As a chick in a chair, I think it’s cool to find fellow wheelers and other disabled people on Tumblr and see what they’re all about. I’m disappointed to find that there are a lot of people out there constantly posting about the indignity that the disabled community faces every day and how ableism plagues society’s perception of those who function differently than them. At the same time, I’m glad to see that there are just as many disabled people out there posting normal everyday things like an average person would, a little here about disability and things that irk them and a little there about other life events.
I know this is going to piss off some people out there and they might be thinking that I’m doing a disservice to the disabled community by talking like this, but give me a break! I know life isn’t all sunshine and puppies and I know people can be real assholes, but a lot of you got to step off of your soap boxes.
Maybe I live in some bubble by residing in the woods in a rural town, but I have never personally dealt with the sheer amount of adversity in fitting in with society as some of the other disabled people I’ve encountered on the internet. It’s crazy. I swear that some of you have no stories about a glimmer of faith in humanity or even a normal story about an everyday life event that has nothing to do with how society hates the disabled. It’s disappointing.
My biggest pet peeve with this isn’t that you’re portraying yourselves as these angst-ridden Quasimodos that have been shunned by society and doomed to spend the rest of your days hiding from their sight, it’s the fact that damn near everything is translated into ableism. Not everything is about you or the fact that you’re disabled.
Now I’m not reblogging this because I’m not trying to start some flame war. I’m not saying these things to attack anyone; I’m attacking the issue and I don’t want a tit-for-tat over it. This blogger is upset that this woman is used as a visual for why you shouldn’t drink and drive. Her words disturb me. “Fate worse than death?” You put that perception on the abled bodied! No one is saying that nor are they implying it. It doesn’t mean you’re perceived as less than human. This is simply showing the possibility of what can happen in a car accident. You can possibly be like me and snap your neck, or possibly be like her have your face burnt off. Of course they’re going to be more likely to use her picture over mine because my affliction doesn’t have the same shock value. Do you really think that woman would allow herself to be portrayed as a testament to ableist sterotypes? She’s simply reinforcing the fact that shit happens.
The blogger also says, “They get away with it because most people agree.” I’ll tell you that yes; I do think that people agree that it’s a fate worse than death because they don’t understand it. You never know until you’re in it, and there’s nothing wrong with thinking that. It’s natural to think your life is going to suck hard if it isn’t what you ideally want, let alone physically life changing. It has nothing to do with getting away with anything! It’s natural to think your life is going to suck if it were to happen to you! That’s not a perception on the afflicted; it’s a perception on the person who thinks it.
So what does that say about the people who throw ablesim labels on everything? That’s definitely something to think about.
Of course people aren’t as aware of ableism as they are of other forms of discrimination! When it’s mislabeled like this, it lessens the importance of stopping it. Some need to grow an extra layer of skin and stop seeing everything as ableism. It’s the hypersensitive that minimalize the severity of this stigma. What if it were the other way around? What if everything you think, do, and say was perceived as something negative to someone somewhere out there? You’d start to say to yourself, “Well, to hell with it, what’s the point of caring when whatever I do is pissing someone off?”
How about we focus on blatant discrimination and disrespect? Can we do that?