Cripple Punk: The Movement for the Physically Disabled

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[Image shows three spoons laying on a laptop keyboard. Overlaid is a clip art of torn notebook paper with a red paper clip. On the paper reads “Cripple Punk: The Movement for the Physically Disabled” with a red disabled stickman symbol to the bottom left. And the bottom of the banner is the URL to Thee Crohnie Grace Blog]

The movement for physically disabled people, by physically disabled people.

“It’s about rejecting pity, inspiration porn, & all other forms of ableism. It ejects the “good cripple” mythos. Cripple Punk is here for the bitter cripple, the uninspirational cripple, the smoking cripple, the drinking cripple, the addict cripple, the cripple who hasn’t “tried everything”. Cripple Punk fights internalized ableism & fully supports those struggling with it. It respects intersections of race, culture, gender, sexual/romantic orientation, size, intersex status, mental illness/neuroatypical status, survivor status, etc. Cripple Punk does not pander to the able bodied.”

In simple words, a movement to remind abled people that disabled people do not exist for their inspiration, we do not have to be positive 24/7, we are people just like everyone else.

It started as a reclaiming of the once used slur towards physically disabled people. Now has an assortment of rules and thousands of people joining in via posting selfies of their unapologetically crippled selves.

Some of the rules that started the Cripple Punk (CPunk for those uncomfortable using the Cripple term) Movement are:

  • Cripple punk is not conditional on things like mobility aids & “functioning levels”
  • Always listen to those w/ different physical disabilities & different intersections than yourself. do not speak over them
  • Disabled people do not need to personally identify w/ the words “cripple” or “punk” individually to be a part of cripple punk
  • Able bodied people wishing to spread the message may only ever amplify the voices of the disabled
  • Able bodied people may never use uncensored slurs themselves but never censor our language
  • Able bodied people must always tag things like reblogs with “i’m able bodied”
  • Physically disabled people wanting to be a part of the movement who are uncomfortable using the slur may refer to it as “cpunk”

When you google “Cripple Punk” you will often be met with lots of selfies of those who are wheelchair users, cane users, walker users, and more. It has become a movement for body positivity and support for each other. It combats stigmas often put in place about people with disabilities by those without disabilities.

People do not realize some of the things people with disabilities put up with, especially younger women. From constantly being told to smile, think positively, try yoga, etc. to constantly getting dirty looks for being young with a cane or using a wheelchair, or not getting up from a wait area seating when the seats are full for someone older. This movement is for those.

[Image 1 shows me in a burgundy sweatshirt and black shorts with red hair and makeup and my NJ feeding tube sitting in a relaxed position in a wheelchair. Image2 shows me sitting upright with my hands on the wheels of the chair.]

It allows us to decide how we are seen, rather then allowing the media to control how we are viewed. It allows people to be unapologetically disabled, which may not seem like a huge deal until you have experienced the prejudice that comes with being disabled.



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