Tuesday, August 26, 2008

We crips are "These people" according to USA NBC Olympic coverage, woo hoo!

Okay, I am officially having a crap day. I didn’t get enough sleep. You know those head ache commercials weere people jackhammers work on your head – I actually HAD people with hammers, a LOT of people with hammers over me hammering over my head, blowtorching high powered blowtorches over my head. The “why?” is because it is going to rain and I guess they used a double crew up there for the day to finish the roof. That meant I retreated to the bathroom with my MP3 player in my ears and could still hear them (for hours). Do you know how strange it is to be taking a dump while listening to ABBA on full blast and STILL hearing roofers? Actually I think ANYONNE who takes dumps to ABBA at full blast already has severe issues (like if they are a guy and live with their parents, time to tell them about your orientation).

Then I was delayed getting a nap which culminated with me having a couple major seizures. The purple hand that was oxygen deprived was a clue this wasn’t a great day. What I don’t understand is that I went to Badminton last night so should be good (lost, lost, oh I just couldn’t click with the people I was playing with including one guy who would immediately go to the opposite court of where I was – real subtle dude). So I ended up partnered with one person who didn’t think I should be there (seriously), and that maybe people in chairs shouldn’t be playing badminton. So DURING the game, if it was out of my reach the person would just stand there and stare at me and say, “Hey it is on your side.” I eventually broke down and said in my repressed rage voice that “No matter how much I might WANT it to happen, wheelchairs don’t travel sideways five feet to get the birdie.” Anyway, we lost and my partner walked off and then when I put my racket in the rack they came up after a bit and took theirs out so we wouldn’t end up on the same court again (the next four rackets go on to the next game). Double Subtle.

I guess what bothers me is all this discrimination is open. Open, public, in your face bigotry! Recent I went with Cheryl to the store that a sign saying they were hiring part time, full time, management, and used the RAMPS to get down into the store. The woman told me they were desperate, that they had SIX stores on the same road and all their staff was leaving in two to three weeks for school. So when I said I had 14 years retail experience, there was the usual hemming and hawing but at the end, she actually came out and said, “There is a lot of WALKING in this job.” And when I pointed out I had already gone everywhere in her store in my chair there was the the usual, “Well, maybe if you talked to X, the person in charge of hiring….” (meaning “You got no chance but MAYBE she might hire you.”) And so I asked, that “‘when I drop off my resume’ you want me to put that I use a wheelchair on it?” And she was like, “Yes, just so…..they know….you know.” (oh, I KNOW!)

See that is the minor difference between having a disability act (like every other western country) and Canada, where my only recourse is to “claim” I am losing my “human rights” on a federal level, but that means I spend a decade over a Federal Supreme court case (instead of simply calling the city commissioner).

It wasn’t about me. I mean this woman was DESPERATE, she would have hired Cheryl, who was using a cane, because she could WALK. But I couldn’t, and while the job did not actually require a “lot of walking” it did allow a person in charge who thinks that people in wheelchairs shouldn’t be there, and let them actually say that. So I can’t even get a $8 an hour job filling in for an hour while someone takes a lunch at one of the stores? Because someone in a wheelchair sitting there ringing up customers is just not what that person (or actually any person working at any of the stories we visited that day) could imagine. So like the person who I played with, they would rather LOSE, than even TRY to learn to play WITH a person in a wheelchair. At badminton that person stayed on their side and stayed far from me. I won the first game but the second one is what I remember.

There is something about being reminded so often that as far are most people are concerned it doesn’t matter that I exist. See I could be a fucking genius with an un-recordable IQ (actually it was just they said the tests weren’t sophisticated enough yet), and a shitload of degrees, or I could be a vacuous barbie girl who stares into space and ponders yet another few hours why it might be that having a wheelchair makes maintain long, painted, french nails REALLY hard! All that matters is the wheelchair. Actually I probably could get more jobs as the perky barbie girl hired out due to my hobby of doing wheelchair modeling, to put a perky smile on a companies who wanted to be “disability friendly” for a day. Because when the RCMP civilian sector actually says in a recruitment tent they won’t hire people with Fibro or Chronic Fatigue…..that means you need to have an ad to show you are complying with Federal Hiring Targets, so a picture with someone in a wheelchair with other smiling people with a “recruiting now” sign is going to be part of THAT plan.

What bothers me is that I didn’t even make it to the usual, “This is an area where we find women don’t usually excel!” or whatever other sexists bullshit there is, no, here I didn’t actually didn’t get to be a person at all because all they could see was the wheelchair. The human (or non-human) in it was irrelevant.

One of the few things I can say I am genuinely happy about is that I AM dying, because I don’t have to take this bullshit much long. I don’t have continue to be told, as I was by one employer, that no, they wouldn’t hire me because ‘we already have an arrangement to hire mentally challenged people.’ What? Well slap a “gimp” sticker and add a flavor because I actually thought that I, Elizabeth McClung was applying for work, not “Quota girl” or “Wheelchair” or “wrong disability for our token disabled person.”

I know a lot of people are against Quota systems because you get hired and people there KNOW you are the “token” or “quota gimp.” Which just illustrates that some people don’t know how to FUCK UP A SYSTEM FROM WITHIN. I DO! Hey, in a city where I could (and Cheryl or Linda will back me up) get a job by the end of the week if I simply WALKED IN THE DOOR, I will take ANY token or Quota job. And then…….what, you think I am going to do a great job quietly so that they decide to hire more people in wheelchairs? Get real, I live Victoria which has the mental equivalent of deep south some time ago, except that they don’t even consider us wheelie enough of a human or a threat to rob or lynch us.

Example: I went to Triumph and asked in a public meeting the Managerial Head if the official policy of an agency to assist people with disabilities was for people in Wheelchair to BURN TO DEATH during a fire (as the fire exit we were REQUIRED to use was not wheelchair accessible), and she hemmed a bit before saying, yes and could you please sign here verifying you have heard and will comply with the fire training you have received. Seriously. No shit! So you think that if people actually saw me as human, actually thought I was like them that I wouldn’t be pulled out of my chair by any yahoo wanting fast cash? Bet ya!

Hey, I feel more secure against rape and attack NOW because after asking a survey of hetero males, I found out that other than devos, girls in wheelchairs are considered by men in the “undressing all women” way of looking for a girlfriend or sex toy that they are “too fucking complicated…just move on.” See, a woman who can walk but might have emotional problems which includes chasing a guy with a knife is still okay if she wears high heels and has a nice ass. But ‘dem wheelchair gals, I mean, are they even okay down there? Will they moan at the right time? Just too complicated to think about……

Okay, I guess my rant is over for the day (not likely!). I am glad to be out of this fight because while I have the patience for my own pain, my own health problems, I don’t have the time or patience for the bigotry which makes “dyke haters” actually seem enlightened (they can at least identify and articulate their hatred and bigotry!). I do recommend for all those in wheelchair in Victoria to do as I am going to do, for when the bus drivers will pull up, take on all walking passengers and then tell you there is “no space.” I am going to be carrying a chain and padlock. So I don’t go, nobody goes. Or you can drag me out of the chair and beside the bus, and since I know transit drivers have to fill out forms if their mirrors get dented I am thinking that won’t be their choice, but if it is, so be it.

Do you want to know what even a country that has had a disability act for 25 years thinks of people with disabilities? There is Natalie du Toit, a South African female swimmer who also happens to have an amputation, but says that she expects no quarter nor gives one. She finished sixteenth in the 6.2 mile open swim at the Olympics. From Wheelie Catholic: Natalie, who told reporters she gets frustrated when people "look at her stump or prosthetic leg before they look at her face"

Now we have the online coverage by NBC, a major network, they have 10 pictures of her. How many until they actually show her HEAD much less her face? It takes FOUR pictures. Yes, stump she is and stump is all she will be. There are 10 pictures of her……but only ONE of her actually doing her sport.

I have to ask, is there any other competitor in the Olympics were we get endless shots of their ankle, or pecs before we are graced with a picture of a head and them doing their sport before going back to pictures of their ankle? I am just saying that I am pretty sure the 10 pictures of Michael Phelp’s swimming a race included more than 10 % of him swimming and 80% of them focused on a piece of anatomy, let’s say his ASS, his tight ass in a swimsuit. What would people say if picture after picture scrolled by of his ASS while commentary of Michel Phelp’s swim was being made, eventually one picture of him swimming, then back to ass shots.

I would think the general population would think the large network NBC was smoking the waccy tabaccy, or LOVED his ass, or were a little off, or bigots.

So that is what 25 years of a disability act gets you, 1 picture of the event, and eventually showing the person has a HEAD and a face. Here is the quote of an American swimmer she beat (from the article), "I was swimming next to her and she beat me -- and she has one leg," Sutton said. "It's incredible she was able to do that." Golly, when you get beaten by a competitor it is talk about training, when beaten by a GIMP, she is just "incredible."

"I'd even go so far as to award her a separate medal," the winner said through a translator. "I have enormous respect for her. It is exceedingly hard. Just looking at these people inspires you."

I assume by “these people” she must mean left handers, I mean, it isn’t often that Olympians see left handers. Or was it because she was white she should get a separate medal?

Du Toit did receive a special gift from officials at the rowing basin: a traditional Chinese drawing encased in a wooden box.

And see, this is why I shouldn’t be a spokeswoman because I don’t take that type of shit, as much as I might play the crip card, or milk the whole “poor crip” for my own evil ends, I don’t takem not a "special award", being called, ‘these people’ (just a note to able bodied people reading this, we are actually just known as People, females or “better off barefoot and pregnant!”, whatever works!). I would have stuffed the painting down my prosthetic and limped off on it thanking the officials. Yup, we’ve come so far. Oops, that’s you, here in Canada, we are still a few decades of education away until we work UP to our official Olympic coverage using the phrase, “these people.” And no one giving a damn.


yanub said...

Now, Beth. In all fairness, it was only after I saw picture after picture of The Food the Michael Phelps Eats that I ever saw his face. And before that, I read that he is borderline for Marfan syndrome. Which goes to show that there are two things that will get you noticed, even before you win 8 gold medals. One is having an enormous appetite. The other is being one of us, one of us, gobblegobble, one of us.

You know, a poll was recently taken in the US about disability attitudes. Only in the South did the majority of respondents state that they'd rather be disabled before dead. Everywhere else, Americans apparently prefer death. I just point this out because the South gets to be everyone's whipping boy for all bigotry, but it ain't necessarily so. It seems to me that disability hatred, in particular, is worst among those people who like to pose as sophisticated and polite. I think disability, to them, equates to disorder, and they just can't bear to see reminders that not everything is under their control.

Are there any chapters of ADAPT in Canada? It sounds to me like you all could use some rude Americans tactics, and I am not surprised to see you will be first in line to chain yourself to the bus.

sarah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I am fairly new to your blog. I must say I am a little confused. In reading your posts over the past few weeks I don't know how you could even think about getting a "job". I mean how would you know when it's time to work if you have no concept of "time". What if you have a an episode at work? These are things that you said happen to you, do you think it is fair for someone to take you on as an employee? I don't want that to come of as mean, but you make yourself out to be very uncapable. You said it yourself that you don't remeber things to well. If you work, remembering is very important.

As far as badminton goes, that is something else I am confused about. If you can't feel your arms and hands and if they turn purple and if you suffer after doing something active, why would you put yourself through that? I am a competive tennis player, when I go to the court to play a pick up game I am there to play with someone close to my level who is going to challange me, sorry but I'm not there to make someone else "feel" normal, that is my time and it's all about "me". Maybe that is the way the people you play badminton with feel. They want to feel like they are playing on their level. You said it yourself that you can't get some shots cause your wheelchair doesn't move sideways. Maybe they want to play with people that can do that. Is it nice? No. Does it suck? Yeah. But that is their "time" too. And maybe for a few hours or whatever they just want to feel challenged. I know that when we play doubles and a begginer comes on the court it is very fustrating especially if they know that they can't play on our level.

I came to your blog through a prayer site. And someone posted that they wondered if you were for real. I don't want to judge because I really don't know. But I am fasinated by how one minute you are on your death bed and the next your out playing badminton with what sounds like pretty competitive people and your looking for a job. That sounds amazing. Maybe one day you can blog about how this all started for you for us "newbies".

Take care.

Gaina said...

Let me assure you, the Disability Descrimination Act here is BS too!

Would you realistically be able to do that job with your heat intolerace and seizures? If you think you can then I say you should push it as far as you can go. The laws are only as good as the people who are willing to make a noise when others don't abide by them.

Actually if they think about it, you'd be even better for the job as a wheelchair user cos you can hold more while someone pushes you! haha.

FridaWrites said...

They're still working on the roof?? I hope they're done now.

I know what you mean about tokenism, and I hate direct discrimination. My former employer now has given out awards to its staff for helping PWDs with several specific changes even though I initiated these changes and had to spend an inordinate amount of time corresponding and talking with ornery and angry people who resisted the changes and have turned down these requests from other wheelies for years, at first citing that there wasn't enough money (despite there being plenty of money for fluff projects). In other words, they made these changes because it became clear they had to and that there would be legal action otherwise, not from the goodness of their hearts. Now they're highlighting people with disabilities in other ways to say they're disability friendly. I hate tokenism.

Yeah, and we're not "these people" or "inspiring," or my pet peeve, "brave." We're people first.

Anonymous said...

In regurds to the swimmer...it's not her "ability" but her "disablity" that makes her amazing! If I saw a picture of her "face" or of her "swimming" I would not think twice about her and what she is doing (there is a pool full of other women doing the same thing) but the pictures show me how unique she really is. And it really shows how what she is doing is truly amazing.

Elizabeth McClung said...

Yanub: Sorry I had to pick a name and that was the one that seemed most active on the NBC internet site. Maybe he doesn't have Marfans but there isn't a lot of high contact chest activity in swimming is there? A lot of Olympians have Marfans (particularly in Women's Volleyball). Ah, yes, sorry for slagging the south, that was my bias for killings of gays showing, I really shouldn't mix those two biases.

You are probably right becuase it does seem to be epedemic in for example, people on hiring boards who are all at least middle class.

I had to look up Adapt and it took a while to figure which group you meant, but when I saw wheelchairs and direct action, I knew that was the one. Yes, I want equality, you don't fill a bus with 16 people who can walk and then tell me I can go.

Sarah: Thanks, I think part of my frustration is that people CAN act this way and ablism is so ingrained that no one bothers. If someone started using the "N" word toward someone black, everyone would react, while if you say, "Hey, sorry, you are mentally disabled, and we only hire mentally disabled cripples." no one blinks.

I think that they definately wanted that game over with quickly, but that was thier choice. It is not like I am going anywhere and most of the regular players know me. The fact that they have to turn on the fans becuase I come irritates some (becuase otherwise I go green and fall over), who believe that the fans will affect the birdie and thus not make it as competitive. But it is called RECREATIONAL BADMINTON.

Yup after the whole Oscar Pistorius story this year you know they were find a crip to talk about - but then as Ouch showed, able bodied people find comparing paralymians to olympians, "Disgusting", "Filthy", "Demeaning" (I think they might have removed some of the comments about "freaks" by now)

Anon: Well first, they were advertising for "Part Time Positions" and second the shop was air conditioned and third had a ramp (as mentioned, don't know if I mentioned the air con) either way, if they are desperate, the level of accomadation would be between me and HR right?

What if I have a seizure at work? Are you asking if people with epilepsy should be "allowed" to be employed? Because that has been covered in court both in the US and Canada long ago. Just having epilespy does not eliminate someone from having a job and I am sure if you work in a building of 300 people (with epilepsy at just under 1% of the population) there will be at least one person with epilepsy there. That is why I am trying to find the right anti-seizure medication.

"do you think it is fair for someone to take you on as an employee?" - Let's see, I have five years experience managing a store, I have owned my own store, I have been an assistant manager for another 5 years or so and you think it is "unfair" for them to hire me for a couple hours a day to cover people on thier lunches when I could get handidart to come and get me every day? When it is within wheeling distance of my home. When my caregivers and partner can make the same accomadations to make sure I know a work day as they do now for care. I ring up overpriced Victoria T-shirts and you think it is "unfair" - honestly, I think the employers are getting a bargin, unless you know a lot of people with Ph.D.s who can converse in several languages who are running tills in tourists shops. What are you looking at? My limitations or my assets? And do you happen to work in Human Resources?

Well, if you had read back you would know that when I threatened legal action against the place I play that it is RECREATIONAL badminton. If I was in competitive badminton I would choose a better partner and win.

Why would I suffer through that? Becuase whatever pain comes, and my arm did turn purple, I improve my cardiovascular circulation, I do it to literally extend my life. And if you come on my court, I will attempt to not make you cry as I have said to my partners at times, "We should ramp this down a bit, remember this is recreational badminton" which oddly gets the two guys we are beating 12 to 4 really upset. I don't know why, like you, I am just stating the truth. It is true that in double I play on thier level just fine, I work one on one with the best player there (the one from the Tawain Team) as well as the Russian (hard core dude!). But when I play singles, if you beat me 11-2, fine. I am there to play badminton, not to make you feel coddled or to massage your ego. But if you are going to refuse someone being a partner based on race, religion, orientation or DISABALITY, then YOU have a problem, and you might want to find some literature to help you with that. If you are going to NOT play with your partner for the same reasons then you are all that AND a class one jerk. Where you by any chance the partner I had that night who would rather LOSE and move on to a "real" match than play with me because you don't want to deal with a "beginner." - which is odd because none to few of the regulars consider a person who usually wins in double to be a "beginner".

Well if you read from a couple years ago, the whole thing is noted from day one. From my first passing out in a tournament and if you come from a prayer group I take it you are some form of Christian. After revealing your attitude I want people to know this while I am a follower of Christ (who it appears you wouldn't want as a doubles partner because he would be a 'waste of your time' - might want to think about that), I don't associate myself usually with Christians. How can I be dying, and still go out and do stuff like 10K's and crap, becuase I get a few good hours a week - I guess you would use them to go to a movie, I am an athlete, I use them to be active, to fight. This also is documented in film and photos.

Am I still looking for a job about 15 months after everyone else with my condition would have quit. Yes. Am I out there playing badminton and ripping muscles so bad I can't sleep that night? Yes. Am I Elizabeth Fucking McClung who has to face your attitude from athletics court to the job place to the coffee shop? Oh yeah. Nice way to shove my private hidden things I reveal in my face. Classy. I also have dyslexia but became a teacher, how is that possible?

I don't want to be amazing or inspirational, I want to be a HUMAN BEING.

Now Mr. Nameless, my name is up on several international boards for my old rankings, where is yours or should I start questioning your "competitive Tennis" the same way you have been questioning me. My boxing development is up on youtube, is your tennis.

But yes, I am pissed but also, I am grateful, becuase if you don't live in Victoria, you are the life and breathe of ablism and exactly the type of crap I have to wade and wheel through on a daily basis. Take the fucking Beam out of your own eye (or in other words, thanks for commenting, but use that energy to becoming a solution to discrimination than more of a problem to people like me).

Gaina: I actually made that point, that I could stack things higher than they could be carried and wheel myself to distribe them, still didn't seem to be interested. So I guess "efficiency" doesn't overrule "wheelchair".

Realistically, there would need to be a way for others to cover shifts when I have a seizure, but since many north americans and people in the UK have epilepsy, I don't see that as a problem, this has already been accomadated many times. And luckily this store had GREAT air conditioning, one of the reasons I applied there.

Anon #2: She came in 16th. If I fenced a person with an amputated arm or leg, my job would be to win. Know the comment the woman I beat 15-4 before collapsing to the floor said at the competition becuase my heart was beating at or over 300 beats per minutes. She said, (after saving me), "If I had known you were this bad off, I would have stretched out the match longer" - competitive sport is just that. We ask for no favors and we expect none. That day, she did okay, and unless EVERYONE got a special award what they treated her as was not a COMPETITIVE ATHLETE but an inspirational non-equal human.

Frida: back to you, have to run for now.

Abi said...

People can be very shallow and conformist. It is much easier to conform and not think than to make accommodations for a person's disability, as you well know.

This is so frustrating! Everyone seems to be against you. I know that you thrive on that sort of challenge (to overcome the world), but it's just ridiculous.

Observe my dumb, inactive outrage. Sorry - once again I fail to say anything worth saying, and say it badly ;-)

Anonymous said...

Not trying to "shove" anything in your face. But for someone who needs someone to come daily to help shower, it's hard to belive you could "keep up" on the court. Sorry. Take some of your own advice and if you want to be a total ass and go "off" on me that is fine. But just know that when it comes back at ya don't play the "crip" card cause your just being treated like anyone else. If I upset you that much I wont check in anymore....shame cause you are a fantastic writer. You have a wonderful gift......

FridaWrites said...

Elizabeth, I took anonymous commenting off my blog recently for this kind of reason (the return of Mr. Glendale, Arizona to the modesty threads and RedRacer's comments to me online and in email; both have heckled others).

I prefer not to inconvenience reasonable people who might wish to stay anonymous, but it wasn't worth it.

#1 says he's been reading for a while but doesn't have anything to say until he can find something to disapprove of, in which case he has plenty to say; #2 is being creepy or a devo. We're not carnival freaks here to inspire and amaze you from otherwise blah sportswatching, #2. The swimmer says she wants to be treated as a person first and you ignore that. Wow, how creepy.

Laura said...

To anonymous- You are showing your ignorance or perhaps your disability. It really doesn't take much to go back into the archive and read from the day Elizabeth started the blog.

You state that you came to this site through a prayer site, you further state that someone there questioned Elizabeth's authenticity. Here, there is demonstrated a very non Christian like attitude. Christ taught compassion for his fellow man, you certainly aren't demonstrating that attitude and neither is the person who questioned Elizabeth's authenticity.

Perhaps you could take some of your time and do some volunteer work at a veterans hospital with the countless soldiers that come back from Iraq and Afghanistan missing limbs or with head trauma. Education is the best form of combating ignorance. You obviously need some education.

FridaWrites said...

"But for someone who needs someone to come daily to help shower, it's hard to belive you could "keep up" on the court."
Oh, now #1 is creepy too. There are plenty of people who need bathroom assistance who can keep up in a wheelchair.

It looks like the person you need to be praying for is yourself. How Christian is it to come to someone's blog and tell them that they're both not really disabled (your last paragraph) and too disabled (your first two paragraphs)?

How about you post these two responses to your prayer group and see what they say? How would they react? And what is it you're praying for, anyway? I hope it's yourself.

Your tone in your first post is just absolutely rude and passive aggressive. Your tone in your second post is just aggressive. Elizabeth's only responded to your words. And you're not treating her like everyone us, you're playing the question-the-disabled-person card.

Elizabeth McClung said...

Ai Ai Ai! Okay, what to do, first, the post was sort of a frustration about the attitudes I deal with daily which place me as a sub-human, who put my disability in front of my humanity. And the connect to that in sports, that anyone disabled must automatically be not a "real competitor" but rather inspirational or as we find some people feel, a waste of time.

Then in comes a supposed real person: Mr. Anon - and somehow he encapsulates so many of the predjudices of abilism in the comments that range from the whole "disabled are a bunch of liars who just milk the taxpayers" idea to a sort of anti accomadation, which includes the post from yesterday where about 20 people gave useful suggestion or encouragement on how to accomadate a particular aspect of my disability. Here instead is a person who says, becuase that disability exists, I shouldn't work, I shouldn't apply, I shouldn't try (if I am not lying) and I shouldn't do sports. Who makes a claim at being a competitor but can't imagine an athlete who would compete while wounded or as so many athletes have, with broken bones, or torn ligaments (I saw a triathalete, a female in the Ironman have her tendon seperate in the bike race. They told her if she stopped they might reattach it, if she kept going it would curl up and she would be in rehab for months and months - she kept going becuase she was determined to win that section, using a foot which was clamped in and could only pull up - so I have my doubts, as person who regularly uses the downward push to throw myself out of my wheelchair to get that extra three inches to hit the birdie, as to why a genuine "competitive athlete" of any kind would ask that question. But that is not here nor there.

The thing is, it is easy to focus on Mr Anon, or the simple repetition or Anon #2 who simply restates the NBC article without understand why that is wrong (put your country or ethnicity in there and see how great it feels to have people go "Amazing that the Romanians, these people can compete at all, I think we should give them a special award because they aren't like us, but.....Romanians, I mean they are 'these people' - and wow how inspirational that they do anything of accomplishment at all!"

That's easy. I think we should go back to talking about the culture itself. The Mr Anon is merely the kind of person who obviously isn't big on accomadation since the world most used is "me" - tennis=me, time=me. Well, we have a "me" culture that doesn't want to accomadate people with disabilities, I talk about many of those people in the post and I think we should go back to that and the media coverage rather than going after a person who is after all, going to be one of us.

Everyone who comments, however bigoted or ignorant (and it was a tennis player who said all those things after the 10K also wasn't it - is there something weird about that sport, or the same person?), is just on the bottom of the curve becuase we all become limited, even if just by age, we all will experience chronic pain, bladder and bowel issues, motion limitations and personal limitations up to and including using assistive devices. We will ALL most likely have a point where we need help, need help to shower. Just because Mr. Anon is not there TODAY does not mean he is not a future advocate of disability, a future advocate of disability sports (wheelchair tennis for all I know).

So please leave Mr. Anon alone for now, I have said my piece and am if not AT peace, well we have both said our bit and I think Fridawrites has covered it as well, I don't want this to be a place where people are attacked (I would prefer that included me, but that's the one exception, you can attack me!).

And though the post itself is a frustrated rant, and I would love to hear other people's frustrated rants about thier life, the people they have to face. since Mr. X Anon has spoken, and been responded to, lets move on, please.

For others who feel the need to defend the bigotry I cite in my experiences, please just email me your opinions, I have been called everything from a Nazi on down. And yes, it hurts every time if that is what you want. Making someone cry isn't them playing a "Crip card" is it them playing the "human card" - when things are said, they hurt. That's why I would rather they came to me directly so that my caregivers, my partner, my friends and others are not emotionally hurt as well.

cheryl g said...

Beautifully said in both your post and your comments Sis!

Sorry I've been so quiet... sending an email soon.

Lene Andersen said...

There's this infamous study from years ago - well, infamous in my mind, anyway - where they studied marriages (only hetero) and what happens after a disability. If the man became disabled, 50% divorced, if it was the woman, the divorce rate was 90%. It's one of the reason I don't date more than once every decade or so - nothing like it to remind you that you don't qualify as a woman. I wonder what the lesbian rate would be? Is it too late to switch teams?

NBC can do an anatomical impossibility to themselves and as for the special gift? How'd they like it shoved up their arse? How bleedin' condescending must you be? Wait, don't answer that. I have to go bang my head against a wall now.

One of "Those People"

Victor Kellar said...

"Maybe one day you can blog about how this all started for you for us "newbies"."

Well, of course! What good is a serial without a recap of the previous episode! "Last week, on Screw Bronze, Elizabeth suffered a majoy siezure and lost brain function, meanwhile, at the country manor ..." It would also be handy if you gave us previews of next week's episode: "Next time on Screw Bronze: So-called disabled wheelchair girl is exposed as a fraud by ignorant, cowardly anonymous viewer .."

Really, what kind of work of fiction are you running here?

sarah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FridaWrites said...

Wow, Lene, the divorce statistics brought tears to my eyes. This makes me feel very fortunate; my husband would leave me because of disability, though I know people who have said their spouses would, even for something like cancer. Some of it in the US is because you often can't get social security until you get divorced because your spouse's income both disqualifies you for SS and isn't enough to pay medical bills--but people still need it once their insurance money runs out or if you don't have insurance or adequate insurance.

About Sarah's comment, "maybe it would make them a better player":
Exactly--we're all challenged by trying new techniques and working with new people. Though I had my favorite ballet teachers, I really did benefit from the challenges of working with new ones. It was too easy to slide into the status quo sometimes and not strengthen specific areas or try new things.

There's another woman with spondylitis at the place formerly known as work using a scooter, a guy at our movie theater who uses a wheelchair, a woman with MD who teaches online. Two of these people are in very serious condition but they want to keep working.

Neil said...

What can one say after all that? I wouldn't have any trouble with a store clerk in a wheelchair. You might have trouble stocking the higher shelves, but if you can take in money, stock the lower shelves, and otherwise pull your own weight, who cares whether or not you wear short skirts or too much eye makeup?

It's the store's loss if they won't hire you, Beth. Offer to pray for them.

Hmmm; my Beloved gets regular public relations emails from myragan.com. Today's hot topic is 'Not sure if you should allow anonymous comments on your blog or intranet? Take a quick, five question poll on anonymous commenting and receive the FREE report, "Pros and Cons of Anonymous Blog Commenting."' It's directed to companies, but anyone can go and have a look. Sorry for the ad, but it's just so timely.

Zen hugs,

Maggie said...

Hi-I'm back amongst the living, sort of...thanks for the package. I just want you to know that I still love you and haven't forsaken you...just been sick as you know.

Shea said...

Well, the whole survey about hetero males is not important cuz after all your a lesbian. If I was a lesbian, which I'm not lol, I'd take you on wheelchair and all. So there, if that did not make you smile, I don't know what else will lol! So start a new survey! Seriously, I am really sorry about the job. It sucks that they feel that way. ~HUGS~

yanub said...

Elizabeth, I don't think your quest to work a few hours a week is farfetched at all. Carapace works 10 hours a week, and she has seizures every day, even now that they are somewhat better controlled. And when she started working at her current job, the seizures were much worse. And it is a job dealing with the public. What makes it possible for Carapace to have such a job? She has a supervisor who literally considers herself lucky to have a cheerful, capable employee who is happy to just work ten hours a week. So, you are absolutely right that it is really nothing but bigotry that keeps you from being able to work.

Maggie said...

hey-btw what about this idea: we can't hire you because you're in a wheelchair and you can't reach the top shelves. Well, on a good day and with the right shoes I top out at 5 feet tall. Should they not hire me 'cause I can't reach the top shelves? Some would see my hight (or lack there of) as a less disirable trait in a worker because I would need a lader (an accomidation). Really, where do we draw the line on acceptable discrimination? Now, I'm not saying I have a real disabilty, but if someone decided not to hire me because of my height could that count as discrimination?

Devi said...

In the spirit of going back to talking about the culture itself...

"How many until they actually show her HEAD much less her face? It takes FOUR pictures." - this reminds of the stereotypical headless pictures of fat people that are used to illustrate articles about obesity. I'm not saying being fat is the same as being disabled, but I see the same (infuriating) pattern there - if your body doesn't fit the norm (the norm being white, able-bodied, not fat, and preferably male), you don't have the right to be portrayed as a *person* with a face and a voice.

As for the people who didn't hire you - their loss indeed. What where they thinking, that the customers would mind being served by a person in a wheelchair? But then, I take it that place was some kind of fashion boutique? Good luck finding a fat (or otherwise not beauty standard-compliant) employee in such a place, let alone an employee with a disability.

Gah, there's not enough feminist rage in the world...

Tom P. said...

If the man became disabled, 50% divorced, if it was the woman, the divorce rate was 90%.

Which reminds me of the man who is running for President of the US as a republican. He divorced his wife because she had been disabled in a car accident while she waited for him to come home from his Vietnamese prison camp.

Neil said...

Two things: I just met a new supervisor with the City of Regina; she's the third supervisor over me, and she does use a wheelchair. At least the City doesn't ignore all people with disabilities.

Second: I was once refused a job on the basis of height. I'm 6'5" tall, and the job would have meant I'd have to bend to engrave headstones on a production line. No way to raise the work to my height, and the next day, there was a height restriction on the job posting. I admit that it would have been uncomfortable, and hard on my back, but it was annoying at the time.

And replying to Tom P, someone my brother worked with in a foundry had his legs crushed by falling steel. H e lost one leg below the knee and the other mid-thigh. His wife visited him in the hospital to say she couldn't stay married to "half a man." Yeah, a real morale-booster, that one.

Wishing you much higher morals, and morale, than what has happened in this set of comments.


James said...

The complete folding wheelchair ramp is made of aluminum. On the surface it is lined with slip resistant high traction tape and it can take a maximum load of 600 pounds. The ramp has a 2-inch curb protecting the wheelchair from rolling off. There are various sizes and configurations of folding wheelchair ramps and you can check them out in various online catalogues.