are not the preferred words of late. But I have never heard the Jew expression (I can't even remember how it goes), and I have heard that word for biracial (that I can't spell and am too lazy to check) but didn't know what it meant, or that it was rude. Only recently I learned that "gypped" was a slur on gypsies. I would hope that someone would take the time to explain to me if I offended them, because honestly, there are a few obviously offensive terms, but most people probably don't know most of them most of the time.
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#102 of 102 Old 07-26-2007, 03:10 AM
 
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This thread is now closed.

"Have faith in yourself and in the direction you have chosen." Ralph Marston

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