Sunday, July 11, 2010

Disability and Femininity?

When you think of the word "disability," what do you normally think about? Maybe you think about a person who is suffering physical disorder, like a person who must use crutches, a wheelchair, maybe a walking-stick. Maybe you think about a person who suffers from a mental disorder, such as mental retardation. Maybe you thought about someone who may have health issues, like Asthma, or some sort of allergy. However, do you ever think about someone who just can't do a task that someone of the same or other sex can perform? For example, when you see a boy throw a ball, and it seems to be different in the eyes of someone looking at a regular boy who can actually throw a ball, and you label that boy "oh he throws like a girl" (think about the movie The Sandlot, where Ham Porter challenges an older group of boys in a baseball game by saying to them "well you play baseball like a girl!" Obviously many people may look at this and laugh. This is the type of stuff that I can admit I said when I was growing up, just to entice someone to play a little stronger, a little better, or just to light a fire under them. Of course, this may be classified as a disability from a gender perspective, by comparing femininity to disabilities. This may be hard to believe, because everyday there seems to be some sort of comparison between men where someone would say, "You play like a sissy" or "quit acting like a girl" and so on. While I am not trying to change anyone's thought process when thinking about disabilities, it is important to take with you the fact that classifying someone's inability to perform at a sport or perform at a task that is more natural for them to perform in does not require anyone, a player, a coach, or a parent to tell them that they are playing like a girl. Just a thought.

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