Editorial: The World Is Ableist!


Dear reader,

Please take a break from the serious issue of terrorism from above. Let’s talk about another, equally serious issue, of ableism in society.

Between January 2, when I jumped in a way I was taught not to during bouldering and dislocated my elbow, and January 7, when I woke up and had an uncontrollable urge to take a pair of scissors to my cast and break free – and then acting on said urge – I’ve had a brief period of disability.

“Hold on, Hattie, don’t you mean ‘differently-abled’?” Um, no, I was abled, and then one of my arms was literally disabled due to an injury, you privileged oppressor!

Anyhow, this injury of mine has opened my eyes to many new perspectives in life. Not just the drug-infused beautiful things, but also the ugly injustices that disabled people face on a day-to-day life.

It all started when I tried to sleep in the wee hours of morning after I came home from the ER. That’s when I realized that my body is no longer symmetrical, and it would be impossible to feel just as comfortable sleeping on my left side as on my right. That’s unjust for my left side!

The next day, I had to go outside for, well, life. After two hours, I had finally put on a shirt, some pants, and shoes. I had to give up trying to tie my shoes, of course, and that made me feel more juvenile than a turtle. Then I had to put on a jacket. Guess what? It takes two fucking hands to zip up a zipper! Like, really, it’s 2014 and you still need two hands to put on a winter jacket? It’s a human right to survive the Canadian winter, and people with one working arm have the same right!

Here are some other things you don’t think about when you’re fully abled with two arms:

  1. Washing dishes. I had to pile up dishes for five days straight. My sink got too full, so I had to store some in my bath-tub, which I decided was a better idea than the toilet bowl.
  2. Tying up my hair. It’s been four days since I washed my hair, so I wanted to get my hair out of the vicinity of my nose…and I couldn’t do it. I contemplated just shaving my head since I can probably use a razor with one hand, and then I remembered I can’t sweep the floor with one hand.
  3. Typing. All those computer engineers should really design keyboards that can be detached in two halves so each can be placed where the hand is comfortable.
  4. Phones. My 4.7” phone is too big for my one hand to hold AND press buttons for Clash of Clans. Seriously, phones should be able to be controlled with minimum effort, such as only one finger, or just a brainwave. The lack of such technology is unacceptable.

My injury has left me with an arm that can bend between 1 and 2 radians, and a heart full of justice for the disabled. I hope everyone hurts their arm someday; the world would be a much better and understanding place.