Please note this is a rare public post.
The conversation we had wasn't just a lovely theoretical debate about a political issue. It felt like it was erasing people like me - disabled people. I know it's easy to forget I have a disability but if I'm outside my house I rarely get to forget it myself.
If we lived in a perfect utopian society then the only problem with having a 'disability' would be with pain or discomfort or similar issues, and I see no problem with working to alleviate or cure those things.
But as it is, people are 'disabled' by a society which does not accommodate their needs or accept their differences. E.g. my hearing impairment does not cause me any problems when I'm at home in my own space, or talking to small numbers of understanding people. It becomes a problem when I have to be in spaces with a lot of background noise, when announcements are made on poor quality speakers, or when people refuse to face me and speak clearly. The problem is caused by those external factors, not by the fact that I have a weirdly-formed ear. Some people with short stature might find that the problems they face are primarily because of others' attitudes to them and a lack of accessible services, not because of any problem with the working of their body. Some people with autism, again, might find that they could live perfectly happily the way they are if it were not for other people's assumptions about social rules and public environments, and the idea that so-called 'normal' ways of behaving and relating should be universal.
Someone made a comment about letting parents choose for their child whether to correct a condition or not. In a world where there is a bias against disabled people this is not a true choice. Even with conditions where there is no pain/discomfort involved, parents would generally choose not to expose their child to negative treatment by others, so they would choose to remove the condition. People with disabilities would become rarer and the norm would be that these things should be changed. This process reinforces the idea that it's not ok to be disabled.
My point is that I am disabled, and I want my friends to understand that it's ok to have a disability. I am revolted by any suggestion that disabilities should be routinely cured, removed, tested for and eliminated, or otherwise phased out; in a utopian society where we could fix everything and there were no prejudices or barriers against disabled people, perhaps this would work, but in the real world right now, these things just reinforce the idea that anyone different is defective, that there's one perfect way to exist, that there's one type of body and set of abilities that is acceptable and deviations should be corrected.
You don't get to have an academic or theoretical debate about this stuff in front of me (or about feminism, or about queer rights, and really just avoid stuff like race and trans rights too, thanks, even though they aren't my personal battles) because I do not have the luxury of a detached position from which to argue. I can't discuss this stuff without it applying to me. I can't state my position without arguing for my own existence and I can't hear you 'debating' with me without hearing you disagree with my existence. So if it's not something that applies to you, ask questions instead of stating your views and try to do some research before asking to be educated by someone else. We may be able to have a constructive discussion but you need to tread very carefully.
The bottom line is that you need to understand that if you make approving comments about curing/testing for disabilities, I'm going to hear that you either don't give a shit about me, or you do actually think that people like me should be 'fixed'. I don't need fixing - the world needs fixing. Fix the world first.
You can leave me a comment even if you didn't go to Bicon, of course.
I am also feeling the love for mistress_carrot today, as she has been running a really enjoyable all-girl Seventh Sea tabletop campaign which I have been having a lot of fun with.
Thank you to these people, everyone else who has ever run a game I've played, and all of you who are STs, GMs, DMs and refs in general - you give a lot of people a lot of pleasure, and it's very much appreciated.
(P.S. Anyone spot why the icon's appropriate?)
I signed up for eMusic on a whim last night, knowing that Eve had used the site before and that they had some of the sleep/relaxation music I wanted. They claim to support Linux, and I knew that when Eve was first using the site she had been able to download MP3s without using any special software.
( Ranting and geek-help-needed under here )
Very quickly: I am back in Reading and off to work this morning. The flat is horrendously cold and I have already spent about an hour too uncomfortable to take off pyjamas. Christmas was amazing ( I have an iPhone!) and I don't want it to be over. But I do want my back to stop hurting...
Posted via LiveJournal.app.
Place bets now on whether I'll manage to learn the Splashdance in time!
My Dearest Dust
Lady Catherine Dyer
My dearest dust, could not thy hasty day
Afford thy drowzy patience leave to stay
One hower longer: so that we might either
Sate up, or gone to bedd together?
But since thy finisht labor hath possest
Thy weary limbs with early rest,
Enjoy it sweetly: and thy widdowe bride
Shall soone repose her by thy slumbring side.
Whose business, now, is only to prepare
My nightly dress, and call to prayre:
Mine eyes wax heavy and ye day growes old.
The dew falls thick, my beloved growes cold.
Draw, draw ye closed curtaynes: and make room:
My dear, my dearest dust; I come, I come.
Epitaph on monument erected in 1641 by Lady Catherine Dyer to her husband Sir William Dyer in Colmworth Church, Bedfordshire.
Anyone got any insights?
I thought this one in particular might be of interest to my civil-liberties-campaigner friends. This might be a consultation you want to respond to or direct your readers, if you blog, to pay attention to. Also, Simply Understand is a great site and you should read it. :)
If I make a list which contains the items "the picturesque", "the romantic", "the sublime", "the grotesque" and so on, all referring to characteristics of literature, what can I call them other than 'characteristics'? They aren't all moods, I don't think they are themes... what *are* they?