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So can we talk about how Finding Nemo had not one, but three major characters with disabilities? And how all of those characters (Nemo, Dory, and Gill) were fully fledged characters? And how a core message of the movie was that disability=/=incompetence or worthlessness? And that the movie accomplished this without ever turning into “inspiration porn” or even making it a big deal?
Can we talk about that?
Because it’s kind of awesome.
“Disability is often treated as though it were a deviation from the rule. In fact, it is not an anomaly. One out of five persons in the U.S. has an impairment, yet disability is perceived as an "oddity" rather than as a natural occurrence. ”—Marta Russell, Beyond Ramps:Disability at the End of the Social Contract
A quick primer on why and how WORDS *ARE* VIOLENCE, and there is no such thing as "just an opinion" when someone's human rights are at stake
An autistic person writes a post mentioning being a parent. This is a response from someone who reblogged it:
I can’t believe you are thirty-two…
And the fact that you’re autistic and a mother. Autistic people shouldn’t be allowed to parent or have kids. Sick.
That’s certainly an opinion. It’s a very POPULAR opinion.
Between 1930 and the late 1970s, more than 64,000 Americans were forcibly sterilized under state Eugenics laws that sanctioned the sterilization of anyone deemed “physically or mentally unfit”.
Here is a case in which parents not only had their 6-year-old disabled daughter’s uterus and ovaries removed, but also her breasts, as well as several other permanent surgical changes that would ensure she would never get any bigger than a 6-year-old. In 2005. THEY HAVE A WEBSITE ENCOURAGING OTHER PARENTS TO DO WHAT THEY DID.
As for specifically autistic people, many allistics (non-autistics) are making a lot of money sharing their opinions on whether or not we should have human rights, including the right to have children.
Here’s an admitted “super feminist” social worker who, after working with an “autistic girl” who “had a history of sleeping with random people”, decided that forcible sterilization wasn’t such a bad thing after all.
So, tell me again how this is “just an opinion”?
How is it “just an opinion” when that “opinion” is held by people who have the power TO MAKE THAT “OPINION” OUR LIVED REALITY?
Some people seem to think I’m “too angry”. It might be “just my opinion” but there are far too many people who aren’t angry ENOUGH.
Friendly reminder: Always ask for permission to touch a mobility aide used by someone who is handicapped. Devices such as wheelchairs, braces, slings, canes, etc. are considered to be part of our bodies, so touching them is the same as coming up and touching us. If you wouldn’t use direct physical contact with that person normally, then don’t touch their mobility aide.
Respect adaptive technology
Technology is amazing.
It means that we don’t all have to be subsistence farmers. And that we can live in places with deadly cold climates. And that we have safe water. And that we can go places quickly that used to take days of walking. And that we can communicate with people on the other side of the world.
These are all good things. And they’re all things that we can take for granted, because depending on technology makes it possible.
And yet - when a person with a disability uses technology which most people don’t use, people say many versions of this:
- Well, I used to use PECS with him, but he can say a few words if he really tries, and I didn’t want him to become dependent
- She can walk. I’ve seen her. Why is she using a wheelchair?
No matter what you use, as a disabled person, someone is likely to say that you shouldn’t be using it and should be trying harder not to depend on technology.
It isn’t reasonable. And bearing that in mind makes life easier.