Gender

Special Needs

Ableism is discrimination and social prejudice against people with disabilities or who are perceived to have disabilities. Ableism characterizes persons as defined by their disabilities and as inferior to the non-disabled. ~ Wikipedia

I made the mistake of reading comments on an Instagram post in favor of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. They were mostly positive. But, there was one naysayer who stood out for his initial lack of vitriol. He was just mildly snarky. But, it was like he had committed some heinous sin, instead of posting a disagreement rooted in ignorance.

He was immediately under attack. Mostly the responses remained as snarky comebacks. However, one of them made me cringe.

It sounds like your boss is good at hiring people with special needs.

I couldn’t scroll past without addressing it.

Back in the day, the insult used was, “retard,” frequently accompanied by a physically mocking action. Much like 45’s mocking actions regarding a reporter who experiences a physical disability.

Another one is, “riding the short bus.”

However you frame it, it’s showing a prejudice toward people with disabilities, especially intellectual ones.

How about how mental health challenges are referred to?

What are you, crazy?

Man, that was INSANE!

She’s so bipolar.

That one’s not right in the head.

Or the fact that so many movies and TV shows portray mental health patients as dangerous killers and all the shootings being reported as someone with mental illness, before an evaluation can be done?

The stigma and prejudices against people with physical, developmental, and mental disabilities is real and insidious. Just as we need to recognize, call out, and address racism, in all its forms, sexism, genderism, and sizism, we need to call out ableism.

It isn’t about political correctness, it’s about human rights.

For more on my perspective on ableism, go here.

Removing the gender bias from love

As I was scrolling through my facebook news feed and having an important conversation with a young friend via private message during my insomnia moments in the wee hours of the morning, I saw this picture quote from the Love and Inspiration page:

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I clicked “Like” and then immediately thought about the friend I was in conversation with, as well as the many others I have known throughout my life who identify with the LGBTQ community. I thought of all of the men and women I’ve known who have struggled with love in it’s various forms: romantic, filial/familial, and universal ~ Eros, Storge, and Agape. I thought of myself and the struggles I’ve had with Platonic love for many different people throughout my life.

I had to “unlike” the post.

I realized that it was biased, exclusionary, and hurtful to so many people in subtle and silent ways.

God is Love. God is not exclusionary. I can love others because God first loved me.

We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the savior of the world. If any of us confess that Jesus is God’s Son, God remains in us and we remain in God. We have known and have believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who remain in love remain in God and God remains in them. This is how love has been perfected in us, so that we can have confidence on the Judgment Day, because we are exactly the same as God is in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear expects punishment. The person who is afraid has not been made perfect in love. We love because God first loved us. If anyone says, I love God, and hates a brother or sister, he is a liar, because the person who doesn’t love a brother or sister who can be seen can’t love God, who can’t be seen. This commandment we have from him: Those who claim to love God ought to love their brother and sister also. ~ 1 John 4:14-21, Common English Bible

Each and every single human being is my brother or sister and we have all been created, male and female, in the likeness and image of God. Whether our physical bodies have more masculine genetic material or feminine genetic material, we all carry both types of genetic material in our DNA.

Then God said, “Let us make humanity in our image to resemble us … God created humanity in God’s own image, in the divine image God created them, male and female God created them. ~ Genesis 1:26a, 27, Common English Bible

Each and every translation listed here and here refers to the masculine and feminine plurality of God.

God is not gender biased in the Divine expression of love. The Divine nature of Love is all inclusive.

So should we be.

Love isn't about beauty or gender, it's about our souls and spirits.

Love isn’t about beauty or gender, it’s about our souls and spirits.