Words are very powerful. They have enormous power to convey with a purpose of insult which may have a devastating impact. The most astonishing characteristics about words is they can mean completely different from one person to another person. In Nancy Mairs, "On Being a Cripple" she uses the words cripple to describe herself. Nancy is a powerful women who insist that this word is her choice and a way of accepting the fact of her disables. She has multiple sclerosis. In the essay she describes the struggles of her condition and knows that it causes her to have limitation in everyday societal procedures. She blunt choice of word to describe only herself and no other. After reading her essay, the word "Cripple" is neither informal, accurate, nor realistic. It is derived from the Old English word cripple, to crawl, and is considered offensive. I define the term for being
Waist High In the World is a novel that focuses on the importance of accepting everyone with dignity and respect despite their disabilities and differences. The author of the book, Nancy Mairs purpose when writing the book was to create awareness and share her experience as a “cripple” in order to create consciousness and understanding of those who are going through the same process. Mairs uses different persuasive strategies to convince readers to want a world with people like her in it, this includes the use of pathos, logos and ethos.
Nancy Mairs, a feminist writer who has Multiple Sclerosis, defines the terms in which she interest the most with the world. Nancy Mairs will name herself a cripple and not be by others. She will choose a word that represents her reality for example in the beginning of her story she mentioned about her being in the bathroom trying to come up with a story about cripples. She was in the handicap bathroom and when she tried to open the door she fell, landing fully clothed on the toilet seat with her legs splayed in front of her and she said “the old beetle -on-it’s back routine.”
In this essay Nancy Mairs presents herself as someone who is crippled. Out of many others possibilities of names to be called Mairs states that she prefers being called "crippled" because it is more straightforward and precise. In addition she states that she would like to be seen as a tough person whom fate/gods have not been kind to. The word "crippled" also evokes emotion from people which is also what she would like. Furthermore Nancy Mairs does not like other words such as "disabled" or "handicapped" to be used as a description her.
And if “Had anyone been there with her, she’d have been still and faint and hot with chagrin, (Mairs 259).” Instead of pitying herself, Mairs is able joke about her hardships in her day-to-day life despite having physical incapabilities. She then continues with a steady, yet uplifting tone as she explains the reasoning behind why she labels herself as a “cripple”, stating that it is a “clean word, straightforward, and precise, (Mairs 260).” She believes that words like “disabled” or “handicapped” are words that are “moving [her] away from her condition, to be widening the gap between word and reality, (Mairs 260).” By using these euphemisms for her condition, people tend to view her as something she isn 't.
Murphy lacks mobility and sensation in his lower body other than the feeling of occasional muscle spasms, and has limited movement in his upper body below the neck including his arms. Murphy writes the story as it recounts events throughout his entire life, from childhood onwards. He was sixty-two when he wrote the novel. The story provides Murphy’s anthropological commentary on the life of a person with a disability and how society views and treats people with disabilities (Murphy, 1990). Murphy’s performance patterns both support and inhibit his occupational engagement.
When people hear handicap they think not able to care for themselves. Nancy wants to be known as a tough individual able to take care of herself. The reader can feel the agony of what Nancy is feeling. The tone of this passage is determination and agony. Nancy feels that cripple is more stronger word than “handicap” or ‘disabled.”
In “The Social Construction of Disability,” Susan Wendell briefly discusses how the fast pace of American life impacts the social construction of disability through an inability for people with “disabilities” to maintain expectations of a high-performance level. Wendell also claims that the pace of life causes disability in many people’s lives, but quickly moves on to another topic, referencing chapter four of Barbara Hillyer’s Feminism and Disability in the footnotes as a place for more information on this argument. In Hillyer’s chapter “Productivity and Pace,” she writes to the feminist and disability communities, analyzing how the pace of life affects them both in similar ways. Through an analysis of how people with disabilities are forced to set their own daily pace, Hillyer hopes to encourage others to learn about the necessity of slowing down.
“2.2 million people in the United States depend on a wheelchair for day-to-day tasks and mobility. 6.5 million people use a cane, a walker, or crutches to assist with their mobility”. Every single day, people varying in ages, struggle to live their lives due to conditions out of their control. Whether it be life threatening or not, it can have effects that are both socially and emotionally harming. Although some of them may change appearances on the outside, other people cannot forget that all people, not matter the disability, have brains and personalities of their own that may not be seen to the human eye.
At the end of her chapter, “Body in Trouble”, Nancy Mairs notes that all too often individuals with physical disabilities are excluded from moral life. In her words, she says “people don’t generally expect much of a cripple’s character” and describes the difficulty of helping in normal charitable activities (such as serving at a soup kitchen). Mairs is realistic about her ability to contribute to certain charitable activities—she cannot chop vegetables or scrub dishes. If a life of service is a Christian calling, like the church affirms, how can we expand our idea of what “service” is so that all people can engage with it? What ways can those with disabilities provide care for non-disabled people, so that the direction does not strictly flow
Deafness being related to culture and deafness which relates to the ability to hear. It was interesting to read about the dichotomy between Deaf and deaf and how it affects the way Deaf people view disability. The connotation a deaf person holds behind big D and little d Deaf may reflect the way a deaf person views disability. Corker points out that the way a deaf person signs “disabled”, “disability”, and other words related to disability can show their views toward disability. She questions if some of the signs like “cripple” are intended to put social distance between Deaf and disabled people.
Individuals, who suffer from any type of disabilities, sadly live a different life due the societal stigma attached to it. The film When Billy Broke His Head and the reading Deaf Matters Compulsory Hearing and Ability Trouble both illustrate the hardships and struggles disabled individuals go through as a result of stereotypical misconceptions created by the media and the larger society. Firstly, exemplified in the media through a portrayal of disheartened characteristics like constant anger and bitterness about life, a misconception of an unapproachable individual starts to become produced. Through a continuous loop of negative illustrations of disability, an unawareness and lack of knowledge about certain disabilities, a stigma of this unfamiliar
In The Disabled God, Nancy Eiesland articulates a persistent thread in the Christian tradition concerning how persons with disabilities are viewed. All too often, she notes, they are seen as either “divinely blessed or damned: the defiled evildoer or the spiritual superhero.” These polarizing portrayals do not emerge out of thin air, but rather can be linked to various texts in the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament which have helped form prevalent attitudes and assumptions regarding disabilities. John Hull’s “Open Letter from a Blind Disciple to a Sighted Savior” exposes the danger of interpreting Biblical texts without consideration for how those interpretations impact persons with disabilities. One example of this is when Hull takes issue with Jesus’ use of metaphors to diminish those with disabilities, a trend which often continues into the present day: