Cable’s disabled childhood

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Uninspirational Inspiration

All disabled people have their abilities belittled and marginalized, which is why depression and suicide is so prevalent in our community. Everyone feels worthless to some degree; whether in their school life, working life, family life, love life, etc.

ABs interpret our frustration and anger as narcissism and demean us for being bitter. They intentionally keep our issues invisible by claiming that none of them would ever be so cruel as to force us out of society as they do. They use us as worst-case scenarios to encourage themselves to reach goals and to encourage society to be more tolerant of them simply for not being us.

Any civil rights movement, whether it be about gender or sex or ethnicity or race, actively distance themselves from those of us who would also be included in those civil rights movements if they considered us human. They pretend to sympathize out of one side of their mouths and literally say “we don’t deserve this, we aren’t disabled” out of the other side.

They gain “rights” by upholding the status quo and volunteering to be gatekeepers; framing themselves as benevolent gatekeepers. They say they feel terrible about segregation but then build their own communities inaccessible from the ground up.

We are told to overcome who and what we are as if we’re something to be ashamed of. To overcome a society fundamentally built on eugenics. To overcome the very people telling us to overcome.

If you have low self-esteem, it’s no wonder.

Nothing you do can be enough. No crippled athlete is ever athletic enough to stop being crippled. No inspirational cripple is inspirational enough to be offered equality.

If you have dreams or goals that you hope they will recognize you should give up immediately.

You can’t win. At least not anything that doesn’t have “special” in front of it.

You live in a world where abortion is justified based on your existence, where an equal education is impossible and a “special” one has to be fought for. In your world, only half of us that make it to high school are able to graduate. Of the sparse a few who get into college, only half reach that graduation.

You live in a world where it’s statistically impossible for you to escape abuse and yet all the abuse in the world is blamed on you. A world in which people call “time’s up” on unconsensual sex while every day those that rape us go unreported or are simply charged with bestiality.

You live in a world where your family and caretakers can murder you and not be held accountable because you are an undue burden.

They are in charge of your health, finances, living arrangements, and every other facet of your life because they made it illegal for you to do it yourself. And then they call you lazy.

They celebrate the end of segregation while you are still being segregated.

They celebrate their prosperity and wealth while you have to report everything you own that’s worth more than $500 with a full understanding that those items will be seen as too lavish for you to deserve healthcare.

They celebrate marriage equality while getting married for you also means losing healthcare.

You live with all of this and yet you are still living.

A lot of us give up and there aren’t a lot of good reasons not to; whatever amount of time we can last, we are doing far more than paying our dues. Committing suicide does not mean our peers gave up and being suicidal ourselves does not mean we have failed in some way. Sometimes the only thing we can control is our death.

But for now, you are alive, and why does that not amaze you?

Every loved one or complete stranger that told you that they would’ve killed themselves if they were you are absolutely correct.

They would kill themselves right now if f they understood the reality of disability and how suddenly they might have to face it, as 1 in 5 people in America are disabled.

And honestly, if they really did understand what they were doing they would stop. Even Nazis enjoy art and philosophy and technology; if they were to recognize our “lazy” accomplishments they wouldn’t throw us under the bus and into gas chambers because it would mean they would have to lose all of that.  They are too entitled to be able to make that sacrifice.

They would never be able to exchange basic human rights for their very lives and yet you do it every day. Whether it’s to spite them are not, you take on centuries of discrimination completely incomprehensible to them. You are facing their best attempts to euthanize us with “cures.”

If all you did today was wake up, you did far more than any of them have ever done in their lives.

You don’t need their approval.

You don’t need their respect.

You may need it in all material aspects of your life but you don’t need it for your self worth.

They are weak, as they have always been weak. They will die, as they always have died. They remain the same while you change the world with your slave labor, your pain and suffering while testing medicine and technology, and your performance in the freak shows they try to imitate so badly.

Me Before You does not represent you. The Shape Of Water does not represent you. A miraculously cured Batgirl does not represent you.

They can’t represent you because they’ve never actually looked at you.

Don’t confuse their failures as your own.

I love my disability

My public persona IRL is incredibly friendly and funny and “eccentric” and I know I obviously developed these characteristics to a cartoonish level because of my disability. You have to survive off of the benevolence of others. But one of the things I do that people refer to as “eccentric” or me just being me, like boys are boys, when I want to leave a conversation I do it blunts to the point of offensive but so jovial that people always think it’s endearing.

I curb my language depending on who is around me or where I am but if I’m with someone I consider my friend I will just suddenly say, “okay, you’ve been here enough, get the fuck out.” It’s a passive-aggressive spoon theory. Or friendly–aggressive? My disabled game is off the charts so I easily hide the fact that I always feel ill, in pain, and I will push myself to limit. Most of us do this among some people but I’m still self-centered enough that I’m not going to “borrow” any spoons for anyone.

Of course that hurts all of my relationships but besides that I wonder, if I didn’t closet the fact that I have a chronic illness would I be even remotely like myself? This is then obvious observation but it’s one of those things I’m realizing our a basic skill we are seemingly born with like their ability to swim. They can throw their babies in water right after they’re born and they can swim.  Their babies will almost immediately lose the ability to swim, they don’t need to survive in the water so they don’t bother remembering how to swim, it’s logical. That’s why they don’t utilize the all of the resources they can find in nature.

We can and do use just un–fresh water to use more ideal environments for ourselves. To be their equivalent of or demolishing everything and building from scratch, I don’t mean this in a long term evolutionary scope, right now they still keep building society in ways they themselves are constantly complain about. Their thing is building big shit, I get it, but it seems so counterintuitive.

But maybe I’m being naïve myself. Maybe there is a big detriment to our fixation with continuously churning out content like art and writing and music and innovation… And astronomy, astrology, you know, anything that’s ever had any cultural value.

Maybe Freda Carlo was their Hitler.

But back to myself,

Obviously my being closeted most of the time would help the eccentric thing but I wonder how less “funny” I would be if I were one of them?

I’ve been disabled my whole life so it’s not like this isn’t actually a part of my personality, it’s just a nicer version I use in public like everyone else does but it really seems like it would change the fundamentals of how people perceive me just as a person.

As much as I roll my eyes over the word eccentric and my reputation of “oh my God, she’s so funny, she’ll say anything” makes me swallow my eyeballs I like who I am.

I hate that AB (able-bodied, and I totally don’t mean that as a slur) have such a hard time getting out of a simple conversation. There have been thousands of times that I’ve been with and ABs so awkward with someone they are talking to that it wastes time and both people are dying to get out of the conversation.

My disability is why I don’t have that handicap.

Applicably, I take any complement badly because to me it feels like I’ve made commitments to be certain ways with certain people at certain places. I don’t have time for that. I don’t have time for this either but, fuck it.

It sounds cold or embarrassing even though everyone who is the “funny guy” feels like this but I have so many social tools to manage these things that people have “crippling” anxiety over. ABs will agonize about this happening just one time in their life… For the rest of their lives.

I have no idea what that’s like.

I can intellectualize it but I really can’t empathize. Caring so deeply about someone’s opinion of how you ended one interaction, especially when you never see that person ever again, are things that ABs deal with so often that it’s a cliché on sitcoms. It’s something they use as their representation.

It’s something they even put in their intentionally bad representation of those in their society that they’ve marginalized.

You never see a cripple on TV being embarrassed about calling someone by the wrong name, no matter what race or gender or sexuality.

In the real world there isn’t this petty bullshit. Not on that insignificant level.

We stress over conversations about whether we get to live or die.

ABs have no concept of how common violence is for disabled people because harming someone weaker than you is something that is not done. But that’s the thing, it doesn’t happen, not in that society. It happens in the real world.

There are people who leave the house worried about whether they have their wallet or not, they don’t make conscious decisions of whether the reason they’re going out is worth risking their lives over. It explains why ABs don’t believe that authority figures in their society treat us well. Their job is to treat the weak members of society well and a nice courtesy would be to extend it to others.

There are mutations and illnesses common to ABs so that’s why they find it so shocking that when we go to their doctors they use Wikipedia, our version of the DSM I guess.

It’s also why they don’t consider things being segregation when it comes to anything other than specifically race or gender.

To them we all look alike so they can’t tell the difference between someone with a physical disability or neurological divergence or even be aware that they usually intersect even though that’s common sense – wait, I guess it’s not common sense to them, I take that back. Either way they can’t tell any of us apart. They don’t even recognize their own that they threw out.

And just like every great Society they get rid of the elderly only they do it by but they do it by just perceiving that the old ones don’t exist anymore to kick them out. That’s some real world quantum physics.

That must be hard, knowing that either because of time or something random at any point in their life you will become worthless eater.

They are either in denial or very naïve to be able to go about their lives worrying about things like what their voice sounds like.

This offends some people but honestly, that’s why they are going to die out first. Their infants can swim but it’s the first thing conditioned out. Does it seem as bizarre to anyone else that they brag about evolving past the need for water environments? That’s somehow better than the animals that evolved to be able to live in both? As juvenile as it sounds it actually is homosapiens vs homosuperior and Magneto was right.

Why Captain America and the Avengers are racists

The X-Men are great metaphor for disability and the Inhumans are great metaphor for second generation disabled people, people who weren’t born disabled but became disabled. The two groups are very similar but the X-Men got that way because of genetics and Inhumans got that way because of the physical act, entering the Terrigen mists.

The X-Men are great metaphor for disability and the Inhumans are great metaphor for second generation disabled people, people who weren’t born disabled but became disabled. The two groups are very similar but the X-Men got that way because of genetics and Inhumans got that way because of the physical act, entering the Terrigen mists.

Gifted is the new TV show based in the XMCU, about the X-Men, and the MCU is releasing their show The Inhumans.

It’s confusing because both are from Marvel but different studios own the movie rights to technically in the movies the Avengers and the X-Men don’t live in the same universe. Spider-Man is now with the Avengers because of a business deal between Fox and Disney.

Still, I thought it might be a good idea to share the dynamic between them in the comic. I think it’ll better explain the metaphor and people like Captain America too much.

Mutants are legitimate race

In the Marvel universe, specifically the 616 which is what we used to refer to the main comic continuity, mutants are an actual race. They were created to be an allegory for all marginalized people and so unlike characters like Captain America who was mutated and is categorized as a “mutate” the X-Men, and other mutants, belong to the “mutant race” which can and does intersect with all other races. Some people argue that just being an allegory isn’t enough, that they aren’t actually good representation, but you would be hard-pressed to find a straight white able-bodied cis man in the X-Men.

Havok is a good example. He is a straight white able-bodied cis man who also happens to be a mutant. When he joined the Avengers he did so by making a public statement that he didn’t want to be known as a mutant

This is the equivalent of saying “your race doesn’t matter, we are all a part of the human race”

Kitty, a bisexual Jewish WOC and one of the highest-ranking X-Men, spoke for most of the mutants when she dismissed him

More than anything, mutants work best when they are an allegory for disabled people despite the fact that many X-Men are also disabled. They best represent people like me, people who are disabled due to a gene mutation. Their existence scares people, your child could be one and you may never know until puberty, the way their body works is scary, some of them are scary to look at but some of them have passing privilege and look like everyone else which means anyone could be one and you’ll never know.

Even the kindest humans (including mutates) who don’t wish them harm agree that the world would be better off without them. It would be safer. People like Captain America are different because they are selected to be given powers that don’t make them look frightening. Sometimes bad people select another bad person (or themselves) and give them powers but they can be easily targeted by the likes of Captain America and taken care of. Mutants can come out of nowhere, anyone can be one with the right recessive genes.

Throughout the years we have seen them go through genocide after genocide, internment camps, programs to make them human again (think straight camp or faith healings), required genetic testings to root them out of the population, segregation, etc. all the bad things that happened to marginalized people in the world.

What does this have to do with the Avengers?

The Avengers are sort of specialized police team. They have the same problems we have with police in the real world. The Avengers are a group of selected superpowered people used only to fight the world’s biggest problems, like alien invaders. Worldwide genocide (amongst the other things we listed) is arguably one of the world’s biggest problems and we’ve seen that it’s something they actually address. Captain America himself was ironically created to fight Hitler and the extermination of the Jewish race and we’ve seen the Avengers as a team fight genocide time and time again, even off the world with the Kree. The Avengers have never done anything to aid the mutants. They often facilitate their genocide.

What’s the Mutant Massacre?

The example many X-Men fans like to use for this is the Mutant Massacre. The mutant population was very scarce at the time and very divided between passing and non-passing mutants. Mutants without passing privilege tended to have to go underground and one of the largest groups was called the Morlocks to who lived in the abandoned underground and sewers of New York which they called the Morlocks Tunnels. Their leader was Callisto (well, some of the time Storm was their official leader but she is always busy running the X-Men so Callisto is always in charge)

Obviously mutants without passing privilege have had to stay in hiding or they would be murdered

So, the Morlocks were targeted and almost all were murdered

Parents lost children

And children lost parents

The only Avenger involved was Thor who came in towards the end, mostly to see the aftermath

but the culprits are still in the tunnel, and his enemy Hela shows up, so he blasts the tunnels

Not one of his best decisions but he got a pass because he didn’t hurt that many people even though he desecrated all the bodies.

This genocide had a huge effect on the mutant population and it’s considered one of the most important events of mutant history so even children are taught about it

Why did the X-Men hold this against the Avengers?

There’s nothing the Avengers could really do, they weren’t there at the time so they couldn’t have joined in the rescue effort but they also stayed silent on the event. The mutant population was almost exterminated, the world was in favor of that the extermination, and the most respected authority figures on Earth ignored it.

That, alone, is not why mutants hold a grudge, it’s the fact that things like this continue to happen and the Avengers never step in to help or even tell people “hey, genocide isn’t cool” so the Mutant Massacre is sort of seen as the beginning of their continued failings.

But there are mutants on the Avengers

Yes. Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are mutants and also Avengers but they have always distanced themselves from the mutant community and even caused a genocide of their own (well, Scarlet Witch did) so they are seen as race traitors.

Namor is also a mutant but he doesn’t really identify as one. He has always lived separate from mutant communities, specifically in Atlantis, and considers himself Atlantean. He does fight against the Avengers to protect mutants but his justification is never based on race alone. Wolverine and Beast are mutants and a long time Avengers but for some reason get mostly a pass. Wolverine always claims to have no alliances and the two have been rationalized to have not been able to do anything to make the Avengers as a team help although they would leave to fight beside the X-Men. Not everyone forgives them. Arguably the only member (before Unity which we will get to in a minute) that is a mutant and powerful enough to have any sway is Storm but she was a recruit of Shattered Heroes which takes place after the Fear Itself event which was a time when the whole Earth was shot to hell thanks to Asgardian drama. She left later

So, why is Captain America singled out?

All this contention between the two groups came to a head during the Avengers vs X-Men event. Thanks to Scarlet Witch’s genocide mutants are nearly extinct at this point but there is some hope because a cosmic entity known as the Phoenix Force is heading toward Earth. Some mutants can become a host for it (mostly women from Jean Grey’s line) and do extraordinary things, like unsterilizing the mutants so there will be a future generation. The Phoenix Force isn’t always helpful. It got the better of Jean Grey and she turned evil but her daughter Rachel was always able to handle it well and now they have Hope who had been training her whole life to be the savior of mutant kind.

The X-Men are preparing for the Phoenix Force, to have Hope host it and save their race. The Avengers are preparing for the Phoenix Force, hoping to avoid the whole ordeal. Captain America goes to the segregated island where the mutants are living to take Hope into custody. She has done nothing but she has no rights and if she’s going to become powerful Captain America wants to be the one in control of her. He isn’t taking her from some evil group, he’s taking her from the X-Men.

Even Namor sides with the X-Men

Due to Avenger interference the Phoenix Force was broken up and absorbed by a handful of X-Men who use the power to re-fertilize the mutant race and to do humanitarian work all over the world to set an example for what the Avengers could and should have done.

This led to the creation of the meme “Cyclops was right”

Of course it all eventually went to shit because the Phoenix Force wasn’t absorbed into the right vessels but at least now mutants were beginning to be born again.

Captain America was sorry

Afterward Captain America considered their history and realized he had been an asshole so his solution was to put together a new Avenger team called “Unity” that has human members (like himself), Mutants, Inhumans, and Deadpool who is technically a mutate but is always associated with the mutants so he is kind of expected to be a drifter in alliances. Rogue is made the reluctant leader, never having been fond of the Avengers, but always siding with X-Men on their agenda to make peace among all the races.

Meanwhile, the Terrigen mists are traveling over the Earth and when they come into contact with mutants they make them infertile and give them a terminal disease but if they come into contact with latent Inhumans they come into their powers. Obviously these two groups are not getting along.

So, things escalate because the Inhumans now have a new member who can foresee possible futures and everyone is split on whether or not to preemptively stop possible tragedies. The Avengers are divided on how to use this intel but not at all concerned about this new genocide of the mutants.

Cable and Rogue decide to take care of mutant business by themselves.

Captain America smells drama and  is right that Deadpool is covering for the Mutants which was an easy enough guess because Deadpool’s ex-husband, Cable, is the one leading the “betrayal”

Cable and Rogue break into government laboratories to find out that humans are experimenting with Terrigen mists. It could be that they’re secretly trying to find a cure but considering that the government tries to either put them in internment camps or exterminate them every year that seems unlikely

but Captain America follows Deadpool and busts them

Cable and Captain America fight over a briefcase that has the Terrigen mist that the governments have been testing and Rogue gets bored

Deadpool follows the X-Men rule of “follow the highest-ranking woman” and now Captain America is extremely pissed.

Deadpool tries to explain that his allegiance to the mutants is because his daughter is a mutant (and with the Terrigen Mists going around it’s only a matter of time before she dies)

Captain America calls off the Unity team and says probably the worst thing he could think to say to Deadpool

He is, of course, referring to how Deadpool was in Weapon X and was tortured and disfigured.

What an asshole.

That should bring you to about 2017, I doubt the shows will refer to anything more recent and it’ll be interesting to see how they take these groups now that they can’t play off of each other.