Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I reserve the right to be pissy.


I don't have to be 'nice' in explaining my needs. It's my right to have a number of them met. It doesn't matter if I coat in in candy or dip it in acid-it's still a need. I don't HAVE to be nice to you when your vest or your helmet or your phone charm is strobing in my face. Telling me you didn't know or you didn't think you'd come across someone for whom it's a problem isn't going to impress me; you could end the sentence at "I didn't think".

No matter how I present them, my rights are my rights. My right to not have a preventable seizure or to not be run off the sidewalk (cyclists, I'm looking at you. Well, I'm not, actually, because you're neurological hazards on wheels, and if you run into me because you thought the sidewalk was yours so help me I will end you AND your bike) or to be presented important information in a manner I can process and use or to block sounds that overwhelm me in a manner of my choosing.

My rights are my rights.

I have a right to be nice. I have a right to be snarky. My only responsibility is the one I have to myself, that of getting my needs met. I don't really care if you're offended if I'm abrupt or pissy. Your feelings are not my concern. You really have no place lecturing me on how I present my needs, especially in a situation where the only option is to do something about it now. Being nice doesn't work. Letting my snark flag fly does. Talking to you as though you're choosing to be an asshat works a lot better than assuming you are unaware. Talking to you as though you're choosing to be an asshat gets your attention. Being nice doesn't. It just makes you feel fuzzy.

It is my right to assume you're an asshat. It is my right to be pissy when you are making my brain hurt. If you decide that it's your place to Argument From Tone me about my needs, my assumption that you are an asshat is correct.

They are my rights. Nowhere among anyone's rights are included the right to not be made uncomfortable or the right to not be offended.

Those aren't your rights.

Being pissy about mine is mine, though.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

I am not your inspiration.

I cringe every time I see a story about a person with disabilities doing something, anything. Why? Because the words "inspiration", "heartwarming", "overcoming obstacles", and similar set off my gag reflex.

My brain and body work differently from most people's. That doesn't make me inspiring. It makes me different. I happen to do things that most people with similar disabilities can't do. But guess what? I do things that most people without disabilities can't do either. It isn't inspiring that I do backflips, or teach kids to fly, or anything else that's a bit out of the ordinary. It just is. It's my life, not some story to warm the cockles of your over-privileged little heart.

And when people get all gooey over someone with a disability doing things within the realm of what's expected for a nondisabled person? I kind of want to go on a rampage with a spork. It is not inspiring when 2 people with Down Syndrome date. It's 2 adults having a life, and it's disrespectful and infantilizing to go "awwww" at it. When an autistic woman rakes leaves to pay for medical treatment, that's not adorable, that's a really sad statement on this country as a whole-don't be all "ZOMG I AM INSPIRED", but be disgusted that to afford necessary treatment someone has to go door to door. If you're going to be inspired at all by that, be inspired to change our world.

If you find yourself saying "That's so inspiring, I could never live with what that person does. And they do all by themselves! My heart is warmed!" you need a privilege check. Badly. It'd be upsetting if someone said it about you, and it's damn offensive when you say it about us.

Don't be inspired by us because we happen to be different. If you must be inspired, be inspired by our vision, our ideas. Don't be inspired by our existence. It's just my life, and I'm living it for me, not to warm your heart.