Goodbye and Good Riddance 2020: Do Not Taunt Happy Fun Year
Take stock, reflect, butch, moan, vent. We are all here for it.
Hey, Laura, that's a perfectly reasonable joke, but maybe not the moment for it, since treating people with disabilities as parallel to toddlers can feel like infantilization, which is a major form of ablism.
Laura, that may have been the case in this instance, but I can assure you it is not the case in many many instances I have seen in the media over the past few years. And I find it very hurtful that you are being so dismissive.
Laura, I've seen many people make sj's same point on Twitter. I feel about it how I feel when people mock Trump for being disgusting and fat. Yes, he certainly is, but it doesn't exactly make me feel good about myself.
I think DebetEsse is right about the timing of the joke, Laura. If the conversation had only been about how horrible Orange Julius is, I don't think your joke would have pinged. It pinged because of the timing, sequence, and substance of the posts that came immediately before it.
sj spent some courage to politely bring her concern to KB. To have your joke follow so quickly felt like you were undermining sj, even though I can't imagine you would consciously do that to anyone.
Did you see the recent photos of Trump at the small desk? One of the things making the rounds are those pictures, which people have marked up to "prove" Trump wears adult diapers [link] , as well as a video from an Apprentice vet who swears he's worn them for years: [link] . There is also a golf course photo of him, where his white pants are dirty around the center seam of the seat of his pants. [link]
In other words, in the current national conversation, the "diaper" nickname goes way further than Trump acting like a baby. Regardless of whether they're true or just snark, the "Diaper Don" memes are ableist.
Laura and Katerina Bee, I well know you weren't trying to hurt or offend anyone. Everyone who has ever read posts from either of you knows that.
While you were both setting out the guac, you didn't fall into it, but you accidentally dipped a thumb in the bowl. You didn't mean to, and nobody thinks you meant to. It just happened. Your friends are telling you to wipe the guac off your thumbs. That's all.
It's never comfortable to be called out on something. Given how long we've all known each other, even without talking to them, I'm confident it was also uncomfortable for sj, Debet, and Dana to say anything and they did so, because they respect you both. They know you to be people who wouldn't intentionally play into ableism. Please know the same is true for me.
We are all stressed out, and yes I have feelings just like everyone else in this world.
You're right about the stress. And I know you're feeling unfairly maligned in your personal life right now, so maybe you're currently a bit more easily bruised. Please know they said something because they love and respect you, not because they don't. They would also tell you that you had spinach in your teeth, not to be mean to you, but so that you could take the spinach out of your teeth.
I originally drafted a long personal story about my kid and his experience during the worst (so far) year of his disability. I opted not to include it because it was so long, and because it's his story to tell, not mine.
I'm only referencing it at all, because I know if we were in a face-to-face situation, you (Laura and KB) would both go to the mat for this kid. Because I know you both (on here), I did not take offense at the diaper-baby posts. Because I love him more than life, I did wince on his behalf, and I had to tell myself you don't know his story and would never hurt me or him.
I wish those sort of Trump insults would go away. They won't disappear from social media, but we ought not play into the diaper stuff here. We're Buffistas, and that means a thing.
And my word, I loathe Donald Trump. He's my pit guy (HIMYM reference, see "Pit Person" here: [link] ). I've stepped in the ableism guac myself, elsewhere, sharing tweets about Trump's gait (particularly on that ramp at the West Point graduation). It's embarrassing, but I'm glad I know not to do it, now.
Thank you, Cindy. As usual you are more eloquent than I could ever hope to be. So, I will second everything you just said, and you are correct that if I didn’t love and respect KB and Laura, I wouldn’t have bothered to say anything at all.
And since Cindy mentioned a few of the ableist internet memes about Trump that are also hurtful, I will add that ones about using two hands to hold a glass and needing to use a railing or needing help on ramps and stairs also fall into this category.
I'm just thankful that The Vile One has been given the boot. I'm really hoping we'll have a push to return to civility in the new year.
I'm also thankful to have started inching my way back into this community again. I have missed you all!
I have missed you all!
It's very nice to see your pixels, Anne!