a word on ableism…

11 Dec

just a page from my sketchbook, expressing my frustration with the fact that “lame” seems to be fair game to throw around, even in activist/radical circles and/or in spaces where saying that something is “gay” is totally unacceptable.

❤ j.bee


3 Responses to “a word on ableism…”

  1. liam December 11, 2009 at 6:36 pm #


    i think this is a really great concept, and i’m proud of you for speaking out against the usage of the word “lame” as anything except a description of self-identity.

    i also think some of the responses people have attached to this very astute and brave piece of art are ignorant, meant to be hurtful, and are focused directly at you as a person instead of the politic presented here — all of which id to say i think you probably bumped into a cultural nerve for some people (yay you! good job! :]), and it triggered some immature, completely uncivil defensive “I’M NEVAR WRONG” response in some of these folks that isn’t your responsibility.

    for what it’s worth: though i am an able-bodied person and my opinion ought never outweigh any dis/(dis)/differently-abled folks’, i think you’re entirely correct.

  2. monstersandmolotovs December 14, 2009 at 10:56 am #

    ugh, this. THIS SO MUCH. the few times i have tried to call radicals out on using this word, they’ve ignored me or said shit like “language evolves” or “it doesn’t mean THAT.”

    in case you haven’t seen, the Feminists With Disabilities blog has a really awesome Ableist Word Profile series (http://disabledfeminists.com/category/ableist-word-profile/). they talk about the word lame (http://disabledfeminists.com/2009/10/12/ableist-word-profile-lame/) and also about how words like “idiot” are ableist, which i hadn’t thought about before… so now i’m working to take words like that out of my vocabulary, too. it’s hard, but taking ableist language out of our vocabularies is just one of many important things we can do to help (fellow) people with disabilities. 🙂

    so, long story short: i love this! and thank you for making it! 🙂


  1. It’s nice to share | definatalie.com - May 16, 2010

    […] Circus has a word on ableism. The Young and The Feckless: Gen Y’s Biological Clock Talk Taboo J Maureen Henderson asks […]

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