Ragged Edge Online Home

Lame, lame, lame

A Ragged Edge reader asks us a question:

Is the word "lame" considered offensive to people with disabilities? Does the fact that the word "ineffectual" is a synonym for "lame" have any connection or reference to disability?


I adore the little button I wear on my coat, which I ordered from a radical site referred by Ragged Edge -- it says "Lame is Sexy". And for all three definitions of "lame", the mantra stands. ; )


Emi Koyama has had a "Lame is good" campaign going for quite a few years now. She believes, that like the term crip, lame needs to be taken back as positive.

In her words, "This is a campaign designed to change the society's attitude toward people with disabilities by challenging the negative use of the term "lame." We recommend using the word "lame" only when you want to say something positive--e.g. "You're so fucking lame! Can I have an autograph?" Try calling something you love "lame"--it feels so subversive every time we do."

Her website has more dialogue on this and other issues. www.eminism.org. Also for sale, "lame is good" buttons. Get yours and show your lame pride.



I started using the word lame when I was trying to stop myself from using the word gay. I have never associated the word lame with disabilities. I will now stop using this word also. Thank you for pointing this out to me. It's strange how so many words in our language are misused everyday.


When crip websites and buttons are read as often as horse-racing magazines and the Bible I'll welcome the use of "lame" and stop playing the lame game. But 90% of the time "lame" is used to reduce people to a pitiful state, or to describe a horse no longer worthy of living (after all, no one will bet on it).

I don't mind being called "lame-brained," since anyone using the epithet should have been able to find another way of saying the same thing. I hope I can find a better epithet to use in response.


seriously. why can't we just all get on the same page and say, "people with disabilities"? i have never liked reappropriation because its so "fun" that people get on board who have no business getting on board. lets send a clear message about what words denote respect and then demand that, unless we are too disabled.


Lame. Special. Crippled. Amazing. I think about a phrase I read in Jonathan Livingston Seagull, by Richard Bach. "The price of being misunderstood,... They call you devil or they call you god." We are misunderstood. We will be diefied by some and villinized by others. In return we must be both graceful and fierce. We must be both a gentle teacher and strong advocate. We must meet some with anger and some with love, because some look at us with fear and other with contempt. Let's not treat them all the same.

Post comment

(All entries are checked for inappropriate content before they appear on the site. Thanks for waiting.)

Powered by
Movable Type 3.2
Email this page to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):