transablism

Today I’m going to be talking about something extremely serious and probably very very opinionated. I apologize in advance for this fact, because I am probably going to go off about this.

Today, someone linked me a news article about people who are ‘transabled’. I read about the people who use the medical equiptment even though they are able-bodied, up to  people who are purposely cutting off or crushing limbs to give them their ideal disability.

It made me sick to my stomach.

As someone who was born with Cerebral Palsy, someone who went through years and years and YEARS of physiotherapy to correct what’s “wrong with me”, who has been bullied and beaten by classmates and neighbourhood kids, who still feels like I’m not good enough. As someone who still wishes they were just born normal, who can’t stand the way my body gives out on me when I coould be doing so much more with myself. As someone who has spent countless nights crying myself to sleep because I just want to be able-bodied, to be good enough.

How dare you. My experiences are not a fashion statement nor something to romanticize. My hospital trips, my surgeries, my pain that I experience every single day of my life, this isn’t a game to me. This isn’t something I can ever change. I can never, ever get better. Saying that you’re transabled, that you want to have the pain I would give my life to get rid of, is like a slap in the face to me, to my fellow members in the disabled community.

How dare you.

I fill out a lot of forms for someone who doesn’t work. A lot. It’s to be expected.

Most of these forms will ask demographic questions about my household, and will generally ask if anyone in my household is disabled. 

Every damn time, I want to check “No.” Then I remember that I’m not entirely functional. I remember that multiple doctors, psychologists, AND a judge declared me disabled and I’m on disability because of both physical and mental disabilities. 

I find it difficult to understand why anyone would want to check “Yes." 

So now it was all over. Rubashov knew that before midnight he would have ceased to exist … He had followed every thought to its last conclusion and had acted in accordance with it to the very end; the hours which remained to him belonged to that silent partner, whose realm began just where logical thought ended. He had christened it the ‘grammatical fiction’ with that shame-facedness about the first person singular which the Party had inculcated in its disciples.
— 

Arthur Koester, Darkness at Noon (1940)

Just finished reading the end of this book again, for the umpteenth time. I am over-familiar with most of it, especially the political arguments, but the very end stills packs the same punch for me - the “shrug of eternity”. And it just struck me that the final, poignant conversation tapped between Rubashov and the prisoner in the neighbouring cell is basically Gchat literature some 60-odd years before its time.

But what really drew my attention again was the notion of ‘the grammatical fiction’, which gives its name to the book’s final section. In relation to this social absurdity, I’ve developed a little historical idea of 'post-individualism’, or what comes after the grand 20th century struggles for the rights of the individual in the wake of the horrific abuses and slow failures of collectivist politics. Is there a class of youth so disaffected with the banality of late capitalist culture that they are no longer content to identify as single human beings - the overarching project of 300 years of liberalism - but appropriate the language of feminist and transgender politics to claim identities as animals, other non-human beings, systems of multiple personalities, or (most controversially but also perhaps most logically) disabled people? To dismiss them as mentally ill is in itself to do violence against the tenets of social justice, and poses the question of how exactly we define the normal and the rational. With a broader perspective these are simply over-romanticised views of the human imagination (as earlier Romantics rebelled against the over-logical and scientific development of industrial civilisation) charged with, yes, a perhaps unhealthy psychological belief and justified by borrowed languages. Yet the idea that individuality is contingent and malleable - and not the one true manifestation of all political ethics - is the challenge it brings to our fragile collectivity.

anonymous asked:

what do you think about transablism?

This is a really difficult question for me. Because I am disabled I can’t imagine why anyone would want to be so. Also, I’ve been through so much discrimination because I am a young, healthy looking disabled person of size. There’s so much discrimination of disabled people in media, especially when it comes to actors portrayal of disabled people and directors/producers/casting directors unwillingness to hire actual disabled people. That being said, I try not to judge. I think as long as these people educate themselves, check their privilege, and realize how much discrimination and pain disabled bodied people go through then it could be okay. From what I’ve seen most of these people want visible illnesses (deafness, blindness, amputation, wearing leg braces, using wheelchairs etc.) they need to know that that’s not all there is to disability. There are a lot of people who have invisible illnesses. They don’t have less ability because their body parts have a different range of ability, but because they’re in pain every single second of every day, or they don’t have a immune system, or they have anxiety attacks when they try to leave their house. As long as no one is trying to glamourize disability and actually educates themselves I’m happy.