Friday, November 06, 2020

I've Another Email to Write

 Today everyone seems to be attending Zoom meetings and though it takes a little getting used to, it's a safe and convenient way for us all to meet. (I sent out my very first Zoom meeting invite on my brand new Zoom account. Although I've actually had it for a while, I used it for the first time today, but I digress.) I found something interesting happened yesterday while meeting. I was meeting with a group of people only one of which I knew before the meeting.

In the meeting, I was an active part, something that should not surprise you, and about halfway through I 'came out' as a wheelchair user. I was sitting in my chair during the meeting but the camera does not catch the chair because, um, I'm in it. Something strange happened. Subtle changes, I acknowledged less often by the chair and my ideas were packaged and parked in that space between 'not recorded for the minutes' and ' would you please shut up.'

I tried to point out in the meeting what had just happened and that the big reveal of my disability diminished people's respect for my ideas. Gosh, they got angry ... at me. People don't like having their prejudice pointed out to them. People don't want to acknowledge the privilege of always being considered legitimate. So, I was seen as a disrupter. 

I received an email two days later saying, in effect, 'thanks for your contribution, we don't feel that it would be necessary for you to continue on this committee.'


I was there as a volunteer from the start.

And now I'm not.

I guess we should just eat shit for dinner and thank the asshole that served it up.. That's not my way.

And this isn't over.


Christina P ONeill said...

What sort of committee is this? If it were a sports team and you were expected to play, that's one thing. And if they're having Zoom meetings, your being able to physically get to a meeting place is not an issue -- that's another thing. They apparently don't realize that the less mobile among us have more time to be thoughtful, as I have found you to be (not to mention a great sense of humor). I hope that you can find a venue that appreciates you.

Myrthe said...

I'm sorry that happened to you. I admire you for standing up for yourself.

Myrthe said...

By "I admire you for standing up for yourself", I mean: I would have frozen in shock, kept my head down, and felt embarassed.

I'm still working on my ability to insist I be respected. I admire people who can do that.

ABEhrhardt said...

Wow. It may be a good thing you found out about a bunch of prejudiced people right away!

That makes me angry when it happens to me, and makes me VERY reluctant to use the fact that my main character is disabled - and I am, too - when trying to advertise my mainstream trilogy. What do you think?

They think they're covering well - we're not stupid.

wheeliecrone said...

Yes, indeed, Dave.

It is definitely time for a succinct, direct email.

Give them Hell, Dave.

Andrea Shettle, MSW said...

I admire your ability to keep plugging away in the fight against discrimination. I often feel I should do more than I do when I experience discrimination and inaccessibility myself. I hope this latest round of advocacy produces meaningful change.

Andrea S.