Ableism

Story by: Maggie Brown, Copy/News Editor
Photo by: Samuel Jobe, staff photographer

Ableism

Ableism is, by definition, discrimination in favor of able-bodied people. While much of the population is aware of the discrimination against women, people of color, or transgender individuals, ableism is a topic that rarely receives the attention it deserves. It is all around us, from the lack of wheelchair ramps to the blatant disregard for mental disorders by requiring classes such as Speech, which is turning a blind eye to the struggles of students with social anxiety disorders.

The world is full of people who are different, and it is our inability to view them simply as differences and not defects that has caused so many issues in our society. The use of derogatory language is perhaps the most prevalent act of ableism in our society. This trivializes mental disorders and uses them as everyday adjectives, which is horrifying to me.

“I’m like, super OCD about it.”

“My mom is being so bipolar.”

“Don’t be such a retard.”

Words like these are not slurs for us to throw around haphazardly. It is not funny, it is not appropriate, and it is not kind. Taking words that were thrown at people who suffer from Downs syndrome, autism, and all varieties of mental illnesses for years is horrifying to me.

In the elections of 2012, a political commentator named Ann Coulter decided to use the r-word in reference to President Obama, and received this letter from Special Olympian John Franklin Stephens.

The world is a difficult place for people who are different. We have set ideas of what people come with which labels, and that is going to be a contributing factor to the downfall of our society. We are not one thing, we are not caricatures or symbols or anything of the sort. They are not “the disabled.” They just have to go about the world differently than we do.

The least we, the able-bodied majority, can do, is be accommodating.

International Women’s Day

Story by: Dakota Fisher

International Women’s Day is meant to be a day when women are recognized for their achievements without discrimination against nationality, ethnicity, culture, economic standing or political views. Of course it is wonderful to say that as March 4 has crept upon us  the entire population of the world slowly but surely begins to see women as equals, however, I am sure we know that is not true. While having an entire day dedicated to women is fantastic, it should not be necessary.

Although International Women’s Day is supposed to be a time of unity and solidarity, it seems to be exactly the opposite. Women in China face threats to their reproductive rights from the one-child policy, which institutionalizes forced abortion and sterilization. Women in the US are fighting for the opposite.

Although only 36 percent of the population is affected by the policy, and China is working to relax the policy, infanticide, the killing of children after birth, is a more wide-spread problem. The pro-abortion agenda pitts woman against woman and increases hostility within the female population because of misogynistic ideals and lack of knowledge.This ignorance hinders the growth of female empowerment and unity.

I am waiting for people to finally realize that women’s rights are quite simply human rights. Why do we have to have special days or months dedicated to a specific class of the human species? Having a day such as this just leads us to believe that every other day is “International Straight White Male Day.” But why?

“It leads us to believe that because we let it. Just because there is an International Women’s Day doesn’t mean that every other day isn’t. It’s like Mother’s Day or Father’s Day,” said Felicity Kratky, 10.

” Regardless of the day, you should appreciate your parents, just as you should women. It’s just a day chosen to try and appreciate women. Good intentions turned into a bad idea. The day doesn’t mean every other day is ‘International Straight White Man Day’. I believe everyone is equal, but people are turning a day of appreciation into another day of unequal rights.”

Women live in world where, yes, they should be appreciated every day and should get the recognition they deserve, however, they do not. Their achievements and advancements in every field are overlooked because of society’s view of women. One day out of 365 is not nearly enough recognition for women.

The fact that it is necessary for our society to feel the need to designate one day to recognize women for their amazing achievements sickens me. Why must there be a day set aside specifically to honor one group of people?

I am not saying that it is a bad thing that International Women’s Day is celebrated; however, I believe that setting aside an entire day in an attempt to prove that women are in fact equal to men, shows are that they are not.