To crip or not to crip

November 27, 2011 at 2:22 pm 4 comments

Most people who know me are used to me  self identifying as a crip, a spaz or a spacker on a regular basis.  This week however I went met someone who before I could use the word told me she hated similar words. She had good reason, such words  are often used against a younger relative of hers.  In that situation I wouldn’t  use such words as I don’t set  out to cause offence.

However, afterwards I pondered, apart from the fact that not  being able to choose what I call myself, when I see her, not feeling quite right.  I also wondered how she would feel if I offered her the tools to help her family member fight back, in ways that shouldn’t him in trouble, as the things he does now do.

Reclaim the words, and wear the labels  with pride, is what many people do.  Calling yourself names, or using  words once used against you, takes the ‘harm’ out of them, and makes the insults much less effective.

I’m still pondering, I don’t want to cause my new friend any offence, but I don’t wantto not feel like me when I talk to  her.  I also would like to share with her ways of empowering her family member. What would you do?

Entry filed under: Debs Diary. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

Every picture tells a story, just make sure it tells it the right way Normality comes at a price

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. robert punton  |  November 28, 2011 at 11:29 am

    I concur with you. Also as I disabled community these as part of our language, culture, hijacked by these morons. Time to fight back! As for your friend live with pride at who you are. He needs your support!

    • 2. debondisability  |  November 28, 2011 at 12:28 pm

      Hi Rob

      Thanks I see reclaiming thesewords as a powerful tool against discrimination and hate crime, a tool I’ve sharedwith other adults. Given though this person ‘just’ sees them as offensive, andin this case the person using them isa child I wondered, but I’ll give it a go.

  • 3. The Goldfish  |  November 29, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    I think the best thing is to talk to your friend about it. It’s very different to use words about yourself than to use the same words about others and I think she’s unlikely to be offended – especially once you’ve explained why you use those words.

    There’s a similar thing among LGBT folk and queer. I like the word queer a lot, I think it is more useful than saying LGBT, more inclusive and to the point and frankly, I enjoy the word. But some people dislike it and some people absolutely hate it, because they’ve heard it shouted at them, sometimes even accompanied by violence.

    So with both cripple and queer (and similar words), I sometimes use these words about myself – and I think I have the right to do that in almost any circumstance. I will sometimes use these words about the groups I belong to, but I never use these words about other individuals in the group unless I know for certain they are cool with it.

    It’s good to see you about and blogging again. 🙂

    • 4. debondisability  |  November 30, 2011 at 3:51 pm

      I intend to talk to her, want to help because her child is fighting back, using violence so getting in trouble.i agree too, that people should choose the words that they want to use. Just intend to explain reclaiming,so she can help him.

      Thanks, its good to be back too


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