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'X is bringing her wheelchair friend.'

(81 Posts)
Grockle Mon 10-Mar-14 18:59:49

AIBU to find this offensive?

I'm an occasional wheelchair user and can't decide if I am perfectly justified in thinking that was a really crappy way of saying that someone was visiting us and bringing her friend who happens to be in a wheelchair.

X is not friends with a wheelchair but the person in it.

I sat quietly & didn't say anything but had to bite my tongue. I wish I'd said something though.


fanjoforthemammaries7850 Mon 10-Mar-14 19:01:13

YANBU it's a bit crap.

CMOTDibbler Mon 10-Mar-14 19:02:32

Its really offensive. Unless y needs some specific help to access the event, her wheelchair doesn't need to be mentioned at all. In that case its 'x is bringing y with her. Y will need the wheelchair ramps put out'

LindyHemming Mon 10-Mar-14 19:02:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Catsmamma Mon 10-Mar-14 19:02:37

can't you just say frostily "Surely x's friend has a name???"

Fathertedfan Mon 10-Mar-14 19:05:42

Horribly offensive.

cory Mon 10-Mar-14 19:05:57

I'd assume it meant that she was bringing a wheelchair with whom she happened to be on friendly terms.

(never seemed to quite manage it myself with our family wheelchair, but I am sure there are wheelchairs and wheelchairs).

Chippednailvarnish Mon 10-Mar-14 19:05:57

It's crap, no excuses.

Perfectlypurple Mon 10-Mar-14 19:08:28

Yanbu. Awful way to describe someone

hunreeeal Mon 10-Mar-14 19:09:28


Dawndonnaagain Mon 10-Mar-14 19:11:23

How fucking rude!

Burren Mon 10-Mar-14 19:13:40

Inexcusable unless the speaker is a small child.

(It does suggest that X and the wheelchair go to the pub together, have meaningful chats and are going to be one another's bridesmaids.)

Grockle Mon 10-Mar-14 19:14:47

Thank you. I was seething but was in a meeting where I should have said something but was feeling shitty about other stuff & wasn't brave enough. If my boss ever speaks like that again though, I will say something.

She then added 'so that'll be interesting' We work in a brand new, fully accessible building with wide corridors etc angry

NewToAllThis11 Mon 10-Mar-14 19:16:26

Yes, offensive and patronising.

ElkTheory Mon 10-Mar-14 19:17:08

YANBU. I would imagine the person was merely thoughtless, rather than intentionally unkind. But that doesn't change the fact that what she said was very offensive.

SauvignonBlanche Mon 10-Mar-14 19:17:34

YANBU at all, that's very offensive.

SomewhatSilly Mon 10-Mar-14 19:18:50

So this was said in a work context?

ElkTheory Mon 10-Mar-14 19:19:00

Cross posts. Perhaps I was wrong and she was being intentionally unkind. She sounds quite horrible.

MadBusLady Mon 10-Mar-14 19:19:43

Urgh. "Interesting" how? angry

manicinsomniac Mon 10-Mar-14 19:20:21

It's offensive. But whether or not it's slightly offensive or horribly so depends on the person who said it.

If they are generally dismissive of those with disabilities and see them as inferior then it's horribly offensive. If they just had a bit of foot in mouth disease, weren't thinking, were rattling off a long list of information or are a bit blunt then it was slightly offensive.

MadBusLady Mon 10-Mar-14 19:20:39

If you were feeling brave tomorrow you could bring it up privately in a "I found it quite uncomfortable when..." way. Probably more likely to work than a challenge in front of other people anyway.

QOD Mon 10-Mar-14 19:22:28

My gran always referred to "my cripple friend Barbara"

She only had one friend called Barbara ...

ParsingFancy Mon 10-Mar-14 19:22:51

Oh god, I hate to think what my wheelchair's saying about me behind my back.

Do you think it wants to go the pub on its own? Have a good bitch about how it doesn't get pumped up enough and its idiot human smacked it into a curb last week?

I'll be done for wheelchair abuse. <sadface>

TheBody Mon 10-Mar-14 19:32:40

far too close to my heart subject afraid op. I would have been sacked as I would have smacked her in the face.

however you could ask her 'interesting using a wheelchair? how so? it could happen to any of us at any age and at any time. just a crash away.

if she's interested tell her to go see Stoke Mandiville hospital and see how jolly interesting the teens there find using their wheelchairs.

stupid bitch.

DoJo Mon 10-Mar-14 19:38:41

I assumed from the title that it was a child who had said it, in which case I would suggest that a quiet word on how to describe people would have been in order, but nothing inherently offensive about a child who finds that particular aspect of someone exceptionally fascinating.

From an adult though, it is not just unacceptable, but downright odd. Who even thinks that, let alone says it? Has this person been under a rock for the last...well...ever?

Only you know whether she is a lovely person who genuinely has no idea of the appropriate way to describe someone with disabilities or (and I suspect this is more likely) a twat who doesn't care who she offends. If it's the latter, then I would think that calling her on it might give her an opportunity to learn something and hopefully avoid upsetting X's friend in person.

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