Monday, October 12, 2009

Ableism: C'mon People, We Can Do Better Than This!

Ruth at Wheelie Catholic posted this story this morning. Katja posted this story this weekend...

Is there an epidemic?

Last week I was grocery shopping and the checkout guy was a wheelchair-user. The lady in front of me got in line without noticing that. Once she did notice she started fuming about how she did not need this.... etc, etc, etc...

I offered to let her out of the line, but she said "NO, why should I change???"

I didn't say another word. This gal was a volatile mess... and I had a stomach ache (wimp, I know... I admit a fear of bullies.)

When she got up to the line she was quite rude to the kid, but my entire plan was to say supportive stuff to him when it was my turn...

Until she blamed him for not keeping track of her charge card (really loudly) and then she found it in her purse...

Then I said--pretty loudly myself-- "So, that was YOUR mistake then??"

She did not answer, after she left the kid thanked me, and so did the folks behind me in line... but I knew I should have said something so much earlier.

Ableism is a belief that the able-bodied are superior to those with disabilities. It is shocking how many people believe this--and how many act on it.

People like to believe they are superior?? They tell themselves people with disabilities are taking something away from them?? People like feeling powerful over other people??

All of the above???

I give up... I don't know what it is.

It is ugly and it is dangerous.

How do you think this study makes me feel? How does it make you feel?

I resolve to speak up more? Will you join me?

Picture from here, by Tim Malone


rickismom said...

Some people , we SEE their "disabilities. With others, its only when they open their mouths that we realize how limited (in soul) they are.....

terena said...

Bravo! What a jerk! YES I will stand up and speak out with you. Anytime, any place.

People have shoved past my daughter, who is using a WALKER, to get ahead of her in line. I have screamed my head off at them until they huddle down in terror and run. Yeah, you'd better run!

Terri said...

rickismom--you are so right

terena--you are so right


Single Dad / Disabled Daughter said...

Does this really surprise you? It comes down to the disabled being "The Other," a focus of my latest blog post. Good for you for standing up to her.