"One of the most pervasive and irritating tropes about disability is the idea that disabled people are inspiring simply for existing. Going out in public or doing the most simple of daily tasks is grounds for being patted on the head (sometimes literally) and told how inspiring you are. How you’re so brave. You touch people with your very existence. Saccharine smiles follow you around no matter what you’re doing and you are used as a posterchild on inspirational fliers to remind nondisabled people that life could be worse: they could be disabled.
When disabled people try to confront this narrative, to pick apart why it’s so frustrating and hurtful to be viewed as inspirational just for being alive, nondisabled people often get extremely defensive. They say we aren’t allowed to tell them what to be inspired by, or that we don’t understand that they’re just amazed how much we overcome, or they throw any number of things at us indicating that they’re not actually listening to anything we’re saying. We don’t critique social attitudes to tell people how to think. We critique social attitudes to talk about how we think, and how their actions impact us. People can choose to listen to and interpret our critique in a variety of ways, and that’s entirely up to them.
But one thing people seem to miss, or willfully misread, is the fact that none of us are saying that disabled people can’t be inspiring. We’re saying that disability alone is not inspiring, and we’re asking people explore what it is, exactly, that they’re finding inspiring when they look at a disabled person doing something."
"We don’t critique social attitudes to tell people how to think. We critique social attitudes to talk about how we think, and how their actions impact us.”
Accommodation is Not “Special Treatment”
“Treat us like you would anyone else.”
It’s a common catchphrase you hear in some spheres of disability rights activism when an able bodied person asks about how to behave around people with disabilities. Pretty simple, right? Treat us like you would anyone else. Acknowledge that we are human beings. That we have a right to exist. That we should be treated with respect. That we deserve space on this Earth, just like everyone else. Greet us when we enter a room. Talk to us, not our interpreters/communicative devices. Don’t touch our assistive devices without permission.
"Ableism must be included in our analysis of oppression and in our conversations about violence, responses to violence and ending violence. Ableism cuts across all of our movements because ableism dictates how bodies should function against a mythical norm—an able-bodied standard of white supremacy, heterosexism, sexism, economic exploitation, moral/religious beliefs, age and ability. Ableism set the stage for queer and trans people to be institutionalized as mentally disabled; for communities of color to be understood as less capable, smart and intelligent, therefore “naturally” fit for slave labor; for women’s bodies to be used to produce children, when, where and how men needed them; for people with disabilities to be seen as “disposable” in a capitalist and exploitative culture because we are not seen as “productive;” for immigrants to be thought of as a “disease” that we must “cure” because it is “weakening” our country; for violence, cycles of poverty, lack of resources and war to be used as systematic tools to construct disability in communities and entire countries."-Mia Mingus, “Moving Toward the Ugly: A Politic Beyond Desirability” (via ethiopienne)
Using the language of disability to denigrate or insult in our conversations and organizing presumes that
a.) people who hold undesirable or harmful viewpoints must hold them because they are mentally ill/have psych disabilities/are mentally disabled/are disabled in some way,
b.) having mental illness/psych disability/mental disability/any disability is actually so undesirable and horrible that you can insult someone that way (the same underlying reason why socially embedded linguistic heterosexism lets people use “gay” as an insult),
c.) it’s acceptable to use ableism against one disability group while decrying ableism against another disability group (creating horizontal or intra-disability oppression) or another form of oppression against another marginalized group (creating horizontal oppression), and
d.) and that no one who is disabled in any way might actually share your opinion or be on your side,
thus actually actively excluding and marginalizing this part of our community, and making our spaces less safe and less inclusive." -Violence in Language: Circling Back to Linguistic Ableism (via ichinosehajime-ssu)
Neither Courage Wolf nor Calming Manatee were doing much to help my anxiety, but I knew they were both on to something.
So, I created Calmage Wolfatee.
I’M SO INSPIRED
Someone needs to make this into a t-shirt
friendly reminder: desiring validation & attention isn’t a bad thing. it’s awesome that you know what you need & seek it out in healthy ways. go you!!! ｡◕‿◕｡
i needed to hear this today.
"boy i’m in a great mood!"
"oh, please. you can’t REALLY be in a great mood. there are people out there who just got raises. people just got married. people are being reunited with their families right now. how dare you say you’re happy."
The equivalent of someone saying you can’t be sad because other people have it worse than you.
just because you dont break skin or use a razor doesnt mean it cant be self harm
just because they never hit you doesnt mean it cant be an abusive relationship
just because you can communicate in some circles doesnt mean you cant have anxiety or socializing issues
just because you have a good day doesnt mean you cant have depression
Do not let your perception of how your struggle should be silence you. Your problems are real and they deserve attention.
"of course you don’t fight fire with fire, but you do fight it by suffocating it, drowning it, or stomping it out. you dont stop fire by just standing there and asking it nicely “please dont burn my neighborhood down”"-(via tigerthevampirequeen)
When you are hurting, there will always be people who find a way to make it about themselves. If you break your wrist, they’ll complain about a sprained ankle. If you are sad, they’re sadder. If you’re asking for help, they’ll demand more attention.
Here is a fact: I was in a hospital and sobbing into my palms when a woman approached me and asked why I was making so much noise and I managed to stutter that my best friend shot himself in the head and now he was 100% certified dead and she made this little grunt and had the nerve to tell me, “Well now you made me sad.”
When you get angry, there are going to be people who ask you to shut up and sit down, and they’re not going to do it nicely. Theirs are the faces that turn bright red before you have a chance to finish your sentence. They won’t ask you to explain yourself. They’ll be mad that you’re mad and that will be their whole reason alone.
Here is a fact: I was in an alleyway a few weeks ago, stroking my friend’s back as she vomited fourteen tequila shots. “I hate men,” she wheezed as her sides heaved, “I hate all of them.”
I braided her hair so it wouldn’t get caught in the mess. I didn’t correct her and reply that she does in fact love her father and her little brother too, that there are strangers she has yet to meet that will be better for her than any of her shitty ex-boyfriends, that half of our group of friends identifies as male - I could hear each of her bruises in those words and I didn’t ask her to soften the blow when she was trying to buff them out of her skin. She doesn’t hate all men. She never did.
She had the misfortune to be overheard by a drunk guy in an ill-fitting suit, a boy trying to look like a man and leering down my dress as he stormed towards us. “Fuck you, lady,” he said, “Fuck you. Not all men are evil, you know.”
“Thanks,” I told him dryly, pulling on her hand, trying to get her inside again, “See you.”
He followed us. Wouldn’t stop shouting. How dare she get mad. How dare she was hurting. “It’s hard for me too!” he yowled after us. “With fuckers like you, how’s a guy supposed to live?”
Here’s a fact: my father is Cuban and my genes repeat his. Once one of my teachers looked at my heritage and said, “Your skin doesn’t look dirty enough to be a Mexican.”
When my cheeks grew pink and my tongue dried up, someone else in the classroom stood up. “You can’t say that,” he said, “That’s fucking racist. We could report you for that.”
Our teacher turned vicious. “You wanna fail this class? Go ahead. Report me. I was joking. It’s my word against yours. I hate kids like you. You think you’ve got all the power - you don’t. I do.”
Later that kid and I became close friends and we skipped class to do anything else and the two of us were lying on our backs staring up at the sky and as we talked about that moment, he sighed, “I hate white people.” His girlfriend is white and so is his mom. I reached out until my fingers were resting in the warmth of his palm.
He spoke up each time our teacher said something shitty. He failed the class. I stayed silent. I got the A but I wish that I didn’t.
Here is a fact: I think gender is a social construct and people that want to tell others what defines it just haven’t done their homework. I personally happen to have the luck of the draw and am the same gender as my sex, which basically just means society leaves me alone about this one particular thing.
Until I met Alex, who said he hated cis people. My throat closed up. I’m not good at confrontation. I avoided him because I didn’t want to bother him.
One day I was going on a walk and I found him behind our school, bleeding out of the side of his mouth. The only thing I really know is how to patch people up. He winced when the antibacterial cream went across his new wounds. “I hate cis people,” he said weakly.
I looked at him and pushed his hair back from his head. “I understand why you do.”
Here is a fact: anger is a secondary emotion. Anger is how people stop themselves from hurting. Anger is how people stop themselves by empathizing.
It is easy for the drunken man to be mad at my friend. If he says “Hey, fuck you, lady,” he doesn’t have to worry about what’s so wrong about men.
It’s easy for my teacher to fail the kids who speak up. If we’re just smart-ass students, it’s not his fault we fuck up.
It’s easy for me to hate Alex for labeling me as dangerous when I’ve never hurt someone a day in my life. But I’m safe in my skin and his life is at risk just by going to the bathroom. I understand why he says things like that. I finally do.
There’s a difference between the spread of hatred and the frustration of people who are hurting. The thing is, when you are broken, there will always be someone who says “I’m worse, stop talking.” There will always be people who are mad you’re trying to steal the attention. There will always be people who get mad at the same time as you do - they hate being challenged. It changes the rules.
I say I hate all Mondays but my sister was born on one and she’s the greatest joy I have ever known. I say I hate brown but it’s really just the word and how it turns your mouth down - the colour is my hair and my eyes and my favorite sweater. I say I hate pineapple but I still try it again every Easter, just to see if it stings less this year. It’s okay to be sad when you hear someone generalize a group you’re in. But instead of assuming they’re evil and filled with hatred, maybe ask them why they think that way - who knows, you might just end up with a new and kind friend." -By telling the oppressed that their anger is unjustified, you allow the oppression to continue. I know it’s hard to stay calm. I know it’s scary. But you’re coming from the safe place and they aren’t. Just please … Try to be more understanding. /// r.i.d (via inkskinned)