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[IP] Re: diabetic label

I bristle when I hear people call my daughter a "diabetic" as though
that identified who she is.  To be honest, she bristles too. It is
disrespectful and insensitive... and all it takes is education to help
raise awareness.  It is like the whole debate about people living with
aids and people dying of aids.  

In fact, I recently wrote to Trader Joe's about one of their low-carb
food products ... in their description, they claimed that it was a good
choice for "diabetics."  Again, I bristled.   And to their credit, they
agreed to find a way to make the point in a more PC way.  It is a small
thing to be sure, but one that is easily fixed (without anger) if we all
speak up.


Date: Fri, 24 Oct 2003 23:53:04 -0700

From: Laura Fleagle <email @ redacted>

Subject: [IP] Re: diabetic label

I guess I can see both sides of this debate. Overall, I think "people

diabetes" sounds a lot more respectful than "diabetics" (and I feel the 

same way about terms like "athsmatics" and "epileptics", by the way -- I

don't like those terms either!) -- but I admit there are contexts where 

saying "people with diabetes" would just make for an awkwardly-phrased 

sentence. In general, I try to avoid using the phrase "diabetics", but

there doesn't seem to be a good way to word the sentence without it, I 

don't sweat it. There are things in this world more important than 

political correctness! :-)

Another distinction -- "diabetic" as an adjective doesn't bother me, but

I'm not too crazy about it overall as a noun -- for example, I'd much 

rather say "I'm diabetic" than "I'm a diabetic". To me it comes across

a lot less "harsh" as an adjective. But, that's just me!

I do agree with what's been said that these things aren't worth getting 

angry and offended over. And I also think (as has been mentioned) the 

reason so many people are bothered by the term "diabetics" is because of

all the times they've heard people say "diabetics can't do this/eat 

that/whatever". True, in this case the problem is not the term

but the misinformation that follows it, but if that's the first thing

comes to your mind when they hear people talking about "diabetics", it's

probably going to bother you a bit!
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