Who? Us?

We are two disabled, oldish women who have been adventuring through life for years. We are talking about how disabilities, both visible and not, change the way we enjoy our retirement.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Why do I Have a Label?


Uhhh. Sadly, most of us as we age find our bodies don’t perform as well as they did 20 years ago. Or maybe as well as yesterday.  

I know my 75 year old body resists so many things that I could easily do just a few years ago. I use to open jars for other people, now, I need help in opening the ones I want to use. Thank heavens they make nifty little gadgets these days to help open jars, to help reach and pick up things.

I love my grabbers. I have them inside and outside. They let me pick up something off the floor without asking somebody else.  I can get stuff down off a high shelf.  Why the hell did I put stuff up there? Was I taller when I put the stuff up there? Must be.

And if I can’t  right off put my hands on that little piece of rubber made to help open jars because some invisible occupant of the house did not return it to its spot, I can slam that sucker down on the counter to loosen it up or better yet, I have a pair of channel locks that can get tops off most jars.

My balance continues to worsen, but I can still get where I want to go in the house. And outside I have my trusty scooter to get into the garden or down to the mailbox at the end of the driveway.

It is the rest of the world who calls me disabled. The people and places who do not make their homes or businesses accessible. If they were available to me to spend money in, I would be just like ever other 75 year old.  No longer disabled.  Only old and that’s fine.

It’s funny that if anyone is anything that falls outside of the white, male, abled, wage earning, ideal that has been set up as what we all need to be or at least aspire to, we are disabled and see displays of prejudice every single day.  

In 1964, we had a law that gave civil rights to African Americans who had never been covered by the Constitution before. They were then able to vote and attend integrated schools.  Although that has worked a little bit, we have not yet gotten past the inculcated racism that is endemic in our country. We can certainly see it in the Republican party these days with the candidates telling us how wholesale racism will make this country great. Go figure. 

The Equal Rights amendment was proposed in 1923 and again in 1972. It has not yet been ratified by the number of states required to make women equal to men. For some reason that’s OK with women. Go figure. 

The ADA was made into law 25+ years ago. It has not yet done much.

So maybe instead of making laws about disability rights, gay rights, rights for people of color, women’s rights, we need to just have equal rights for the entire population.  Why must we be ranked? And who does the ranking and the ensuing separation?

Really, male citizens of the US, is power and control so important to you that making everyone else feel small, powerless and not part of your tribe, that you do not follow the laws of the country and feel justified in doing so. 







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