Saturday, March 21, 2015

Why is This Still a Thing?

For the most part, I had a good day at the market.  Even though I had barely made $60.00 I was in a good mood.  With Lucy's assistance, I trained my newest employee, Kelly, how to do the market shift.  Kelly did very well too!

Customers were amiable and appreciative of my artwork.  I was happy and feeling secure with my place in the universe.

And then, this woman came up to the three of us, pointed at me, and asked Lucy: "M.S.?" I gritted my teeth, knowing that 1) the woman had reduced my whole being to a medical condition; 2) she got my condition wrong (I have C.P. not M.S.); and, 3) she assumed that I was void of reason and intellect.

With Lucy's help, and trying to be as glib as possible, I told the woman that she was mistaken - my name was Anne Abbott not M.S.!  Unfortunately, she either didn't notice or didn't understand my biting sarcasm.  Instead - much to my absolute horror! - the woman started patting me on the head and saying, "You poor brave woman!"

Brave my ass.  I think she was brave for humiliating me in public like that.  Why do I call her brave?  Well, because after suffering this kind of treatment by total strangers for most of my life, I think one day I just might snap and run amok, screaming and chasing the offending people around with my power wheelchair.  

Why is this still a thing? Ableism, I mean.  Hurtful, humilating ableism.  It's 2015, for goodness sake!  People should know better by now! But what am I talking about?  There's still racism, sexism, classism, etc etc etc. 

I have to cling onto hope, though.

I went to Hot House for dinner  with Brittainy today.  While Brittainy was in the washroom, one of the waiters came over, asked how I was and if he could get me a drink.  Our conversation lasted maybe two minutes, but it made me so happy because he saw me as an actual person.

Sometimes there is a glimmer of hope.

No comments: