Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Super-Powerist Presumption: A Guide for the Oppressed Part 1

I state for the record that I was born without Super-Powers, nor have any developed in me over the course of my life up to this time. Unlike the majority of other people gifted with Super-Powers, I am among the ungifted Super-Powerless, a minority tyrannized by the majority who live their lives naturalized and socialized with their Super-Powers, presuming that the Super-Powerless few also possess Super-Powers. Super-Powerist presumption is a feature of everyday life, compounding the struggles of the ungifted.

At my birth, my parents were informed that I was “healthy and normal.”

“Normal?” my mother asked. “This includes telekinesis, right?”

“Unfortunately, there were no indications of telekinetic ability following delivery. But, there may be developmental delay.”

“So, you’re saying that our baby may be developmentally challenged?” my father exclaimed.

“There’s no need to panic,” the obstetrician explained. “Odds are high that abilities like telekinesis may appear within the first two years. But, bear in mind, even children who never develop such abilities can lead productive, satisfying lives. Acceptance is crucial.”

My parents took this message of acceptance seriously. Although I failed to develop any Super-Powers, they raised me in an environment of loving acceptance, telling me frequently that with strength and determination I could set my sights on any goal and achieve whatever I wanted in life. Despite my supportive home environment, the world at large has, in fact, treated me differently—as a person assumed to have Super-Powers and scorned whenever I prove to be a different sort of person. I believe that someday, perhaps in a future time I will never live to see, the Super-Powerless will be treated with respect and seen as full-fledged human beings who so happen to exist without Super-Powers. Until this time, I hope to provide a personal and practical guide for the Super-Powerless that will enable them to cope with Super-Powerism in our society.

1: Driving

A person without Super-Powers is at a distinct disadvantage when driving. Whenever I am driving, there will invariably come a moment when there is a car in front of my car driving slowly. In response, I will slow down, patiently creeping behind the slower driver (usually elderly people who may lack confidence in their driving skills or younger drivers whose attention has been drawn into cell phone conversations). In any case, because I lack the ability to either a) telekinetically transport my car over the slower car or b) dematerialize and drive through the slower car, rematerializing in front of it, I am forced to crawl along at a reduced speed.

However, the car behind me will invariably tailgate, presuming that I have Super-Powers of either a) or b) types. The tailgating, sometimes accompanied by headlight flashing, honking and verbal abuse, will persist, sometimes despite my best efforts to indicate that there is a slower driver ahead of me by shifting slightly to the right in the lane so that the Super-Powered driver behind can get a view of the car. This rarely works, given the persistence of Super-Power presumption.

In cases like these, I advise the Super-Powerless “normal” person (yes—let’s take back that term), to pull over quickly. More than this, you must offer a friendly wave of acknowledgment, so that the driver behind you knows that you have pulled over on his or her behalf such that they may exercise their Super-Powers. It is critical, in my opinion, that we, the Super-Powerless, distinguish and distance ourselves as citizens who are not those among the Super-Powered that deliberately attempt to hold up others in the exercise of their Super-Powers. I say, let the Super-Powered battle it out among themselves, while we, the Super-Powerless, distinguish ourselves as a minority that understands who we are with pride and work cooperatively alongside the Super-Powered without pretending to be other than who we are.

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