[nabs-l] My Blindness Philosophy is Better than Yours
jsoro620 at gmail.com
Mon Jun 13 10:13:01 UTC 2016
Should a blind person use their disability to take advantage of social perks?
I briefly touched on the following story elsewhere in these pages. It
has bearing on the current point though, so hang in there for a
Back in college I was once traveling with a fellow blind friend on
Greyhound. We happened to arrive at the gate before anyone else, but
because my traveling companion was, probably still is, an ultra
independent blind person, they refused to board the bus first. The bus
driver was confused. Why would this person want to let other
passengers skip ahead when we'd beaten everyone else to the gate? The
bus driver couldn't understand my companion was refusing to get on the
bus ahead of everyone else on principle. Allowing persons with
disabilities to skip ahead in line is just something society expects,
and my companion, following their own philosophy of independence, was
not going to feed into that presumptive notion.
I have always wondered about the rationale to this way of thinking.
What is it about using certain social perks directly linked to
disabilities that inspire such delicate feelings of inferiority?
Perhaps we are afraid to look inept by jumping to the front of a line.
That speaks to perception, and just as laws do not change minds
overnight, your position in line is not likely to automatically make
someone think you are any more or less capable by standing ahead or
behind. Do we really believe standing in the middle of the crowd will
somehow make us more a part of the people? Will that translate to
making us more approachable? More datable? More employable? Your
subsequent words and actions after getting in line are more likely to
have an influence over someone's opinion of you as a blind individual.
Making a scene to be treated as an equal does not create equality. It
creates a spectacle.
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