Simpsons Sunday-Happy Halloween!

31 10 2010

This Treehouse of Horror is one of the best, but this is the only clip I could find. Happy Halloween, everyone!


Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s Rally to Keep Ableism Alive

30 10 2010

Everyone has been anticipating Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s Rally to Restore Sanity And/Or Fear. Discussions of false equivalences between left and right extremes have been a major talking point, but something that few outside the PWD community have talked about is the disgusting ableism surrounding this event.

Labeling conservatives as “crazy” or “insane” is an old liberal favourite. This was the entire basis of Jon Stewart’s part of the rally–that people who he disagrees with, or people who are passionate are mentally ill and we need to get rid of those silly crazy people.

This is an old tactic that is used in almost every arena to try and discredit someone they disagree with. An idea or person is labeled as crazy and they are almost automatically dismissed. When used this way, it is ableist and harms people with mental disabilities. “Crazy” and “Insane” are words used to describe people with mental disabilities. When someone uses these words in a negative context, to describe a person or idea they disagree with, to put someone down, or to try and make some political point, it is ableist and it harms people with mental disabilities.

Whether or not Stewart and Colbert intended to harm anyone isn’t the point here. Intent doesn’t matter when exercising an -ism, it hurts all the same.

Voting and Privilege

26 10 2010

Voting is largely inaccessible. Trans women and men, people with disabilities, people of colour, people living in poverty and people living in rural areas often are unable to vote because of the myriad barriers blocking access. This is a reason why there is so often low turnout among these groups (among other factors). This post, however, is not directed at people who are blocked from voting.

This post is for everyone who can vote.

If you have the privilege of access to voting, it is absolutely imperative that you vote consciously next Tuesday. It is important to research the positions that your candidates hold. Study voting records, speeches, debates, endorsements, whatever you can get your hands on and educate yourself before voting. It’s also necessary to recognise what great privilege you have with your access to voting. This is something that cannot be taken lightly and must be carefully thought about before exercising.

And what do you need to do after you’ve recognised your privilege of voting access? You can either use your privilege to uplift the people you oppress or you can ignore it and continue to harm (directly or indirectly) the most vulnerable people in our country. You can choose to vote for the candidates that are endorsed by marginalized people, candidates that truly seek to uplift oppressed people and make this country a better place for all of us. Or, you can choose to vote in your best interests. For tax cuts that will harm the poorest in our nation, hateful candidates who seek to exterminate trans women and men, candidates who are pro-corporations, candidates that, if elected, will “send a message to the Obama administration,” candidates who want to continue to harm the most vulnarable.

Or you can choose to sit at home on election day, throw your privilege around in the faces of those of us who don’t have voting access and tell us that voting doesn’t matter anyway, man.

I’m going to vote consciously next Tuesday. Will you?

Simpsons Sunday

19 09 2010

What’s that word?!

You Aren’t A Grammar Nazi, You’re an Asshole

17 09 2010

A lot of people like to claim the title of “Grammar Nazi” and if you are over the age of 16, you need to stop.

I’m not even going to discuss how horrible and harmful it is to just throw around the Nazi label as if it means nothing, but instead I’m going to focus and the ableism behind the people who tout themselves as such.

As I’ve mentioned here numerous times, I’m legally blind. And, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, I make a lot of typos. A whole lot. Keeping in line with my post from Wednesday, people like to make assumptions on my intelligence, or my laziness based on how many typos they see. “I judge you based on your spelling.” is something I’ve seen a lot of my facebook friends like. These are the kinds of people who, in an argument will notice one spelling error and jump on the person for it instead of having a valid argument. For people with visual disabilities or dyslexia, this is something we hate. We spend an incredible amount of time going over status updates, blog posts, papers or just general assignments to weed out the errors, and trust me when I say that it is literally impossible to catch them all. It has nothing to do with intellect or competence, it is about disability.

People with disabilities especially people nwith learning disabilities) are constantly made to feel as if we are intellectually lesser than the able bodied community. Calling out spelling errors and justifying it with “Oh, I’m just a total grammar nazi” only reinforces the ableist stereotype that brings direct harm to us.

You Can’t See My Pain

15 09 2010

You can’t see me taking the elevator to go up one flight because my ankles hurt., or my depth perception is bad, or because I forgot my cane today. Instead, you see a fat person who is just being lazy.

You don’t see me skipping school because it hurts too much to move. You see someone who just doesn’t wanna do her schoolwork.

You don’t see me using my laptop to take notes in class because I can’t hold a pen for very long. You see someone who wants to screw around on Facebook.

You don’t see me not fulfilling gym or science requirements because schools don’t know how to make classes adaptive to my visual or physical needs. You just see someone who doesn’t want to exercise or put any work in.

You don’t see my fat being a result of a decade of steroid use. You see someone who eats junk food all the time and doesn’t exercise.

You don’t see me not acknowledging your wave or smile from across the room because I can’t see it. You see someone who is rude.

You don’t see me getting turned down at every job interview because employers can’t stop staring at my thick glasses. You see someone who just wants to sit at home collecting government money.

You don’t see me not talking about disability in class because I’m fraid of being silenced again. You see someone who doesn’t care about the assignment.

You don’t see me taking the bus to go six blocks because it’s damp and my joints hurt. You see someone who simply doesn’t want to move.

I have Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia and I am legally blind as a result of Uvietis. And unless you see me using an assistive device, you cannot see these things. You can’t see my pain or my struggle, so you choose to make assumptions based on how I look instead. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

It’s Invisible Illness Week!

13 09 2010

Today marks the beginning of National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week. These awareness day/week/month things tend to be problematic in and of itself, but I plan to write for it in the hope that it will spark some conversation. You can look forward to a new post every day this week (no, really!) about my life with invisible illnesses and everything related. If anyone would like to submit a guest post please let me know via email or Twitter.

Are you excited? I know I am!