White queer vegan anarchist genderqueer femme in unceded Coast Salish Territory (Vancouver). I spend my days as a youth worker and my evenings reading feminist literature, knitting lace, listening to records, and completing a BA in Child and Youth Care.
While every disabled person will have their own take on this for themselves, i am not “differently abled” and i kindly ask that you not insist on calling me that. It may seem like a trivial thing, but it’s not.
When you call me “differently abled” (in most cases this is regarding your perceptions and interpretations of my body), you are obscuring (however intentional or not) the reality that what is actually going on is in part just an ableist social construction made architectural: some people are actively ENabled to be part of their communities/ neighbourhoods/ spaces/ etc, and some of us are actively DISabled from doing so specifically because in general those who are ENabled to do so are the ones making the decisions about how and when and where the constructed environment is created and DISabled folks just have to suck it up because, yknow, ableism.
So this video started going around my facebook today, with about a dozen of my female friends sharing the link with comments like, and “Everyone needs to see this”, and “All girls should watch this,” and “This made me cry.” And I’m not trying to shame those girls! I definitely understand why they would do so. And I don’t want to be a killjoy. But as I clicked link and started watching the video, I started to feel a slight sense of discomfort. I couldn’t put my finger on why that was, exactly, but it continued throughout the whole thing. After watching the video several more times, I have some thoughts…