Ableism needs to be slayedDec 15 07:24
Ableism is an annoyingly vague term. At face value it looks like it could refer to the discrimination of those who are able-bodied, but sadly it means the opposite.
Ableism refers to thinking people with disabilities aren’t equal to people who are able-bodied and should therefore be treated an inferior. Clint Eastwood has been called an ableist for refusing to make his California restaurant and hotel complex accessible for over 10 years. You may have even been an ableist before you became disabled.
Ableism however is becoming a passe term, with “disabilism” becoming the preferred word choice in it’s place. It’s a bit easier to make out, discrimination against disabilities, which is great because, heck, don’t you want people to know what you’re talking about when you’re going off on those awful ableists?
Ableism is one of the causes of depression among PWD and in our advanced society, ableism should no longer be tolerated. We are the last minority where you can still get away with just coming up to us in public and saying the most rudest, offensive things in the book. It happens to me all the time (“Is your bf paralyzed too” asked the nurse. “Is your brain paralyzed?” I replied). People everywhere think if you can’t walk, you’re nothing. You’re sad. You’re inferior. Ableism is rampant. And it needs to change.
Is being an ableist a feeling humans can’t help…until they “see the light” so to speak? Or is being an ableist something ingrained into us via our family, society and surroundings? A nature vs. nurture kind of thing? Whichever is the truth, all I know is that if I ever had a daughter, I would raise her to be the most badass slayer of ableists the world has ever known. She’d be raised to know one of the most important human lessons we learn - that people with disabilities are just as valid and important as any other human.
What do you do when you encounter an ableist?
Post a comment about this blog!
Disability buzz, travel, fashion and dating — fun things to amp up everyday wheeling life.
Tiffiny Carlson is freelance writer and writes the “SCI Life” column for New Mobility. She's also a C6 quad from a diving accident that occurred when she was 14 years old. A lifelong resident of Minneapolis, Tiffiny has been a writer in the disability community for over 10 years and writes for several publications and blogs, as well as her personal blog BeautyAbility. Her work has also appeared in mainstream publications such as Nerve.com and Playgirl.