As per request, here is my review of Glee Season1: Episode Nine “Wheels.” Full disclosure, I have seen this before; this isn’t my type of show but after it was on for a few seasons I caved in to peer pressure and binged watch it but I don’t remember much other than it didn’t really like it. No particular reason, I just don’t really like musicals and ended up fast forwarding through most of it.
First off, Kevin McHale, who is not disabled, plays a character who uses a wheelchair. He probably has paraplegia? Most every character in a wheelchair is a guy who is paralyzed for some reason. I would postulate that it’s about infantilisation but most romance novels with a disabled lead they have a hero that is paralyzed so there must be something romantic to normal people about it.
So, apparently, Artie, the wheelchair dude, is supposed to go on a field trip to a singing competition but he can’t get a ride because the school doesn’t want to pay for the short bus. I’m sure this does happen in a lot of places but when I was in school the county didn’t want to be sued for discrimination so they would cancel field trips and blame it on me (like Artie, I was the only disabled kid mainstreamed) so of course I was pressured into saying “never mind me, you guys have fun.” Science camp was the only thing they didn’t condescend to me about, I was told year before it happened two not even ask because I wasn’t going even if I could get a parent to go with me. I was stoked about not having to go until I found out I still had to go to school that whole week and do bookwork to make up for what I was. “missing.”
Unlike on Glee, there was no way any of the normal kids were going to ride on the short bus with me.
OMG, they had Artie sing “dancing with myself.” This is why I couldn’t watch the show.
Okay, yeah, I definitely skipped this episode the first time around… Watching it now makes me daydream about eating glass.
So, Mr. Woke shames the whole class four alienating Artie which completely puts him on the spot. This is definitely realistic but what isn’t is Artie admitting his feelings got hurt and then going along with the club being forced to do a bake sale to raise money for the short bus and for being forced to use wheelchairs for a few hours every day the rest of the week. I can’t imagine even able-bodied writers could think this was plausible. Unless he is graduating or moving away next week why would he do this? Why would he alienate himself further? Why would he be okay with being the scapegoat for everyone being unprepared for competition? How could he be stupid enough to sit by while everyone is punished for discriminating against him in order to get them to learn why discrimination is bad? In high school. Is he trying to get the shit kicked out of him?
Obviously having these able-bodied students use wheelchairs to learn what it’s like to be disabled is incredibly offensive. Being disabled is a 24-hour job, needing a wheelchair is more than simply sitting in a chair with wheels, making marginalization and novelty is disgusting.
It’s kind of interesting to see how differently they all sit in their wheelchairs (and how the hell did they get such nice wheelchairs? The retirement center or wherever they borrowed them from definitely wouldn’t have ones this nice.) It would be nice to see more wheelchair using characters sit normally like Kurt, the guy in the front.
Normalizing it like that would have definitely cut down on the amount of times people asked me if I was faking my disability because I had my legs crossed.
Huge slur on a cute sign, nice.
Hahaha… The girl coded as retarded is friends with a girl who actually has down syndrome and she cheats off of her which is funny because obviously the girl with down syndrome must be dumb even though she’s mainstreamed and in the exact same classes as everyone else.
I feel like I’m pointing out the obvious… But she isn’t treating the girl with down syndrome equaling “despite” her disability, she’s doing it because she has a thing for people with down syndrome. She’s already said she would let someone in a wheelchair on the squad so it isn’t about equality.
Jesus Christ. And I’m still in the middle of the episode. I think I’m getting a migraine.
I definitely have a migraine.
This is beyond offensive.
This chick is forcing a restaurant to hire her friend because he’s disabled and of course he’s just faking it.
It’s not funny and it’s not even original. Disabled people go through so much because people don’t believe us, especially those of us with invisible disabilities. Perpetuating this idea that we fake it for the “benefits” leads directly to the assault and murder of people in our community. All joking aside, I honestly feel so disgusted it’s hard to continue watching.
So maybe they knew that handicap was a slur but they just aren’t giving any fucks.
His girlfriend pretended to have a stutter to distance herself from other people and now that he knows he’s upset because she gets to be normal and he still isn’t. Um… A stutter does not equal a disability. She was already normal. Do these writers actually think that being paralyzed and having a speech impairment is equally disabling? Really?