Kesha Rose and Ableism – “I’m Crazy, That’s My Word”

In a popular defense of Kesha, where Kesha’s intelligence is not even criticised, the response starts off by saying that Kesha is a “certified genius” with a high IQ and SAT score. To me, that’s like saying that because she is smart she is deserving of respect, which I find insulting. Even if people aren’t conventionally smart, they deserve respect. Also, according to Canadian researchers, IQ tests are “not a valid way of assessing brainpower”.

A team from Western University is debunking the concept of general intelligence, saying that there is no single component that can account for how a person performs various mental and cognitive tasks. Instead, human intelligence is made up of multiple and distinct components, each of which must be looked at independently.

It is the same with SAT tests.

The SAT is a test of how good you are at taking the SAT and a reflection of how much time you spent preparing. It is very different than a Provincial exam, where you know exactly what content you will be assessed on. There are several specific strategies that you can learn and specific areas that you can study to achieve a good score on the SAT.

Moving away from that defense, Kesha has a brother with a stutter who she mentioned in an interview with Seventeen magazine:

I’m all about standing up to gay/lesbian/transgender bullying, but it’s also about my little brother. He’s 13 and he gets made fun of because he has a stutter. I just have zero tolerance for people making fun of others.

Stuttering is a speech disorder. It is unfortunate that Kesha uses ableist language. An example of this is one of her singles is “Crazy Kids” featuring Will.I.Am. It is troubling for other reasons, but I’ll focus on ableism for now. Here is an account from someone and their feelings living in our ableist society. Here is an profile on why “crazy” is an ableist slur. However, in the song, Kesha says, “You call us the crazy ones”, so she could just be using it as a way to reclaim the word. In fact, that is what she basically told MTV News she was trying to do:

As I look around the room, there’s a lot of kids with glitter and wild style and you like to express yourself, right? I feel like for those of us that like to express ourselves and aren’t so concerned with being super-duper normal, that you’re called kind of crazy a lot, and instead of it being a negative thing, I wanted it to be an anthem like, ‘Yeah we’re crazy!'”

Still, there are other words she could’ve used. She has also said “lame” in songs like “Kiss N Tell” and “This Tattoo”, and also in interviews.

Kesha has said she doesn’t believe in ableist bullying. I don’t think the ableist things she has said come from a hateful place, so I wouldn’t consider her to be an ableist person, just ignorant.


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