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"Ableism":

 1 Merlo, Tue, 11th Oct '11 8:29:23 PM from the masochist chamber
*hrrrrrk*
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...
 2 Totemic Hero, Tue, 11th Oct '11 8:44:35 PM from the next level Relationship Status: Abstaining
Mild panic
Unless it impedes speech or communication, there's no reason whatsoever to treat someone with a physical disability any differently in a social sense. And even in those cases, it's not an excuse to be rude. A disability is a negative thing, but it doesn't warrant any kind of social shunning.

Expecting people with physical disabilities to be able to return to a completely normal lifestyle...maybe in a few extraordinary cases, but for the most part, it won't happen. That said, I agree there is a potential problem with those who don't even try to work around such disabilities, but that's probably rarer than "ableists" claim.

edited 11th Oct '11 8:45:18 PM by TotemicHero

"These days they have a stat for how many times a guy goes for a cup of coffee." -Mark McGwire
 3 USAF713, Tue, 11th Oct '11 8:49:55 PM from the United States
I changed accounts.
Well, a disability is by its nature going to be bad, but that doesn't mean we have to treat them like crap, or act like they're incapable of helping themselves unless they voice an opinion to the contrary.

They may not be able to live the exact same kinds of lives as us, but that certainly doesn't mean they can't live. We should go about trying to enable them to live whatever life is most comfortable for them, rather than trying to make them conform to a lifestyle that is natural for us—but, obviously, wouldn't be for them.
I am now known as Flyboy.
 4 joeyjojo, Tue, 11th Oct '11 8:53:17 PM from Opp North Relationship Status: Get out of here, STALKER
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?

The problem is that people can’t take on board the idea that disabled people are human and being disability is in itself a bad thing at the same time. You can live a for filling life in a wheel chair, but it's not some thing anyone would chose to dop if they have the choice.

edited 11th Oct '11 8:55:13 PM by joeyjojo

Unity in diversity
Completely agreed about not shunning people with disabilities. However, considering disability "normal", "just another part of human diversity" seems rather...strange.
If we disagree, that much, at least, we have in common
 6 joeyjojo, Tue, 11th Oct '11 9:08:24 PM from Opp North Relationship Status: Get out of here, STALKER
Honestly I think there is a element of sour grapes with disability pride movement. I believe in an earlier thread there was a British couple who identified with ‘Deaf Culture’ and who say wanted to give ‘their child the gift of deafness' and something equally horrifying.

Unity in diversity
Flat "What."
If we disagree, that much, at least, we have in common
 8 feotakahari, Tue, 11th Oct '11 9:15:21 PM from Looking out at the city
Fuzzy Orange Doomsayer
As a rule, if anyone consistently capitalizes Deaf, stay far, far away from that person. I've found more sanity in draconic otherkin.

edited 11th Oct '11 9:15:41 PM by feotakahari

That's Feo . . . He's a disgusting, mysoginistic, paedophilic asshat who moonlights as a shitty writer—Something Awful
 9 joeyjojo, Tue, 11th Oct '11 9:22:49 PM from Opp North Relationship Status: Get out of here, STALKER
[up]I know but it's going to come up either way

Here's is what the other wiki says on it Deaf Culture. read some of the external links if you get the chance. There are... intresting to say the least.

edited 11th Oct '11 9:23:11 PM by joeyjojo

Unity in diversity
 10 Merlo, Tue, 11th Oct '11 10:51:14 PM from the masochist chamber
*hrrrrrk*
^ Ah Deaf culture... I figured it would come up eventually. I think it's fine for people who're already living with it and getting along alright, but going so far as to wish the condition onto more people doesn't sit right.

Well, a disability is by its nature going to be bad, but that doesn't mean we have to treat them like crap, or act like they're incapable of helping themselves unless they voice an opinion to the contrary.

They may not be able to live the exact same kinds of lives as us, but that certainly doesn't mean they can't live. We should go about trying to enable them to live whatever life is most comfortable for them, rather than trying to make them conform to a lifestyle that is natural for us—but, obviously, wouldn't be for them.
I'm just not sure if this sort of mindset would be interpreted as pity, and where the overlap in the Venn diagram of "being accommodating" and "acting like they can't take care of themselves" is.

Expecting people with physical disabilities to be able to return to a completely normal lifestyle...maybe in a few extraordinary cases, but for the most part, it won't happen. That said, I agree there is a potential problem with those who don't even try to work around such disabilities, but that's probably rarer than "ableists" claim.
Well uh... I don't know if anyone's seriously expecting that all people with disabilities will be able to live a "normal" lifestyle. But what would be your standard for a reasonable effort to work around disabilities? And I guess the anti-ableist question would be, why would one be required to make an effort at conforming?

edited 11th Oct '11 10:58:39 PM by Merlo

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am...
 11 Hungry Joe, Wed, 12th Oct '11 12:14:56 AM from Under the Tree
Gristknife
We're all expected to make an effort at conforming. That's what it means to be a normal part of society, conformation.

I dunno, I'm not sure if I've ever seen somebody present me with a case of ableism in action.

Plus, on a personal level, I loathe the word.

"Oh, you're ableist, just because I can't hold my hands steady doesn't mean I can't be a surgeon!"

I know that's not what it means, but that's what it sounds like.
Charlie Tunoku is a lover and a fighter.
Uncle George
Deaf culture does differ from hearing culture, because it's the only culture without verbal communication (for obvious reasons).

Disability can become just one part of the human diversity if we make society accessible enough to everyone. Sure, there will be some areas where some people have no possibility to aspire for (though I know at least one Deaf artist, there's been a legless sprinter and chances are there's a blind artist out there too), but most occupations and life pursuits that are closed from the disabled are rather specialist subjects anyway, that are closed from able bodied people who aren't just skilled in the area, too.

I hated the Penn and Teller episode where they complained about disabled rights and demonstrated how wheelchair ramps aren't so necessary by having a wheelchair athlete work ledges and stuff in their studio. because yeah, every person in a wheelchair has the upper body strength and stamina to do that all the fucking time.

But there's one area in this debate where I'm not entirely up to odds with The Movement; the deletion of ableist language. I mean, I would never use words like "retard" as insults, and kinda shy away from saying "are you blind" and stuff like that * . but when people tell me it's ableist to say someone is "stupid", that's when I kinda draw the line. While one can argue about the semantic difference between stupidity and ignorance, I think they're more or less the same, and "you're ignorant" is such a cliche and so easily ignored. If someone refuses to educate themselves on something, they're stupid.

[ed.] [up] Ableism is more about treating the disabled as if they can't do anything but be helpless invalids that need to be carted around (and pitied). Sure, you wouldn't put an Parkinson's sufferer on the knife, but that doesn't mean he can't hold some job. I wouldn't make a good surgeon, chances are you wouldn't neither. But if a professional surgeon got hit by Parkinson's, you'd really want to find a way to get the jitters dealt with (hand braces, something), because the talent is invaluable to lose.

edited 12th Oct '11 12:24:20 AM by JethroQWalrustitty

This love so bold goes undeclared/a joy unseen, a world unknown/a love that dare not speak its name/hidden treasure, precious stone
 13 joeyjojo, Wed, 12th Oct '11 3:13:58 AM from Opp North Relationship Status: Get out of here, STALKER
I hated the Penn and Teller episode where they complained about disabled rights and demonstrated how wheelchair ramps aren't so necessary by having a wheelchair athlete work ledges and stuff in their studio. because yeah, every person in a wheelchair has the upper body strength and stamina to do that all the fucking time.

Yes well I really shouldn't be surprised by that. The idea that not everyone is a self-reliant superman capable of literally pulling them self up by their boot straps wouldn't sit right with their ideal of America as a libertarian utopia.

You would think Teller at least would be sympathetic to disable rights, the man is fucking mute! :P
Unity in diversity
After lurking around on the main site for a while and now spending some time reading through the forums it is this thread that has finally got me to sign up here.

Why, well because I my sel am actually one ofthose wacky crip.. inva... disable... Look, I use a wheelchair alright.

So, Ablesism (and I'm not fond of the term either. Now i do not believe that Ableism should automaticall mean that i should be able to walk into any job I want (you know what I mean.) Skill levels, especially when considering jobs that have a direct and important impact on other people (such as the aboe mentioned surgeon) are obviously important. What it does mean to me though is that I should be able to get into any building I want and, where the tools and technology are avaialble, be allowed to make a contibution to society, to use the intelligence, work ethic and other skills I possess to find myself a job that I can excel at and even (if possible) Enjoy.

Ther fact is that I have been born into a world that is not designed for me, and there is rarely a night out or shopping session that doesn't end in some frustration, wether it be the club that I can't get into, the shop who's displays are just that little bit too close together or even the newsagents who stcok that magazine I want on the top shelf (ahem.)

More than that though, peoples atitudes do need addressing. There is a marked and very obvious difference between myself and the percieved norm and much like people of colour it meansthat differnece will be noticed, commented on, have judgment passed on it and assumptions made about it. It's arguable that the aforementiond minority is becoming more integrated into that percieved norm (slowly, imperfectly and no we're not there yet.) but us crips are still miles away.

Kids stare, but then kids will stare until the point where a wheelchair, white stick or other obvious difference becomes part of society as red hair. Actual abuse is rare (at least once adulthood is reached) but perhaps the most trying is the 'nice' discrimination. I'm talking about the 'is he alright' mentality, (yes he's fine and he's right here thank you so very much.) the 'I'm a little bit uncomfortable so I'll ask you not to speed/if you have a licence/not to run over my feet whilst slightly talking down to you and focusing on the thing that makes you different (And I wasn't thinking of running over your feet - I am now). The problem with this last category being it's people trying to be nice. It feels wrong to tell them off but it still indicates that the low level prejudice, the sese of otherness still pervades. Until there is a major societal shift and the differently abled (hating myself right now!) at least start to go down the path that people of colour, the lbgt community and the females of the species have at least started to make progress down I can only see this continuing.

/rant

Oh and, Hi all.
 
 15 USAF713, Wed, 12th Oct '11 4:31:40 AM from the United States
I changed accounts.
Sup, rankers.

I would argue that the goal is to help the disabled until they don't want your help anymore. That's about the best you can hope for, really...
I am now known as Flyboy.
Uncle George
Welcome to the hivemind, Rankers.

but us crips are still miles away.

Oh, you should totally take that word back. Take the blue bandana as a symbol of Disabled rights and all that.

But seriously though, good of you to weight in on this. Accessability is small things * and people have a really condescending attitudes towards the disabled, partly treating all of them as if they were also mentally disabled, and completely unable to do anything by themselves.

RE: Shopping, at least there's the reprieve of online shopping these days.
This love so bold goes undeclared/a joy unseen, a world unknown/a love that dare not speak its name/hidden treasure, precious stone
 17 joeyjojo, Wed, 12th Oct '11 4:47:04 AM from Opp North Relationship Status: Get out of here, STALKER
Welcome aboard
Unity in diversity
Cheers for the welcome guys and apolgies for the typing. That's what you get for trying to type something on a forum whilst simultaneously trying to pretend you're not on it.

Stupid work.
 
It really depends, that second part. I've known quite a few disabled people such as myself who HATE terms like 'specially abled' because, as one said, 'not being able to walk is not a superpower. It's a lack of ability. I'm disabled.' From this point of view, most unintentional ableism comes from people using terms like 'retard' and 'lame'. When terms like those are used for people or things that are not disabled in a derogatory sense, they by implication are being derogatory toward people who are retarded or lame. In that sense, ableism is implying that disabilites are a 'bad' thing BEYOND the obvious. I know that I certainly don't want my severely retarded older sister to be associated with the things most people I know consider 'retarded'...because those things are bad and offensive, and she's NOT.

Does that make more sense?

EDIT: Moreover, things like being medically lame or retarded are things that people who are lame and retarded can't help. It's merely a twist of fate, not a personal failing on their part. However, the things generally associated with the INSULTS lame and retarded are things that can be helped, that are seen as a mistake or a failing on the part of the insulted. Thus, it's considered as implying on a probably subconcious level that being medically lame or retarded is a personal failing, rather than a physical or mental shortfall that the lame or retarded person in no way caused.

edited 12th Oct '11 6:23:55 AM by Katrika

"You fail to grasp the basic principles of mad science. Common sense would be cheating." - Narbonic
Uncle George
I think disabled is a good word, because it means lacking some ability, though I'm not probably one to talk, since my only real disabilities are bipolarity and bad hearing.
This love so bold goes undeclared/a joy unseen, a world unknown/a love that dare not speak its name/hidden treasure, precious stone
I like the term disabled, too, and fully use it for myself.
"You fail to grasp the basic principles of mad science. Common sense would be cheating." - Narbonic
I'll use disabled (although i do use crip too!)but benerally i refer to myself as a wheelchair user. Of course that doesnt refer to every subset of the minority though.

The only word that i HATE is Invalid. Just shift the emphasis to the second syllable and you'll see why.
 
Well actually, I'm generally confused as to how the media wants to treat the issue.

Disabled people have something different from the vast majority of people that is likely going to impede their ability to get certain jobs, get into certain places or certain social interactions (such as deaf people can't hear you talk, blind people can't see body language, a person with no leg mobility is confined to a bulky wheel chair etc)

So then, obviously, ridicule, shunning or blocking disabled individuals from doing what they can do in society would be silly. Two industries are usually most receptive to using anybody they can; tech and banking. You perform well, they pay you lots of money to get the job done.

However, I'm wondering what's the view of believing disabled people need to be fixed? Media treats that as a bad point of view. If I, for instance, saw a bunch of kids unable to walk and the first thing I thought was "Gee I wonder what kind of cybernetic tech I could develop to allow them to walk again", TV tells me that's a bad point of view. Is it? Wouldn't these people want to be able to walk?

 24 Madrugada, Wed, 12th Oct '11 9:43:14 AM Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
Some do and some don't particularly care. It's the seeing it as "needing" to be fixed that's the problem, as I understand it, * That can tip over into 'judgmental and condescending' territory really easily and inadvertently.

edited 12th Oct '11 9:43:59 AM by Madrugada

'He strutted across the bedroom, his hard manhood pointing the way' sounds like he owns a badly named seeing-eye dog. 'Sit, Hard Manhood!
This one completely agrees that the attitude towards people with disabilities needs to improve. Accessibility, as been mentioned above, is a serious problem, and yes, that is something that society is ought to make an effort to accommodate.

But this one still does not understand the "just another aspect of human diversity" part. Disabled people are not, in any way, less than other people, "bad" or what have you. Anyone who claims that deserves to be shot with a hammer. Disability, however, is still a bad thing. And the fact that it can be a hindrance is not just a social construct. Placed on separate uninhabited islands with no society to enforce their (often stupid) rules on them, otherwise equal disabled and able-bodied person would most likely fare...differently.

Again, this one fully agrees that the current attitude of society needs serious improvement. She also fully agrees that people with disabilities can - and ought to be able to - lead full, rich, enjoyable and fulfilling lives. In spite of their disability. Most surely not because of it

This one hopes that she did not offend anyone
If we disagree, that much, at least, we have in common
Total posts: 107
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