09 December, 2010

Failure Theory

If queer theory is seeing that everything is sort of queer, then failure theory is seeing that we are all failures in our own way. If you have a disability and everyone is always saying how mild it is, or if they don't see you as disabled at all, then there is a strong sense of being a failure if you can't live up to the person they read you as. Alternately, if people think you are helpless and try to control you, then you'll feel like you have to prove yourself perfectly competent--which of course no one is. Sometimes one person has both of these experiences. Either way there's a constant sense: I can't do that, I'd be a failure. Or I already am but people will know. I'll be proving them right/disappointing them. If I am a failure (and being a failure can be as easy as failing one class in college, or using a cane, or not being able to drive) then my life is not worth living.

I actually can drive and I've never failed a class (and I'm not mobility impaired so the cane thing isn't applicable). But I'm a failure. I can feel it when I wake up in the morning. I can feel it in my throat and my ears and eyelids. I've known I am a failure for maybe ten years.

Constantly I feel I am wasting resources, devouring my friends, taking time. I know from other failures that this will always be true. I could become president and still be a failure. Failure is just who I am.

Fuck yeah failure?


I don't know much about crip theory but the name sounds like I'm not included--which is fine. I think there are different kinds of disability experience and this one belongs to me and some other people.

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