It is naïve in believing that the able-bodied devils will ever hold disability discrimination in such high regards as other forms of oppression. Society is either incapable or too distracted by the glamour of other minority oppressions to address the issues facing the disabled community. What’s worse, is that given the chance, the able-bodied devils will pervert the struggles facing the disabled and turn the oppression inwards to the “broken body” instead of a broken society.
Inspirational porn, a term commonly used in the disabled community, is proof that able-bodied society does not process the necessary understanding to adequately address the hardships facing people with disabilities. To them, the burdens of the disabled lay in their impaired bodies and minds. They will preach of overcoming one’s body rather than overcoming adversity. Able-bodied devils see our bodies as the enemy, something for us to work hard to preserver over. Our sign of success to them is how well we disregard our disability and assimilate into able-bodied society. This sentiment is perfectly captured with the oh so familiar ableist slogan, “I don’t see you as disabled”.
Since we cannot rely on able-bodied society to accurately represent our struggles, we must empower ourselves instead. We must be our own spokesperson to outline the flawed system we live in.
What exactly is this flawed system? Isn’t it true that the same able-bodied devils that speak of “overcoming your disability” are the same ones who passed the Americans with Disabilities Act? What progress is there if not legislative action? For starters, the ADA was built on a long history of powerful disability activist literally crawling up the steps of the State Capital demanding for action. Second, any legislative act by itself does nothing to change the minds of the people; it simply makes it easier for us to be in the spotlight. It is up to us, the disabled, to present an accurate representation of how we function in society. Only by constantly being in the public sphere will the attitudes of the ignorant able-bodied devils begin to quell.
Yes, we will continue facing the ableist mindset, believing that it’s a miracle and oh-so-inspirational that we happen to be out in public, but we are the only ones who can educate them.