I was just wondering, does anyone think that caring about language is sort of stupid? It's a genuine question--I mean, I write really long posts sort of dissecting different phrasings and totally obsessing over it, but is this just a distraction from what's actually important?
Like, I tend to like person-first language, but I feel like if you look at it for more than a second it becomes really offensive. At the place where I worked this summer we were always being told, "They are a person first and a disability or diagnosis second," but I don't know what that means. If you have a developmental disability then it affects your personality and your life experience a lot. Lots of people at camp did things that few if any non-disabled adults would do, and sometimes it was these things that made a person awesome. Saying "they are a person first" and shunting the disability to the side seemed like a way of saying that a large part of who someone was didn't actually matter.
However, just as I think it was silly to constantly say "They are a person first," I also think it's kind of silly for me to make a big post about the problematic nature of that phrase, because I don't think the other staff I worked with actually lived its implications. So it didn't really affect anyone.
Last summer I really enjoyed the YouTube videos of icecoldbath, especially a series where she talked about the implications of using certain words about trans people. She made a video explaining why you should say "trans woman" and not "transwoman," since trans is just an adjective and combining it with woman implies that a transwoman is a whole other kind of woman, instead of just a woman who is trans. Before watching this video I guess I wrote "transwoman" and "transguy" without spaces, and now I use spaces, but now that I think about it I don't know if this makes me a better ally in any real way.
I mean, obviously there is a point where language does matter, which I'd place around "cerebral palsy sufferer" and "retard" and using the wrong pronouns, but I think that at some point it may stop. I mean, I love dissecting it but I don't know if it's useful.