The Flip Side of Isms
Crossposted on Musings From Hedon
As a woman who is mixed race, overweight, intersex, and a lesbian, I've had to put up with all the major ism's and bigotries we all know and love. (Snrk). Racism, sexism, fatphobia, ageism from teenagers who think anyone over 30 is useless, homophobia, transphobia, etcetera. I know all too well that bigotry causes harm and is destructive.
But earlier today I got sucked into an argument with some now former friends on Twitter over Ableism and it reminded me that every “ism” is a double edged sword and that humanity in general is mostly selfish self-absorbed lazy cowards unable to take responsibility for themselves.
Ableism for those unfamiliar with it is fear and/or abuse of physicaly and/or mentally disabled people. As a disabled person also, I'm not in the least oblivious to the fact that ableism DOES exist and treating disabled people dismissively as if they're automatically useless, crazy, lazy or faking for sympathy happens a lot and can be very hurtful and destructive. But like so many “isms”, I find more often than nor it's a cheap defense used as an excuse to be coddled or protected from reality.
I'm sure most of you have heard about yesterday;s shooting in Arzona, which among other things left a goddamned NINE YEAR OLD CHILD DEAD. Now to me, when something that bad happens, the last thing I'm thinking about is me or how words make me feel. My thoughts were squarely on the dead child and feeling heartbroken and angry that this even happened.
Naturally a lot of people think the shooter was completely batshit and said so on Twitter. As someone with a history of mental issues this, according to my ableism fighting “friends”, should automatically hurt my fee fees and mortally offend me.
It doesn't. The bastard who opened fire in a crowd to kill a judge and a senator clearly is not right in the head. All evidence says he was a Teabagger, a group of bigoted hateful people to begin with, most of whom are very much not right in the head. From people who still insist Obama is Muslim or foreign born despite overwhelming evidence otherwise to people who spend millions to prevent GLBT equality at all costs while letting homeless people, including children starve, I have ZERO problem with anyone calling these hatemongering delusional fuckwits “crazy people”.
But to bitch at people for calling the shooter crazy and go into conniption over how you “won't stand for ableist fuckery” when a child is dead is not only bullshit but a serious lack of priorities. So I told them to get their priorities straight and focus on the real victims. They proceeded to just shit on me and act like I was betraying them to the “enemy”.
They both ended up blocked when I got sick of trying to get through to them. And it reminded me that isms can all too easily be abused.
Seriously? How many people do you know who, should something not go their way, almost immediately blame an ism for it? A black man or a woman doesn't get the job they applied for and immediately accuse the employer of being racist/sexist? I know some employers are and would find excuses for it to avoid hiring “undesirables” but they're statistically few and far between. I know a gay man, friend of my parents, who is a complete and total douchebag, who actually accused the staff at A GAY BAR of being homophobic for tossing him out after other patrons complained he was drunkenly hitting on married men who told him no.
Well fuck that noise. It's bullshit cowardice. It's selfish self-absorbed responsibility deflecting stupidity. It's someone immediately claiming bigotry as a crutch because they don't want to deal with their own flaws.
I'm in a wheelchair. I don't whine and bitch and treat the world like it's out to get me. It's not Joe Blow's fault I'm in it, why should I expect him to coddle me?
I used to cut myself when severely depressed. I don't blame anyone else for that. No one put the razor in my fucking hand. No one forced me at gunpoint to put it to my skin. I did that. Me. My stupidity and I take responsibility for it.
So why can't anyone else just own their own shit? Why do people whine and bitch and think only of themselves and expect the world to hand everything to them because of something innate like skin color or sex or sexuality or something unfortunate but unchangable like a permanent disability? Why does everything that doesn't go your way HAVE to be someone else's fault?
Sometimes people DO screw you. Sometimes bad shit IS someone else's fault. When it is by all means hold them accountable. But when it isn't? Just deal with it already and move on. Learn from it, grow as a person, be better than you are now. Don't hide behind an ism to avoid admitting you need to work on something.
Seriously humanity, grow the fuck up already. Focus on the shit that causes REAL damage. Fight bigotry that's hurting people tangibly. Don't just sit and whine about your own feelings as if they outweigh the rest of the world.
After all, a child is dead. Is a bruised ego really more urgent than that?