xander wrote:The problem with the word "normal" is that it does make explicit what "normal" is relative to. Normal people have jobs, get married, raise children, watch television, play computer games, and so on. When you refer to someone as "abnormal," there is a suggestion that they are incapable of participating in society in the way that a "normal" person would. Moreover, by claiming that someone is abnormal because they use a wheelchair or have autism, you are implicitly suggesting that the person is nothing more than their disability---you deny the entire range of human experience and replace it with a pigeonhole.
I completely agree with the first part, and am even willing to buy into the second part, but I do think it's a little exaggerated.
I did deduct his sisters existence to her being handicapped, because it was relevant to my question. How does her handicap influenced her state of happiness compared to before her being handicapped, in the case she was not handicapped before.
But this does not mean I denied her entire range of human experiences and only focused on here inability to be normal. Rather, I was comparing the entire range of human experiences being handicapped to the entire range of experiences not being handicapped. And referencing to the standard as normal people, and the non-standard experience implicitly as abnormal.
In my opinion I did not spoke of her looking trough a pigeonhole, but much rather had an altered vision of her existence, which I think is entirely justified because she does deviate in an abnormal way from how mainstream people experience there lives.
And let's be honest, putting her on a plateau in front of the stage also stresses she is "different" or abnormal, because other people don't get such a luxury. And the possible extra attention she will get from the performers also stresses her difference. And I believe, in many cases, from what I've heard, handicapped people rather be dealt with normal, and not be treated with pity or euphemisms.
"When you refer to someone as "abnormal," there is a suggestion that they are incapable of participating in society in the way that a "normal" person would."
And I fail to see what is false about this suggestion?
Because someone in a wheelchair probably has a live that deviates quite hefty from normal people, not to least the dependence such a person has on other people. Raising children will be a lot harder, or impossible on your own, at least at certain age phases. And finding jobs will be harder and getting married, I imagine will also be harder.
But so what if someone fails to meet the standard? I hardly see how this can be seen as a offence to someone.
On contrary, I would be inspired and admire her if what I had heard would hold true.