Is everything we see filtered through prejudice, bias, and personal history?
Is it possible just to see what's there?
These questions come from something I saw on television. And of course in writing about how people see and interpret what they see, I wonder about what I saw and how I'm interpreting it - but I can't fix that. Anyways, back to watching television.
Joe is a Weather Weenie.
That's the slang name for those people who actually watch the weather channel. This does not include those who switch over to catch the local weather, they are sensible people getting information. Weather weenies actually watch the weather channel for enjoyment. Let's just say I'm on the sensible side but I cope with Joe's peccadilloes and eccentricities. (Hi Joe!)
So we (he) was watching the weather station and I turned my head when they were doing one of those 'person on the street' interviews. The person was saying talking about how bad the snow was and how the sidewalks were slippery and dangerous. As she was speaking two people in power chairs motored by behind her. She turned and saw them and then turned back to the camera and said, "Of course, it's the people in wheelchairs that I really feel sorry for."
WTF (I am using such restraint right now because I want to write that phrase out in full but shan't.)
They motored by.
When Joe and I are out in snowy slippery weather he holds on to me for support. Well, not me exactly but my wheelchair. Several times he's remained vertical because he's had hold of the handle on my chair and used it to keep himself upright.
But she turned to see two people in wheelchairs managing just fine, if not better that people walking and seemed to see something much different, much worse, much more difficult for the poor cripples. WTFuck?? (Sorry, I couldn't stop myself.)
Can't people ever see us as disabled and just fine?
I don't want people to 'Oh, I don't see your disability' me. WhatTF does that mean? I want to be seen, as disabled, and happy, and competent, and equal? I want to be seen as disabled, using a wheelchair and getting on fine on a snowy sidewalk. Is that too much to ask?