I am not feeling my best today. Part of it is because my depression is kicking me around and laying me down. Part of it is some form of mental exhaustion which I'm not sure whether to attribute to my depression, or reading too much, or just staring at the computer too much.
I was inspired today by Feminists with Disabilities (cunningly, cleverly shortened to "FWD", ha!) to write a post about steampunk and how disablism would intersect in the subculture. I could find examples of steampunk wheelchairs (mostly of Dr. Loveless from the movie Wild Wild West) but I guess, no one's really thought about it.
Or rather, they have but just as another awesome thing to steampunk up, which sounds awfully unsettling to me, as if the wheelchair is just a prop, rather than an actual tool to aid mobility.
I had to pause though, and wonder whether it was worthwhile writing about disability issues within steampunk. There aren't a lot of visibly-disabled people in steampunk, are there? But even if there weren't in my limited sphere of knowledge, that doesn't mean there aren't any, and even one steampunk with disabilities would make it worthwhile to think about the issue.
At the same time, I have this nasty prickly little feeling inside me which tells me, "what right do you have to write about this issue? You're perfectly able-bodied. You're so able-bodied you've been holding write-ins at the Paperchase Cafe for years. It's not like you've ever done anything to be a good ally to people with disabilities."
The horrible thing is that the voice is right.
I'm wondering though, if it would be worse if I let the voice hold me back. That I have to wonder is, I think, pretty bad. Able-bodied people can talk about disability issues, and do, all the time. I'll probably fuck up at some point, but that happens, right?
So my conclusion is, to let that voice hold me back from being an ally would be even more horrible.
I've made it a point to remind people with privilege to stand up for those without privilege where they can, because every drop counts. It was be ridiculous, not to mention hypocritical, if I didn't do the same.
I better go do something useful.
ETA: I just noticed I was linked at FWD so some of you may be coming from there, and I just wanted to say I totally wrote the post. Callouts on any Fail are welcome.