‘Cripple Punk’, Disability Related Internet Movement

‘Cripple Punk’, Disability Related Internet Movement

I hope that by now it is no secret that I am a huge fan of the internet and all that it has done for people with disabilities. Earlier this month I posted a piece about the impact of the internet on disabilities and I talked in-depth about how the internet brings all us with disabilities together. It’s helped us find each other and not feel so alone. The internet is bridging the gap in education, for example, for those not able to go to school or participate in classes. You can now take classes online at a university or take your iPad to class to take notes and communicate with your peers and professors. This is such a great step forward towards equality for people with disabilities.

And the internet is always ready to rally in the face of inequality. The most recent example is the hashtag Black Lives Matter. People are quick to say that tweets or Facebook posts using the hashtag don’t really do anything — they say nothing changes in the world because you tweet the hashtag 12 times. But I disagree, I think that using the hashtag shows support to a community, to the families of those affected by what’s happening in the world. And that is not nothing, in my opinion.

I mentioned in another post about the internet that there are Facebook groups that you can find for people with your diagnosis, and pages that you can like. You can even search your disability on Twitter and find some cool people. But you can also find movements.

I’ve been blogging and writing online for about six years now. I admit, I’ve only begun taking it seriously within the last year or two. I’ve used a few different platforms trying to find the best place for me and my content.

I’ve recently moved my blog back to Tumblr and there are endless tags related to having a disability.

  • Spoonie
  • Physical Disability
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Disabled
  • Disability

They are standard stuff. But then I found something pretty cool when I started seeing the tags “CPunk” and “Cripple Punk.” I didn’t know what the tags meant at first but under them I found a wealth of blogs and content I would love to read and wished I had found sooner.

Tumblr doesn’t have a definition for their tags so I did a Google Search. Cripple Punk as explained on Urban Dictionary is:

Cripple Punk- also known as cpunk) A movement that is exclusively by the physically disabled for the physically disabled, started on tumblr. It’s about rejecting pity, inspiration porn, & all other forms of ableism. It rejects 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 and fully supports those struggling with it. It respects intersections of race, culture, gender, sexual/romantic orientation, size, intersex status, mental illness/neurotypical status, survivor status, etc. Cripple Punk does not pander to the able-bodied.

Rules: 

  • Cripple punk is not conditional on things like mobility aids and “functioning levels.”
  • Always listen to those with different physical disabilities and different intersections than yourself. Do not speak over them.
  • Disabled people do not need to personally identify with 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 and 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.”

I know not everyone will agree with this movement. But I think it is amazing. You don’t have to agree with everything a hashtag or an internet movement brings forth, but as a means of finding something or someone you can relate to; I think it is wonderful.

What hashtags or internet movements are you a fan of?

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Hello, My name is Brittney and I am a columnist with Cerebral Palsy. I focus on writing about lifestyle and believe that everyone's experience is relevant, no matter the disability. I support, and advocate for, the mainstreaming and normalization of children with disabilities and their families, as well as advocating for parents and children who need to go the more specialized route. I hope that my content provides a positive reinforcement that it is possible to live a happy and fulfilled life even with a disability.

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