Flutterfly Invasion

A place for me to squee.

Identity things, let's get them out of the way, cis female, asexualish heteroromanic, physically and psychiatrically disabled. Let's have some fun!

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on the reclaiming of the word “crip”


Erm. So. This is probably not going to endear me to a lot of people, but.

The reclaiming of the word crip by disabled people within academia and in social justice circles is kind of getting on my nerves. For a couple of reasons.

A: It’s being used as a catch-all for anyone with any sort of disability, and I am really really not sure if it’s everyone’s word to reclaim. Personally, when I hear cripple use in a derogatory manner, it’s generally aimed at people with some sort of physical motor impairment. And yet in the new common vernacular it seems like everyone with a disability is grabbing it up. I know that I don’t feel that it is my right as a blind person to reclaim that word even if I wanted to. which brings me to my second point.

B: I don’t want to. I absolutely respect everyone’s right to identify as they wish, and I’m certainly in favour of reclaiming words if they are your words to reclaim, but there is something that rubs me the wrong way about sweeping everyone with a disability under a handy new label that is as twee as it is inaccurate. I’ve also gotten the impression, though it’s never been stated outright, that not wanting to add ‘crip’ to my character sheet makes me one of those “terrible people” who are ashamed of their disability. Which is also untrue. I would just very much like it  not to be a defining characteristic of how people see me (spoilers: it is basically the only characteristic that strangers see, 98% of the time).


…Possibly what this boils down to is the fact that my reaction when people pay attention to me is to hide behind the nearest sofa, hence why I don’t think I can ever bring myself to be politically disabled, no matter how many issues make me  overwhelmingly angry or soul-crushingly pessimistic about life (see also: why I find it nearly impossible to discuss my gender identity without copious amounts of alcohol). Also  why I will probably not have the courage to bring this stuff up when I see Robert Mcgruer speak this fall.

So, tumblr. This has been a post. If anyone sees the point of this post wandering around send it back my way with a very stern talking to, yeah?

As a {physically/mobility disabled} person who reclaims the word “crip” I found this post intriguing.  And then I read the last sentence.  And nearly peed myself laughing.  Regardless of your views on reclaiming the word “crip”, you are awesomesauce and need to be my friend :)

Tagged: disabilitycripcripple

  1. imnotevilimjustwrittenthatway reblogged this from withasmoothroundstone and added:
    The only real time I use the word to describe myself is with “headcrip” and even then it feels odd.
  2. bunnika reblogged this from crippledcuriosity and added:
    Hands in the air for all of this. I call myself a “crip” because reclamation helps me, personally. I don’t think other...
  3. tildecowscomehome reblogged this from thought- and added:
    As somebody without an immediate personal stake in this debate, but who wants you to not feel bad (aka friend?) I’d like...
  4. chronicallyqueer reblogged this from bittergrapes and added:
    I”ve had this conversation with people with mobility-related impairments and those that don’t. My roommate, who has the...
  5. crippledcuriosity reblogged this from thought- and added:
    I really like this post and definitely agree with you. I am an amputee and I also think that Cripple applies to those...
  6. withasmoothroundstone reblogged this from flutterflyinvasion and added:
    I’ve never been comfortable with crip==disability either. I know physically disabled people who refuse to ever identify...
  7. flutterflyinvasion reblogged this from thought- and added:
    As a {physically/mobility disabled} person who reclaims the word “crip” I found this post intriguing. And then I read...
  8. thought- posted this