Tuesday, August 05, 2008

It's not funny

"An ugly story" accompanied by "a disgraceful set of comments" - that's how the blogger Wheelchair Dancer describes this story about a women who charges she was ridiculed by firefighters sent to assist her when her self-powered wheelchair chair got stuck in the up position. The basic story: when FDY arrived at the woman's home, according to the lawsuit she has filed against NY city, they laughed at her openly because she was stuck in her chair. And then one of them broke her shoulder. The woman, who is paralyzed down her left side and does not speak English, also alleges that a Spanish-speaking firefighter ignored her requests to be careful before grabbing her by the wrist and yanking her.

Here is more of Wheelchair Dancer's response:

This is an appalling story; it and the comments at Gothamist reveal the ease with which weight and disability become the targets of humour. I don't know why fat is so funny. I long ago ceased to find fatsuits funny (teenage years?) -- feminism and other teenage girls do that for you. I don't find being stuck in your mobility technology funny, either. Why are fat and disability funny? Honestly, I don't get it.

I hope that the suit is successful. Because a fat woman stuck in her chair *is* an emergency -- no, I don't think she should have called the chair service people. Because a fat woman in a chair is a human being. And because all citizens deserve some dignity.

You can read her entire post here.