Life Today in the Gimp Parade
posted by June 5 at 9:52 AMon
Since I’m going to be on crutches for a little while, I thought I’d do some etymological cruising on “gimp.” The etymology is weak—OED: “uncertain, perhaps a corruption of ‘gammy’” which is, awesomely, “Tramps’ slang for bad, not good.”
Wikipedia doesn’t have much to say except that “gimp” is a politically incorrect term and a BDSM character and a kind of plasticky thread (aka “Scoubidou,” origins: French) used for making all that woven crap kids bring home from summer camp.
Then I, uh, stumbled over The Gimp Parade, a blog by Blue/Kay Olson, “a thirtysomething disabled feminist. Overeducated, underemployed.”
She’s got surprising and interesting thoughts about amputee soldiers and disability in poetry (Robert Pinsky), movies (Tiptoes), and jokes (“Does this wheelchair make my butt look big?”).
Though often described as compassionate, legalized medical killing is really about a deadly double standard for people with severe disabilities, including both conditions that are labeled terminal and those that are not… People already have the right to refuse unwanted treatment, and suicide is not illegal. What we oppose is a public policy that singles out individuals for legalized killing based on their health status.
Which seems to be kind of missing the point of assisted suicide. As in, extending the ability to kill oneself to people need help finding the means, swallowing the pills, dragging themselves to the edge of the cliff, etc.
I don’t really get it, but perhaps our resident expert on disability issues, Ms. Erica Barnett, can explain it to me.