Over 3,600 signatures have signed an online petition to ban the creation of Kristin Henson’s new book, “Super Smutty Sign Language.” The book features American Sign Language signs of phrases that range from mildly to wildly offensive, from “dirty” signs to expletives. The ASL community believes that the book is a poor portrayal of a small niche community, and additionally exploits the language for profit, perpetuates racism and sexism with its colorful comments and is overall disrespectful.
The author on the other hand, believes that the book piques interest in deaf culture. As communicators, being able to connect with even the most marginalized groups of people is important, but being able to send an appropriate message goes hand in hand. While not wishing to trample over the author’s civil liberties, it would be great if her book were more sensitive to the needs of the community. What will happen to this cause and petition? Stay tuned to our blog to find out – and let us know what you think! Do you think Super Smutty Sign Language should be published?