A while back I stumbled upon this thing
, which is a complaint about the now-axed Troper Tales
page for Uncanny Valley
. To sum up, a bunch of tropers posted things like "disabled people make me uncomfortable", some with less tact than others, and this offended some people, who go on to say that this attitude is bigoted and "ableist".
I'm sympathetic to their viewpoint, I do find dehumanization of people with disabilities to be, well, disturbing, but when I linked this article in another forum the few responses were pointing and laughing, and accusations of "selective outrage" (whatever that means). I'm genuinely confused here. Is there something the complainers up there are doing wrong, or is the idea of "ableism" itself supposed to be ridiculous/laughable?
Wikipedia's definition of ableism:
Similar to many of the assumptions underlying the medical model of disability amongst many clinicians, the "ableist" societal world-view is that the able-bodied are the norm in society, and that people who have disabilities must either strive to become that norm or should keep their distance from able-bodied people.
That first part is, obviously, bad. And as much as that statement sounds like common sense, I've run into that sort of "ewww disabled person" sentiment several times, from people who I would've thought were normal and not bigoted, or whatever. But you know, anecdotal evidence, blah blah. I don't know how prevalent that sort of thing actually is.
A disability is thus, inherently, a "bad" thing that must be overcome. The ableist worldview holds that disability is an error, a mistake, or a failing, rather than a simple consequence of human diversity, akin to race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender.
But I've heard so many conflicting accounts about this second part that I'm not sure what to think. I do tend to think of being disabled as a bad thing, because I tend to think that a condition that limits your freedom to do certain things is bad. Of course I wouldn't want to force anyone to live a certain way, or think of them as inferior, but am I supposed to feel bad for thinking that many of these people could benefit if they could somehow get rid of their condition?
edited 11th Oct '11 8:29:53 PM by Merlo
Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am...