@OldHoborn’s Reading Comprehension

I am off to a job interview today, so just a little bit of light flaming today:

In  [Will Straw’s] latest post, I saw the classic doubleplusgoodspeak. People are either disabled or non disabled apparently. Non disabled people are bastards and should provide rose petal strewn wheelchair access to every facility in London. And we should pay for it too. Because it is our fault. Even if we have bought them 8,000 new buses, huge bogs, installed lifts in playgrounds and sheltered bungalows and produced driving licences in braille.

And to cap it all, I have offended some disabled readers by calling myself “able bodied” not “non disabled”.

Thank FUCK this lot are no longer in power. I choose what I call myself and you remain free to be offended. I already know you will be offended that people can climb Everest whilst you can’t. I accept you will be offended that skiing is off limits to you. I sympathise that you are offended that you will never join the Parachute Regiment. But don’t you ever, EVER tell me I cannot call myself “able bodied” because you are not and that “injustice” offends you.

I am off to punch a Lesbian dwarf.

Old Holborn is, unsurprisingly, angry. It appears his spluttering outrage has led him to, unsurprisingly, see a number of things which are not there.

First of all, the post to which he links has been written by Sarah Ismail, not Will Straw. Sarah of course blogs at Same Difference a site with news, views and information for disabled people. So Old Holborn’s outrage is somewhat misdirected.

Secondly, most people said they were not offended by Old Holborn.

sarah says:

I personally don’t mind the phrase ‘able bodied’ but some disabled people do. Wasn’t sure.

Mary says:

I’m not *offended* by ‘able bodied’ but I *prefer* ‘non disabled’, particularly in discussions centred on disability where it isn’t about the ‘able bodied’ perspective.

Next, some people against which OH rails even use the term “able bodied” themselves.

Lisa says:

…I do use the phrase “able-bodied” to specifically mean the opposite of “physically impaired”. Like the time I tweeted about an able-bodied friend of mine changing a light bulb for me. She is disabled, but the fact that she’s also able-bodied is how she was able to change a light bulb for me…

What? Fourth error now? No one was telling Old Holborn how to talk or think, only suggesting that the opposite of being disabled is not actually able bodied.

Naomi says:

Yes, many of us ARE offended by the term ‘non-disabled’. There are innumerable disabled people whose bodies are perfectly abled. They are those with learning difficulties and mental health problems. And some of them have extreme difficulties with using inaccessible transport in London, too. It’s polite to avoid creating hierarchies by including ALL disabled people in terminology relating to us.

Naomi says:

Apologies. It’s the phrase ABLE-BODIED that I object to. The phrase ‘non-disabled’ is the preferred phrase.

I shouldn’t be commenting on blogs when I’m tired!

People with mental health problems are disabled and face a number of problems, yet they can also become the Heavy Weight Champion of the World. I agree that “non disabled” is a cumbersome term, but  if you want to communicate clearly the opposite of disabled is not always “able bodied.”

To top it all off, and this is wonderful, in the end the only person telling people what language to use and how to think is Old Holborn himself!

I await your proposal for the taxpayer to fund an escalator to the top of Ben Nevis.

Also, can you please stop using the doubleplusgood term “non disabled”. It’s “able bodied”

Why oh why don’t people take Libertarians seriously? This is further to past posts and comments mocking Old Holborn.

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5 thoughts on “@OldHoborn’s Reading Comprehension

  1. Quelle surprise.

    As for libertarians not taking themselves seriously, they wear it like a badge of honour to perhaps cover for the unworkable nature of their beliefs and that they are on the fringes of comedy naturally.

    If only Scientologists didn’t take their shit ideas so seriously.

  2. It is a complete mystery to me why some people (in this case, OH) get so worked up about (a) linguistic exactness, and (b) allowing others to have a perspective.

    It’s also a mystery why anyone would object so strongly to widespread accessibility of buildings. It is not a poor use of public money to ensure that public buildings and services are accessible to everyone, regardless of ability, nor is it particularly sensible to take an ‘us’ and ‘them’ attitude toward disability. While I doubt OH will ever become e.g. black or female without warning, all it takes is a careless driver or a mechanical fault to put him suddenly on the ‘them’ side. Then I should think he might be grateful for the 8,000 buses, etc.

    Also, for heaven’s sake, do you have to judge all libertarians by the behaviour of this one? Some of us do try to be reasonable…

    1. It is a particular variant of the “persecuted straight white male” complex that a lot of people have. The world has changed a lot, and individuals like OH can be threatened by that, they just express it in Lib terms.

      Its a little tongue in cheek Bella, I certainly don’t judge you all by your worst. Much as I hope you don’t assume because I’m a leftie I’m a eugenicist because Swedes were in the 70s etc.

      For example, I think Hayek and Friedman has a lot of value to add, I read Worstall lots and think he has lots to offer.

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