Jump to content

Ableist Bullshit


WMDKitty
 Share

Recommended Posts

Over on another forum I frequent, well... it started with a vapid, clueless godbot (I'll call her "J") spewing drivel about how we've been warned and GOD this and GOD that and blah blah blah, your standard Jehova's Witless.

 

Another forum member, I'll call him "T", was in an ongoing dialog with the JW, and said "I can understand that some disadvantaged cannot walk without support - whether it be a cane, a wheelchair, or a book."

 

I asked, politely, that T not compare mobility aids to mythologies.

 

T responded with "Were you away the day they covered metaphors in English class?"

 

I politely reiterated my request, and was met with more abuse, mostly implications that I'm being "overly sensitive" and the like.

 

Wow. I'm sorry, should I NOT be offended when the things that give me freedom and independence are compared to someone's mythology? Especially when said mythology is, in effect, the very thing crippling the person? You know, the exact opposite of what a wheelchair or other mobility aid does?

 

 

Fucking NORMALS!

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow. I'm sorry, should I NOT be offended when the things that give me freedom and independence are compared to someone's mythology? Especially when said mythology is, in effect, the very thing crippling the person? You know, the exact opposite of what a wheelchair or other mobility aid does?

 

Fucking NORMALS!

Probably not. Using something "as a crutch" is just a figure of speech. It's innocuous. You lean on a crutch, it supports you when you can't support yourself -- it's a good metaphor.

 

Also, someone's mythology may not be the source of their "disability" and they actually might be using it "as a crutch" just to get through each day. A crippling fear of death, for instance. :shrug:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can relate. I carry a white cane much of the time, and most people really don't understand the shit people who have a visible mobility aid have to put up with. Yes, it's a metaphor. But we're still allowed to have an opinion about something we deal with on a day-to-day basis, right?

 

I mean, it's like us disabled folks have to laugh at every crass joke pointed our way or we're being too sensitive. I mean, look at Helen Keller. In many ways, she was a Martin Luther King sort of figure for disabled people, and to most people she's a punchline to a million jokes. If I made fun of MLK the way so many people make fun of Helen Keller, I'd be called a racist. So maybe we are being oversensitive, but at times it's really hard not to be.

 

When some of these folks start dealing with the shit us cripples have to deal with, they can start calling us oversensitive. Until then, fuck off and leave us alone.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Eh, I'd see it more of a "pick your battles" situation. Lots of things come up that are offensive, for one reason or another, but some are more worth fighting, and there's more than one way to go about it. For example, if the wheelchair and crutch thing bothers you enough, you could just point out that it's not actually valid, since wheelchair marathoners have been able to crush the leggy competition. That's why they start first. Some stats culled from wikipedia: men's world record, no chair [Patrick Makau, in 2:03:38]. Men's world record, with wheelchair [Ernst Van Dyk in 1:18:27]. Women's world record, no chair [Paula Radcliffe, in 2:15:25]. Women's world record, with wheelchair [Jean Driscoll, in 1:34:22] Demolishing the competition by over 40 minutes? Incredible, by any standard. So, I'd turn it on it's head, and suggest the metaphor's not really appropriate. This accomplishes two things: avoiding the "angry cripple" accusation, and subverting the (false) expectation that mobility aids are a sign of weakness. Mechanical advantage, folks, it's what got us to the moon.

So, no, I don't think you're being over-sensitive. I agree that there's a lot of ridiculous insensitivity and callousness - or worse, active patronizing and belittling behavior. One example I can think of that made me froth at the mouth lately was over the Olympics. The "inspirational cripple" nonsense about a one-armed Women's Table Tennis Olympian. You know the drill - overcame not having an arm to triumph in a sport competing against "normal" people. Arrgh. Wendybanghead.gif Getting into the Olympics at all is a huge achievement for ANYONE. Number of arms notwithstanding. Don't take that achievement away from people! Don't reduce it to Hallmark Channel Littlest Cancer Patient drivel.

Oh, this one got rant-y. In closing: Douglas Bader, WWII Ace Pilot.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I totally see your point. Someone who needs aid to get around is at a disadvantage without their device. A person who is religious is at a disadvantage because they use religion. They are not aided by it, they use it more like a feel good drug. (Hence, religion is the opiate of the masses)

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I totally see your point. Someone who needs aid to get around is at a disadvantage without their device. A person who is religious is at a disadvantage because they use religion. They are not aided by it, they use it more like a feel good drug. (Hence, religion is the opiate of the masses)

 

Thank you! It's so frustrating to be surrounded by able-bodied people, point out something that's ableist/discriminatory, and get a whole load of, "get over it" in return! It's like people don't stop to think that, one day, they'll be older, and perhaps in need of mobility devices themselves.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, I have never worn my hearing aids for extended periods because when those things go in, I seem to be perceived as an intellectually impaired person. People start speaking very loudly, very slowly, and very simply, like they've just lost most of their vocabulary. You do get really sick of it after very little time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.