Nancy Mairs is a “cripple”. It is not me being rude by calling her that, but rather me calling her what she prefers to call herself for personal reasons. Using a specific tone Mairs presents herself as a confident woman that has faced her challenges with an optimistic reality.
Mairs is a woman who knows what she wants and her unwavering view on her condition is evident in the passage. She is aware of the fact that many people are uncomfortable with the word “cripple”, but “wants them to wince”. Only she knows all the ways having MS has affected her and believes that “cripple” is the best word to describe her because it is “straightforward and precise”. She believes other words such as “disabled” and “handicapped” “move away from [her] condition”. Though she is not exactly lucky to have the condition she has she wants to be seen as someone “who can face the brutal truth of her existence squarely”. She has lost full use of her limbs and “refuses to…deny that [she has] lost anything” while having her disease.
The direct tone throughout the passage emits the pure confidence that Mairs has and her outlook on society. People are afraid of being offensive so they try to use words like “differently abled”. It may seem less offensive, but “it describe[s] anyone [and] no one”. So in order to be truly accurate one needs to look at the definitions of words and determine which word is the best. She has accepted the fact that people will still call her “disabled” and “handicapped” and “moreover, [uses] them [herself].” People aren’t willing to accept certain realities that exist like “death, war, sex, sweat or wrinkles” and certainly not “crippledness”. So because of that simple fact she “would never refer to another person as a cripple” and [uses] [it] to name only [herself].