About Ableism

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About Ableism

Post by muse142 »

What is ableism / disablism? Why is it a problem?
Wikipedia wrote:...the "ableist" societal world-view is that the able-bodied are the norm in society, and that people who have disabilities must either strive to become that norm or should keep their distance from able-bodied people. A disability is thus, inherently, a "bad" thing that must be overcome. The ableist worldview holds that disability is an error, a mistake, or a failing, rather than a simple consequence of human diversity, akin to race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender.
Ableism can be as subtle as microaggressions or as blatant as murder. For some more examples of ableism, click here.

Ableism is also one of the most frequently modded issues on the board, and that's not okay.

Remember that there are people with various disabilities on this very forum. That includes people on the admod team as well as your fellow commenters. Using ableist language runs the risk of poking someone's sore spots, and even making the forum less accessible. Because ableist language is so often ingrained in our speech, to help you we have provided a brief list of don'ts. Specific, explicit examples have been covered by TW tags:

Things to Avoid:
  • don't use disability-related terms as insults (e.g. crazy, psycho, retard, stupid, lame, etc)
  • don't use disability-related terms as shorthand for ignorance (e.g. privilege-blind, falling on deaf ears, etc)
  • don't use disability-related terms as adjectives for things not related to disability (e.g. that party was crazy; I'm so OCD!, etc)
  • don't disregard disabled people's personhood (e.g. wheelchair-bound, confined to a wheelchair, etc)
  • don't use outdated, offensive terminology when discussing disabled people (e.g. spastic, deaf and dumb, cripple, head case, etc)
  • don't diagnose others or accuse them of showing pathological behaviour
If you are using an ableist term in a reclamative fashion or in a direct quotation, we still ask that you cover it with a trigger warning, as these words can have a profound negative impact on others who have had that language used against them.

If you see instances of ableism, please refer to our general callout policy. To paraphrase and sum up:
  • A brief call-out in the thread is fine. Reporting the post to the admins is also fine. In either case, try your best to explain exactly what was harmful. Feel free to link to this post if you are having difficulty explaining or the person seems unfamiliar with our policies.
  • If someone calls you out, the optimal response is, "I'm sorry; I won't do it again," followed by not doing it again. When in doubt, the 101 section is a great resource. A good starting point is the pinned post, I was told to Check My Privilege! Now what?
  • Don't derail the original thread with off-topic discussions or debate about ableism. Instead, start a new thread to offer in-depth explanations, ask questions, or open a debate.
Ableism is against the rules here, and it has been from the beginning. It's long past time that it stopped. To that end, the admins will be taking action. Posts with ableist language will be edited or removed. Continuing to use ableist language after user callouts and/or admin warnings will eventually result in a ban. To quote from the rules:
No misogyny, racism, slurs, homophobia, transphobia, gender essentialism, ableism, harassment, or mansplaining. This includes coded and dog-whistle versions of the same. We have no time for rules-lawyers and will ban those who refuse to respect this rule and their fellow posters.
In order to comply with the forum software's built-in limit to the number of URLs that can be present in a single post, our recommended reading list has been moved to a reply to this post. It's still an important part of this discussion, so please c side that replay to be part of this post.

Thank you! to everyone whose contributions helped shape this post: That Beth Girl, Solecism, MamaCheshire, Rose Fox, Goat Lady, Creativeusername, Sullieseeburg, Jane_the_chicken, Alicelove, Wheelswithinwheels, Lorelei, and Whollyword. We weren't able to include all of your suggestions (especially with a limit of 10 URLS per post!), so we definitely recommend that readers check out the original thread for more excellent links and illuminating conversations.
Last edited by SorchaRei on Wed Jul 25, 2018 11:51 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Reason: Fixed a broken link

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Re: About Ableism

Post by SorchaRei »

Recommended Reading: [edited by mod to replace a broken link]
The difference between theory and practice is that in theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice, there is.