A note about The Deviated Norm

This here is a low traffic blog on topics close to my heart. As such, comments and engagement on old posts are always welcome and will be responded to. Except! for comments on old posts telling me to lighten up, not take things so seriously, or let things go, 'cause that shit's just plain ironic. Those comments will get a suggestion to visit Derailing for Dummies.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

It makes me feel ill...

When I started this blog, I assumed that I would primarily write about the communities that I'm a part of. It felt presumptive to try to write about racism, able-bodiedism, and classism (if I'm forgetting any, I'm of course sorry, but more importantly would like to hear about it). Though I try to be an ally to these communities, I never want to put myself out there as being able to speak for them.

But I'm sick of this. I'm sick of reading about an unarmed, black, 73-year-old-cancer-surivor shot dead by police (in Louisiana). And I'm sick of this: Police in Tenaha, Texas pulling over black drivers in order to extort money, jewelry, cars, cellphones, and anything that looks valuable, from them. I'm sick of black men being shot in the back while handcuffed and on the ground (in California). *

But more than I'm sick about reading about these things, I'm sick of only reading about them on one blog, only hearing about them for a day in the news (if at all). I'm sick of knowing that 1 in 3 missing/kidnapped children are black, but the media reports on them only a fifth of the time (Missing Children in the News).

It was a mistake to not make a commitment to blog about the discrimination that other communities face. It was a mistake that I am going to try to rectify from here on out.** I cannot and will not speak for others, but I can try to draw attention to oppression as it happens around me. Please, if you have a blog, friends, family, a zine, or really any way to communicate with others, Let Them Know what is happening.

*Please go to Pam's House Blend for the complete Louisiana article and story. No seriously, go. And go here for the Texas article. And here for the California article.

**In that vein, please, please, send me suggestions for blogs. At the moment, my regular blog list is primarily composed of blogs devoted to atheism, queer communities, feminism, and one or two about racial privilege.


  1. You forgot Audism (the oppression of Deaf people)! While some might classify this as "able-bodieism", many Deaf people don't consider themselves as having a disability. The classification of Audism under able-bodieism might actually be an interesting thing to explore; while the oppression/discrimination that Deaf people face might be due to concerns that they are not capable (thus classifying it as able-bodieism), the Deaf community might view their oppression differently (as something distinct, but perhaps related).

    There's a movie about Audism, called "Audism Unveiled"; you should watch it if you get the chance!

  2. Hmm...
    That's really interesting. A point I want to make about that is that many activists who are denied able-bodied privilege don't think of themselves as specifically having a disability, but having a difference that is so frequently misunderstood in our society that their different needs are rarely taken into accounting. (Or at least that is one reading I have seen).
    For example: If most people on earth were in wheel chairs, people who aren't on wheels would be abnormal, and as such, being in a wheel chair would hardly be considered a "disability". All buildings would be designed with the wider doors, ramps and elevators that make them accessible, etc.
    Or, if some (majority) segment of the population developed the ability to cling to the sides of things-like lizards, insects, and many other animals do-the walking population would suddenly be "disabled". As such, it would be considered an "accessibility" issue to have doors placed at the ground floor, instead of a "normal" architectual design.

    Similarly, I assume that much of the cause of oppression of the Deaf community would be in relation to the fact that the majority Hearing population does not equally assume Deafness as we do Hearingness (that isn't a word, oh well, fuck it).

    I wonder if the desire in the Deaf community to distance itself from the disabled community (by establishing a separate/separate and related oppression) is a symptom of able-bodiedism, or if I am just being blinded by my own Audism.

    Thanks Anon!

  3. The main point of able-bodiedism seems to be that if someone's body doesn't fit society's vision of "normal," they are viewed as "lacking." Using this definition, Audism often is a result of able-bodiedism, but much of the discrimination faced by the Deaf community cannot be understood through that lens. One of the things you seem to be overlooking, E., is that when Deaf people face discrimination, it is often as much a product of language difference, as of body difference. In this way, discrimination faced by the Deaf community (i.e. lack of translators, assumption of English comprehension/speaking capability, etc.) shares more with the experience of someone who doesn't speak English trying to go to the doctor, and not being able to speak to them, than someone in a wheelchair trying to go and not being able to get in the door.


  4. Hmm...
    Ok. In this case, I think I'd tend towards an intersectional view of it, so what do you think that other oppression would be? (The one that affects people regardless of what language they speak, so long as it is not the dominant one).

  5. darling, I can only think of one word in response to your post:



Comments that do not directly relate to points made in either the post itself or the comments of that post will be subject to deletion. So will comments that use an oppressed status as an insult (ie, racist comments, ableist comments, sexist comments, etc.)

If you have a problem with having your comment deleted, you may email me at thedeviatednorm@gmail.com
I make no promises on whether you will receive a response.

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