11 February 2012

No Laughing Matter

Sometimes humor can border on the line of being offensive. Sexist, moderately racist, and "dirty" jokes might piss some people off or be considered distasteful but most the time I find them funny when not taken too far. One thing I will never, ever find funny though is when people are making fun of the disabled.

I have an eight year old nephew with autism, however my sensitivity to this subject does not stem from personal experience. I obviously am not raising him but I know what a struggle it is everyday to try and meet his needs. He can't talk and this makes things difficult. While I don't feel like my nephew faces the same ridicule as children with an obvious physical difference, he is definitely subjected to stares and whispers in public because his behavior is not that of your typical eight year old. It doesn't really bother me that people are curious, but when they so blatantly stare because he's throwing a tantrum over something he can't express and clearly  just assume he's a brat, it does start to piss me off.

I have always felt sympathy towards others. I always knew not to stare at, judge or make fun others for their differences. It's not something that has to be taught or instilled in you from a young age. It's just common fucking sense. It's how we should treat people.

Not everyone has a sense of compassion in them though. The other day I saw one of the absolutely most offensive pictures posted on Facebook. It was a poorly Photoshopped picture of a little girl with a clear physical and mental ailment that had an incredibly mean caption beneath it, meant to be funny. The more I thought about it, the worse I felt. It makes my stomach sick to think that this is someone's little girl, someone's baby and just a means of amusement to others. Some woman carried this child for nine months inside her. Maybe the mother knew that her child was going to be disabled, maybe she didn't. Either way she did not ask for it and she certainly didn't  expect someone so precious to her to be the center of an incredibly heartless "joke".

Parents with special needs children have it hard enough. Do they really need to add into the mix your lack of consideration?

Me and my nephew, Drew, at my wedding. Impossible to get him to look at the camera!

12 Thoughts :

Denise February 11, 2012 at 6:29 PM  

Very well said! Some people can be so inconsiderate.

Holly February 11, 2012 at 6:34 PM  

I want a *like* button for this post. :)

Ashley February 11, 2012 at 9:10 PM  

I will never understand why people think it is okay, much less funny, to make fun of people who are disabled.

Kate @ Daffodils February 12, 2012 at 1:35 AM  

I agree! There are definitely limits, especially with children, and even moreso with disabled children.

Your nephew is lucky to have such a loving family!

Caiti February 12, 2012 at 9:29 AM  

Agreed. I once knew someone who came to a Halloween party as an, not kidding, "aborted baby". Sometimes people just have no sense of what is right and what is wrong. Or compassion, like you said. It's amazing the level of insensitivity that people can show. It's a lack of empathy. How would you feel if it was you or yours? Good post!

Jazz February 12, 2012 at 9:35 AM  

Completely agree with this post 100%. It sickens me when people make petty remarks about people with disabilities or even just look at them in a way you wouldn't look at someone without disabilities. What the hell gives them the right!? Uch, sick sick people.

My boyfriends mum looks after an 8 year old boy with autism, and like Drew, he can't speak. The only way he communicates is by making noises or pointing. But in all honesty, even if he is a little on the naughty side, he is one of the best kids I have ever met and he is just so affectionate and kind. But then my boyfriends mum is always telling me about how he accidentally hits people when out or is too loud or makes noises and doesn't speak properly, and she explains every time, not one person will smile and accept it, they all have to give a funny look.

Grrr some people. Makes me so angry.

You honestly do the best posts!

Our Happy Married Life... February 12, 2012 at 10:54 AM  

very well said! My heart hurts so badly when I see others making fun of people. Especially disabled children and adults. Even reading this breaks my heart. I can't believe anyone would put a picture on fb and make fun of a helpless child like that. What is wrong with people?

Melanie February 12, 2012 at 1:29 PM  

I SO agree w/ you 110% girly. Nothing erks me more than some stupid sad idiot hurting childeren, physically or emotionally. All kiddos are such a gift. I've learned more from my Jax than anyone EVER. Thanks for this post love. You are such a beautiful mama, inside & out. Xo

P/S ooooo what is your tattoo of?

marie February 13, 2012 at 1:01 AM  

I agree, these kids/people are called special for a reason. They may have certain handicaps, physical or otherwise, but they have a heart of gold.

Every special needs kid that I have ever come in contact with has always given me a hug, complete unconditional love.

I know a few kids with Autism and it is a definite struggle for the parents. But bless their hearts they step up to the challenge because they love their kids just like we all do.

Funny & clever racial and sexist jokes can be funny. I never take anything too seriously. I grew up in the ghetto, I lived it. All my friends were of other races and they made fun of me daily, they cracked me up. They were great though because they could totally make fun of themselves too.

Shannon February 13, 2012 at 8:48 AM  

i've never been one to make fun of a child with special needs, but now that i'm a mom, that stuff outright infuriates me. (likely because I can now relate) this needed to be said. good job.

Danielle-Marie February 13, 2012 at 12:36 PM  

Everybody needs to read this! Sharing!

LOVE MELISSA:) February 18, 2012 at 4:00 PM  

THank you for this post. I have two really good friends who have disabled children and nothing hurts me more. Actually, it outright infuriates me. I am so glad you posted this!