Sunday, September 24, 2006

Disability and Sour Grapes

The part her eabout Christopher Reeve strikes me as ridiculous. It is one thing to say that it is bad to talk a lot about a cure for a disability because we don't know when we will get one, and getting better access is a more realistic goal, but there i adefinite sense here that being disabled is not a bad thing and htat disabled people should not want to be cured, even if their disability was acquired rather than inborn. That is, someone who is crippled in an accident should not want to find a way to walk again.

This passage (from this article)in particular strikes me as moronic:

Bit [sic] suppose he hated being gay as much as Reeve hates being disabled?

Suppose he wrote an autobiography about seeking a cure for his homosexuality? Suppose he started the Barney Frank foundation to cure homosexuals? Suppose he held a television special to raise money to find a cure for homosexuality?

Suppose Barbara Walters interviewed him on 20/20 on his work to find a cure for homosexuality?

Imagine it.


Oh, and it isn't a social construct. Yes, society can be made more enabling of disabled people, but not being able to walk makes it more difficult for you than being able to walk. And any realistic way of making it easier for a non-ambulatory person to get around ultimately means more work for other people. That is, you can externalize the costs of a disability, but that doesn't actually mean that they go away, as much as liberals like to think that ramps and special areas on busses and elevaotrs for two-story buildings come from the Tax Fairy.

A far better comparison than Barney Frank would be "suppose Andrew Sullivan hated being HIV-positive. Suppose he gave money to an oganization that wanted to cure AIDS?"

I mean, if we are to assert that disability is a neutral thing,m then let's assert that AIDS is a neutral thing, and that all attempts to cure it or get a vaccine should be abandoned in favor of concentrating all of our efforts at making people with AIDS feel that having AIDS is not a problem.

What this is really about is about sour grapes; people trying to reduce the pain of disability by pretending that not being disabled isn't a bettter situation.

That is all.

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