Trigger warning: Ableist slurs, specifically the r-word.
There is no such thing as safe space.
Someone I've known for a long time and generally like and get along with (and who generally likes and gets along with me) has apparently decided that it's okay to call people and ideas and things "retarded." She says it's okay because "well I'm not actually talking about actual disabled people." She says it's okay because "well everyone around here uses that language." She says it's okay because "well I'm not trying to be offensive." She says it's okay because "people who get upset over this are too damn sensitive."
I've asked her nicely please don't say that. I've told her firmly that's not okay stop saying that. I've yelled DON'T USE THAT WORD IT'S HURTFUL, IF NOT FOR OTHER PEOPLE'S SAKE THEN FOR MINE AND FOR THE SAKE OF RESPECTING ME AND OUR FRIENDSHIP. More than once. I thought I got the point across. But apparently not.
I talk to some of these people, including her, when I'm upset and need someone to talk to. I thought I trusted her. I thought she was good people. I thought she and the people around her when I'm around her were safe space.
Safe space is NOT dropping the word "retarded" and then making excuses and defending it and accusing me of being the one who gets too angry too upset and too damn offended. Safe space is NOT accusing me of policing your language or being hypersensitive or overly emotional. Safe space is NOT accusing me of making your space unsafe for you to say whatever the hell you want when it's actually you who are the one dropping hurtful, hateful slurs that give rise to the kinds of attitudes that let people like me get MURDERED and our murderers EXCUSED.
I'm pretty sure that safe space doesn't exist anymore. I'm pretty sure I'm done trying to find it. Because I can't take this anymore, hoping, praying, whatever, that this place I'm going to or this place I've been forever is going to be a safe space, lulling myself into a false sense of security and comfort only to be blindsided and attacked out of nowhere. It might as well be a gigantic sign in red letters.
NOT WELCOME HERE.
NOT SAFE HERE.
AUTISTIC? YEAH, NOT GONNA WORRY ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS. (oh wait you don't have them)
Go ahead, put up the signs. At least then you'd be honest about it. But I guess since everything you don't like is just -- r-word here -- you can do whatever the hell you want and it doesn't really matter anyway as long as YOU get to be safe and unchallenged in your nice privilege blankets.