[Air-l] ableist language (was facebook)

Ellis Godard egodard at csun.edu
Thu Sep 7 23:34:16 PDT 2006

I'm all for respecting differences, and choosing words carefully. And I of
course mean no offense in saying that I can't see your hair color, hair
length, height, facial expressions, etcetera - nor that I am blinded to
innumerable aspects of your appearance and behavior. 

As with optical blindness, I have a significant lack of (visual) awareness
of many typically (and visually) observable matters. To infer from that I'm
casting aspersions upon the visually impaired, is somewhere between
insulting and inane. But I nonetheless appreciate your sparking a frustrated
chuckle. ;)


> -----Original Message-----
> From: air-l-bounces at listserv.aoir.org 
> [mailto:air-l-bounces at listserv.aoir.org] On Behalf Of Kathy Mancuso
> Sent: Thursday, September 07, 2006 1:21 PM
> To: air-l at listserv.aoir.org
> Subject: [Air-l] ableist language (was facebook)
> In answer to Mr Cornwell's commment (and possibly Dr 
> Goddard's--since he said it was paraphrased I don't know what 
> wording Dr Goddard used) that we are all half-blind on the 
> internet, it is inappropriate and ableist to use the word 
> blind to denote what appears from this post to mean wilful 
> ignorance.  By using that term in that way, you are arguing 
> that just because blind people cannot see they are somehow 
> less aware of the world around them than sighted people, which isn't
> true: just differently aware.  The sort of wilful spin on it 
> here just makes the ableism even worse.
> Perhaps we could use a term like oblivious or unaware 
> instead.  A thesaurus will provide you with many excellent 
> options that do not cast aspersions on a particular group.  
> Thank you in advance for your consideration in keeping AIR-L 
> a friendly and non-discriminatory space for everyone.
> Kathy
> -- 
> . . . connection in an isolating age . . .
> Katherine Mancuso, graduate student, Emory University
> Web 2.0 research, life, and meta: http://museumfreak.livejournal.com
> http://del.icio.us/museumfreak
> "Whenever anyone says 'You are,' they mean 'I want you to 
> be.'" --Anais Nin _______________________________________________
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