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