society versus Webster’s

hu·man  A member of the genus Homo and especially of the species H. sapiens.

cripple Sometimes Offensive.
a.     a person or animal that is partially or totally unable to use one or more limbs; a lame or disabled person or animal.

I’m not sure when it happened but at some point during the history of humankind anyone unfortunate enough to bear the label of cripple was automatically stripped of the honorific human. In earlier times than this we were shut away in asylums, hidden away from “normal” people because the higher ups decided that a person’s physical impairment/disfigurement was indicative of mental and/or spiritual inferiority.

It was originally complete accident that the word human was in the smaller print than the word cripple due to nothing more than an accidental difference in font sizes on the site where I copied and pasted the definitions from.  Looking at it now however I think it was a serendipitous accident indeed.  Take it from someone who knows that is exactly how the majority of the world treats me, and everybody else who just happens to be crippled. The that we were conceived and born in the same way as all the able-bodied people on this planet makes no nevermind to them.Even in this enlightened age of federally mandated mainstreaming in school and inclusion in the workplace by the majority of people we are still seen firstly as deficient things to be pitiedcreate Sure any mention of putting us into asylums again is now looked upon with the proper amount of horror and scorn but sometimes I have to wonder how much of that is staging because it is thing to say.

I will grant you that things have changed a lot since the 19th century.  Instead of locking us away out of sight and out of mind we are allowed an education. But should we complete a regular degree be it high school or college there were always be those people who upon hearing of your accomplishment will say “how wonderful for you” leaving a saccharin aftertaste in your throat while the gall caused by their patronizing tone inflicts acidic damage to the lining of your stomach and you must clench your good hand into a fist lest it “accidentally spasm” across their face. Personally that particular tone remind me of nothing so much as a proud owner praising a particularly precocious puppy.

Here is a question for you… WHY the heck are people surprised when they find out that we are not, apparently as previously believed, asexual?  Somebody PLEASE answer me that.  Heaven help us if we should actually daet that’s cause for a party or at least a lengthy game of 20 questions.  And if the disabled persons boyfriend or girlfriend happens to be able bodied *gasp* the number of questions automatically goes up to at least 40!  WHAT IS UP WITH THAT! As if it is not surprising enough that we cripples would like to get laid just as much as the next person the mere idea that a perfectly healthy person would consent and might actually enjoy spending a night or two with one of “us” is almost inconceivable.  The character of the able-bodied person is immediately disparaged by some folks because surely the able-bodied person must only be dating the cripple for the novelty’s sake alone, it couldn’t possibly be because he loves or cares about her, no, that couldn’t possibly be the reason for it.As for the “differently abled” person as the politically correct police would have you call us, wouldn’t she feel more comfortable with her own kind?  One of my friends answered this question with “yes, I’m not into animals”

By the way don’t anybody dare tell me I shouldn’t call myself a cripple.  People have called us crippled for centuries and we didn’t have a choice because there wasn’t any other word.  And now we have enough pride in ourselves as a community to pick it up out of the gutter of slanderous evil wordsthat should not be spoken and use it cannot own vocabulary as a sort of badge of honor.  I say this with little animosity that by virtueof the fact that I am a cripple able-bodied people hold a lot of power in my life, you’ll pardon me if I refuse to cede to them my freedom of speech.


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