Today, a few pieces from around the web on illness, ability, and access.
Violent language is everywhere in the realm of illness. Especially when it comes to cancer, the terms “battling” and “fighting” as well as “winning” and “losing” come up frequently. Maybe these metaphors can be helpful because cancer patients are literally hoping to be rid of a specific group of cells, and the “battle” is meant to help them keep their chin up through the most demoralizing stretches. But where does it leave people when they find themselves “losing”? How does it affect people’s identities: how they see and feel about themselves as a “sick” person when the “enemy” is literally inside them?
One religious leader—a UU ministerial candidate who asked not to be named, but who has a hearing disability—explains, “When a mic is being used at a meeting and someone looks at it and says, ‘Do we really need this?’ I feel outright anger. That person just asked if people like me really exist and demanded that we defend ourselves.”
These girls aren’t wounded so much as post- wounded, and I see their sisters everywhere. They’re over it. I am not a melodramatic person. God help the woman who is. What I’ll call “post-wounded” isn’t a shift in deep feeling (we understand these women still hurt) but a shift away from wounded affect: These women are aware that “woundedness” is overdone and overrated. They are wary of melodrama, so they stay numb or clever instead. Post- wounded women make jokes about being wounded or get impatient with women who hurt too much. The post- wounded woman conducts herself as if preempting certain accusations: Don’t cry too loud; don’t play victim. Don’t ask for pain meds you don’t need; don’t give those doctors another reason to doubt. Post- wounded women fuck men who don’t love them and then they feel mildly sad about it, or just blasé about it; they refuse to hurt about it or to admit they hurt about it— or else they are endlessly self- aware about it, if they do allow themselves this hurting.