The other day I read this post by zinester maranda elizabeth who I met when she did a residency at Roberts Street Social Centre. The post deals with how the words “crazy”/”insane”/”nuts” are often applied to things that don’t have anything to do with mental illness or mental health issues. Recognizing the way that language influences how we think about people, how people are treated, and how we act towards one another is important to me.
Awhile ago I wrote a mini zine “10 words I wish you wouldn’t say” about oppressive language out of the frustration of being blamed for being the language police (I can’t even begin to talk about how invoking the image of the police to try to make criticisms illegitimate is frustrating). I stll use the word “crazy” all the time though.
It’s something I’m going to work on.