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  • Hello lovely people, it’s me again, wading in with another highly-demonetisable video-

  • this time were talking about whether it’s ever okay to talk over a marginalised person.

  • In case we are demonetised...

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  • are super mild. [bell sfx]

  • - I never even swear, YouTube!

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  • Today were going to be talking about rights and language. Who has the rights to talk in

  • certain situations and who has the right to decide when language is offensive?

  • This video was sparked by a comment I was asked on my Twitter- which you can find a

  • link to below: @jessicaootc (which is the shortening of my instagram handle @jessicaoutofthecloset):

  • Is it ever okay for an ablebodied person to speak over a disabled person?

  • To which my unpopular opinion is

  • yes.

  • Yes, in some cases it is.

  • Don’t come for me just yet! Wait until the end of the video to get angry, I do have a

  • point here, promise.

  • Firstly, what is a marginalised group?

  • Marginalisationsometimes also called social exclusionrefers to the relegation

  • to the fringes of society due to a lack of access to rights, resources, and opportunities

  • that are normally available to members of a different group. This may be due to a person’s

  • social class, lack of education, disability, race, religion, sexuality or appearance. Bear

  • in mind that a group doesn’t need to be in the minority to be marginalised. In mid

  • 19th century Russia, serfs made up the majority of the population but were the most oppressed.

  • To my mind however, the issue of grouping people together is in itself problematic because

  • as human beings no two of us are the same.

  • I fall into the LGBTQ+ group, right?

  • I’m a gay, homosexual, rainbow blooded, lady-loving, in it for the long-run lesbian.

  • I can talk about women-loving-women issues until the cows come home! BUT, does that give

  • me the authority to talk over gay men on an issue that affects men who love men?

  • No.

  • Does that give me the right to speak over a trans person on issues about gender?

  • Definitely not!

  • Equally, do I, as a white person, have the right to talk over a person of colour about racism?

  • 100% no.

  • I think were all agreed on these points, right? Seems pretty obvious and easy to grasp.

  • If it’s not your lane, stay out of it!

  • Buuuutthat’s very simplified.

  • Take as an example a homeless gay teenager. Who is better able to speak to what would help

  • them whilst theyre living on the streets: a straight person who was once homeless or

  • a gay person who has never been homeless?

  • There are many intersections in our lived experiences. No one else on Earth has ever

  • nor will ever live the exact copy of your life. Think about the parts of you that make

  • up your identity: from the colour of your skin to your taste in music to the friend

  • group you had when you were five. It’s easiest to see when you have siblings: they largely

  • share your genes and were raised by the same people but how incredibly different are you?

  • I'm very different from my brother.

  • He doesn't like small dogs!

  • Weirdo.

  • So, people are different but can still be grouped into some of the same loose boxes.

  • Or circles.

  • Were pretty much all amazingly complex ven diagrams that occassionally knock against

  • or overlap other people and then smack each other around in a colourful rush of confetti.

  • I have an issue however when we start to considerdisabledas a group that can beeasily

  • lobbed into one circle.

  • It’s tosh.

  • [bell sfx]

  • As with the example I gave of the homeless LGBT teenager, there is always going to be

  • difficulty in discerning who has the right to speak in a situation where a person cannot

  • speak for themselves-

  • And bycannot’ I mean either literally can’t or, as in that case, is deemed by

  • law to be unable to due to age or a range of other factors.

  • To my mind: does being disabled allow you to speak for

  • all disabled people on alldisability issues’...?

  • Not in the slightest.

  • I am fully aware that I in no way speak for more people than just myself. These are my

  • thoughts, this channel is just my feelings so please bear that in mind whilst watching.

  • - Just because I don’t like something does not in any way mean I am casting a value judgement

  • on whether something should annoy you in the same way or not.

  • As I see it, the labeldisabledis drastically unlike the labellesbian’. To break it

  • down: it’s the difference between cats and dogs. And yes, I’m using cats to symbolise

  • lesbians. Some cliches are true people!

  • - not for me, actually, I’m really allergic to cats and also slightly terrified of them.

  • I’ll hold a tarantula before I stroke a cat.

  • - it smells my fear and it’s coming for me, okay?!

  • - the spider won’t kill me but the cat might!

  • … I’m aware some spiders can actually kill people. But I live in England, I’m

  • surrounded by ninja cats.

  • Moving away from my feline fears

  • Lesbians are like cats because they come in different colours but theyre all pretty

  • much the same: women who love women. Sure, there are some outlyer ones but are they really

  • that different? Also there are some people that pretty much all lesbians love.

  • Like cat people.

  • Disability howeverwell, it’s INCREDIBLY varied. A St Bernard and a Chihuahua are not

  • the same. They don’t experience life in the same way.

  • Although yes, they are both dogs.

  • I talked earlier about how all humans are individual but within the realm of disability

  • that can be even more stark.

  • There are so many different types of disability that being a disabled person does not give

  • you the right or the ability to talk over other disabled people about issues that affect

  • them. Take for instance the straw ban. I made a video about why the straw ban is harmful

  • for disabled people. There were a number of comments that said

  • well, I’m disabled

  • and I don’t need straws so you can’t say thator

  • ‘I’m disabled and I use paper

  • straws so everyone else should do the same.’

  • Eugh!

  • This, my friend, is a false equivalency.

  • A person who is disabled by only having one leg does not necessarily understand the life

  • of a person who is disabled by only having one hand. A person who is disabled by a mental

  • health problem does not necessarily understand someone who has a learning disability.

  • It's an incredibly complex and nuanced group of people.

  • Which I’m now going to make even more complex by bringing in non-disabled people

  • who CAN speak to a problem.

  • You're welcome.

  • There is a group of people within the disabled community who ARE voiceless and NEED someone

  • else to speak for them- not because theyre invalidated by society but because they are

  • unable to express themselves. In the case of a person with a severe learning disability

  • say, who is better able to speak to their needs: a disabled person with a different

  • disability or the able-bodied person who cares for them every day?

  • Now, this is in no way to say that parents of disabled children should be allowed to

  • silence the voices of the community their child is a part of- neurotypical parents of

  • autistic children do not get to shut down autistic adults and they do not always have

  • the right to the spaces carved out for those people.

  • What I’m talking about here is a knowledge base. Particularly when an argument is occurring

  • and no people with first hand experience are available to stand for their side. The person

  • with greater knowledge of the subject as lived, I would say, has the upper hand, regardless

  • of whether they are disabled or not.

  • Please note I saidas lived’. That’s to exclude health care professionals.

  • Now, I’m British, so I’m all for doctors

  • - rah, rah!

  • - theyre employed by the NHS, theyre not actually making oodles of money and theyre

  • all trying to do their best.

  • BUT. And correct me if you think I’m wrong

  • The expert in my condition may have worked and studied for 50 years to try and understand

  • it but I’m 30 and I will always know more. You know why? Because she gets to go home

  • in the evening. She gets to switch off. She can live her life without thinking about it.

  • But I can’t. For me it is every second of every day.

  • And if youre the able-bodied full-time carer for someone then you can also be living

  • that condition every second of every day. Not to the extent that you can speak over

  • that person if they are able to voice themselves and not to the degree that you can hush someone

  • with the same condition but you have that knowledge.

  • Being disabled doesn't make you suddenly knowledgeable on all aspects of disabilities.

  • "I'm disabled and I don't use straws" is all well and good but adding

  • "so no disabled person

  • needs straws" is clearly ridiculous.

  • If there is a non-disabled person present with first hand experience of a particular

  • aspect of disability that the disabled person does not know about then I think it's perfectly

  • appropriate to voice that.

  • A person born with only one hand might not need to use ramps, but do they then have the

  • right to argue that there should be no ramps at all? Clearly not. Should a non-disabled

  • person who cares for a ramp user (eg. a spouse/sibling) be allowed to argue back that ramps should

  • stay? Definitely!

  • Although the person with first hand experience of using the ramp should

  • be allowed to speak first, if they are not there when the argument is taking place then

  • I certainly feel that it is entirely appropriate for the non-disabled person to argue their point.

  • Look.

  • Policing each other will always be unhelpful but so will allowing people to speak on things

  • they have no knowledge about.

  • That’s my two-cents. [bell sfx]

  • I’m intrigued to see whether my fear of cats is actually the real hot-take in this video.

  • I hope I used that term right. I’m not great at internet slang. I’m secretly your grandmother.

  • Hello sweetheart.

  • Thank you for watching all the way to the end. You get sweeties for that because clearly

  • that’s what grandparents are for.

  • Let me know what you think in the comments. Please subscribe if you haven’t already