Friday, August 10, 2007

I am me

Today has been what my friends and I describe as one of my raggy doll days, and that in combination with some of the posts I've read recently over at the excellent Chewing the Fat has been making me think more about the language we use all the time, specifically though in relation to disability.

The title of my blog should be some indication to the way I view language, it is of course as EmmaK asked so early on in part ironic, but is also largely to do with the attitude I have towards negative language, that somehow, some part of me feels it vital to challenge all those negativities and make words usually considered to be shocking or derogatory insults into comfortable every day terms.

I am a cripple, a spaz, a spacker, a gimp, a muppet, a bendy freak, a genetic throwback, a raggy doll. I am a pixie, a gorgeous blonde, a sex kitten, a cherub with a devil's mind, a bendy girl, a bit of a hippie chick, an incisive mind. I am me.

What I am not and never will be is disabled. Sigh. Dis abled. Dis abled. Disconnected. Displaced. Disintegrated. DISTANT. I hate the word disabled. So why would I want to willingly use it about myself let alone every chose to think about myself that way? Don't get me wrong, if the situation demands it, I will use the D word to describe myself, have used it on this blog, but I hate it. Hate it, hate it, hate it. I only use it to enable other people. To give them something to understand. But it is not and never will be a term I would chose to use for myself. But those other words, words used to cause offence, still I know able to cause such offence for so many, they, they are the words I choose to describe myself. These are words with power to them, not the negative and to me oh so whiny preposition dis disabling by its very nature for any of these words, no these words have bite, they are good strong, colourful words to describe myself with. I am a cripple when in pain I struggle to walk, a spaz or a spacker for my clumsiness, my sheer inability to co-ordinate, a muppet for my daftness, my ability to forget or lose things at the drop of a hat, a raggy doll when I laugh and my muscles lose the ability to hold me up, causing me to drop to the floor in a hopeless helpless heap of giggles, a gimp when I am covered in bandages, a genetic throwback my whimsical wander back to times when humans were dead by the age of 30 and perhaps such unusual bodies those we with EDS have were of some evolutionary advantage, the bendy freak bit should be obvious by now. Really.

Not a single one of those words has any power to hurt me. I live in a world of sick warped humour, and it's a good place to be.


Dave Hingsburger said...

Hi, thanks for linking to my blog. I agree that language has incredible power and that the words we use to describe ourselves - the words others use to describe us - can impact deeply on our self esteem. I guess what you are saying, kind of, is don't dis ability.

EmmaK said...

at the risk of patronizing you...just wanted to say I just think you have a wonderful attitude to your condition and I love your sense of humor!

BenefitScroungingScum said...

It's not much of a life when you're just a pretty face, just to be whoever you are is no disgrace, don't be scared if you don't fit in, look who's in the reject bin, it's the raggy dolls, raggy dolls, dolls like you and me, raggy dolls, raggy dolls, made imperfectly, so if you got a bump on your nose or lump or toes do not despair, be like the raggy dolls and say I just don't care, cos raggy dolls, raggy dolls, are happy just to be, raggy dolls, raggy dolls, dolls like you and me!

BenefitScroungingScum said...

Hi Dave, thanks for visiting :) The raggy dolls was a cartoon from when I was a kid and I guess the lyrics are saying what I want to so well, that in fact everyone can find something to identify themselves into that 'reject bin', so why should we as a group of people allow the use of a term we didn't choose for ourselves and is negative by its very nature when it as you say ignores all abilities and attributes and so many fabulous words exist with such greater descriptive powers, we just have to reclaim them like the gay and black communities before us.
I hope that makes some sort of sense?

Thanks EmmaK, Don't worry, I'm not humour being one of the most difficult parts of my overall condition to suffer from;) BG x x

Vi vi vi vooom!!!!!!!! said...

You are FAR from a reject. You are unique (as we all are in our own ways). Lovely post mate.

BenefitScroungingScum said...

Thanks Vi, :) That's exactly my point...we each and every one of us has got something letting us jump into the 'raggy dolls' reject bin...and god its fun in there compared to the world of perma tans, designer clothes and race to size zero type perfection!

Michelle said...

I enjoyed your post, but then I always do. I admire your confidence, directness and the way you write :)