On ableist language, the words we
use and alternative discourse
First posted on the Facebook page of Radical DISability, expanded and maintained here.
- Go Teen Vogue!
The Sinister History of the Word “Moron,” Explained: It’s much more than just a casual insult.
That list misses the most important alternatives, because when we get rid of ableist language our arguments get better and we address the issue we’re obscuring with the ableist language.Bigoted, oppressive, supremacist, racist, sexist, abusive, violent:
40 Alternatives to These Ableist and Oppressive Words
- Disability Ain’t for Ya Dozens (or Demons): 10 Ableist Phrases Black folks Should Retire Immediately
“The Truth is that disability has been with us, in us since the beginning of time. Disability has held and kept us. It is in our marrow, in our blood, our sweat and tears. Disability does not make us less than, it makes us who we are. Ableism and anti-Blackness are the enemy. Disability is our kin. While the world has convinced itself and the Black community that disability is a bad word and a bad circumstance. It is neither. Disability and Blackness is pride. Disability and Blackness is innovation. Disability and Blackness is brilliance.
Throw Away the Master’s Tools: Liberating Ourselves from the Pathology Paradigm
- Neurodivergence does not turn someone into Donald Trump. Being a rich white Abled cishet U.S. citizen man certainly can, though.
- This Is a Great Example of What to Do When You Learn Your Words Are Ableist
- 30+ Alternatives to Help You Stop Using Ableist and Homophobic Phrases http://everydayfeminism.com/2015/08/alternatives-to-oppressive-language/
- Stop Saying ‘Wheelchair-Bound’ And Other Outdated And Offensive Terms http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/01/how-to-talk-to-person-with-disability_n_4191830.html
- Ableism/Language: Autistic Hoya
- 15 Common Phrases That Are Way More Ableist Than You May Realize http://thoughtcatalog.com/parker-marie-molloy/2013/10/15-crazy-examples-of-insanely-ableist-language/
- 10 Questions About Why Ableist Language Matters, Answered http://everydayfeminism.com/2014/11/ableist-language-matters/
- Doing Social Justice: 10 Reasons to Give Up Ableist Language http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rachel-cohenrottenberg/doing-social-justice-thou_b_5476271.html
- No Ableist Slurs, Please! http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2015/09/no-ableist-slurs-please.html
- Ableist Word Profile
When we give up ableist language we leave room for actual analysis and discourse. Ableist language is essentially supremacist, so if we’re really fighting for social justice, stigmatizing people with cognitive, physical or emotional DISabilities not only perpetuates the marginalization of DISfolx, but also obscures the real problem with what every behavior or ideology we’re calling out. For example, when we say “Stupid White Men”, we not only disparage people with cognitive DISabilities, we also give capitalism, imperialism and institutional racism and sexism, a pass. We fail to provide real analysis, and instead resort to lazy name calling. When we CALL IT WHAT IT IS, instead of using ableist slurs, we actually provide the possibility for deconstructing systems of oppression instead of simply rebranding bigotry to fit one’s own entitled supremacy based on superior intellect or ability.
Thou Shalt Not Commit Logical Fallacies (A guide to logical fallacies, for the deconstruction of unfair & misleading argumentation)
Graham’s Hierarchy of Disagreement (For the formation of skilled and articulate arguments to further a point.)Description: Image of a pyramid representing different levels of disagreement. For the description of each level, follow the link to the wikimedia page (see above).