this post last week about a British woman who was shocked by a comedian's remarks about people with Down syndrome. It is a great post--she has a beautiful daughter and I really like her non-confrontational, explanatory approach.
Naturally, I couldn't stop there. I forgot myself and read the comments--and it was truly painful.
There were many comments supportive of the woman's experience, but the rest were pretty vile.These are not folks that disagreed with her opinions, these are folks who were furious that she voiced an opinion at all. Disagreement keeps things interesting, but these people didn't say that they saw things differently, they verbally assaulted her.
First there were the folks who feel that people who don' t like something should NOT say so... have you noticed that these folks do not follow their own advice?
Then there were some who needed to blame the victim--her pain is her own fault.
Some shared the comedian's stereotypical view of people with Down syndrome.... and tried to prove themselves right (really???)
Still others made the case that if she wasn't a perfect person she had nothing to say--another group who should show us how this works by example... but they never do, do they?
Lots of forms of "Just Shut Up!"
My opinion? If someone hurts you, you have the right to say both 'ouch' and 'stop it.' You do not have to just lie there and take it, whether anyone else likes it or not.
Now some might say don't just skip the comments, don't take a stand at all, but I don't agree. It may be small comfort, but there are a whole lot of people talking about disability respect today because of this event who had never thought about it 2 weeks ago...
And, while reading the comments may give you an ulcer, activism actually makes people happier.
Plus, there is a really great disability-blogging community. (We're wonderful... just ask us!)
I hope these small facts will help this mom hang tough!
Words Hit Like a Fist image from Rolling Around in my Head.
Does It Mean Us?
1 day ago