tw: ableist slur

I lived almost my whole life lonely, feeling unappreciated and neglected, and it’s crazy what it can do to you, to how you treat yourself and how you view life, and how it changes you to the worst. i’m such a simple person, if i had one person that can give me warmth, love and comfort It would be the only thing that keeps me going. rather than trying to survive by ignoring that desire, and my mental issues.

When parents teach their kids “othering” attitudes towards disabled people.

Between the ages of 9 and 13, I lived next door to a young girl named Anna. Anna had a 2 year old cousin, Ashley, who was a vent dependent high level quadriplegic due to a horrific accident where she fell off the back of a couch and got wedged between the couch and the wall. (Abuse by her father was suspected; they think he pushed her, I don’t remember if that was true or not.) Her injury was very similar to Christopher Reeve’s.

At first I was fascinated by Ashley’s wheelchair and ventilator tube because I had never known somebody could be paralyzed like that and need help just to breathe. Ashley’s nurse was very kind about answering my questions.

If Anna wasn’t home, I would play with Ashley. I sang silly songs, made faces at her (she made them back), I made her stuffed animals “dance” and “kiss” her face (she loved that) and I would read to her while showing her pictures from the books by her bed. Sometimes I “helped” her color by holding her little fist around a crayon and guiding her hand over a coloring book. I actually discovered she could keep her fingers closed if I wrapped them around the crayon, but it was a very loose grip and her hands never improved beyond that. I let Ashley pick the colors– she raised her eyebrows and smiled real big for “yes” and pouted her bottom lip out for “no” and that’s how she told me which crayons she wanted.

Playing with Ashley got to be normal to me. I understood that she was disabled, but she was also a two year old girl just like any other and the only difference was she couldn’t move or breathe on her own. I noticed that other kids didn’t go over to interact with her if she was brought outside in her wheelchair. The adults with her would entertain her instead.

One day, I was playing peekaboo with Ashley when my dad came outside. He got really mad at me! I didn’t know what I did wrong when he demanded I go in the house.

He proceeded to tell me “You shouldn’t play with a crippled child like that. What if something happens to her? You’ll get blamed!”

I don’t remember what I said in protest, but I know I said “Dad, she’s a kid like anybody else!”

He said, “NO, she’s not. She’s different. She’s broken and hurt. Feel sorry for her, and don’t play with her anymore.”

I cried in my room for a long while. Then I went back out to see if Anna was home. She wasn’t, but Ashley was inside in bed. I played with her till Anna came home, then we went out into her back yard and swung on the swings.

The next day, my dad caught me playing with Ashley again. I was putting flowers in her hair (careful that they didn’t have loose petals that could fall on her trach or the vent tubes). He was SO MAD that he grounded me from going outside for a long time, can’t remember how long.

I questioned why it was “so wrong” to play with another kid. Dad kept insisting that I didn’t “need” to play with a child “like that” who would never have a normal life.

Ashley ended up having to go back into the hospital shortly after that, and I can’t remember what became of her beyond that because I didn’t see her again. All I remember is being devastated that my dad didn’t want me to be friends with a very visibly disabled toddler.

Her name was Ashley, and I never forgot her. I hope she’s still alive. She’ll be in her 20′s by now if she’s still out there somewhere. I think of her from time to time. I’m probably a very vague memory to her…and I hope I’m a good one. I was the kid who played with her when nobody else wanted to. Probably because other kids had parents like my dad who forbade it.

The question is…why? My dad told me he was afraid something bad would happen to Ashley while I was playing with her. I get that he was worried about being sued or something, but I feel like there was more to it than that.

He was “othering” Ashley as ‘unacceptably disabled’ and wanted me to treat her like that, too. I refused. I got in a lot of trouble for refusing. I don’t regret it. I was her friend and I made her smile.

Ashley, if you’re out there, I never thought you were broken.

There are some specific issues with a late diagnosis which are rarely talked about. The most noticeable one for me is how the environment fails to adjust to a late diagnosis.

I was diagnosed a few months prior to my eighteenth birthday. Which is actually not even that late.
However, many of the people who surround me seem to think that my diagnosis was “too late to take it serious”, in a way.

Whenever I ask for things that I didn’t ask before, I’m not only met with reluctance but with resistance.
It’s always the same - people say “well, this hasn’t been an issue prior to your diagnosis, so I don’t understand why it is now”. What they don’t understand is that I’ve always been struggling but only since my diagnosis, I know that my struggles are real and valid and that I’m allowed to ask for accommodations or changes that make my life easier. And when I explain this to them, they always tell me off. They tell me that I’m lying even though I’m known for my honesty (which is actually a huge indicator for me being autistic, but somehow they’d rather turn the facts and see me as a liar than admit that I have always been autistic and even noticeably so. They don’t want to acknowledge it because they don’t want to admit that they don’t know a thing about autism. Like, some of my friends literally said that autism to them means “a person has issues to talk with others”, which they don’t see in me which is why they deny that I’m autistic and even refuse to look into the resources about autism that I send to them). Before I got diagnosed, I was treated badly every time I spoke about my needs because people saw me as “overreacting”, “overly sensitive” and “overdramatic”. I’ve been bullied for YEARS because of these things, because to them, I was being “a sissy”.
And after almost two years as a diagnosed autistic, I can say that many people STILL perceive everything I self-advocate for in this mindset. That people STILL see my behavior as overreacting instead of keeping in mind that I am autistic and yes, for me it is as bad as I’m saying it is. That yes, I really get overly anxious around people (which leads to me rambling instead of not saying anything, which again doesn’t match many people’s view on autism) and that certain noises, lights and textures feel like someone is sticking needles inside my ears, eyes, brain and body.

For myself, I was able to make a lot out of my diagnosis. I gained a lot of self-esteem, unlearned internalized ableism in big parts and found new ways of coping. I also have a better sense for my needs now, because even though most people who surround me still don’t take them serious, at least I do now.
Many people mistake this again as “playing pretend”, because how can I only know now what I need? What they don’t want to understand is that as an autistic person, you have to pay much more attention to yourself in order to know what you need because living in itself is overwhelming and taking up a lot of space in our brains. (Heck, I don’t even realize when I’m thirsty 99% of the time… I can go three days without drinking and I don’t feel like my body is missing anything until I black out. Same goes for food. I need to pay conscious attention to how much I’m drinking and eating because I don’t even have this connection to my body that allistic people have.)

But it’s so tiring to not be acknowledged as an autistic person because my parents failed to send me to the right specialist when I was younger. Because they send me to an AD(H)D specialist and failed to send me to another after the results came out negative because they perceived me as a child who is “weird because they are gifted”. Who speaks like a grown up because they’re smart, who plays alone even if they have friends around because they have too creative daydreams and so on.
It’s tiring to always fight so that people treat me right because they are dismissive about my needs because they don’t even UNDERSTAND that I have them because I’m perceived as “too allistic” due to my late diagnosis.

As a late diagnosed autistic, I feel like I get automatically treated as some kind of “Watered Down Autistic™”, who just got the label “autism” slapped on themselves in order to have an excuse for all their quirks and “character flaws”. I feel like people view late diagnosed autistic people as “even less autistic than high-functioning autistic people” which is why they inflict further abuse on us and never consider us as autistic.

But what gets me most about this is how they don’t even realize what they do. That they’d rather keep on pretending that I’m not autistic no matter how much I speak up and tell them that it actively harms me and our relationship because it’s easier and more convenient for them to just dismiss my disability and demand from me to be like them. Because apparently, they hate disabled and autistic people too much to actually accept that one of their friends/family members is one of them.
Keep in mind that these people I’m talking about are my friends and family. They are the people closest to me, the people who claim to like me and have my best interest in mind… And to think that even people who interpret their relationship to me like this abuse me on a daily basis without even noticing or caring about it says a lot about ableism. And it also says a lot about how people who don’t like me or are close to me would treat me if they knew I was autistic.

anonymous asked:

Okay just one thing: when dumbasses say "but harry is white!!! !!! uwu" like ??? They do realize he's a fictional character??? He doesn't exist??? No one can just call up Harry and be like "heyyyy what's up just wanted to ask u white bro??" Like??? We can hc him as anything we want because HE EXISTS IN OUR MINDS.

anonymous asked:

wasn't schizophrenia diagnosed primarily in black activists who were then hospitalized out of "fear" during the civil rights movement in the 60s and 70s

you’re damn right 

not only in the American CRM, but even now in other countries it’s used as a scare tactic 

mental illness has always been a means of silencing people; but especially in the civil rights movement, the outcry against racism was pegged as a “psychotic delusion" 

and people today will protest these facts, despite the fact that white allies in the movement did not face the same ableism that black protestors and activists did. 

sweetp101  asked:

In my American govern. Class we talked about major Supreme Court decisions and Roe V Wade came up. These two morons in my class said there should be a limit on how many abortions a person gets cus people use it for birth control(one dick said abortion was irresponsible). I refuted their arguments saying the typical abortion is a expensive surgery and they started whining "b-b-but there are women who DO" and they couldn't come up with a better argument. My teacher secretly smiled at me

Nice! It’s so fucking annoying and illogical when people say shit like abortions are responsible or that you should have used birth control. Like, no other medical condition gets this much scrutiny. No doctor refuses to fix someone’s arm because they shouldn’t have gone rock climbing or something


Talking About Abuse

Strap in, this is a long one. Skip to the bottom for a TLDR if needs be.

It’s impossible to spend time in the #abuse tags on Tumblr and not run into discourse re: personality disorders. 

And it’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot because I’ve stumbled across the dividing line trying to figure out where I stand. And I think both sides need to remember this:

Mental illness does not make someone abusive. But an abuser with a mental illness may be particularly cruel.

It’s a point that abuse expert Lundy Bancroft has made, and he knows what he’s talking about.

Ideally, I’d like to see the abuse community create new terminology. What exactly, I’m not sure. I’m certainly open to suggestions. Egotistical abuse? Trumpian abuse? Egocentric abuse? Conceited abuse? I don’t know (personally, I prefer Egocentric). We’re not actually trained and qualified to diagnose our abusers with specific disorders. So I’d feel more comfortable avoiding terminology that is already well-defined as something specific that may or may not accurately apply to our situations and that, imo, removes some responsibility from abusers for their choices and behavior.

That said, on the other side of things I’d say to think long and hard about whether you want to attack and possibly re-victimize somebody who is in the long, hard process of recovery from abuse for talking about things like “narcissistic abuse.” Not everything is about you. And if you have experience with mental illness you should consider using that experience to fuel compassion for victims (who are highly likely to be suffering their own mental illness as a result of their abuse) rather than launching into them because they are repeating the terminology that was handed to them by somebody else. By all means, educate people via posts on your own blog. But if you must call out a specific person (whether by reblog or anon asks), remember that the person on the other side of that screen has just spent a very long time, years or decades in some cases, being put down, attacked, criticized, shamed, and endlessly treated as wrong and stupid. If you want to engage with them, don’t do it in a way that will trigger them. And don’t treat them like just another ableist asshole. They’re trying to make sense of what has been done to them and a lot of the people providing answers and hope to them for the first time are teaching them this vocabulary. These people, the ones with a large audience and significant influence, are probably who you should be asking to reconsider their wording.

However, I want to emphasize again to my fellow abuse survivors, that not all abusers have personality disorders (in fact, most probably don’t). Not all people with personality disorders are abusive (and we should really, really hesitate to add to the stigma they face). And abusers who DO have personality disorders would probably still be abusive even if they were magically no longer mentally ill. So just as I ask people to have compassion for victims, I’d ask victims to have compassion for the mental illness community and embrace language that allows us to talk about certain flavors of abuse without co-opting words from the DSM nor contribute to stigmas that harm others (especially when we consider that the mentally ill are often more likely to be victims of abuse themselves). We are, generally, on the same team. And it really requires very little effort to just abstain from using certain phrases or words. 

Again, mental illness does not make somebody abusive. Don’t let abusers get away with using mental illness as an excuse by perpetuating language that implies otherwise.

It boils down to the same problem I have with people calling mass-shooters or terrorists “crazy.” For one thing, it dissolves their responsibility and that’s bullshit. For another, it further stigmatizes mental illness. Millions of mentally ill people every day manage to live their lives without hurting a fly (though many mentally ill people are, in fact, hurt and abused by others). And, perhaps most insidious, it absolves society of any blame for helping create abusers.

It is NOT mental illness that makes, for example, a man shoot up a bunch of people because his girlfriend dumped him. It is entitlement. And we need to face the fact that our culture absolutely contributes to teaching men they are entitled to a woman’s attention, affection, body, emotional labor, etc. We celebrate media that repeats the trope that even the most mediocre of man will be rewarded with a beautiful woman that adores him. We talk about the friend-zone as if it’s a real thing and it is something that women unfairly do to victimize men. We tell women that they’re feelings are wrong and they should be flattered by sexual harassment. We legislate that women’s bodies don’t belong to them (and even afford corpses more bodily autonomy than living women). We tolerate misogyny in our music, movies, television, and government. We teach women they are responsible for preventing assault instead of teaching men not to assault. We teach generation after generation that “boys will be boys” and that girls should just tolerate their bad behavior. 

So, yeah. Maybe a lot of us have, in fact, been abused by somebody with a personality disorder. But unless we’re a psychiatrist, we’re not really qualified to comment on that. And we’re shooting ourselves in the proverbial foot when we frame our discussions about abuse in terms from the field of mental health. Because mentally ill or not, abusers will continue to abuse as long as they feel entitled to do so. If we borrow language from psychiatry to frame the conversation around abuse, we make it too easy for everyone to throw their hands up in the air and say “well, we can’t really do anything about it” (especially when talking about disorders that haven’t found successful treatment options).

And that simply isn’t true.

Because, guess what, we CAN do something about abuse. Now, we can’t do much about individual abusers. Only abusers can change themselves. But, and Lundy Bancroft talks at length about this at the end of Why Does He Do That, society and individuals can absolutely do things to combat problems that contribute to abuse and to protect victims. Things like:

  • BELIEVE VICTIMS. The rate of false accusations of abuse is, despite what MRAs would have us believe, incredibly small. Bancroft says “There is a natural temptation to speak out forcefully against abuse until the man whose behavior is under the microscope is one of our own, and then we switch sides. But we can’t have it both ways. Abuse won’t stop until people stop making exceptions for their own brothers and sons and friends.“ He also says “Nothing would work faster to end the abuse of women than having the friends and family of abusive men stop enabling them. And that begins, in turn, with making sure that you listen carefully and respectfully to her side of the story— something the abusive man never does.” (emphasis mine) 
  • TEACH WHAT ABUSE LOOKS LIKE. Bancroft specifically advices therapists, the clergy, etc. to “provide some basic education to any male about partner abuse. Give some examples of abusive behaviors, describe their destructive impact on women and children, and explain that a man is entirely responsible for his own actions.” I think a huge aspect of why people discount women’s reports of abuse is that they don’t recognize abusive behavior as, in fact, abusive. This comes back round to entitlement and justification as well as abusers and their allies tendency to point to worse forms of abuse to say “that’s what REAL abuse looks like, what I’ve done isn’t REAL abuse.”
  • REFORM THE JUSTICE SYSTEM TO BETTER PROTECT VICTIMS AND FORCE ABUSERS TO FACE REAL CONSEQUENCES FOR THEIR ACTIONS. I won’t go into the details on specific changes that need to be made. This post is already super fucking long. You can find Bancroft’s suggestions in Why Does He Do That.

I’d add that we also, as a society, need to:

  • REFUSE TO SUPPORT MEDIA THAT IS MISOGYNIST. If it promotes the idea that men are entitled to behave in controlling or abusive ways it doesn’t deserve our attention, accolades, or money. We should also stop handing out awards to abusive men as if separating their performances and public persona from their abuse doesn’t teach them (and others) that abusers can abuse without consequence.
  • CHALLENGE DAMAGING IDEAS AND STATEMENTS. This is particularly important for men to do. If you hear dudes complaining about the friend zone, or celebrating rape culture, or otherwise espousing sexist and harmful ideas, call them out. Make it clear that such views are entirely unacceptable.
  • LISTEN TO FEMINISTS, SJWs, AND OTHER SO-CALLED SNOWFLAKES. There’s a false notion that when progressives voice concerns or complaints about micro-aggressions or subtle sexism, or whatnot that they’re focusing on small stuff and should just get over it. But the reality is that the small stuff matters. All the various small things add up to a culture that sends abusers the messages of entitlement they use to justify their abuse. Take the Bechtel Test. I recognize it is only one step in beginning to evaluate whether a movie is, in fact, sexist. But, generally speaking, any movie that doesn’t feature enough named, female characters with dialogue about something other than a male character sends the subtle message that women’s roles revolve around the men in their lives. It says that woman are accessories to a man’s story. When feminists call for more women in the writers’ room of television and movies, it goes so far beyond just wanting to level the employment playing field (though that’s important in its own right)! More women contributing to scripts means more well-rounded women characters and less sexist tropes being repeated. It means more boys growing up consuming media in which the world presented to them is not one that revolves around men.

If you’re still with me at this point in this long-ass post I just want to say thank you. I know tumblr is usually a place for more pithy communication. But I go on at length because there is just so much to say that is so important.

That said, here’s a TLDR for those who can’t handle the endless wall of text (I’m ADHD, I can empathize):

  • The abuse community would do well to create new terminology to discuss our experiences that doesn’t rely on language which may inadvertently harm the mental illness community.
  • Be patient and kind to abuse victims if you want to talk to them about how something they’ve repeated may be problematic so that you can avoid triggering them or adding to their trauma.
  • If somebody asks you to reconsider your language, be kind and sympathetic and remember that they may share more of your experiences than you realize. 
  • Society can do a lot to prevent and combat abuse.

And most importantly let me repeat this:

Mental illness does not make somebody abusive. Don’t let abusers get away with using mental illness as an excuse by perpetuating language that implies otherwise.

This is a general “you” about words.

“Words are only offensive if you let them offend you.”

This is true…in SOME situations. Christians being upset at hearing “happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” is silly because “happy Holidays” includes all the Holidays, one of which is Christmas.

In other situations, it’s utter bullshit. Please wipe your mouth after you take it off the bull’s ass and make sure you brush your teeth, mmkay?

An autistic person being disgusted at seeing someone say “that’s so autistic” in response to a Youtube video where someone is talking at length about a subject they like isn’t being silly. They’re seeing someone else being insulted for a trait they possess themselves. 

The thing with insults that reduce a group to a stereotype is using the word offensively affects everyone in that group because the word is talking about all of them.

Personally, I just roll my eyes when I see “autistic” used as an insult. I’m autistic and when I see it used as an insult I just assume the person doing it lacks the creativity to come up with a funnier insult, like saying somebody’s idea is as useful as peddling halitosis as an air freshener or that someone must be anally grafted to a bull because they’re so full of bullshit. I think the same about pretty much any insult that picks on someone’s race, disability, mental illness, sexuality, religion and so forth. They’re boring and uncool. Word play is more fun.

Not everyone has a thick skin, and there’s no shame in not having a thick skin. Maybe you should consider the reasons why certain words are so insulting before you run your mouth about how “oh, it’s just words.” 

A fist is just a fist, but it hurts when it’s used to knock your teeth out.

Certain words have histories. Some of those histories are oppressive. Some of that oppression included whether people were allowed to live or die. The leftovers are the hurtful stereotypes perpetuated when certain words are thrown around as insults.

Using someone’s disability, mental illness, race, sexuality, religion or whathaveyou as a joke to insult them means you don’t take their issues seriously and would rather silence or further marginalize them by laughing at them. Being part of that group doesn’t give you free reign to shit all over everyone else in your own community.

“That’s gay”
“That’s crazy”
“That’s lame”
“That’s retarded”
“That’s autistic”
”You’re an idiot”
”You moron”
etc etc etc
= Harmful

There’s other words you can use.

“That’s shitty”
“That’s wild”
“That’s boring”
“That’s asinine”
“That’s pedantic”
“You’re ignorant”
“You asshole”

Now I’m going to sit here and watch all the uncreative people pop out of the woodwork to call me an SJW and mock my words, because being shitty and mocking others is so much easier than trying to be a decent person who cares about other people.

I ain’t perfect and I screw up. I apologize and try to learn from it when I do because that’s all one can do.

We’re all capable of being better people. Unfortunately, there are those out there who think trying to be better is too hard. Some people hide behind insults and call people thin-skinned instead because they’re thin-skinned themselves. 

I guess it’s easier to attack someone’s insecurities instead of working out your own. 

Glass houses and rocks, y’all.

[Animated gif of Patrick Stewart (Picard) grabbing his nose and laughing after Jonathan Frakes (Riker) flubs a scene while shooting Star Trek: The Next Generation.]

anonymous asked:

Hey anon! I'm a fat female and, although I'm not pursuing an acting career, I've been in a few school plays (my school is huge though so the audience was always crazy). Let me tell you, if they are competent judges they will NOT judge you by your weight :D I've tried out so I could help a friend and got good rolls!You just have to go in and give them everything you got. As long as you give them a fairy, then you'll be a fairy!! ^^ what matters is your passion and voice. I'm rooting for you! 100%

For the audition anon!

-Mod Bella