For the record, this is mostly sarcasm and snark. I don’t believe any of these assertions, but some of the able do.
Are you tired of it? I know I’m tired of it.
The temporarily able-bodied and their uninformed attitudes and decisions regarding us.
There are so many.
We never travel of course, so small and large businesses carp and complain when they have to make buildings accessible “Well I never see any disabled people in here, so why should I have to pay to alter my space?
We never need to live with our caregivers, so the one person limit on accessible apartments makes perfect sense, institutionalizing a unique kind of housing discrimination under US law.
We can never hear (or comprehend in some other way) what the able people in the same room with us say or decide about what we need to live with as few barriers as possible. Don’t worry. We’ll never express an opinion, either, that’s impossible too.
We never have the intellect to question discriminatory practices in medicine, building, hiring or leisure time choices.
People literally don’t see us sometimes, and prattle on while the failure to see us, the social discrimination is sometimes the most painful of all.
Or, the converse…they feel entitled to get all up in our business, where they would *never* be so discourteous with an able-bodied person.
We never have spouses, or partners or children. We’re undesirable. We never deserve intimacy, and us raising children? well that is unconscionable and needs to be stopped right away.
If we have creative talent it is often infantilized rather than taken seriously. Discrimination by disrespecting or stifling artistic expression.
And the most sinister kind of discrimination. Attempts by ignorant and dangerous people to control us because they can, to think nothing of depriving us of liberty, the pursuit of happiness and even sometimes life itself. Abuse by authority. Captivity. Physical, mental or emotional harm. By impersonal strangers. By so called friends. By family. Inappropriate institutionalization. Subtle pressure to embrace soi-disant euthanasia. ( Unfortunately, in the midst of a broader strange societal push toward rewarding willful ignorance about everything imaginable by a certain segment of those in power here in the US, it has made this worst kind of discrimination more frequent and easier to get away with. )
There’s hope against this though. Embrace real able bodied allies. Praise and celebrate them in a very public way, as an object lesson, a kind of “No, actually *this* is how to support us.”
And anybody with disabilities in the public eye either physically or virtually, via blogs, and the newest internet addictions, Facebook or Twitter…has often been another type of honest public face about what we need and deserve…
On a personal note, to illustrate this, my household has been going through a crisis of late and we’ve called on real able bodied allies to help in various ways…and they’ve come through in amazing ways. So thanks to them all.
Here’s hoping a more informed able population keeps pushing towards less and less discrimination by assumption.
Published a bit early to make the May1 UK deadline at Goldfish’s place
But after going through and reading them…this is the first year I can’t whittle them down….go here and read a few of them…
The variety of what affects us….the common ground of how able people react to us, how we’re affected by our interaction with the able world…
And it’s really international, US, UK Greece, Austrailia…
Hmm, just realized some favorite song lyrics are easily adaptible to Blogging Against Disablism Day’s abbreviation…
BTW this is not my official post, just a reminder that on May 1rst 2009 (Uk time, so Americans with disabilities and allies might want to get something up in the late hours of April 30th, and link back to Diary of a Goldfish’s site (by posting a comment there on May 1)…
With apologies to Bernie Taupin and Sir Elton John:
I’m BADD I’m BADD and BADD is back,
Stone cold sober, as a matter of fact.
I’m BADD I’m BADD and I’m different from you…
It’s the way that I move,
The things that I do, Oh….
Can’t wait to read all the good stuff on the first…see you there.
With apologies for WCD for expanding on her excellent post.
Here’s solid proof that any jerk can have a byline.
There was 1969 through 1985 all many many years that I was disliked because of my giftedness….*that had nothing to do with my impairments*
Then 1987-1994 when I was disliked because pious persons suspected, because of my joie de vivre that I might not be as devout as they would have liked. (that has nothing to do with my impairments either.)
Or, many many persons are now irritated with me, even if they like me, because, well, I talk too damn much. (that has nothing to do with my impairments either.)
Every PWD, born or made is people from the moment of birth til death, and doesn’t lose their humanity if disability overtakes them during said timespan. That’s simple, academically accepted studied, paperd, textbooked, internetted, booked, TV’d movied….. It’s all over the place by now.
And we’re supposed to be proud of this able bodied ‘person’ because he’s moved from the pillow angel model to dislike?
He’s shaken to his core, because he’s *just discovered* that people with disabilities are *people!* GMAFB!
I’m reminded of perhaps the most asinine line of dialogue in film I’ve ever heard in a film, when a nerd chides a Deaf woman for rebuffing his advances after his handsome friend has taken a swing at denying her self esteem just because he can in “In the Company of Men”
Said nerd, who figures he’ll get the handsome friends leftover, because she couldn’t possibly have other prospects, basically tells her in outrage that she should be grateful for his lust for her, that she doesn’t get to choose who to date/sleep with because she’s Deaf. Her silence is, thankfully the ultimate kissoff and the apoplectic nerd goes his way.
I’m wishing now that I looked a bit like Pacino in the Godfather:
I consider mi famiglia PWD’s to have been profoundly disrespected by the Guardian article, a steaming pile of literary asshattery. Granted he would have looked just as incomprehensible coming to the Ouch website hat in hand and saying, “Wait, I’m allowed to dislike you? You’re people? That’s amazing, thanks for sharing….” But then we could have patted him on his head, sent him on his way and figured he would be a credit to the able by the time he reached the century mark.
What is most troubling is that since this is in ‘the traditional media,’ just how many Guardian readers are now patting themselves on the back for disabilism?
I had this whole earnest, studious, lets not compare impairments or classify each other post, all written up, and ready…
…And then I scrapped it and said “F**k it. Let’s go with some humor.”
It’s spring 1980 and disco will soon die…I’m a senior in high school.
All the sidebar junk I’m about to write about being smart has some relevance, so bear with it.
While not in the highest rank of “No really *we’re* the smartest geeks in the place”
I was a National Merit finalist. There was a picture of me in the yearbook, that had already printed, that *said* I was one of nine or so smart kids on the steps in said photo. I had scored big with two other smart students in the local high school quiz television show. I was taking one Advanced Placement History Class while pulling a four point in the other classes.
Me and a friend were just returning from cutting fourth year French, taught by a guy named Krum Dimitrov.
And, right past the vice principal’s office I slipped and fell.
Out comes the Vice Principal, early to mid forties, a solid citizen and an important educator.
He says, not as a joke, looking right at me…
“Did Jeanie fall down and go boom?”
My friend’s eyes got big and she actually backed away from him.
I was so astonished that he would say such a thing, that I didn’t even answer. Besides, I was a Good Girl back then and couldn’t possibly have said, “Look you empty suit with a title, there’s brains in here, and if you don’t stop treating me like diapers and drool are the height of my day, things will get ugly.”But I gave him the cut eyed nasty look, and I was sure thinking it.
In other words: Ablelist Bad Habit #1 : Treat your disabled student like an infant.
It’s 1989. Big hair is for other people, as is lots of money. I’m living in another city, in another state
I was trying to fit in at the First Real Job. [Note: This anecdote does not refer in *any* way to my present employer]
I and some other people had been involved in a project and we had finished and done well.
My boss’s boss’s boss had come around to shake everyone’s hand. Except mine. Someone did point out that I’d been involved as well and succeeded with my part.
He then said to me, a married lady of 27 “Good Job!” *and proceeded to pat me on the head several times*
My fists clenched, and if looks could kill he’d have been ashes. And again I said nothing. But at least by ’89 the able co workers were: “Did you *see* what he did? Gawd!” to each other.
In other words: Abelist Bad Habit #2 : Treat your disabled employee like a beloved pet.
Or a year earlier, at the same employer, a co-worker who shared my cube was threatened if I tried to learn something, was angry that I’d gone to the boss and asked for an earlier shift, *before* she had thought to do so herself, and was angry that I was senior to her because even though we both started on the same day, she had begun as a temp and I had begun as a full time employee…
I began to understand why when she told me a story of a woman with impairments she knew that, in her perception, took advantage both financially and in time spent of my co-worker’s kindness…so obviously, when she saw a gimp in her cube, I was automatically there to hassle her and take advantage of her.
Ableist bad Habit Number Three: Guilt (or Innocence) by association.
We’re different, folks…our levels of ‘needy’ may be huge, or nonexistent or somewhere in between.
“When you’ve met one ________ you’ve met them all,” is a particularly heedless, ill concieved paradigm and doesn’t help with racism or sexism either.
Want to help fight disablism (or ableism, same thing, different country)?
Figure that you might know something about us, but remember you don’t know everything. And, be prepared to lay your preconceived notions at the door.