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Date: 2009-09-25 10:34 pm (UTC)
exor674: Computer Science is my girlfriend (Default)
From: [personal profile] exor674
(I am sorry if this seems argumentative -- I am just trying to understand things...)

Next there is rubbing someone's face in it. This isn't likely to be an issue if you just say something like, I'm really enjoyed my trip to the art museum. But if you're regularly discussing the stuff you do and the other person can't, well, then you may want to ask them how they feel about it.

That conflicts with another thing that I was always taught "Don't ask people about anything having to do with their disabilities... At all." Which, okay, I don't follow with friends (I like to know about my friends), but that still seems to be a social expectation.

I at least (think I) understand the line between intentionally rubbing their face in it and having the same conversation I'd have if it weren't for their disability.

Also, I do see how walking up to someone who is wheelchair bound and literally shouting "look at me I can walk", or whatnot would be bad -- but I think what I don't understand is if talking to them (assuming they were a friend, and not a random person -- I think if one walked up to a random wheelchair-bound person and talked about the nice long walk you took would be kinda mean) about subjects of me walking can imply "look at me I can walk and you can't... neener neener"

Finally, there are metaphors. Different people with disabilities have different feelings about this. Most blind people will find it more annoying if you avoid expressions like, "Nice to see you again". But most other disabled groups seem to dislike these. So, saying that something is "lame" to mean it's bad or pathetic is disliked by some people. Similarly calling someone or yourself a "spaz" or a "retard" is often considered rude (unless you actually are spastic, but don't call someone who is a "spaz"). Me, I turn a blind eye toward most of those things. But some people dislike using disabilities as metaphors for badness or ignorance.

I am kinda of two opinions about that...

1. Especially when words have multiple meanings -- I just have the opinion that if we avoid words because they *might* offend a group -- that we'll eventually not be able to say anything -- because there's bound to be a person who is offended by "potato" or "lettuce".

2. But if the person or group I am actively talking to is offended by the phrase or word, it *should* be avoided.

But, how is one supposed to know what words are "safe" and what words aren't?
I got yelled at before for using 'spaz' (to refer to myself) thinking it just meant clumsy.

I don't have the time to read the entire dictionary making list of words tagged "offensive" (but also "lame" isn't flagged -- so even that wouldn't be foolproof)

On a side note, the first issue means that really it should be taken into consideration when talking with anyone. What's annoying isn't that someone didn't know I was disabled when they assumed that I could do something, but that they regularly assume that everyone is as able-bodied as they are when they talk. I want people to not make that assumption in general. To not assume they know what someone else can or can't do. To say things like, well, it's 4 blocks away and I consider it easy walking distance, you can decide if that's a comfortable walking distance for you. Rather than people saying, oh, it's definitely within walking distance. "walking distance" is an annoyingly variable concept, much like "reasonably priced" or "affordable".

I think that makes sense, but also I kinda think there's a difference between the figurative use and literal use.

But also I pulled that example from, it was being used (on me by someone else) in a figurative sense (e.g. it won't hurt the situation we were just talking about). To me, if people avoided "it won't hurt" especially when it makes sense -- or says something then corrects themselves -- that can be more hurtful to *me*. But I'm kinda weird so I'm not sure my opinion is representative to anything in the world.

{If you didn't realize or recall, in case it's relevant, I've basically been in some amount of physical pain for the past 4-ish months and am pretty sure I have some sort of chronic pain condition}

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