Really? OK. Racism, sexism, bit ableism?! Maybe you guys ate just oversensitive. Maybe, I don’t know though
Yeah I just almost died because of ableism but I’m just over sensitive yeah.
Then there’s the lung damage I have, because of ableism.
And the fact I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve almost died because of ableism. Lost count.
And I’ve been locked up because of ableism.
And I’ve been beaten up because of ableism.
And I’ve been treated like I don’t even exist because of ableism.
I’m disabled (in many different ways), lesbian, poor, nongendered, and fat. I’ve experienced oppression for all of these things. And while it’s hard to tease apart what is what? Ableism has been the worst. By far. Different people experiencing several forms of oppression will have different answers as to which has been worst for them and some can’t answer at all, but for me ableism has been the worst, and that means it’s definitely real because the rest are no picnic.
Ableism is the thing that ensures that practically nobody I meet considers me a real person. Not the way they are real people. It’s also the thing that ensures this even happens among communities that supposedly care about racism, sexism, classism, transphobia, homophobia, fatphobia, etc. (Never mind that ableism is actually a thread that ties every single one of those kinds of oppression together. They rarely notice that.)
And the absolute worst of it is being considered oversensitive while disabled people are out there dying in huge numbers due to ableism. While disabled people are being put into facilities just for them and this is considered okay, even though those facilities are linked to all sorts of problems including high mortality rates and crushing dehumanization that leads people to suicide. While disabled people are being abused and neglected in every possible way. While disability is used as an excuse to continue every form of oppression besides ableism as well, and people who are oppressed in other ways simply try to divorce themselves from disability rather than recognize what is happening.
But ableism doesn’t matter, because we are just oversensitive.
I am sick to death of being considered an add on to discussions of oppression. When ableism is the worst thing I face. The thing that has tried to kill me over and over, the thing that ensures that if someone murdered me in cold blood they could probably get away with it in any country anywhere (statistics are on my side), the thing where many parents of disabled children have tried to create laws allowing them to kill us against our will, the thing where when we are killed everyone sympathizes with the killers, the thing that ensures that I could be locked away in a facility against my will and nobody would give a crap because that’s just how things are, the thing that makes people consider me an empty shell who isn’t really there, the thing that makes people see my life as a half life that doesn’t matter as much as their lives, the thing that has resulted in my experience of every possible type of abuse, the thing that gets people like me still in mainstream scientific papers compared to nonhuman animals in a very pejorative way, the thing that makes honored professors argue that people like me shouldn’t qualify for full personhood legally or ethically, should I go on or is this enough?
Not to mention the thing that is used constantly to defend racism, sexism, ageism, homophobia, transphobia, classism, and every other form of bigotry and oppression. Every single one is tied in with ableism. Heavily. It’s interwoven through the depths of all of them.
The thing that makes people ignore all the above and call us oversensitive if we come up with a word for it.