There’s an awful post up at Feministe about a woman with muscular dystrophy who had a horrific ordeal while travelling:
On July 20th, Julianna’s (delayed) Delta flight landed in Atlanta at 7:30pm, with a connecting flight scheduled for 8:05pm. Julianna, who has muscular dystrophy, missed the connecting flight because nobody came with a wheelchair until 8:05—the same time the connecting flight took off. To make matters worse, the plane crew told Julianna she might make the flight anyway if she stopped waiting for help and got off the plane right now, so she crawled down the stairs on her own.
The full story is up at The Consumerist, and while I certainly recommend reading it, it’s probably best to stay away from the comments section.
After all, it only took the second comment at Feministe for the bullshit to start. (It’s a little ironic, given the Feministe post is itself concerned with the comments at Consumerist).
And it’s not like all disabled people are saints- I’ve encountered a few that acted like they deserved more entitlements than the rest of the world just because they happen to have a mild defect that puts them in a wheelchair.
Well, first things first, the commenter is clearly a gigantic asshole.
But, um, there’s apparently a bit of a misconception here, and, well, I guess I owe it to what readers I have to explain something: disabled people are human beings.
I know, shocking, right? It’s totally counter to the received wisdom that disabled people = Saintly Enlightened Beings Who Suffer With Angelic Patience Through Their Difficult But Inspiring Lives* (remembering of course that what’s important is how they make able-bodied people feel, natch), but nevertheless, dear readers, the truth is out: just like the able-bodied, disabled people can be jerks! They can have bad days! They can hold firm opinions that might not agree with your own!
Of course, I’m not sure how this translates into “ergo we, the able-bodied, shouldn’t care that a woman was abused and neglected and forced to crawl off a fucking aeroplane”. Any thoughts?