Saturday, June 18, 2022

Learning With Lizzo

Last week, there was a bit of a pop music controversy revolving around the use of an ableist slur by all-around good girl Lizzo.  In her new release, Lizzo used the word 'spazz', which is extremely offensive in the United Kingdom, a slur against persons with cerebral palsy.  Lizzo, whose oeuvre embraces inclusion and body positivity, issued an apology to the disabled community and rereleased the song with different lyrics, with the offending term excised.  Thankfully, she was forgiven, because she's way too fine to be this stressed.

In Lizzo's defense, the word in question is is not nearly as offensive in the USA, where it is typically used to denote simple clumsiness, often in a self-deprecating fashion.  The situation is pretty much the flipside of the use of the C-word, a show-stopper in the US, but not that big of a deal in the UK, as all-too-many English web commenters will tell you.  It's to Lizzo's credit that she took the concerns of disability advocates seriously, embraced this learning experience, and made the necessary change.  Intersectionality is important, and Lizzo executed it well.

It's often said that the US and the UK are two countries divided by a common language.  I'd say that we are two countries united by Lizzo.


emjayay said...

I haven't heard that word since I was in high school in a previous century in a galaxy far, far away. It was common back then (at least in my tiny world) and used without any thinking of a person with a disability, and before much of any awareness of disability rights as a thing. One of those kid/teen words parents didn't use, a part of youth speech.

Lizzo however seems like pretty much a pop culture opportunist. The SNL skits she was in were uniformly unwatchably unfunny. She promotes (unhealthy) fat acceptance while wearing specially made multi thousand dollar designer outfits designed to flatter her and cover her obesity.

Richard said...

She is a pop culture opportunist but at least she apologized.
I'm willing to accept her apology. Hopefully she will do better in the future.
I never thought about these things until i landed in a long term care facility. Most people don't understand.

I was able to leave that place and go home again.

While i was in there i made some friends, and a few weeks in this difficult experience my old lady neighbor also was incarcerated because she fell and broke her hip.

In our daily life we never speak beyond daily greetings.
But let me tell you when you are living in spazz land we look out for each other.