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Discussion on: DEV Community: Ableist Language & Maintaining an Inclusive Environment

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leob profile image
leob • Edited on

People just need to communicate decently and respectfully, if they do then most of these detailed guidelines aren't really needed at all. If you keep it respectfully then automatically and intuitively you're not going to use terms like "idiotic", "deaf" or "blind" in your posts (especially posts of a technical nature here on dev.to, but not anywhere else either really). It's simply about respect or decency, which is unfortunately often lacking on social media and on the internet in general.

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inhuofficial profile image
InHuOfficial • Edited on

While addressing you, someone else or even a "group identity"...I agree. And if everyone had that attitude...well the world would be lovely. But I run a foul of letting emotions get in the way of civil discourse the same as most so perhaps it will never happen (I am trying to stop it!)!

There are a load of words that we can all agree are not acceptable. When used to describe people, they should not be used. There are certainly words that should be avoided in a public setting, but then where do we draw the line?

"Joe Lycett was hysterical at the concert last night", would you condone that as a sentence?

Because that has an etymology that is rooted in mental health conditions and literally means "of the womb" as it was thought to be a female only condition so is pretty derogatory to women!

Not mentioned once in that glossary...certainly of equal if not higher "offence points" than the other words presented without context. Certainly ableist language by the definitions presented so far.

Pretty soon you start running out of meaningful words you can use if there is no "cut off point" or line in the sand.

And for most people this certainly is not an issue, but when you work in the space, a little bit of forgiveness on out-dated language can go an awful long way to building a bridge that lets you educate someone and let them embrace inclusion.

I think I made the point reasonably well in the first comment that this is not a good idea and if they must pursue this to set some guidelines that are useful.

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steelwolf180 profile image
Max Ong Zong Bao • Edited on

As InHuofficial has mentioned, it is kind of hard to use these languages since this does not include understanding of other countries or culture context. But some people has to be called out for being a knucklehead with comments that is not advisable on a international level.

Like in my country we have a diverse list of languages, dialects or our own singlish to refer to people or things. From what is talked about to race or action.

Even diabetic is considered a common term that my ministry of health uses this for their marketing to promote a healthy living in my country.

I understand where this is coming from. My country Singapore, has a general consensus that you are not allowed to have any racist comments/actions against people of another race. Due to our bloody history in racial riot that is written into my country's law to prevent any acts or comments of racism comes with a fine or jail term.

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leob profile image
leob

I see what you mean, you're hitting the nail on the head when you mention culture - what pushes me away is that all of this seems a bit too heavily US centric, based on American cultural concepts: identity politics and the "woke" thing. I'm moderately liberal and all for progressive causes, however the two concepts that I mentioned seem just too US centric - I think for other countries or cultures this needs to be "translated" to terminology that makes sense to them. We need more universal concepts which everyone can relate to - I'd say empathy and humanity.

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steelwolf180 profile image
Max Ong Zong Bao

Yeah, I hear you on that being US centric. I'm 100% on empathy and humanity by following the golden rule for dev.to on those principles.

I detest on those leaning towards woke and identity politics but that is another topic we will be talking for another day.

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inhuofficial profile image
InHuOfficial

I am beginning to feel like a leant a little too hard on the US-centric thing (unless that is just what people are generally feeling) as you are the third person to mention that specific point!

I agree on identity politics, wokeness etc. but as I have said in other comments (and as you suggest), a topic for another day perhaps 😁.

I don't want to take away from the core point here and "muddy the water" as that is certainly a debate that is likely to lead us into some heated opinions (which ironically is where I love to be!) that are not suitable for this site.

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steelwolf180 profile image
Max Ong Zong Bao • Edited on

Nah it's alright. I'm from Singapore, we use Singlish as a way to communicate locally. Drawing from various languages and dialect so to me it's totally fine. I share your sentiments on it.

leob profile image
leob • Edited on

Well, it's not that I have a fundamental problem with "woke" or "identity" (although it's not something I'm into either), but that's not the point. My point is not whether you or me like or dislike certain politics or a certain ideology, my point is that politics or ideology have no business here on dev.to!

The moment they'd start to politicize things, well that's the beginning of the end, I can tell you, because it's just toxic and divisive - that's why they should stay far, far away from that. And that's why a few paragraphs in this article kind of gave me the creeps.

It's great that they put inclusiveness at the forefront, I'm all for it, add mutual respect and empathy to that and we've got our core values - but don't go too far in terms of prescribing or policing stuff.

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lionelrowe profile image
lionel-rowe

politics or ideology have no business here on dev.to!

Everything is political, including adopting an "apolitical" position. By stating that your own position is the apolitical, neutral ground, you are excluding positions that lie outside of that, thus (paradoxically) taking a political stance.

That said, I broadly agree with @inhuofficial . If you want to be inclusive, it's important to allow people to learn from honest mistakes, and that's especially important in a cross-cultural context. Look at people's good-faith intentions rather than their adherence to a rigid list of rules, beyond some widely-known unacceptable examples such as the "r" slur.