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Blogging Against Ableism A Day Late

Okay, so yesterday was Blogging Against Ableism Day. (So technically they call it "Blogging Against Disablism" but "disablism" hurts my brain so there.)

I hate that I couldn't think of anything to say. I dunno. I just feel like so much of it has... already been said, and what am I going to do in a friends-locked LJ in which most of my friends agree with me anyway on this or they would be booted off my flist sooner than passing a hot potato?

Eh. I don't know. And then there is so much disparity between people -- people who have illnesses and want, in a sense, the RIGHT to be sick. To be tired. To need rest and get it. To have people not expect them to be their fucking ray of sunshine all the time. And then there's the opposite -- people where what's ignored isn't their limitations but their lack of them. "Look, I just ran the 50 yard dash in TEN SECONDS. THAT'S AN ACCOMPLISHMENT!" while everybody laughs. Except the one enlightened person who thinks you're cool and somehow has a clue what you said.

Yeah, I remember that. Anyway it's weird. Because I'll read the entries of other pwd and so many of them are just so... different. Sometimes I find myself hostile too. Like "Don't be sick" where that means "Don't make me look sick by association! We're not sick!" Even though I don't really believe that. And I imagine they could read me, some of them, and be like "Wait, why do you need to prove yourself and pull muscles all the time? Why are you making it look like I should do something so unproductive too?"

Because the whole thing about ableism is: There's no right answer. There's no real dignity that settles and feels completely right. I find myself thinking about Marilyn Frye on the oppression of women, where she mentions that a woman has two wrong choices about heterosex: Either she has it and likes it and she's a slut, dirty, rapeable because everything is fun to her no matter what, or she doesn't and she's frigid and unnatural and cold and... rapeable, again, because it's a challenge to "melt her ice" and prove to her that she "really" loves it.

And... it's the same thing. It's no matter exactly what you do you're this thing: Hercules with a cane or a waif. And where's you? Not really anyplace.

I look in the mirror sometimes and I see this muscular body and I think of myself as a lumpy freak. And that's not because I'm not proud I don't think. That's because there's part of me that thinks, hey, I'm supposed to be frail! What's this thing staring back at me that, um, isn't?

And that's what it is, I guess. Because what they take away from you if you have a physical disability is being at home in your own body, and I think maybe it's more pronounced than in some other oppressions. Because the big issue for people with physical disabilities is: what does your body mean? Or for people with mental ones: what does your mind mean? And the answer under ableism is: Something broken.

This is a public post. I hope people find my late ass.



( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 2nd, 2006 10:43 am (UTC)
Brava! This is the best blog against ableism I can think of. It gets to the heart of any prejudicial or oppressive system of thinking: you can't win, either way, because we can't be recognized as full humans under these modes of thought.
May. 2nd, 2006 11:36 am (UTC)
I sometimes think that the basic Leninist descripption of communism - from each accoording to his/her abilities and to each according to his/her needs - is a good starting point for thinking about pwd.

Pwd aren't all the same, nor is any particular pwd always the same, any more than people in general are. My limitations and capabilities right now are different than they were five years ago, or will be in five years, and they're also different from what yours are now, were five years ago or will be in five years. There's no universal rule book on what pwd can do, can't do, and need, nor on how they feel about any of that.

This is what many ablist people don't get - we're all different. Just like everyone else. In any situation, we all have to get together and figure out what I need to live a life that I consider full and satisfying, and what I can do once that's in place - and then we have to go do the same for you and every other pwd, becasue the situations and solutions for me ain't gonna be right for you.

And then, while we're at it, wy don't we just make the world flexible enough that everyone's special needs can be accommodated, becasue you don't have to be a pwd to have special needs.

Oops, there I go, being all anti-wage capitalism again, thinking that people aren't all interchangeable cogs in the great wheel of industry and progress.
May. 5th, 2006 09:48 am (UTC)
Happy birthday. :)
May. 5th, 2006 01:34 pm (UTC)
Thanks. :)
Jun. 13th, 2006 05:28 pm (UTC)
This has nothing to do with the content of this post; rather, it's about your most recent post to feminist on sociobiology.

If you liked that article, I can also recommend Adapting Minds by David Buller - it's drier, but still a scathing critique of the evolutionary psychology program.
Jul. 4th, 2006 04:47 am (UTC)
Hi! I've seen a lot of you in queer_rage lately, and I wondered if you'd mind if I presumed to friend you on the strength of my respect for what you've said there.
Jul. 4th, 2006 04:51 am (UTC)
haha. no i don't mind, and i'll reciprocate. but i may take you off without warning... i think there's probably some really huge political differences that would make me want to, but that depends on what i find once i look at your journal.
Jul. 4th, 2006 04:59 am (UTC)
Yay~! *adds back*

And I think you'll find I don't talk about the--the issues we might disagree on very much, mostly because I'm very ambivalent about them. Hopefully it shouldn't be too jarring.
Jul. 4th, 2006 05:03 am (UTC)
Okay. Just giving you a heads up, because I feel really strongly that it's no matter for the law.

(And if I see extolments of the praises of Wendy McElroy, I'll have to bleach my brain. :) )
Jul. 4th, 2006 05:07 am (UTC)
There is a reason I read no pro-life communities :)

And...NO. YOU DID NOT JUST SAY THAT! Wendy McElroy! When I have ifeminists friended merely to better know our lesser doppelgangers!

Jul. 4th, 2006 05:09 am (UTC)
Okay. Infiltration I'm all about.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )


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