Even with a Pair of Crutches, I Still Can’t Fight Against the Media

来源:有人杂志   作者:刘姝汶   2015.05.04 15:18  浏览1728
摘要:What I want to say is that people with disabilities are not as pathetic as media portrays. As for myself, except for a pair of crutches, I am only an ordinary office worker. Media reports should focus on what people with disabilities can do, instead of only how we need help.

I would often search the Internet for information about college students with disabilities, successful people with disabilities, entrepreneurs with disabilities, civil servants with disabilities and works of people with disabilities and so on. How do I put this? When I was in university, I was the only one with a pair of crutches, making “a beautiful scene” on the campus. In my daily life, I only knew a few disabled friends on the Internet, but rarely saw them in real life. After I joined the work force, the office was full of professional people in suits and leather shoes with handsome and highly esteemed looks. I have not met a single person with a disability. As for me, a person with a physical disability in the office, I felt like a weirdo all day long.

Over the years, to my friends, I have always been a heartless cow girl; to my teachers, I have always been an excellent student with self-reliance; to my colleagues, I have always been a speedy performer. Everything seemed good, but there were always a lot of people and things constantly reminding me that I am not like the others. However, in reality, I could rarely find friends with disabilities to communicate with. Since my childhood, my family has not been well-off, and I have been in poor physical condition. Although my community gave me a lot of care and assistance, I often dealt with the media. Except for the pair of crutches which made me run slowly, I would jump up and down and stretch to the left and right. With my crutches, I am invincible and I can take care of myself completely.

When I meet with the media, I simply cannot control myself. The media always likes to elicit sympathy by making some stunt. For example, it's normal for me to take a bus, however, the media simply just wants to report on the difficulty of getting on and off the bus for a person with crutches. The terrain of Qingdao is hilly, but having been here for six years, I am accustomed to it. However, the media wants me to talk about the difficulty of going uphill. My family is not so well-off, but I have done many part-time jobs. When I went to the canteen, I could eat whatever I wanted. However, the media simply wanted me to pick the cheapest food and then walk to a seat with extreme difficulty from using my crutches. I usually do not like to buy clothes, but the media insisted on making a fuss about it saying that X wore a piece of clothing so long that it has patches. Just like other girls, I enjoy dressing up and taking photos of myself, but the media likes to take unsightly pictures in which I look pathetic to win sympathy.

I have a particular aversion to reports that because of the assistance of kind-hearted people, X has been moved to tears and his or her family has knelt down to kowtow. What's more, on holiday occasions, they would take a close-up of them sending oil and rice. The time I was most upset was when it described my mother's anemia as being caused by overwork; she suddenly fell to the ground and fainted, but it turned out to be cancer...

Most of the time, I can't blame the media. Communities have demands, schools have demands and warm-hearted people have demands, and I can't reject the good will of most people.

When I graduated from university, the employment situation was terrible, and students were worried. Of course, as a disabled person, I was also quite worried that I wouldn't be able to find a job. From surveys and media reports, I knew the employment situation of college students with disabilities was also quite bad. Most of the reports I read were routine reports about how many resumes were sent out but rejected, and finally were accepted by gracious enterprises which held out the olive branch. What impressed me most was the one about Guo Hui (sitting in a wheelchair), a doctoral of English major in Peking University English. He sent out hundreds of resumes, but was rejected because of his disabilities. This was a very serious blow to me, for I was also majoring in English, and suddenly I felt that even if I tried harder to get a doctoral degree, it would have no use, because my physical state would never be accepted by society. Therefore, I gave up the thought of going to graduate school, and just wanted to find a shelter where I could work. If I am asked whether it's difficult for people with disabilities to find jobs, I would answer, "it is really difficult, but if you have the ability and make great efforts to prove yourself, then it's not impossible."

Back then, there were reports about the difficulties college students with disabilities encountered when seeking employment. The solutions were again the helping hands of nice enterprises. There was rarely information about the abilities of disabled college students being acknowledged or how people with disabilities improved their own situation. Therefore, I believed that there was a slim chance that I would find a job. Then, I had the idea in my mind to work with the media to record the whole process of seeking a job, and through my own experience, to appeal to society to pay attention to the employment of the disabled.

Learning from past experience, I negotiated with the media in advance, hoping they would cooperate in accordance with my own ideas, instead of making some gimmick.

What I didn't expect was that I had already found the perfect company to work with at the beginning. But with an attitude to be responsible, I rejected the offer and started to look for another job. The media has always emphasized the importance of the amount of resumes, and asked me to send out large quantities of resumes, showing the difficulty of finding employment for college students with disabilities. Therefore, I sent out lots of resumes. Sometimes, I even applied for posts that were not consistent with my major. The title of the report was very appealing: "Disabled college student passed TEM 8 but not recruited after thousands of resumes." After the first report, there were a few companies that made contact. Without discussing it with me, the media went on a subsequent report: "Disabled college student seeking jobs, 5 enterprises throw a hydrangea.” A few days after the report, several companies were interested and arranged for an interview. The reporters followed me the whole time, and a boss who cared a lot about privacy was annoyed immediately. Because there were a few enterprises making contact, to tell you the truth, I was very disappointed. But the report said that I was silent for five minutes, and then I was quite excited emotionally to show my gratitude, which was really absurd.

If I had another chance to do this again, I would not work with the media in finding a job. I would have said "no" to the media.

After I joined the work force, many of my thoughts changed. I think that in society, the most important things are ability and experience. In my first job, I spent a lot of time and energy improving my abilities. Two years later, I quit my job to find a better one, and within a week, I found a suitable job. Now, I do not believe the reports on the Internet blindly, but read selectively. Disabled groups have always been positioned as vulnerable by the media; therefore, enterprises are always afraid of taking the burden.

What I want to say is that people with disabilities are not as pathetic as what the media has reported. As for me, except for a pair of crutches, I am only an ordinary office worker. Media reports should focus on what people with disabilities can do, instead of how we wait to be helped.

There are cases of blind university professors, disabled translators, disabled typists, disabled photographers, disabled painters, and disabled teachers overcoming their disabilities everywhere. They are just like ordinary people, nothing different, and they all have their own methods to break the stereotypes people often think. Stories like this inspire me and give me strength to fight when I feel upset and discouraged.

I hope the way the media makes reports could change a little bit so that it can provide an orientation for friends with disabilities and help those without disabilities better understand us.

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