"When someone asks me how I feel about being “disabled,” I’m usually tempted to ask what they mean by the descriptor "person with a disability."
I still don’t know which term I prefer to refer to my “difference” besides cripple. There is no good socially accepted term yet, in my opinion, even those proposed by disability rights activists; those who “get it.” Handicapped just sounds…obsolete or archaic. And differently able sounds too perky, like it’s trying too hard to make me look better in the eyes of the world. Though differently able does do a good job of defining itself: a differently able person, or a person who is differently able, is someone who does things in a non-typical way. It only means in a non-typical way, and not a better or worse one. Disabled is one word I’d like to reclaim (more on this next post) but because of its fraught past with discrimination, I fear my attempt would backfire.
Cripple hits my ear just right. It’s like a huge middle finger up in the air. It says, “hey, world, this is me.”
While it, too, has a problematic history as a term of pity, *shivers* now that it has fallen out of favor, saying it becomes shocking and disorienting to the listener. And it sends a shiver of unmitigated glee up my spine. For those who automatically assume people with impairments/disabilities hate their lives, or wish their parents had an abortion, or who feel their life is worthless for being non-normative, they need to be shocked. Jarred.
(Oh, and disability rights activists call “Walkies”—my term—or “normal people” the temporarily able bodied. In other words, if you’re lucky enough to grow old, you or anyone who navigates the world unassisted in their adulthood will eventually need help from canes, hearing aids, or catheters Ageism is another post for another day, but the elderly are yet another oppressed class, with whom I feel kinship because they’re so…fucking disregarded).”
|—||http://shaddai5.blogspot.com.au/2013/10/on-disability-impairment-anddisability.html (via feministeverafter)|