Tuesday, 21 February 2017

The Social Model of Dis-Abling

When I first heard about the social model of disability, I was agahst about emphatic nature of those asserting it. The social model of disability is that disabled people are disabled only by society's lack of acknowledgement of their needs, rather than their actual impairments*.

The medical model of disability views disability purely in diagnostic terms, seeing that as the primary cause of the person's difficulties. The social model clearly had a profoundly liberating effect on many disabled people, freeing them from having a burden unforeseen by people like me. The medical model, probably unwittingly dumped the burden of society's neglect of their needs on individual people.

It took the social model for me to realise this.

Subsequently activists and others have found its limitations for themsevles, this doesn't invalidate the positive.

When I came to the fatsphere especially, I said that it was not fat acceptance that was radical or extreme, it was the 'obesity' cult that was outré. What everyone fears about extremists, that they'll set the defining standard, is exactly what 'obesity' cultists and food faddists have managed to do.

The 'obesity' industry's increasing promotion of gastrectomy has presented another surprise.

Gastrectomy disables healthy function to bring about its effects, not as collateral damage for something theraputic.

By this it establishes a notion of disability as healthier state than able-bodied.

As this conclusion is the product of social disapproval, it validates a premise in the social model of disability. That real disability isn't your function, it's in other people's attitude to it.  

* Impairment is a term used by Karen Hitchcock to refer to weight "....no drug can fix the functional impairment of being obese". Though she vociferously refutes the favoured lie that 'obesity' is disease. 

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