Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Recommended Reading

I just stumbled across this article written by a woman with a mysterious chronic illness who is haunted by the concept of laziness. If you need a fine example of how this concept harms people, read up.

I'm Chronically Ill and Afraid of Being Lazy

It's said that the disabled are the largest stigmatized population of which any person can become a member at any time. This frequently comes to mind when I see people on social media speak with a certain amount of pride about hustling so hard that they haven't slept more than a few hours in a week. When I see women that I admire scoff at the idea of self-care, I shrink because I'm often reading their words on my phone while lying in bed, engaging in the most intense self-care that I can manage.

Esmé Weijun Wang experiences frequent fever, pain, nausea, and fatigue so intense it has a severe effect on her memory. This comes after years of priding herself in how far she could push, getting up at 4 am to do work before going to work - shit I'd never do despite being able-bodied and generally physically healthy.

Yet she lost her disability benefits because she dared to express joy.

Compounding my shame is the private investigator sent after me last fall by my insurance company—a common practice in disability benefits cases—who reported that I was seen "smiling and laughing" after a doctor's appointment, clearly a sign that all was well and good. Surely, then, I could be making myself useful. My disability benefits were pulled last September. I was horrified by the outcome, but, laughably, too ill to fight the ruling.

Ridiculous ableism and the widespread myth that many people fake sick to scam the government out of disability benefits because they're just that "lazy" lost Wang her disability benefits, which she clearly needs and deserves. Thanks, capitalism. The obsession with productivity combined with laziness hysteria has fucked over yet another.

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