Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Dude who uses a wheelchair really dislikes wheelchair-bound

A good friend referred to someone as wheelchair-bound in her Facebook status. I commented that she should call the guy "a dude in a wheelchair" because wheelchair-bound was yucky. She responded that she could tell he was bound because the guy tried to chase her. I suppose she is right, but the term is still yucky. Actually, I didn't care too much, even though I knew it was uncool and not a phrase I would use. But I did a google search on wheelchair-bound,and all the headlines that refer to people that way made me feel a little sick. Here are just three reasons to avoid it:

  • First off, as Mom pointed out, it is just wrong. Wheelchairs are actually freeing, not binding. Without a chair, I would be stuck in the house 24/7.
  • Also, few, if any, are actually in their chair all day. I am typing this from the comfort of my couch where I transfered after hours in my chair. No one is tied to their wheelchair as bound means.
  • Why does someone who uses a wheelchair get defined by their mode of transportation? Are people who walk foot-bound? That's pretty demeaning -- to bind me to my transportation. 


jess said...

Omg - this is freaky. Just this weekend, my husband used the term 'wheelchair bound' to describe someone and I stopped him, telling him that you had educated us all on this issue before. Tell me you did, cause if this was some kind of eerie premonition, we're going to start channeling lottery numbers and retire.

Anyway, the only part that I remembered was the fact that the chair itself was actually liberating rather than confining, but that was enough to convince him at the time. Best part was, my nine year old heard it and couldn't have agreed more. She said, 'That makes sense. The only way he'd REALLY be stuck is if he DIDN'T have the chair.' Well, maybe a little oversimplified, but I thought you'd like to know that you're responsible for multigenerational enlightenment. ;)

Anonymous said...

Just this weekend, there was a letter in Free For All in the WaPo about this, objecting to a reference to confined to a wheelchair in an article. Then for some inexplicable reason, they published a rebuttal to that letter saying that confined was a perfectly good description. I thought about instigating a flame war, but decided my time was better spent elsewhere. It made me so unbelievably angry, especially since three of the chair-users I know were out rolling against breast cancer at the time. Maybe it is time for a flame war.

Anonymous said...

I am game for a flame war. Tony showed me the comment in the WP and I was about to go crazy. I cannot stand anyone using the term wheelchair-bound. I am not a mummy in my wheelchair!

Anonymous said...

S, I agree. I remember thinking when I was with you at Shepherd that the only time you are still is when you are not using your chair. "Confined" is the last word I would use for you three -- rock-climbing anybody?

Matt Trott said...

Awesome I mentioned wheelchair-bound once before but just to say an actor used it and I hated it. This is so cool. Kids get me; now I just need to convince adults I am not crazy. OK Jess, what is my favorite Mel Brooks movie?

Mom and I talked about the WaPo letter. Flame wars are fun. Do it.

I always think of sdt when I see "wheelchair-bound." She is so unbound, off the hook really. For real.

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