A Wedding (Un casament)
A Wedding (Un casament)
“Some penetrating looks vampirise, as if sucking your blood; others are warm like a transfusion. When referred to some moments in which I felt really observed, some abled argument those are ‘uneducated’ people: almost as if they wanted to excuse their congeners. I did not study it systematically but I am pretty sure that people glancing at you do not necessarily are uneducated (…)
A priori the gender of the snoopy tends to be more decisive: women use to stare more than men. Carer women; not cared ones. Socially speaking, the lowest classes and even the indigents use not to look, maybe because the socioeconomic handicap prevents them to consider physical disadvantage, which should not be considered a drama as far as it does not affect one of them. People in this social groups do not make difference between ‘us disabled’ and the others because apparently we do not suffer subsistence issues. The opposite end of the social scale is amazing: they stare, with no shame –and their purchasing power should mean not having problems to access to culture; so it is not that the problem. Physical handicap, deformity, noticeable difference disrupt the harmony of a world in which defects are corriged as we cover up ugliness and limited dexterity. Claude Veil says that thanks to the disabled, the ‘healthy’ person feels actually healthy.
Cultural level and purchasing power do not seem to be parameters to explain the different attitudes the valids have when coming to disability, but there is something about cultural differences. Hockenberry refers to the case of white and black population in the United States of America: ‘White people ignore me or act as I didn’t exist, while the black people around reaches out without asking’. I experimented myself a similar closeness when I was in the US: several times black people approached simply to tell me something; maybe because I was different too. A checker in some San Francisco mall loved my handbag ‘because it is black, as me’ and a truck driver in NY asked me from the cabin of his vehicle which were my orders –because it was written ‘BOSS’ in my cap. In the Texas hospital where I was admitted it was always the black nurses and porters who allowed themselves to be on familiar terms and joke about my disputable music preferences”.
ALLUÉ, Marta. DisCapacitados. La reivindicación de la igualdad en la diferencia
Artwork: A Wedding (Un casament). Olga Sacharoff, 1919-1923. Oil on canvas.