Since getting involved with atheist activism, which was my first introduction to online social justice circles, I have seen people make an effort to drop racism language, cissexist language, sexist language, etc. from their vocabularies. Yes not all and not nearly enough, but still there was a visible segment of the community that made this effort.
The same cannot be said for the effort people put in to remove ableist vocabulary from their language. Sure some of the big ones like R*t*rd that many of us have known since childhood was a slur, but st*pid, Id*ot, Cr*t*n, M*r*n, l*me, Cr*zy, for those I haven’t seen as much effort, even from people who claim to care. It’s disheartening.
Every day I scroll through my newsfeed and I’m bombarded by these words from people who are my friends, who claim to care about me and people like me.
Do you really think we don’t notice?
Many of us are just too exhausted to have the same argument again and again. When many of us struggle to survive in a world that in some cases is actively trying to kill us, often through neglect (think flashing lights, they are fucking everywhere!!), it can feel like too much to tell yet another person: “Hey actually that’s ableist.”
TW for discussions of Rape
- Because the likelihood of having my symptoms taken seriously is increased if I present male
- Because the statistics on the risk of sexual assault and rape for people with disabilities have been listed as high as 80%.
- Because I’ve been told that my rape doesn’t count because it involved a doctor and a medical instrument.
- Because I’ve been told that people with disabilities can’t be raped because no one wants to have sex with them.
- Because discussions about body positivity never seem to include sick and damaged bodies.
- Because the social concept of “sexiness” excludes those of us with physical disability.
- Because my bodily autonomy being in question puts my life at risk.
- Because the standard doses, side effects, and risks for my medication were not determined with my body in mind but was based on how cis males (usually white) reacted.
- Because my symptoms were ignored for years because of medically assumptions about cis female bodies that turned out to be false.
- Because the first question whenever I go into the hospital is always “Are you sure you are not pregnant”. Always.
- Because every medical form I’ve ever seen only gives me the options male or female under gender.
- Because even sex positive folk rarely discuss the difficulties faced by disabled people when it comes to sex: physical issues, the need for preparation, the desexualisation we face by society, etc.
If you have more reasons, I would love to hear them in the comments. If you are a person of colour, I would love to hear reasons why disability is also a race issue.