crummyvision: This is a picture of me, and I believe this was taken at a restaurant. (Default)
[personal profile] crummyvision
In the name of opening up another can of worms concerning all things visual impairment, this sticks in my mind as well as what I discussed in the previous post. You've seen and read and shared and maybe even written these posts, these lists of ways sighted people can better interact with us. I know I've shared a few myself. But the one thing that always sticks with me is this. Is it all about the help? So often even our discussions about relating to sighted people seem to put sighted people in the helper position. Even when we blind folks might wonder why sighted folks act the way they do, a common answer is, "they want to help but don't know how." Help? Help precisely with what and why, and furthermore, if there was no help needed or expected, what then? Both blind and sighted people seem to be guilty of this world view, and I suspect that with some sighted folks, they believe helping is the only way they can relate. I think there is an assumption that blind people live in a world so much apart from everyone else that we can't possibly share the same tastes or interests with anyone in the rest of the world. Or is it perhaps not that, but it is maybe believed that if you get to know a blind person personally, some social law is broken or something bad will happen, or is it just superstition, like not naming a chicken that will eventually be put into the stew pot. It puzzles me. It's like people seem eager, many times much too eager to help, as long as it's a fairly anonymous transaction, let's call it what it is, and it happens one time. It can seem as if, at least in my own experience, sighted folks who want to take it past the one-time anonymous helper stage are rarities. Part of the problem well may be the viewpoint of blindness as "worse than death" as if death isn't bad enough for most people. Utterly irrational. You can adapt to vision loss or reduction, you cannot adapt to death. So perhaps we're seen on the same level as people who have only so many days or weeks to live, even if we're fit as fiddles and intend to stay that way until our bodies give out. Or, could it be the idea that merely to interact with a blind person is an act only doable by the most virtuous of people. Again, nothing but bafflement on this end. Many blind people have dreams of just being generic invisible people, not standing out, to blend in so well that you can't tell them from any sighted person. They will hang out with the coolest and most attractive sighted friends, date attractive sighted people and maybe find one to marry. How is that going to happen when, it can seem on the sighted side of things, they see themselves as Mighty Mouse come to save the day for a blind person but not just a friend or a potential date or lover, especially when there are all manner of standard ordinary normal sighted people, just like them, easy to relate to and who might want to become more than friends? Are blind people dreaming too big then? Or, are sighted folks guilty of seeing blind folks, not so much as people but as more kindof needy creatures but who don't want much else out of life.

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crummyvision: This is a picture of me, and I believe this was taken at a restaurant. (Default)
crummyvision

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