I was recently in a situation where someone was venting about a neighbor with mental health issues. The person was intruding on the venter's life - knocking on the door within moments of seeing the venter coming home from work, borrowing things, calling repeatedly, etc. In describing the situation, the venter not only described the offending behavior and shared the neighbor's mental health diagnosis, she also called the neighbor a derogatory term used to refer to one with a mental illness.
I found that term offensive and made it known that, while I sympathized with her plight at being annoyed with the neighbor's intrusive behavior, calling someone with a mental illness such a term is inappropriate. The consensus of the group seems to be, as long as you're not naming names or talking about someone present or someone we know, it's fair game to use derogatory terms. Then I kind of got ganged-up-on, in very much a "mean girls" manner.
I tried to be gentle in pointing out why the term was offensive, but it could have ventured into the realm of calling out rudeness.
My question is, what more could I have done or what more can I do? For now, because of the "mean girls" atmosphere, I am bowing out of this group. Not sure if I want to try to be a part of them ever again.
Edited for clarity.