Snowflake, inspiration, minority and exhausted

The ‘inspirational disabled girl’ wants a nap

Emily Brown, Senior Columnist

I haven’t gotten a full night of sleep since Amy Coney Barret got elected. I have knots in my shoulders and my two favorite coping mechanisms are just adding more stress. I wanted to, and planned to, cram NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) words the first week in November, but I ended up staring at a red and blue map until my eyes hurt and switching back and forth between unhealthy mood swings; from fear, to hope, to anger and going back and forth every two hours while also trying to concentrate enough to get some homework done.


But I was too afraid to speak my mind for the fear of the backlash I may or may not have gotten. When Trump got elected in 2016, I –  along with a lot of people –  went into panic mode. Many of these people had an array of identities and were afraid that their rights and safety might be taken away. When we expressed our fears, we were laughed at, mocked and called snowflakes.


At that time, I just thought these were just mean jokes made to make the other side laugh at us. But over the years, I’ve discovered that these are calculated tactics of gaslighting and used to undermine the problems at hand. They would call us snowflakes to turn the tables back on us.


During the time of the election, I saw many people post memes saying “Whoever wins, we should all love and accept each other” and “Just because we disagree, it doesn’t mean we can’t be friends.”


We can disagree on what the best way to solve the climate crisis, what tax money should be used for and how to change our education system but we can not disagree on human rights. Women have the right to their own bodies, BIPOC people need to be protected and, oh yeah, we are in a global pandemic with 250,000 dead in America alone.


I’m a disabled queer college student with PTSD. My life is great, but it is hard. I have been dealing with ableism for seventeen years. Why would I want to spend my time and energy on someone who doesn’t believe in my human rights?

One argument is to fight hate with love and acceptance. Another argument is that if we should stay friends with these people, and that maybe we can educate them and change their minds. People with minority statuses do not exist to educate oppressors. We just want to enjoy our lives and go about our business. We are exhausted and most of us want to watch Netflix and take a nap.


I can still remember being called inspirational when I was a child by adults. What was I doing that was inspirational at the age of seven? All I was doing was watching TV and eating snacks. I loved it when I was a child but, looking back, it was a bit unsettling. Why were you looking at a seven-year-old girl in a pink helmet with a walker for inspiration? The question answers itself.


I am more than an inspiration or a teaching tool. I am a human being and an exhausted woman. I have a countdown on my phone until the inauguration. I have my favorite show on repeat. I treasure any hours of sleep. I’m sick of fighting for the rights I should already have.