Okay, before people start rolling their eyes and wondering just who in the heck would come up with such a bizarre and inappropriate theme, allow us to reassure you that the theme is definitely NOT contained in the title of this post. We had simply forgotten that we were the hosts of the March blog carnival, so it really did catch us with our pants down!
The theme of our issue of the disability blog carnival is the following: breaking down stereotypes. We posed the following question: if you could break down one single stereotype, which would it be and why?
The first response t0 this question comes from Spaz Girl at Butterfly Dreams, a Candidly Crippled teenager. She puts AB’s (able-bodies) and disability advocates alike on notice with her desire NOT to be considered “just like you.” If anyone has questions as to why someone wouldn’t want to be considered like everyone else, consider the following: how annoying would it be if, say, you had worked really hard at something but no one really thought much about it because “everyone can do that?” Would that not take away from, or cheapen, your experience or ability to have done whatever it is that you found hard but were told “everyone can do that?”
Well, that’s exactly the reaction of many disabled people who are told by anyone (but probably even more so by other disabled people) “you are just like me?”
Having the same disability doesn’t make any two people just like one another. Being told thus, cheapens both of their collective insights, experiences, feelings, struggles, and everything else that contributes to who they are as individuals. Thanks, Spaz Girl, for your insight.
From Angel, we have a poem about life as a blind person. It doesn’t directly get into the question of which stereotype the author would most prefer to refute….perhaps until the very end. Stereotyping IS prejudicial behavior……for sure. I think that in her poem she is asserting that she is who SHE believes she is, and not what OTHER PEOPLE think she is. So more or less, I infer that the stereotype she’d like to break down the most is…..that disabled people are only what and who others think they are, they cannot possibly be their own persons, if that makes any sense.
Moving onto something that directly relates to autistic people…..here’s an entry from Joel about autistics with certain abilities…..not being taken seriously and instead dismissed by nonprofessionals and professionals alike, as not being autistic at all, or not being autistic enough, to speak for “others who are obviously more impaired” than they are. This type of argument is quite honestly ludicrous, and extremely unproductive. I can’t think of anyone worth their weight in salt, who could actually benefit from a melodramatic spat over highfunctioning versus lowfunctioning, what characteristics constitute which label, and things of that nature. It’s just a waste of energy to even think about, let alone get embroiled in a heated debate about. Unless a person has done stuff to give others a good reason to doubt what he or she has to say (repeatedly lied about other aspects of his or her persona…..doesn’t include lying to avoid harassment) that person needs to be given due respect….innocent until proven guilty kind of thing.