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 09:09 am (UTC)
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
From: [personal profile] azurelunatic
I don't have much insight about those things. But I do know that if someone a good hundred or more pounds lighter than I am stands next to me and wails about how fat she is, I really want to stab her in the face a bit.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-09-26 09:12 am (UTC)
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
From: [personal profile] azurelunatic
More exact parallels would be to say something like "Wow, I'm totally blind without my glasses" (if you're not, you know, legally blind without them), in the company of an actual blind person, or "Man, I'm so sore I can't walk" (when actually able to walk, just painfully, in a way that's going to get better, bonus points for walking while saying this), around a person in a wheelchair.

The slang "heavy" like "Man, that is some heavy stuff" referring to something serious/intellectual, from the 60s or whenever -- that does not generally rile me, as a box can be heavy; it's not, as [personal profile] leora mentioned downthread, derived from abusive roots.

"Phat" bothers me in my prescriptivist grammarian viewpoint. JUST WHAT.

I'm not really aware of how "fat" is used as a slang form, except as, like, a fat wallet, a fat pipe. Those are both positive references.

I'm not bothered so long as it's played straight, mind. There is a certain kind of jerk who should have had it beat out of them in elementary school who will use supposedly unexceptional terms with double meanings along with sly looks and pointed emphasis when they say them, and use that to be insulting while also being able to claim they were talking about something else entirely.


I think the root of the problem really is that there's a lot of offensively ablist/etc. language that's part of common speech, but it passes a lot of the time with people who aren't in any of the groups being insulted. If it wasn't part of common speech, there'd be no need to go out of the way avoid it with parties who are affected.

Lettuce and potatoes are not demeaning to people. People who are allergic to them might be inconvenienced and have the special food allergy hell, but there are not specific words/phrases that mean "oh that poor bastard's allergic to potatoes", and they're not used out of context to demean or say something negative about something else.

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