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4 years ago @ Mark Reads - Hello, Discworld reade... · 36 replies · +81 points

All right, I've been a long-time lurker here who was profoundly, scream-at-the-wall and kick things angry at an earlier part of your readthrough of this, as it represents an escalating pattern I've noticed in your approaches to this topic. But at the time I concluded there was no point to bringing it up. You had convinced me all that would happen was I would be banned, or have my arguments savaged by your defenders, and I didn't want to take the limited energy and focus I have and spend it on an activity only designed to get me more misery and pain. But if you truly are trying to reexamine your viewpoints now, I want to discuss this:

"As much as Pratchett uses broken objects to communicate this sense of horror and disarray, he also uses injured and disabled bodies in a similar way. How many people without limbs have we come across? There’ve been at least two references to soldiers keeping their coats tightly closed, hinting at some sort of near-fatal damage beneath them. It’s not until Scallot that one of these characters is actually even given significant space in the narrative. They’re just a background feature, a means of telling a story without telling a story about them......l.......disabled people are often used to signify how bad a world has gotten or how terrible the stakes are, and that doesn’t exactly feel like positive representation. But this is war, and ignoring the existence of disabled soldiers in a war would certainly be erasure, too. So where’s the line between these two? I was curious what others thought about this, too! TALK TO ME, DISCWORLD FRIENDS."

You are engaging in one or both of two particularly harmful beliefs about disability.

One is the assumption that maiming, injury, and other grievous bodily harm is exactly equivalent to disability and should be discussed in exactly the same way. This is so wildly incorrect I'm not sure how to begin deconstructing it. Perhaps someone else will jump in and help me out here.

The other is the internalization of one aspect of disability activism - disabilities do not have to be a negative thing, and many persons who experience them do not actually view themselves as in any way "lacking" or negative - to such a degree that you then apply it to all situations of disability ever, and declare any situation that does depict disability as a bad thing is ableism.

This is PROFOUNDLY hurtful for disabled individuals who do not fit that narrative, of which there are many. The experiences of someone born deaf and the experiences of someone constantly feeling searing agony are wildly different, and telling the latter that they don't have the right to view their disability as a negative or have it depicted in narratives as a sincere problem is as deeply damaging as telling the hearing-impaired person they are innately flawed. This is because "disability" is such a broad-reaching category that there are no easy, one-size fits all answers. If you attempt to apply the solutions for one group in a broad swath to cover every single person who identifies as disabled, all you will achieve is what happened here: telling another group their experiences and feelings are invalid.

Plenty of people who experience injury and disability as the result of trauma such as war do find it a horrific experience. It is perfectly all right to depict it as that. Do not "call out" texts that do something so mild, with no other indications of further ableism. In fact, I'd urge you not to do call-outs on this topic at all: ableism activism itself is struggling to reconcile both viewpoints, so your attempts to find the easy "correct" answer without a lot of discussion and nuance are inevitably going to fail. The issue is messy.