It seems appropriate that today being Labour Day, a day symbolic with the working class struggle against oppression from the ruling classes is also Blogging against Disablism Day.
I wasn’t born with a disability unlike many other people with who I now share the ‘Disabled’ tag. My pre- adolescent years, whilst not being easy, were largely fit and healthy. My mental health problems began at puberty, but were considered by my family and Dr to be part of ‘growing up’ and it is only with hindsight, I recognise the mood swings and depression were far more extreme than what is considered normal. Other traumatic factors in my early 20s and 30s also hid the fact for many years that I am in fact a depressive. Coupled with this fact for the past 20 years I have lived with Fibromyalgia and a list of other physical problems which means I never know from one movement to the next just how much pain I will be in, it is only recently after a long period of time and much soul searching I can claim this much derided label and say I am Disabled.
I find it ironic that I struggled and fought most of my life, refusing to accept that I am in fact severely limited in my ability to carry out day to day activities which, according to the legal definition, makes me Disabled; yet, the very people responsible for the legislation are in my opinion those responsible for the current rise in Disablism.
Evidence of this can easily be found both in the aggressive economic cuts to benefits for Disabled people and in countless blogs and articles in the more ethical press. To me, this clearly demonstrates the hostile attitudes of today’s ruling classes towards disabled people, and I can’t help but feel this is a primary reason for the increase in Disablism and the associated despair we are currently experiencing.
As the working classes years ago came together to successfully challenge oppression, I believe Disabled people should use today as an opportunity to unite and organise our own movement. Surely anyone reading this has to agree, enough is enough.