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.
6 hours ago