Let's Digress

Let’s Digress about Ableism

I was reading an article on Everyday Feminism just now and it finally happened: I actually agreed with something they said.

Before I delve into that abyss of silliness, let me share some background information. I thoroughly enjoy the Everyday Feminism website and read their articles regularly. It brings me more fleeting happiness than I can reasonably admit to because everyone on it is so unhappy with their unnecessarily complicated and faux-victimized lives that it makes me feel quite good about my own and my lack of problems. Seriously, 95% of their issues would be instantly resolved if they would just take ownership of their own lives and choices. And as a happy bonus, most of their articles give me ideas of things to write my own blogs about…like the one you’re reading now. 

I literally just finished reading one of their articles from Wendy Lu about how ableism is bad for society and why we need to fix that particular mindset. I found this article so intriguing that I read it a second time. And I’ll probably read it another time or four, just to make sure I understand its message correctly. 

Basically, Lu proposes that society is systemically ableist and that disabled people ought to be celebrated despite their disabilities (if not be wholly self-identified by them) and that they shouldn’t be thought of as “less than,” broken, wrong, or anything other than as the ideal image of physical and mental health and capability. 

Personally, I have a few issues with some of that, but I appreciate the sentiment. I don’t think anyone should have their identity as a person fused completely with what they can or cannot do. For me, my identity comes from my Creator, which is a fixed point that doesn’t fluctuate with the tides of opinions from others or my own abilities. But that’s just me. 

There is a valid argument to be made that if one’s disability can be lessened thereby enhancing their quality of life, then one ought to aim for it. There are a few sections in this article where it’s kind of implied that even if there are opportunities to improve one’s quality of life, the disabled person should avoid it because their core identity as a person is defined solely by their particular set of disabilities and ain’t no “abled person” gonna tell them how to better themselves since they’re inherently perfect and normal and fierce in every way just as they are.

There is also a solid argument to be made that if there is no existence of any sort of higher power, deity, moral code, or even the reality of good and evil, which multiple authors from Everyday Feminim espouse, then nothing Lu (or any of us, for that matter) actually means anything and all of the points made in the article are moot.  

So, really, I guess I disagree with quite a bit of it. But here is where Lu and I find common ground, and I’m not sure if Lu intended for it or not. When viewed through the lens of pro-life advocacy, this article is incredibly uplifting and makes an excellent case for why abortion is terrible. 

There’s a popular opinion among the pro-choice crowd which believes women should be able to abort their unborn babies at any point in the pregnancy if the baby will be physically deformed in some way, have cognitive disabilities, or severe illness (issues like Down syndrome, fetal alcohol syndrome, cleft palate, autism, missing limbs, etc.). That position says that the baby should be able to “die with dignity” in utero so the mother, baby, and surrounding family won’t have to deal with any of the complications, financial anxieties, awkward conversations, emotional struggles, or other assorted abnormalities that may or may not arise in their lives due to their distinct set of circumstances. 

Not only does this particular view of baby-killing devalue the worth of human life in general, but it’s also incredibly ableist. This view says that unless you hit the mark of gold-standard abilities, you’re a “less than.” It means you’re not good enough. Not human enough. And if you’re less than human—sub-human—then you don’t have the right to bodily autonomy and someone else has the right to extinguish your life because it isn’t worth living according to their standards.

As if the idea of this specific genre of eugenics isn’t terrible enough, it has already been implemented in Iceland, Denmark, and the United Kingdom, and it’s only becoming more popular here in the United States. 

But there is an upside: The 2021 Toyota Super Bowl commercial. If nothing positive came from the sports ball game, at least the Toyota commercial was seen by millions of people. In 60 seconds, Toyota succeeded in putting forward a solid pitch that all lives, especially disabled ones, are worth living, can accomplish great things, and are valuable because they’re human. 

Fun fact: For every 1 child adopted there are still 36 couples waiting. 


Questions? Comments? Concerns? Opinions?

Comment below or send an email to Adam@LetsDigress.com!

Also, please be kind and grammatically decent, this is a family website.

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