Congratulations for stumbling over this way. Unless I dragged you here kicking and screaming, in which case, *shrug*. If you like what you see, or more hopefully, you DON’T like what you see, then do something. Say something. Don’t just sit there quietly, don’t just walk away, don’t just say to your friends, “Someone should really do something about that.” BE that someone. If you don’t want to disrupt your comfortable life, by all means, feel free to exit now. I don’t blame you. I didn’t want to be an activist, either. But, “If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.” You’re IT, one way or the other.
I am married to the man of my dreams. He’s crazy smart, unrestrainedly kind, impossibly generous, head-shakingly humorous and unbearable sexy. When I first ran across something he wrote, I knew I had to meet this guy. Imagine my great delight when I discovered he not only fit all the checks on my “list”, he was SINGLE! I would have moved heaven and earth to be with him, and I pretty much did. Luckily for me, he had the good sense to be equally interested.
But this blog is not about that. I consider myself to be open-minded, tolerant, and willing to tackle injustice when I see it. I hadn’t seen it much. I mean, I saw some. I am a woman, after all. I was a single mom for the better part of a decade. I have three daughters. I have seen discrimination and prejudice first hand, even in my liberal, New England town. But it wasn’t like I saw it every day.
When I moved in with my husband, that all changed. No matter where we go or what we do, we face some barrier. It might be something relatively small: a blocked parking space or curb cut, it might be stairs at the entrance to the main branch of a central bank, it might be the clerk talking only to me and trying to hand me change, even when my husband is the one paying. But sometimes it is huge, like fighting a team of medical staff in order to get lifesaving treatment.
My husband has a disability and uses a wheelchair. It is the first thing most people notice about him. I could go on and on about the endless variety of discrimination and prejudice we encounter, and I will. But for this intro, I’ll just say, it sucks. Society’s view of disability is far more disabling than any impairment a person can have.
I never wanted to be an activist. But on a day-to-day basis, I experience situations that scream for attention. I don’t have the answers, but maybe by asking enough questions, we can find some. I don’t know the way out of this maze, but perhaps by shining a light on issues I see, we can find a way.
In any case, since you’re still reading, you’re on the hook with me. You can still walk away, but you can’t walk away unknowing. Whether you like it or not, whenever you see a blocked handicapped parking space, or notice tables too close together in restaurants, or see how anything “handicapped” is often segregated and treated as “other”, you’ll remember what you read here. I hope so, anyway.
Tag, you’re it.