Leaving Treadmarkz Across the Universe

A Courtesy Call From Your Friendly Neighborhood Handicapped Lady

with 2 comments

by Treadmarkz

This one goes back a few years, but it is something that popped into my mind last night, and I would love to read people’s thoughts on the subject:

When I was still living at home with my parents, I remember them talking about sales calls they would get from a woman identifying herself only as “the handicapped lady”. What she was selling or advocating is lost to history, but the point is she used her disability as a…well, a gimmick. I don’t wanna get off on a rant here, but it also pigeonholed her as a person with disabilities, and not much more. That was all she wanted people to know about her, it seemed.

I suppose all of us with disabilities may have used our situation, blatantly or not, as a way to gain someone’s sympathy (“I can’t do that, my legs don’t work”), trust (people tend to think that disabled people are incapable of back-stabbing behavior, but it is simply not true), or just to gain an advantage that able-bodied people would not get (billions examples from un-needed SSI payments to everyday things like a seat closer to the door – anything).

But how far is taking it too far? When is using your disability to your advantage (or as a gimmick) just unhealthy self-deprecation, and a plea for pity, i.e., “the handicapped lady”?

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2 Responses

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  1. sorry this is not the right place for copying this quote of yours, but I love it!!

    ” And I like to see someone in a wheelchair being recognized as a giver, and not the recipient of a charity.”

    everyone has something to give.

    mo

    April 17, 2008 at 10:22 PM

  2. That’s true, and thank you for reminding me that I said that, but this woman was really just selling something, if I remember correctly. I just don’t know what. Even if I were selling something to raise money to help other handicapped people, I would feel like a loony introducing myself that way.

    treadmarkz

    April 19, 2008 at 6:26 PM


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