Paralyzed since I was 18 years old, I have spent much of the last 30 years thinking about the reasons why the social life of crippled people is so different from those who ambulate on two feet. After reading about the so called Ashley Treatment I decided it was time to write a book about my life as a crippled man. My book, Bad Cripple: A Protest from an Invisible Man, will be published by Counter Punch. I hope my book will completed soon.
As a vocal feminist with many intelligent, lovely male friends, I’m often met with indignance when I choose not to engage with them about feminism. Surely if I reallycared about changing our culture of discrimination and inequality, I should be trying to educate men? Isn’t that an activist’s job? Shouldn’t feminists be grateful when men want to bounce questions off us, because it shows that they are at least trying to understand?
It’s both exhausting and diversionary being expected to hash out the basics with men who haven’t bothered to think about their own privilege before. Men are not entitled to expect feminists to educate them. Real change will only happen when men accept that the burden of education is on them, not on women.
The post concludes:
If you are in a group that has the structural advantage of wages, safety, health and education – when you’ve basically already won the life lottery just by showing up – it is your responsibility to educate yourself. And really, don’t tell women to be nice. We’re angry. We have every reason to be. Frankly, you should be too.
There are days I am tired of doing disability based education and awareness. It is in fact exhausting at times. I have been at it for 35 years. When is the typical bipedal person going to finally get it. I am a human being that just happens to be paralyzed. The barriers that exist are socially constructed. So I like it when someone else reaffirms it is okay not be nice all the time. It is okay to be angry. And ignorance is no excuse for bigotry. Get educated people!