Some people might think ableism is just the flavor of the month, yet another tool Social Justice Warriors like to use to be “professional victims” Isn’t it obvious that the only two types of isms in this country are racism and sexism? Those are the holy pillars of the oppression hierarchy that society has deemed worthy of attention. Any other “ism” is just trying to coat-tail off of their success.
The problem with this line of thinking, besides the fact that it’s dangerously ignorant, is that it pays homage to that over looming tower of the oppression hierarchy set up not by the oppressed, but by the “normal” devils who only seek to divide. How dare we, the minority groups, allow these devils to dictate what is worthy of attention. The normal devils flaunt their ease of assimilation into society and tell us to “just get good bro! Just like, you know, have confidence in yourself”. What they are actually saying is, “if you just do this list of socially constructed things, then maybe we will accept you into the herd of fat consumer pigs and spineless sheep”.
For ethnic minorities this might be as simple as casting aside any remnants of your heritage, “just, like, talk and act white you know? Don’t be so scary!” For women it could be just accepting the sexual harassment of male employers and co-workers. After all, as one Trump supporter once said, “one man’s sexual harassment is another man’s flirtation”.
For disabled people, there is no assimilation. Normal society criticizes us for not being able to fit into the broken world around us and they say we “play the victim” when we call out the sheer ableism that these able-bodied devils promote. Ableism, like any other “ism” takes many forms and it’s not always as obvious as the devils would make you believe. Any time an able-bodied devil says something like, “you’re being so brave” or, “I don’t even see you as disabled” or “Hi I know we just met, but what’s it like being disabled?”. these are all clear signs of albinism. A devil doesn’t have to be outwardly vicious towards a disabled person to count as ableism.
To understand ableism better, I find it helpful to compare ableism to racism since it’s much higher on the oppression hierarchy. Imagine a black person minding his/her own business and someone says, “so what’s it like being black?” or “I don’t see color” or “you don’t act black”, well, these are obvious examples of racism since a person is focusing entirely on that person’s skin color and in some cases making the color of a person’s skin a negative. There’s nothing wrong with seeing color just like there’s nothing wrong with acknowledging someone is disabled.
It’s difficult to quell the ignorance of the able-bodied devils when they think they are being sympathetic and “understanding” to disabled people. What’s worse is that some devils will constantly use the foolish excuse of “playing the victim” when bringing up social ills. There are some people that simply cannot be reached, and to those people, we should look down on them, not for their ignorance but their tenacity to not evolve and “get good” as the normal devils say. For all others who throw around ablism without knowing it, we should try educating them in a non-aggressive manner, no matter how difficult it might be.
I earned my M.A in English Lit from Gardner-Webb University in 2019. My writing mainly focuses on disability positivity. I enjoy sci-fi, fantasy and classic rock. Oh, and I’m also a part time phone sex operator. So, that’s a thing.