(reality tv gifs)
Should that cheetah be so close to those ladies?
Would you ever physically grab a stranger, by the hand or body, in the street, in a shop, in any public space, and physically move them around without their consent?
So at what point does it become okay to grab the handles of a wheelchair, to snatch at what is an extension of the body for the purposes of mobility, and move a person around without their consent?
The former would be abhorrent, and the latter potentially more so as you are taking control of their mobility. This includes their ability to get away.
Yet time and time again I hear of strangers grabbing the handles of chairs and physically moving people without their consent. This is an act of ignorance, and of borderline assault. Grabbing a person, for comedy or novelty, and taking away their ability to move and also to get away. When you are handling a person’s wheelchair, they cannot necessarily escape, they may have no way to move as you are in control of their legs.
Unless given expressed permission, never, EVER take control of a person’s wheelchair.
This is beyond etiquette, it is about bodily integrity and security.
I’m having a really hard time understanding this because I cannot believe that anyone would EVER actually take someone’s wheelchair and move it without consent or invitation…like. That happens?! Who does that!?!
The assumption that work is a passport to dignity and security, that work is what makes life worth living, is so deeply embedded in our culture that it is almost heretical to think otherwise. But the problem isn’t just the lack of work. It’s also the lack of hope. Young people leaving school and university can no longer kid themselves that their future is likely to include a stable place to live, love and get on with growing up, even if they do manage to find paid work.
Here’s what is notably not being said to the young and desperate: you are more than your inability to find a job. Your value to a potential employer is not the sole measure of your worth as a person. If you can find only precarious, exhausting, depressing work, or if you can’t find work at all, that doesn’t mean you are useless, lazy, or a “waste of space”.