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Why am I listening to this disabilist crap? - helen-louise
Why am I listening to this disabilist crap?

10:50: Must not get annoyed with trainer who used the extremely disabilist phrase "as easy as riding a bike".

Yeah, riding a bike *might* be easy to learn for those of you with four fully-functioning limbs, eyes, & a good balance centre. It's not so easy for all of us. Some of us can get by with trikes or hand-cycles. Some of us can ride tandems with a sighted guide. Even then, not everyone can ride a cycle under their own power.

It's just hard to feel motivated that a task is "easy" when the example used is something that I, and a lot of other people, have never and will never be able to do :/

Edit: I know it's a common phrase. I don't know why it grated so hard, except that we were being told that something really difficult for me to do is "as easy as" something else that's IMPOSSIBLE for me to do :( Just felt like a kick in the teeth.

13:13: WTF? Trainer reckons that "you only see obstacles when you lose sight of your focus". Bullcrap!

The biggest obstacles I have in achieving my PhD are my health and my spoon level. I have to monitor these things CONSTANTLY so as to not collapse. Constant vigilance of my obstacles is what will ENABLE me to reach the goal.

Bullcrap, bullcrap, bullcrap.

This course appears to be designed for highly optimistic morning people who are motivated by blue-sky thinking. I prefer to keep my aspirations realistic.

Currently eating lunch & planning ways to avoid stabbing the trainer to death. The worst thing is, I think that she & her NLP bollocks are running the Time Management course I've booked in February.

Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.

Does anyone else find that LJ app inserts two blank lines everywhere you meant for there to be one? I always have to come back and edit my posts on the computer later so they don't take up an entire screen!

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Current Location: Camden Town, Tottenham Court Rd
Current Mood: pissed off pissed off

11 comments or Leave a comment
otterylexa From: otterylexa Date: 6th December 2011 20:40 (UTC) (Link)
Argh! I can see how the trainer could make the riding a bike comment, that's a common english idiom. But the rest just sounds patronising.
baratron From: baratron Date: 6th December 2011 21:23 (UTC) (Link)
I edited the deadjournal version when I posted it there because the DDOS was making me get no comments here. This is what I added:

I know it's a common phrase. I don't know why it grated so hard, except that we were being told that something really difficult for me to do is "as easy as" something else that's IMPOSSIBLE for me to do :( Just felt like a kick in the teeth.

I need to write more about this stupid course because it was, the more I think about it, disablist as HELL. I'm going to discuss it with my Disabled Students' Group tomorrow. If they feel like I do (i.e. that I'm not being unreasonable due to tiredness and PMS) then I'll try to figure out how to complain politely.
barakta From: barakta Date: 6th December 2011 23:13 (UTC) (Link)
Even if you don't complain you're entitled to feed back how it made you feel.

The bike analogy is difficult because I think there is a huge assumption that 'anyone' can ride a bike /eventually/. It was only last year Kim worked out why I could only ride a two-wheeler which was set too low for me - two differing length arms don't work well...

I don't think people appreciate the complex biomechanics involved in riding a bike and that invisible disabilities can make it impossible or very hard (or just plain dislocaty and painful). they see it as this thing you practice practice and then suddenly grok and never forget... Just like they're assuming the task they're analogising is also going to be easy for all people with a nondisabled/neurotypical-centrist view of the world.

Hope you get heard and work out more of meh in your head cos if you're anything like me that really helps managing to work through FAIL!
baratron From: baratron Date: 7th December 2011 00:13 (UTC) (Link)
The bike analogy was such a small part of it that it's only worth pointing out to people as a thing to watch out for - make sure that if you use that phrase, you also have several other examples that are inclusive for people of differing physical and learning abilities. I don't believe that Every Single Thing a person says needs to be inclusive, but the overall picture should be.

"As easy as falling off a log" is inclusive - ANYONE can fall off a log, even if you have no voluntary movement of your own - but I guess it wasn't positive enough for the corporate neuro-linguistic programming bullshit merchant. Ugh.

(See most recent post for much more).
lilairen From: lilairen Date: 7th December 2011 16:25 (UTC) (Link)
I recently watched an acquaintance with CP go through basically boke-riding boot camp for people with disabilities. It gave me an amazing appreciation of things that I don't get as a mostly-abled person.
johnckirk From: johnckirk Date: 6th December 2011 23:03 (UTC) (Link)
I'm actually a bit curious about what he meant with the bike comment. The normal analogy I've heard is that you never forget how to ride a bike once you've learned. However, when I learnt to ride a bike (without stablilisers) it involved falling off several times, and coping with the pain/betrayal ("You promised you wouldn't let go!") until I finally got the hang of it. I think balance bikes make it easier for kids nowadays, but that's a separate issue.

Given that you found this topic difficult, I wonder whether he meant "Come on, it's ridiculously easy, even a small child can do it" or whether he meant "I know it's difficult, but it will be worth the effort later".
baratron From: baratron Date: 7th December 2011 00:09 (UTC) (Link)
I think it was intended to be the "never forget", but honestly? The course was so damned ridiculous that I couldn't tell you for sure. (See latest post).
johnckirk From: johnckirk Date: 7th December 2011 00:15 (UTC) (Link)
Ah, yes, after reading your other post I'm less inclined to give your trainer the benefit of the doubt :/ Also, I now realise that I assumed your trainer was male even though you didn't actually specify a gender, so sorry about that; I wasn't aware I was doing it until I read the follow-up post.
baratron From: baratron Date: 7th December 2011 00:25 (UTC) (Link)
Heh. It's embarrassing when you catch yourself doing that, isn't it? I'm a feminist and a Woman In Science and all of that, and even then I'll catch myself sometimes having made the assumption that Dr A. Scientist on a paper is male, and being surprised when I see a photo of a woman or the name "Anne" :)

Brains are tricky things, and our unconscious gender assumptions were built into us from such an early age that it takes CONSTANT VIGILANCE to beat them out again.
firecat From: firecat Date: 7th December 2011 01:46 (UTC) (Link)
Phrases like "easy as riding a bike" or "it's only a few minutes' walk" feel like a kick in the teeth for me too. The fact that they are common also reminds me that it's common for people to assume that disability doesn't exist, so they bug me twice.

"you only see obstacles when you lose sight of your focus"

What does that even mean?

(I prefer not to be so focused I don't see obstacles, because I prefer not to trip over them.)

(Deleted comment)
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