Passing as Ethics
So, passing as ethics is a term I invented and I use it a lot. It’s at the core of a lot of the stuff I write. In retrospect, I wish I had said “passing as functioning” or “passing as cure” because I think that would be more inclusive and cover more ground. Originally I thought that passing as ethics only happened to people with autism, but as I learned more I found out that it was more pervasive than I could ever have imagined.
Here are some passing as ethics values. I’m mostly writing this as if a professional is saying it, but disabled people can totally feel most of this stuff about themselves and I certainly did for a long time. I think it’s a very basic part of life for most people.
1. It is better for a person with a physical disability to walk without any visible mobility aids than it is to use a wheelchair, crutches, or cane--even if the person finds it painful or tiring to walk unaided, and/or is danger of falling.
2. If someone’s disability causes them to have an unusual gait, this is a problem, and it would be an improvement if their gait could be changed to look more normal, even if this didn’t make the person walk any faster or more easily.
3. Habits that mark someone as a person with an intellectual disability or autism, such as flapping hands, are inherently bad, and people who do them should be trained not to do them.
4. If there is a conflict between someone with autism and someone without autism, it’s the person with autism’s fault. If a person with autism gets bullied, this is evidence of why #3 is true; if no one had been able to tell they had autism, this wouldn’t have happened.
5. If someone misunderstands a person with autism, it is because the person with autism didn’t express themselves right.
6. Deaf and hard-of-hearing people should learn to lip-read. Hearing people need not learn sign language.
7. So basically, people with disabilities should always try to communicate in a way that is comfortable for people without disabilities, even if it makes the people with disabilities uncomfortable
8. To sum up, any habit, style of movement, facial expression, interest, feeling, word choice, way of pronouncing words, way of sitting, way of communicating, okay you get the idea, that is commonly associated with disabled people is
a. the opposite of success, and must be destroyed to improve someone’s “functioning”
b. morally wrong in some cases--that is, the person who is doing the behavior that’s associated with disability becomes automatically wrong in any conflict
9. If someone who used to look like they had a disability now doesn’t look like they have a disability (to most people), then they are recovered/cured (no matter how negatively it affects them to hide their disability, and no matter how many less visible aspects of their disability continue to affect them).
10. Don’t kill yourself after reading #1-9 because people will just think you killed yourself because it was so depressing to be disabled.