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