Disability

#How To Piss Off Disabled People

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*Note: I’ve edited this to include transcripts of the images. Due to formatting issues, I’ve had to include them at the bottom of the article. I’m still learning how to include image descriptions, and want to do better with this in the future.*

This week, one of the trending, or popular, hashtags on Twitter was #HowToPissOffDisabledPeople.

Disabled people (which includes people with chronic disease) were listing phrases that abled people said, or things that they did, that annoyed them.

These are things that I’m sure many abled people say, without thinking. Or even, sometimes, thinking that they are being kind, or sympathetic.

Image 1

Positive
Image 1- Thanks? I mean… I’m a whole human, with complex emotions. Just because I have disabilities and chronic illness, doesn’t mean I have to be negative and depressed all the time.

The problem with this is, these comments aren’t kind. They betray a sense of privilege, and end showing us that you think we are different, and not in a good way.

Image 2

All of this is bad
Image 2- Just… All of this…

If you are disabled, you will be used to hearing advice that is meant to be “helpful.” “Helpful” comments and “advice” that is given doesn’t actually make us grateful, but annoyed. Sorry to tell you. I wrote about why chronic disease patients might not take other people’s advice before.

Unless you are a doctor, specialising in our disease, knowing our medical history, you are not qualified to give any sort of advice. Quite frankly. In fact, your advice can be dangerous. I’ve had all sorts of people tell me to do things, that if I didn’t know better, I might have seriously harmed myself. That’s why there are so many disabled people who get upset when being told that yoga will cure their incurable disease, for example.

Image 3

Meds make you sick
Image 2- Obviously! (sarcasm very much sarcasm)
It's the vaccines
Image 3- I’m just going to say this this very clearly: Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines are good.

The hashtag also revealed how incredibly common it is for disabled people to be second class citizens. How we are treated like children, our accessibility needs ignored, and for abled people to literally push us around without our consent. As if that were acceptable.

Image 4

Pushing wheelchair
Image 4

I’ve had my walker touched, and moved, by someone without my consent, and it made me livid. Mobility devices are like an extension of ourselves, especially a wheelchair! Why would it be appropriate to move them, and move a person, without asking first?

Image 5

Employment, meds, etc
Image 5- Never question if someone needs medication. That’s between them and their doctor. Also, if they have a chronic disease… They won’t get better. It’s probably best to stop asking.
Too Young 1
Image 6- I’m 30 and have had chronic pain for years, but yet still, have had this said to me by people who should know better. I mean… Pain doesn’t have an age limit!

Image 6

If you are an abled person, and have read through these tweets, or gone to Twitter to look at the hashtag, and have recognised yourself in any of them, then take a moment.

Reflect, and think about what you could say instead of that. If you aren’t sure, or still don’t understand why that comment is offensive, please do reach out. I promise if you come to me in kindness, I will respond in same.

Otherwise, please, look at these tweets and learn from them. Us disabled folk have enough to deal with, and it’d be nice if some of this nonsense stopped.

If you are disabled, and have nodded your head along reading these tweets, then just know you aren’t alone. ♥️

Image 7

Not cancer
Image 7- Bonus! (Yes… Cancer is bad! But saying this invalidates the disease that the person actually has, which might be just as bad as cancer.)

Image Descriptions of Tweets

Image 1: Jasper, disabled badge, rainbow, turtle, @JaspWilliams. 20 Mar”

it’s great how positive you are despite…. your situation”

#HowToPissOffDisabledPeople

6 replies, 103 retweets, 317 favourites

Image 2: Lawrence Carter-Long @LCarterLong. 21 Mar

“You don’t seem disabled to me,” said as a compliment. I always wonder, “What the hell makes a person seem #disabled?” and “Holy crap! What other important (and fairly obvious details) have you been missing?”

#HowToPissOffDisabledPeople

5 replies, 52 retweets, 180 favourites

Rabbi Ruti Regan, rainbow, female symbol, USA flag, @RutiRegan. 20 Mar

“That elevator /parking is only for disabled people. You’re not in a wheelchair.”

#HowToPissOffDisabledPeople

10 replies, 144 retweets, 536 favourites

Dalia, flower, @china_dollss. 20 Mar

Have you tried being vegan? Eating healthy? Cutting out junk food? Drinking water?

#HowToPissOffDisabledPeople

18 replies, 142 retweets, 511 favourites

Lily Boulle @lillianeboulle. 20 Mar

Asking ‘what happened to you’ and gesturing at their mobility aid when you only met them 5 minutes ago

#HowToPissOffDisabledPeople

17 replies, 147 retweets, 390 favourites

Spoonie Warrior @spwarriortweets. 19 Mar

The only disability is a bad attitude.

#HowToPissOffDisabledPeople

14 replies, 234 retweets, 624 favourites

Robin Wilson-Beattie @sexAbled. 19 Mar

Complete strangers in public:

“Can I pray for/with you to receive a healing?”

#HowToPissOffDisabledPeople

12 replies, 89 retweets, 285 favourites

Image 3: Max Johnson @DuckDuckBieber. 21 Mar

“Vaccines cause autism”

“Car sears cause autism”

“Having too much money causes autism”

“Have you tried a gluten and caesin free diet?”

*blares loud sounds at me knowing that I am very sensitive to loud soubds*

#HowToPissOffDisabledPeople

1 reply, 11 retweets, 52 favourites

Image 4: Frey Prevett @Frezzles98. 21 Mar

Pushing my wheelchair without asking and continuing to after I ask to PLEASE STOP

#HowToPissOffDisabledPeople

4 replies, 16 retweets, 62 favourites

Image 5: anna leigh, fox, penguin, @amaiandtea. 22 Mar

“don’t talk about your disability on social media, you know employers can see that, right?”

#HowToPissOffDisabledPeople

3 replies, 10 retweets, 35 favourites

J. Rosenbaum @minxdragon. 21 Mar

“Are you better yet?”

“Are you improving? You are up and moving today”

I have good day, I have bad day, It’s permanent, it’s degenerative. Get over it.

#HowToPissOffDisabledPeople

1 reply, 9 retweets, 27 favourites

Sara Z. @RebbeSMZ. 20 Mar

You don’t really NEED medication. Have you tried… #HowToPissOffDisabledPeople

3 replies, 15 retweets, 52 favourites

Image 6: carver @gayfortolkien. 21 Mar

“Aww honey you’re too young for that pain, just wait till you’re my age”

#HowToPissOffDisabledPeople

4 replies, 40 retweets, 92 favourites

Image 7: Sarah Blahoveh @Sblahov. 21 Mar

“At least its not cancer.” All. The. Damn. Time.

#HowToPissOffDisabledPeople

25 retweets, 55 favourites

10 thoughts on “#How To Piss Off Disabled People

  1. I mentioned how tired I was and someone was talking about how he respected an older woman because she had worked with 2 kids when she was younger, they commented about how young I was… I didn’t even bother mentioning Hashis. I’m sick of older people talking about age making you ache or tired- AGE doesn’t do it. I have healthy parents in their 60s and 70s… one has what I have but well controlled and the other is the peak of health- they both show that age doesn’t do that. The real reason older people feel that way is because they didn’t take care of themselves properly when they were younger.
    Any damn time you tell me I’m too young to know tired, it pisses me off. Sorry for the language, but being told to just wait until I’m older to understand tired or pain (Osteoarthritis comes with injury and movement, NOT age)- you’ll tick me off.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Absolutely!

      I get so annoyed at the age comments too. I’m 30, but have had chronic pain for many years. Just because I’m younger doesn’t mean I’m not hurting. I know older people that are much healthier, and in less pain than me!

      It’s offensive to invalidate our illness and pain just because of our age.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I can relate to most of these. I’m sure people who say it mean well, but it seems so obvious that none of it is helpful, and most is condescending at best.

    Like

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