As an X-Men character and member of the Summers family Cable has an extensive and convoluted story so I’m only going to cover a small glimpse of his childhood to look at his disability and disability narrative.
Mutants are considered a marginalized race in the Marvel universe and mutation is used as a metaphor for disability; Cable is one of the many mutant characters who are also shown to have real-world disabilities. As a baby he was infected with a “techno-organic virus” by Apocalypse resulting in his iconic appearance. The techno-organic virus is functionally a terminal disease in which cells cannot duplicate or regenerate and even within the superhero world Cable was born into there is no cure. His father, Cyclops, allows him to be taken to the future where there is available treatment in exchange for never seeing his son again.
Cyclops questions whether or not this is the right decision, specifically wondering if Cable would be better off dead. He questions Cable’s quality of life.
As Cable grows into a teenager he struggles with non-passing privilege and the need to hide his disfigurement and assistive equipment to assimilate and remain safe.
Aside from suffering culturally and socially Cable deals with tangible disability and chronic pain. He has to manage these things in order to live and his motivation to do so tends to be based on his obligation to others.
The character Cable deals with disability so directly that his mutation never quite becomes a metaphor. Like all disabled children, his family struggles with what to sacrifice for his medical care, ceding control of his care to those who can offer assistance, making long-term decisions in his stead, and whether or not having a life unlike those they are familiar with means he should have one at all.
As an adolescent, Cable has to live with the decisions his family made for him and struggles with being raised by various people whose only concern is what he is able to do. He is visibly different which puts him in danger in a way that is unfamiliar to most people and hiding his differences takes a physical and emotional toll. Cable has no role models that look like him and has experienced what he has, he has to develop based on a template of humanity that is fundamentally different from his natural state.
The social model of disability was created in 1975 by UPIAS (Union of the Physically Impaired Against Segregation) but was coined as “the social model” in 1983 Mike Oliver, a disabled academic.
Disabled people didn’t have a civil rights movement until the 80s and much like the feminist movement it was both allies and the most privileged among the disabled who got to speak. At all.
It wasn’t until the 70s when all states within the USA finally did away with “Ugly Laws” which were their actual names. It made it illegal for disabled people to go in public. This was due how many able-bodied people who had become disabled by contracting polio and soldiers coming back from war. It was never about minorities.
The ADA, Americans with Disabilities Act, was created in the 90s. Credit for this is a little varied and a little controversial. A large reason why the ADA was created was because of the AIDS epidemic. The queer community couldn’t find help from the government to get funding to find a cure or to treat patients. The only way to get what is essentially disability rights was to reassociate themselves with the disabled community after sexual and gender minorities were taken off the DSM 5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.)
Not to suggest that we, the disabled community, renounce the DSM but there is a large dissent growing. because of what it’s become and how it’s being used.
The key to this was the social model of disability. The government didn’t see GSM (gender and sexual minorities) as disabled people but the case was made that they had become disabled from society because of the disease they contracted which even though patients remained able-bodied was still a terminal disease with no cure in sight. At least at the public know of.
The LGBT™ community now rejects the identity of disabled, although many people in the community never used the word to refer to themselves in the first place. They now celebrate the fact that things like homosexuality are not seen as a disability; that achievement was made through the social model of disability and would not have happened without activism from the disabled.
You might be thinking of intersection at this point. The modern LGBT™ community is largely criticized by DM (disabled millennials) communities because of this and the fact that things like Pride parades want made to be accessible to physically and neurologically disabled people. In the last few years things have gotten better accessibility wise in some states, in certain areas.
There is animosity amongst some DMs toward the LGBT™, primarily the disabled sexual and gender disabled minorities both for issues like these previously stated and the 2016 Sagamihara genocide in which many disabled people were euthanized inside their segregated neighborhood (something like a group home) by Satoshi Uematsu who had written a manifesto calling for the extermination of disabled people globally. This happened about the same time as the Pulse shooting which was widely reported on and the LGBT™ community in particular refused to ally for their disabled members at that time. Even when the names of all the Pulse victims were released whereas in Japan none of the victims names were because it would’ve been embarrassing to their families if people found out they were related to someone disabled in the first place.
Tracking back a little, on through the 80s there were also many disabled protests and activism that didn’t get reported on unless it was a “die in” or the Capitol Crawl. A die in is when disabled protesters sit in public spaces, fasting, and peacefully refusing to leave. These resulted in good for TV moments like public assault by the police.
Much like what happened earlier this year when the radical disability activist group ADAPT (with the slogan “adapt or die”) were violently assaulted and arrested and then detained in inhumane ways and places. The first two were largely covered in independent media but information and proof of the latter came from twitter. Because the cops didn’t think to take away their cell phones when they were arrested or detained. Although, they pulled people out of wheelchairs so I’m sure many people’s cell phones got busted so someone must have had an old Nokia on them.
The Capitol Crawl was done by early members of ADAPT and it was a major event which is given a lot more credit than it actually intentionally achieved. The Capitol Crawl was a protest in which disabled people got out of their wheelchairs and left assistive equipment behind like crutches or walkers and slowly climbed up the White House steps while staff walked past. A now iconic photo was taken of Jennifer Keelan who, at the time, was a young disabled girl who was very white and cute and insisted on making it to the top to complete the protest so the public actually paid attention.
After that it was a lot of boring political legislation and drama between marginalized activist groups.
The ADA was created in 1990 which was based on the social model of disability. The medical model (which excludes people like AIDS patients) is still heavily embedded in many laws which is why things like segregation haven’t been made illegal. Forced sterilization was delegalized across the United States in as recent as 2010 under laws created for the disabled but had been extended to POC (remind you of anything?) The last victim was in California; reparations are being legislated for victims in North Carolina and Virginia.
In the past, disabled people were usually killed at birth, given a mercy killing if they were NTAB and became disabled, or simply didn’t live long partly because of the lack of medical advancements but in greater part because they were marginalized and disabled from society.
Millennials are the first generation of disabled people that were allowed to reach adulthood because of things like the ADA. We are also the first generation in the world to have the Internet our entire lives and due to things like segregation and lack of accessibility we built our communities online through social media. Just like other millennial groups. We are the children they fought for and we owe them our lives and our health.
Obviously many of them are still alive as this is relatively recent history and they are like the parents of the disabled community.
They are completely out of touch and have animosity for DM (disabled millennials) because many of us have different philosophies. One is we don’t want to write letters to Congress to beg for rights, we want to destroy society like other millennial’s in marginalized groups. Essentially we want to make a better world and not put Band-Aids on bigotry.
With the rise of Nazi activity and the fact that it’s actually being covered in the news is especially a big issue for disabled people as the Nazi party used propaganda like mercy killings and disabled being “useless leaders” to carry out our genocide and use the legal precedent to go as far as they did. The infamous gas chambers themselves were first created for the disabled population. For further information the victims were referred to as T4 patients which refers to the preferred drug for execution, Aktion T4.
The number four refers to a street address Tiergartenstraße 4 in Berlin where beginning in 1940 the “Chancellery department” where people received paid training. The most accomplished that went on to run the gas chambers were sent to run them in concentration camps. There were 70,273 T4 victims between September 1939 to August 1941. It was then banned due to what is referred to as the most influential protest since the rule of the Third Reich; NTABs had legitimate concerns of how many and how quickly people were deemed disabled enough to be a T4 patient. Of course, it still continued on. Primarily by Catholic authorities in Germany.
To be fair to Germany, the United States was far more extreme in eugenic philosophies (just the word didn’t have the gravity it does post World War II so there is a misconception that America were the good guys but not to eugenic policies were based off of America’s political philosophies and laws.
Our two groups usually don’t interact very much, even online, but if you follow disabled bloggers or people on twitter you will see them complaining about how people particularly treat “young disabled people” or DMs.
Those disabled people who consider themselves liberal or conservative and especially people who subscribe to the medical model of disability are a sub–community but they are used to being the entire community. They are a sub–community of which is largely irrelevant here because their philosophies are irrelevant.
This subculture of disability has no term to refer to it specifically, one has yet to be coined, on this issue I welcome old disabled people offer up a term they would like us to use to refer to them. There hasn’t really been a need for a term thus far because, as I said they are irrelevant, and we only talk about relevant things so there hasn’t yet been a need for one.
But I sincerely welcome them to coin their own term but I caution them from doing it on social media as words that are “created” on social networks like Tumblr are regarded as… I don’t know house to put this other that they are irrelevant. Those terms are given little credibility because they don’t have a long history which can be sourced before the invention of social media unlike the term “social model” of disability despite how similar they sound.