Rape means rape. Rape means putting a penis or other object inside a person against their will. This is not sex, it is rape, and it is the furthest thing from the meaning of sex. Calling rape "sex" is like saying that the boa constrictor gave the rat an unwanted hug. Or that a punch is a forced facial caress. Or that burglary is "forced giving". It makes no sense and it is damaging.
What I am reading more and more is that we basically have to walk on egg shells with our children for fear that we are going to forever damage their self image. I prefer to think that by telling Toby and soon his sister that they are all of the above things that they will believe me, they will know that they are loved and they will feel confident.
Many parents have asked that I use the term 'with autism' rather than 'autistic', as they feel that they are 'labeling' their child. I do not see it in that way. No matter if you say 'autistic' or 'with autism', or even 'on the spectrum', ultimately they all mean the same thing, well they do to me anyway.
People who are actively engaged in social media - and young people in particular - are constantly aware of their audience and their role as entertainers. Images leave much unsaid and open to interpretation, so their meaning and intention can be defended in line with audience feedback and the threat of social shame.
As people have come to recognise the power of words, we've worked hard to eliminate hate speech and the prejudices that usually accompany it, including sexism, racism and bigotry. It's high time that we also recognised the devastating effects of speciesism and worked to counteract it and the words that fuel it.
From working at Mencap I have lots of friends and colleagues who have a learning disability. Nearly all have had to listen to offensive language from others at some point in their life. It's ignorant to use such terms. It's just slang, you might say, it's just a joke, it's not actually. It's just the same as using racist or homophobic words.