Bad Genes: On Fertility and Disability Rights
Living with an unquiet mind is like living with a noisy, restless, anxious human who tugs on your sleeve for attention.
There are over forty million mentally ill people in the United States. I am one of them. To be crazy—to live, as I do, with an unquiet mind—in a culture that hates you for it is, in a sense, a minefield. Particularly when mental illness is not the only disability that inhabits your life. In this explosive-strewn landscape of disablism, you never quite know when you are going to step on something that will explode in your face.
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When you attribute someone’s evil actions to their mental health status rather than their actual root cause—like white supremacy—then that evil is no longer presented as a choice.
Disability ruins everything, these stories tell us: disability itself is tragedy. These people’s lives are over, apparently, even though they are palpably still here.
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You will remember, in fact, the first doctor who does ask, who says ‘is it okay if I put my hands here,’ gesturing, waiting for you to say ‘yes.’