exor674: Computer Science is my girlfriend (Default)
[personal profile] exor674
I apologize if this offends anyone, it is not meant that way, I promise...

Why is there an expectation to avoid subjects that might bring up somebodies disability?

If someone has chronic pain, why is it expected to avoid slang like "it won't hurt to..."
If someone can't walk, why is it expected to avoid subjects like "I took a long walk in the rain today"
If someone is deaf, why is it expected to not talk about the new music artist you found or the concert you went to last night?

If somebody has a disability, why is it expected to treat them differently in the way you would converse with them? (by converse I mean communicate in a way the person in question can parse and understand)
Why is it expected to treat them differently? (yaknow, except accommodations like not requesting somebody in a wheelchair to grab a box off the top shelf -- that kinda "treat differently" makes sense)

It seems to *me* that this kinda a form of discrimination against people with "disabilities"... Treating them differently just because they have X. I get if the specific person asks you to avoid the subject... I just don't get it as an up-front expectation.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-09-25 08:07 am (UTC)
sophie: A cartoon-like representation of a girl standing on a hill, with brown hair, blue eyes, a flowery top, and blue skirt. ☀ (Default)
From: [personal profile] sophie
(disclaimer: I don't have fibromyalgia, nor am I deaf. I have friends who are, though, and so I'm drawing on what I know.)

Other than the first example you gave ("It won't hurt to..."), I agree. I actually didn't know it *was* expected to do that.

With the first one, though, it could *very* easily show your privilege if it was aimed towards the person in question ("Oh, c'mon, it wouldn't hurt for you to try this."). Not having chronic pain means not having to worry about that sort of thing, and it comes across as "Well, everyone *else* can do this; why won't you?" without realising that something *might* hurt for them.

It's different if you're aiming it towards yourself, of course - "I guess it couldn't hurt for me to try." In that case I agree; don't stop yourself from saying it because it contains the word 'hurt'.

As for the third, while I agree that, as stated, it's fine to talk about the concert you found, it's probably subject to a few caveats. I think it's possible that a lot of deaf people would probably get sick of the assumption that they can hear (another function of privilege), and as such, somebody might be on the edge if you start talking about a new artist, for example. So unless they knew me well, I probably wouldn't talk about it.

Of course, it differs based on the mode of communication. If you're signing to someone in real life, it's a lot more obvious that you *know* they can't hear, so I probably wouldn't have any qualms in signing it. It's in text-based modes of communication - text messages, IM, IRC, etc - that would be worse, since text has a way of making these things disappear, which can be both a blessing and a curse. (To anybody who feels differently - please let me know, as I'm not deaf and thus can't know this for sure.)

What do you think? Is *my* privilege showing here? (Hey, I make mistakes.)

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exor674: Computer Science is my girlfriend (Default)
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