Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Spoonie comments

My previous post got what I think is the biggest response I've had to my blog ever.  Or at least in a long time.  15 comments here on the blog and at least as many others commenting on twitter.  I knew posting something titled "Why I'm Going Off The Term Spoonie" would stir people up but I didn't expect that.

I've been really loving reading the responses and seeing all the different points of view.  Especially the ones that made me think.  I think I probably need to write something else now I've had the chance to talk to so many others and also to discover that my views on the use of the term aren't as unusual as I thought.  In a bunch of my friends I'm known as the one who says what everyone else was thinking but wouldn't dare say.  It appears by posting this I may have done something very similar - almost exposed the "dirty little secret" of my little corner of the internet.  All in all I've seen one person say the post made them very sad and only one person had a particularly negative reaction to it.  Ironically said person admitted they hadn't read the post on this blog and were just going by the discussion on twitter.  Unfortunately that got a little heated, but you know what? It's no big deal, it's only the internet.

I think the key points that have come up for me in this discussion (or at least until I get the time to write and think more) are:

The Spoon Theory is a useful tool for a lot of people but fewer people in my circle see it as part of thier identity or culture than it would at first appear.  Equally the majority of people do recognise that it doesn't work for all conditions.

It's medical model based if you go by such things as models of disability.  When I read the comment in which One Off Dave said that it was a bit of a facepalm moment for me.  If you haven't read my original entry and don't want to read any more of this, basically that one thing can be used to sum up everything I said. 

 I personally am much more social model orientated when it comes to my CP (I've not considered models of disability and my depression but my initial feeling is that may be more medical model) - the social model states that it's not our medical conditions which cause our disabilities but the barriers put in place by society.  For example, if an event is upstairs and there's a lift then there's no barrier to me getting to it and taking part and my disabilities aren't a huge consideration.  If there isn't a lift or it's broken then it's a barrier in my way and my disabilities stop me taking part.

I also wonder if the medical model aspects are inherent because it was written by a woman with an acquired illness rather than a disability lifelong or otherwise.  Perhaps the medical model aspects are why it works so well for so many people.  Because they view themselves as ill rather than disabled.  That's not necessarily a bad thing even if it's what puts me off.  I am now wondering if a social model based analogy could be written but I really don't think I could do it and I'm not sure it would be a good idea even if I could!

Going back to the "making me think" category, Incurable Hippie posted a link to Cutefying Disability by S.E. Smith.  Well worth a read and some brilliant points relevant to this debate and covering other terms used to identify us as disabled people which are becoming part of our culture and the culture of society as a whole.

Finally, Kali made the very much needed point that it's good that we have these debates but it's even better that we have them and for the most part can do so calmly and agree to disagree where needed.  We are much stronger united than we are apart.

3 comments:

funkyflower said...

aaah, but some conditions don't allow us to separate the medical and social models into such a black and white situation. If i don't have enough spoons do something, that's it, it IS the illness/disability/circumstance that is limiting my activities. being wheeled out in a recumbant bubble of silence and low light is just fantasy and how much would I gain from such a thing anyway? I KNOW that access can be limiting when the spoons aren't the issue. so yeah no one modelsbe it the spoon theory, social or medical can encompass the diversity of living the reality of our lives

Emma said...

Can we at least rule out the charity model as being useless, horrible and generally crap? ;-) That said you make a very good point about diversity.

Stinky said...

here from ICLW
Had never heard of 'spoonie' at all( so its more about activity analysis and energy conservation?), but I'm with you on that social model of disability. Was just trying to describe this to someone else, there's a global understanding that this means adding ramps to your shop and thats it (thats the DDA in the UK though, I think that kinda limped in over here too, although not down wit' da lit).

I'm hearing what you say also about whether a disability is acquired or from birth.

Liking what I'm reading here

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