Fabulousness From the Comments

It has been entirely too long since we featured some awesome comments, and we have gotten some really good ones lately, so without further ado:

AWV, on ‘Ableist Word Profile: Special‘:

[snipped for brevity]

In general, I guess I don’t get why we can’t just say disability. Like, why can’t special education just be called education for students with disabilities? Why do we need to use a euphemism?

I feel like it’s good to use the word disability because when you just talk about something openly and straightforwardly, it’s harder for people to say and do messed-up things. I feel like the word disability politicizes things, for one thing. “Special education” is education for a particular population of students who are part of an oppressed minority group. They deserve equal treatment. It’s not cute rainbow unicorn education. It’s education for disabled students.

RT, on ‘Today In Journalism: Do You  Feel Special? Well? Do You?!‘:

“Imagine for a moment….” those are words to loathe. One cannot imagine the depth and scope of what living with a disability is until one becomes a disabled person, and even then it is hard to imagine living with disabilities you don’t have.

People need to get it in their heads that they don’t need to imagine what it is like to be disabled. They need to pay attention to what a disabled person might tell them about the world that they live in and respect us as fully human as they.

Jack, on ‘Yes, I have a limp, and no, it’s not really any of your business‘:

And the thing is, when you get inappropriately nosy in return, they take offence. (I’ve tried it for fun.)

I’ve started telling people really random stories – attacked by a swan, bronco-riding, that kind of thing – until they give up asking. This has lead to other disabled people getting huffy about how I’m making them look rude, but frankly, no-one’s paying me to represent disabled people as a group.

The “You’re [insert really obvious thing]!” always baffles me. Happened when I dyed my hair blue – what, they think someone dyed me in my sleep? Happened when I started using a cane full-time – apparently, I didn’t notice myself getting out my debit card, polling my friends to help me pick between a couple of good ones, and waiting for the delivery guy to arrive. Or, you know, the fact I was carting around just shy of three feet of wood in my left hand. You’d think a person might notice that.

Rebecca, on ‘On Cure Evangelism‘:

A few weeks ago I filled in a survey online and one of the questions was ‘Do you suffer from obesity?’. Now, I am a fat woman, I’m deathfatz in fact, but I ticked no. I don’t suffer from it, see. I do quite well and exist quite happily in my fat body. I had a little giggle to myself because of that.

2 thoughts on “Fabulousness From the Comments

  1. Re: “special education”:

    This does not just cover education for students with disabilities, though. It covers gifted and “exceptional” children as well. I think referring to children and adults with disabilities as “special” is absolutely condescending, though.

  2. I have never ever heard people use special education to mean education for gifted kids. It may happen very occasionally but special education is used in one way most of the time, to the extent that “special” and “special ed” are used as insults.

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