The music world is at it again. In the past few weeks, both Lizzo and Beyoncé have dropped tunes which use the S word – a derogatory word used against disabled people, especially people with cerebral palsy.
Cerebral palsy (CP) is a condition characterised by the spastication – involuntary contraction – of muscles. Hence the dismal, diminutive word, which has, alas, long been a part of popular culture.
I’m in my 40s, and I can remember Blue Peter, back in 1981, introducing Joey Deacon, an older person with cerebral palsy, into the nation’s living rooms for International Year of The Disabled (‘The Disabled’ – because back in the early 80s (and for many people even now) we were one big homogenised lump, rather than ‘disabled people’, which is what we are – people. See also ‘The Elderly’ rather than ‘older people’).