D&D General Bedlamite


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So this is a 5e invention? Yikes. Rather ableist isn't it?
My father was a schizophrenic (what was once called a paranoid schizophrenic). I could tell you stories that would make you curl up into a ball on the floor. If there was such a thing as a group who could be legitimately triggered by discussions of mental illness, I would certainly be a member.

The suggestion, though, that the word 'bedlam' is somehow triggering, or ableist, is a head-scratcher to me. First of all, the word and the story behind it are archaic and frankly quaint. Is the general public ill-informed about mental illness and those afflicted by it? Absolutely, and the lives of those with mental illness are made worse than they need to be because of this. But does the use of the word 'bedlam' contribute that to anyway? I would say not in the least. In fact, the unnecessary 'cleaning up of language' like this desensitises the general population to actual issues of social justice in my opinion.

tldr; not a windmill that requires tilting at
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Not really. Town is called Bedlam.

So, the town is name Bedlam, because bedlam means a commotion, a big mess, an uproar. The reason why that word means that, the origin of that word, is because Bedlam used to be the nickname of the Bethlem Royal Hospital, which back in the day was an asylum for the insane (to use the terms used at the time) and a terrible place. So calling something a bedlam was making reference to the asylum and the chaos within.

Our language is ableist. Something that isn't good is lame. Terms used as insult to someone's else intelligence (imbecile, moron etc) used to be psychiatric term for people with various level of IQ deficiency. But it doesn't have to be this way. We can make an effort to change it. And it's done one word at a time.

Is the story of Bedlam, the historical place, far enough removed? I'm not convinced.
 


Like most slurs and dehumanizing language!

That's the point of not doing it anymore.

The point of not doing it anymore is to make sure people aren't harmed by the language, and to prevent harm in the future. If the word isn't causing anyone harm, I don't see the reason to change it.

AFAICT, no one in this thread has shown any case of the term "bedlam" being actually problematic. Only concern that it could be.
 
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The point of not doing it anymore is to make sure people aren't harmed by the language, and to prevent harm in the future. If the word isn't causing anyone harm, I don't see the reason to change it.

AFAICT, no one in this thread has shown any case of the term "bedlam" being actually problematic. Only concern that it could be.
I would go even farther... or closer?

There is probably no word in any language anywhere that at least one person or creature can't in some use case be harmed by. I'm not going to try to show examples, because they would be absurd. Just like the attempt to remove from our language any word that could do harm to someone somewhere at some time is absurd. Note, removing words that are grossly, often, and widely harmful is a good thing and I'm not arguing against such.

Common sense and reason must prevail at some point.
 

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