So, originally I wanted to make this about Feisty Pants' fabulous day off (eat your heart out Ferris) wherein she went to the movies and shopping and had a blast. (Shout out to the amazing adults who made that happen!) Then I thought I would add a few more ideas of how to slay the beast of brain drain. (I am still researching ideas and will come back to that, promise.) But then I saw something that struck a nerve and now THAT is what I want this post to be about. I saw two somethings actually, and they both pissed me off to no end. I want to talk about the obnoxious, pervasive, hideous, soft bigotry towards the disabled.
The first something was a post on Facebook by a family that bills itself as the Hartley Hooligans. They are a family with two daughters with MSG and the Mom's posts are funny and awesome and bad-ass. If you don't follow them, you should. The latest was a post on the occasion of her eldest daughter's fourteenth birthday in which she basically told the doctor who dismissed her then infant daughter's potential and life to go suck it. I literally applauded the post. (She couldn't hear me but so what.) What then followed in the comments was other parents of feisty ones discussing their experiences of doctors who gently said horrible, dickish things for their own good. I even added mine. We had reports of doctors who advised "letting nature take its course" and "concentrate on healthy babies". I can personally attest to "it is acceptable to turn off the life support if you wish" and (my fave) "You need to know you are probably taking her home to die". Oh, and let's not forget "I am sure you are ok with anything that would stunt her growth" (uhhhh, no I am not ok with that. Jerk.) Here's a hint, dear physicians. You think you are being careful and non-judgmental. You are not. THESE ARE DICK MOVES. WHAT YOU ARE REALLY SAYING IS THAT THESE DISABLED HUMAN BEINGS ARE NOT WORTH THE EXTRA MEASURES OF EXPENSIVE CARE. If ANY human is not worth it than NO human is worth it. How dare you say otherwise, especially when it comes to our disabled children?!? Whom, exactly, are you saving the expensive care for, hmmmmmm????? Someone who has something to offer other people? Why do you assume my child does not have such potential???? Who the eff are you to make that judgement anyway??? And, might I ask, why oh why would you feel the need to give us dire predictions? Do you think we are foolish and not capable of understanding the seriousness of the situation? Or is it just that we are not freaking out and wringing our hands so you don't think we are truly scared enough? Must we be a voice for your fears to make YOU feel better somehow?
The second thing that made me grow fangs and howl at the moon this week was some network's new show Tut. (About Tutankhamen) I am sure it's simply a soap opera, probably riddled with typical fallacies (cue the old canard of artistic license). But here's the thing, in the ads he looks pretty and physically perfect. Tut wasn't. Tut was disabled. He had a genetic condition causing a club foot and more than likely an intellectual disability. He had to walk with a cane. Dozens were found in his tomb. He would have had serious back problems. And yet he ruled. And so did Julius Caesar, who had a seizure disorder. Michelangelo, Isaac Newton and (probably) Thomas Jefferson all had Aspergers. Nicola Tesla had severe OCD. Homer was blind. Helen Keller was deaf and blind. Franklin Roosevelt was paraplegic. Lord Byron had a club foot. John Nash had schizophrenia. John Milton was blind. Monet's fading eyesight made his paintings more unique as he aged. Beethoven wrote the Ode to Joy as he went deaf. I could do this all day but I bet you get my point. Every single one of these people made amazing contributions to art, history, science, literature in spite of, or even BECAUSE of their disabilities. And yet we whitewash disability right out of our history. WHY? We do it because then we can look at the disabled and dismiss them with pity and fool ourselves into thinking that that is NOT prejudice. That it's ok to not make the efforts needed educationally, medically, financially to include them in society. That we are not total dicks for doing so. We cripple our own souls so we can not look at other people as equals because they are disabled. This is evil. As a species, we should hang our heads in shame.