Maybe I’m just not willing to accept the awful shit that happens in the world, but I do not believe we live in a rape culture. I cannot believe 1/4 college women have been raped or almost raped. I may just be an ignorant white, cisgender, heterosexual, ableist, caveman, but the idea of calling rape victims “survivors” is ridiculous. Do we start calling people “mugging survivors” next? Would “battery survivors” make more sense? I don’t believe that women are ever at fault for rape. Rape is the worst crime there is; but I do believe in a modicum of personal responsibility. If you get really drunk, it is still despicable for a man to take advantage of you, but you have to take responsibility for losing your self control. There’s no way what you wear can mean you were “asking for it”. That is stupid and wrong. But maybe it’s not a good idea to be walking down dark alleys at night either? When do we call someone out on their lack of common sense these days? As for patriarchy, I acknowledge that women have a long way to go in politics, but when my province and it’s neighbor to the east have female premiers, the idea of a patriarchy seems laughable. So remember way up at the top of this wall of text when I mentioned ableism? Yeah. Okay. Ableism: according to Wikipedia: “the “ableist” societal world-view is that the able-bodied are the norm in society, and that people who have disabilities must either strive to become that norm or should keep their distance from able-bodied people. A disability is thus, inherently, a “bad” thing that must be overcome. The ableist worldview holds that disability is an error, a mistake, or a failing, rather than a simple consequence of human diversity, akin to race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender."
1) Able-bodied IS the norm in society. That seems really obvious to me. Statistics show that about 20% of the population is disabled in some way. Even taking that number (1 in 5), that means 70% of the population is able-bodied, enough to constitute a double majority and therefore, a norm.
2)People with disabilities SHOULD strive to overcome them! You hear stories all the time about “doctors told me I’d never walk again, just completed a marathon”. If we just sat back and accepted defeat, we would never have had lightbulbs, we wouldn’t have gone to the moon. Jack Layton wouldn’t have run the amazing campaign that led the NDP to become the official opposition for the first time in history if he had just given up! To do anything else seems to lack the indomitability that defines our species.
3)On a scientific level, a disability (assuming one was born with it) IS a mistake. Someone with Downs syndrome, for example, has an extra chromosome. It’s a mutation, plain and simple, and certainly a negative one.
So don’t tell me that ableism is this horrific bigotry equal to racism or sexism, because it isn’t. It’s about facts (able bodiedness is normal, birth defects are exactly what the name implies), and about striving to be better, as everyone should. I know there are some great disabled folks out there, but come on, calling people ableist is a dumb answer to an unasked question.