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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
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I have given some more thought to the reason why the portrayal of people with a disability tends to be so stereotyping and usually takes the biased form of "poor creature" triggering the well-known "so poor, but so brave"-reaction in the public.

Average persons with average self esteem need a victim (and the target group of most books, movies, soaps are after all the "average people" otherwise it would not pay off!); they need someone to feel superior to (not necessarilly consciously), someone who is subjectively perceived as "worse off" in order to boost their mediocre self-confidence.

On the other hand, if a person is not familiar with a potential situation, then "images"(or call it "prejudice") are created which this person associates with a certain situation or certain people which act as substitute for actual experience. Kids learn at a very early age "do not stare when you see a person with a "bad" leg or arm, it´s not polite", so they jump to the conclusion that it is "something taboo" "something you are not supposed to talk about", "something to ignore". Which immediately creates uneasiness and suspicion. And which, as a result, is never "corrected" if the person is not exposed to a person with a disability. I have seen the most intelligent, educated and eloquent people beginning to stutter and blush around a person with a disability, since for lack of experience this is a potentially embarassing situation which, in their opinion, they might not be able to cope with. And there is nothing easier to deal with a potentially embarassing situation than to avoid it altogether, in order not to make a fool of oneself.

Any thought on this???



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