Issue No. 1: Ableism Speaks
In which The Crip gives very special ableist remarks the 2¢ they deserve
“If you’ve got your health, you’ve got everything.”
Sure, health is important but if you’ve always lived with a chronic condition and/or a progressively degenerative one like I have, hearing this most common of platitudes leads to a waxy bummer build-up in the psyche. It is no pleasure to ponder the possibility that you regard me as having…nothing. Nor do I want to reprise my role on Emotional Labor: Special Cripple Unit where I tell myself you don’t actually mean anything bad by that. I would prefer instead that people express gratitude for what health they have (I know health is a nice thing!) without making such a sweeping generalization about what a good quality of life requires.
Did You Know?
A disability does not necessarily mean “sick.” Unless you mean, “sick of discrimination.” Then — oh yeah. #CripTips
“You’re so lame/crazy/dumb.”
Language is a banquet and most insult-flingers are starving! I do not accept your excuse that your vocabulary has a disability. Overcome that shit and stop using a disability label when you’re calling out a failure of character. Would invoking my “lameness” — non-walkingness — communicate your disgust had I, for example, shown public disrespect to Paralympic champions? NOPE. This practice is particularly stigmatizing to people with mental health issues and that is no joke.
Instead, you could use more appropriate terminology like: jackhole, hateful, traitor, obnoxious, lying, scurrilous, mendacious, quarrelsome, peevish, pussilanimous, cowardly, craven, viperous, ratsbane, toady, or greedy.
Language is rich. Don’t use it to take cheap shots at disabled people.
Did You Know?
A person can be both disabled AND a jackhole. #CripTips
“A disabled child teaches a parent what love really is.”
In the words of Fox Mulder, I want to believe. Of course I want to believe that I alone incite The Greatest Love of All in my parents’ hearts. Especially with the two clowns I’ve got for brothers. But I keep it classy. I maintain a veneer of humility. And, seriously, sowing divisiveness between disabled and non-disabled siblings by saying that a disabled child teaches parents what love “really” is — in what world is that a good idea? Instead: Let me bust my brothers’ chops in my own way, okay? I know what I’m doing.
Did You Know?
It’s possible to love a non-disabled child. Difficult. But possible. #CripTips
Can someone “like me” have sex?
Part of the joy of living, of drawing each fresh, sweet breath, is never knowing who I’ll next meet. Like strangers who ask personal questions — for purely informational purposes — that they actually expect answers to. Like discovering that sitting side-by-side on a DC public bus means that a complete stranger gets to find out whether someone “like me” can have sex. Not whether I want to, with them — they make that clear — but whether it’s, like, possible. As asteroids hitting the earth, low-fat products being delicious, and me experiencing ordinary street harassment are possible. Is there some hunger for knowledge inside you about the human condition that will not be denied? Because if there is, there’s Google for that. Leave me the fuck alone.