Sunday, April 30, 2006


I was a little bit uncomfortable about blog against disablism day. Not the idea of the day, that fucking rocks, just some of the execution. Partly it was the day - May 1 has been May Day and international workers day for rather a long time. There are enough days without much meaning out there, we don't need to double up the meaningful ones.

I also really don't like the term disablism. I've written before about my problems with the -ism suffix. I think it's really imprecise. For me 'sexism' alone isn't descriptive enough for the word we live in, I always refer to it as sexism and misogyny. Racisim isn't enough, I use racism and colonialism (and many Americans use racism and white supremacy, but obviously New Zealand and American). It seems that we have this opportunity to describe what's going on and the -ism prefix doesn't cut it.

I'm aware that as I no longer have any impairment (and never classified myself as disabled, even when I probably was) my opinion isn't the most important. As it is I'm just going to call my post blog for disability rights.

Anyway the point of this post is to do two things, get all my ambivalence about the execution of the day out of the way, so tomorrow I can write about disability, and two I wanted to quote a kick ass post from Lady Bracknell that I found on Alas:

We have two things - and only two things - in common with one another:

1. we have some degree of physical or mental functional loss or difference (we have impairments); and
2. we are excluded from full participation in society because we have impairments (we are disabled).

We are not brave. We are not special. We are not tragic. We are not heroic. We are not “an inspiration”. We are not the Bogey Man. We are not objects of pity. And we are not the living embodiment of our impairments. You can’t predict what any one of us is going to be like just because you know someone else with the same impairment. We are people. Like you. We have the same rights that you have. We do the same things you do, but we do some of them differently.

You could join us at any time. Just by taking your eyes off the road for a split second. That’s all it takes. If that happens, will you be special? Will you be brave? Will you just sit there quietly and accept it if no-one will employ you? If you’re prevented from going where you want to go and seeing who you want to see? If no-one takes what you say seriously any more?

No? Then why should we?
Go there and read the post. Also if you have a blog join in.

1 comment:

  1. You could join us at any time. Just by taking your eyes off the road for a split second. That’s all it takes.

    ...hence the acute discomfort, of course.

    and in fact, assuming one lives long enough, chances are excellent if not 100% that one WILL be at least somewhat disabled, one way or another, sooner or later. Loss of hearing; loss of mobility; gradual loss of sight; ever-increasing chances of illness or debilitating heart attack or stroke or...