Last night I had the pleasure of one of those deep and honest conversations that touches your soul. Sitting with two women who are equally passionate about the injustices in society, I felt I was part of a ‘tribe’.
We talked about Life and Death and peacefulness that had filled our minds during our own near death experiences when we had lain in a hospital bed (or floor) ready to take our last breath (yet Life had surprisingly kept us going). I was comforted to hear that, having also experienced this, these women recognise that it is not Death we fear but rather the process of dying. Why, in such a modern society do we still allow people to dye without dignity and without choice?
The question hung in the air and we knew we would need to make a change…
Soon our conversation moved to disabilities. Each of us with our own and varying lengths of experience.
We talked openly about the hurt we feel on a daily basis and why it’s not ‘sexy’ to campaign for disability rights. We recognised the self loathing felt when you try to get others to hear your voice. ‘Stop making a fuss Fiona. Stop complaining. Just get on with it. Don’t you realise how lucky you are to be alive. So what if things are harder. You just need to fit around society now…’ and so on. I felt extreme comfort to know I was not alone. Did all disabled people feel like this when they wanted to voice their concerns? Did all recognise the disconnect from society and the realisation that change, actually, wasn’t happening?
And why was this anyway? Why were disabled people still marginalised by society? Perhaps you (the reader) are probably thinking ‘dissabled people aren’t, there’s loads of provisions in place’ but are there? Really?
Let me give you an example. If you walked up to a door and it said ‘no white people’ or ‘no women’ or ‘no gays’ how would you feel? How would you respond? How would society respond?
However, disabled people face this every day. The doors they can’t go through. The stairs they can’t climb. The lifts hidden away like they are a dirty secret to be kept from society (the people, not the lifts), the toilets we can’t use…the list is endless.
Why is it that we can campaign for the rights of other groups but not for disabled people?
We concluded (each with our own experience) that when we campaign for the rights of gay people or the rights of women that we are campaigning above love and joy. However, when we compaign about our rights as disabled people we are campaigning about pain and suffering.
Here is an example…
I recently met with the network rail inclusions manager about my experience at Kingscross Station. Despite her being a wheelchair user I was less than impressed with her understanding of disabilities…
You need a stronger backbone
You should expect to be challenged
It’s not like you are in a wheelchair
filled my ears and I was left feeling disgusted that this was the view of not only another disabled person but a person whose paid job was to protect other people with disabilities.
This was worsened when I raised the injustice of the Paralympian who recently had to wet herself on the train because the disabled toilet was out of order..
We’ve all been there.
came the unjust response.
Really??? Has society constantly shutting the door in this women’s face led her to believe this? To believe that this is acceptable.
I know one thing for sure…if a carriage of able bodied people wet themselves on a train there would be an outrage.
Think about it.
This needs to change! What do we need to do to stop disabled people being excluded?
Be the change!
I’d love to hear your ideas.
Love and light, Fi xxx
You can read more about Fi Munro on her website and public Facebook page.
She is also on twitter, instagram and youtube.
© FKMunro.com 2017