Playing devil’s advocate today…
I recently gave a session on autoethnography and reflexive writing at Sheffield Hallam and I included several examples of autoethnography of my own. One example was some reflexion I had done during the Paralympics. Someone suggested I put it in a blog to encourage debate:
‘So the past month has been about planning, and watching the olympics and paralympics, which have really got me thinking about disabilities – in fact it is not about disability but all about ability. Even the language used is interesting – political correctness talks about people of restricted height for example, but paralympics talk about dwarfism. Language is much more direct, honest and matter of fact. Is PC for the benefit of the ‘inflicted’ or is it to make the public feel more empathetic to individuals’ feelings? Do we worry too much about upsetting people?
One amputee athlete regaled a story about a parent telling off his child for staring, but the athlete told the child to look as much as he wanted to, touch the stumps and ask questions. Perhaps avoiding acknowledgement of a condition and sugar coating its label is simply hiding it, making it more feared, more negative? Watching the swimming particularly has made me realise what can be achieved with a so-called ‘disability’. Perhaps it is those without ‘disabilities’ who are the unlucky ones!…’
Remember this reflexion was meant for private thoughts and when it was written was never going to be published. However, I think it is a useful ‘debate’ to put out there.
I look forward to your views – if you don’t want to put them on here for all to see – email me via my website www.challengeautism.co.uk It will be a topic covered during my reflexion of my thesis.
Back to the reading now for my Lit Review chapter.
Until next time…