Reblogging this solely for the last one and iseefearinyoureyeshuman
- spanish and italian: So THESE words are feminine and THESE words are masculine, and you ALWAYS put an adjective AFTER the noun.
- french: haha i dont fuckin know man just do whatever
- german: LET'S ADD A NEUTRAL NOUN HAHA
- english: *shooting up in the bathroom*
- gaelic: the pronounciation changes depending on the gender and what letter the word starts and ends with and hahah i dont even know good fucking luck
- Polish: here have all of these consonants have fun
- japanese: subject article noun article verb. too bad there's three fucking alphabets lmao hope your first language isn't western
- welsh: sneeze, and chances are you've got it right. idfk
When disabled people, Autistic and non-autistic, say that they use identity-first language to refer to themselves, a common retort is “I don’t understand why you would define yourself by your disability.” To me, this doesn’t make sense. I call myself disabled because I don’t think my disability needs to be held at arm’s length, not because I believe that I’m autism on legs.
(As with my other traits, I refer to my disability with an adjective-noun construction which is common to the English language. I would also describe myself as a long-haired woman. So far no one has come forward to demand that I instead refer to myself as “an individual with long hair,” or accused me of “defining myself by my hair length.”)
I’m starting to think that when people say “defining yourself by your disability” they really mean “talking about yourself in a way that reflects the belief that your disability is not detachable.”
*Note from the mod* I wanted to share an essay that has always meant a great deal to me, but I see it’s only available in paid academic library systems now; so I bought it, and will be hosting it here. *
To escape is nothing. Not to escape is nothing.
The other day I was thinking of writing an essay on being a cripple. I was thinking hard in one of the stalls of the women’s room in my office building, as I was shoving my shirt into my jeans and tugging up my zipper. Preoccupied, I flushed, picked up my book bag, took my cane down from the hook, and unlatched the door. So many movements unbalanced me, and as I pulled the door open I fell over backward, landing fully clothed on the toilet seat with my legs splayed in front of me: the old beetle-on-its-back routine. Saturday afternoon, the building deserted, I was free to laugh aloud as I wriggled back to my feet, my voice bouncing off the yellowish tiles from all directions. Had anyone been there with me, I’d have been still and faint and hot with chagrin. I decided that it was high time to write the essay.
First, the matter of semantics. I am a cripple. I choose this word to name me. I choose from among several possibilities, the most common of which are “handicapped” and “disabled.” I made the choice a number of years ago, without thinking, unaware of my motives for doing so. Even now, I’m not sure what those motives are, but I recognize that they are complex and not entirely flattering. People—crippled or not—wince at the word “cripple,” as they do not at “handicapped” or “disabled.” Perhaps I want them to wince. I want them to see me as a tough customer, one to whom the fates /gods /viruses have not been kind, but who can face the brutal truth of her existence squarely. As a cripple, I swagger.
Forever reblog. If I ever teach a disability studies class - which I hope to god I do someday - this will be a staple.
If you say “fuck tard” or any variation of the word “retard”, you’re instantly unfollowed.
Just an FYI.
Let’s start with that point from earlier that it DOES suck — in this society — not to have the same freedom of movement an abled person. (Although of course, here, we’re already starting in with ableist assumptions, because a big portion of the reason it sucks is because society is set up for people with bodies we consider normal.) OK, so let’s rephrase. Having functional legs is useful. Therefore, the state of having legs which are not as functional as other legs is not as nice as the state of having normally functional legs. (Again, there’s some ableism around the concept of normal, but moving on.)
But even accepting that impairment to mobility is itself a sucky thing, MAYBE DISABLED PEOPLE DO NOT APPRECIATE BEING THE CULTURAL GO-TO FOR THINGS THAT SUCK.
And maybe — since people have been historically all-too-willing to relieve disabled people of the burden of having to live through all that suckiness — just maybe disability activists know what the fuck they’re talking about when they say that the constant condensation of visible disability with “suckiness” as a metaphorical cultural touchstone has real, concrete, and evil ramifications on the lives of people with disabilities.
There’s been a lot of talking about ableist words and what ones are okay to use and what ones aren’t, and I always think about this post when I see that stuff. It focuses specifically on the word lame and the use of it by able-bodied people, but the point of it really works for any word that is ableist in root or has ableist connotations.
I do get weird feelings whenever the word cripple is used, and it’s because, like the author says, I hate feeling like so many go-to bad things in this world come back to being disabled, because I don’t think my body, or my life, is really that inherently horrible.
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