“Anything with less than 8 limbs is considered disabled here”
(Rick and Morty).
This quote highlights that being called ‘Disabled’ might be a surprisingly malleable concept.
Prior to watching this cartoon episode, I would not have thought of people with two functional arms and two functional legs to be considered visibly handicapped in any context. However, If it was a frequent recurrence for entities to have at least eight limbs, then I can understand how two-armed, two-legged entities could be disadvantaged.
If more of humanity understood the malleability of the term disabled, would humans be more empathetic towards bodies that don’t fit the current social standards? Could we stop shaming bodies for not fitting specific requirements?
Disabled bodies are often devalued or left unrecognized or misunderstood. These bodies are often shamed and stigmatized for not being at a “normal” level of functionality. But their are plenty of disabled bodies who can and do contribute a lot to society.
Disability is not a black-white (able-disable) separation; there is lots of gray area. For example, there are levels of blindness, levels of deafness, levels of social inadequacy. Being gay was considered a mental illness, until fairly recently. I think Disability is a term that attempts to categorizing people who aren’t fitting in correctly with the society’s expectations. If all of society was blind, take moths for example, then blindness wouldn’t be a disability, it would just be how society experiences the world.
In conclusion, disabled bodies deserve respect and recognition.