I’m teetotal. For those people who haven’t heard the phrase, it means that I don’t drink alcohol. It’s not a religious belief, or a health thing. I just don’t like the taste of alcohol (or the loss of control that goes with it).
I haven’t always been teetotal, it’s been 15 or so years since I drank and I don’t miss it at all. Especially every other Sunday now that I’m on Humira. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my immuno-kryptonite, but there are some side effects that aren’t exactly pleasant. Of course there’s always the suppressed immune system which means that I have to be careful about the contact I have with ill people. But there’s a more consistent and regular pattern.
Yes, that’s poor grammar. But I bet it got your attention! Over the last 18 months or so I’ve paid more attention to disability issues. And I’ve noticed that there’s a lot more disablism out there than I expected.
I’m not just talking about a general ignorance among the general population about the issues that people with disabilities face. There’s also a kind of hierarchy of disabilities that are deemed more or less acceptable. I’ve also seen a lot of “my condition is bigger/badder/more life affecting than yours” posts as well as comparing symptoms to decide (subconsciously) who suffers most.
As I touched on in my last post, I have a feeling that this is due to the attitude we as a country have towards disability and benefits. The media and government have moulded our thoughts by publishing story after story about people claiming disability benefits while working, playing sports or other physically demanding activities. We’re led to believe that those people are “playing the system”, that they don’t deserve the support. How many times have you seen someone with a blue parking badge and thought “but it doesn’t look like there’s anything wrong with her!?” Continue reading “Bad, badder, baddest.”
This article appeared in The Sun today. It’s a typical British tabloid article that could have been published in so many of our papers. But it’s a perfect example of the Benefits Shaming culture that this government (like so many before it) is encouraging.
Before we even read the article we can see what we’re expected to believe. With a title like “Batman and Robbin’” the writer and editor want us to believe that this is another case of a person with a “disability” (quotation marks implied) who is “stealing” (quotation marks mine) from the hard working tax payer.
Let me ask you something. If the title and byline were closer to “Even heroes can be disabled” and the content discussed how this brave man overcomes the odds to do brave things despite a potentially crippling life long, painful and incurable genetic disease. If it went on to say that he is able to work because of the amazing advantages that we have in the UK because of the NHS, and the extra support that we (as hard working tax payers) provide. How would you feel about him? Continue reading “Cheats and Scroungers and Fraudsters. Oh my!”