Gag me with a spoon

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?

*See also “children suffering from terminal illness”, “murdered/kidnapped children”, and “missing young attractive white women”.
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2 comments

  1. Ami Angelwings

    I hate how so many ppl seem to think that there’s only two choices in how they see ppl with disabilities, either pity or “OMG UR JUST LAZY STOP COMPLAINING AND SUCK IT UP”, like that if they dun do that then they’re giving them pity and that’s bad, as if there’s no OTHER way to treat them like.. WITH THE SAME RESPECT YOU GIVE ABLED BODIED PPL!? >:O

    That comment amazes and disgusts me 😦

    I love how wanting to be treated with the same dignity and respect that abled ppl take for granted and are afforded is “being entitled” >:| Kinda like how ppl say that transppl are “entitled” b/c we want society to give basic respect to our identity 😦

  2. Natasha Yar-Routh

    To answer your question, 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”. it doesn’t. It is a purely defensive response to be aksed to think about how society treats the disabled. You see the same thing when racism is brought up.

    It’s the ‘It’s not MY fault and besides person X of group Y was mean to me so THERE!’ No logic just an inability at any self examination or awareness.