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Showing posts from October, 2015

Do You Stand To Wipe?

Do you stand to wipe?
I blinked a little. Out of the blue, my charismatic 25 year old son was asking my friend this question, with all the charm that he could muster. The friend blushed. Of course not, she said, and my son carefully explained that he had asked hundreds of people this question, and the results were unexpected – almost half the group sat, the other half stood. And a few lonely souls put their foot on the toilet seat, meeting the others half way.

We’re not comfortable with sharing our personal habits, and it’s only people like my lad who can (almost) get away with asking questions like this. Curious about how this subject arose, I asked why he’d thought of conducting this slightly odd research – he’d told his friends he had fallen over in the toilet whilst drunk, in the act of wiping. But why were you standing? one friend asked. And thus the Great Standing or Sitting Debate was born.

It’s an amusing topic. Last night, I sat with some friends around a table and …

Virtually Non Existent.

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I don’t exist.

Neither do many of my friends – specifically, those with disabilities.

I discovered this recently when playing the Sims, a ‘life simulation video game series’, developed by EA Maxis and published by Electronic Arts. It’s one of the best selling video games of all times – it has sold more than 200 million copies world wide.
There are fat Sims, black Sims, Sims with purple hair. You can tweak your Sim character until he is a morbidly obese black guy with a bad ass taste in goth fashion. You can add traits and characteristics to make your Sim charismatic, a good kisser, lucky – but you will never see one type of Sim in the land of the Sims.

Yep, that’s us. People with disability.

There are no blind Sims. There are no Deaf Sims. There are no wheelchair using Sims, and it is unlikely that you will be able to introduce learning disabilities or neurodiversity into the Sims’ basic makeup. When you google ‘disabled Sim’, YouTube will tell you all about how to unloc…

They Built A Wooden Coffin.

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She locked him in a cage, in the corner, because he wouldn’t do what she wanted him to do.

He tied her to the bed so that she wouldn’t leave the room. Every night, for two years.

They built a wooden coffin, with a padlock, and soundproofed it with egg cartons so they wouldn’t hear them scream.


By anybody’s standards, these are acts of torture. The kinds of torture that we read about in the tabloid rags, titled with sensationalist headlines that scream, ‘He locked me in a coffin!’

But in Australia, you won’t read those headlines. Why? Because we are disabled, and torture is de rigueur. It’s par for the course. If you won’t comply, if you don’t fit in, into the box you go. And aside from a slight flurry of outrage by disability rights activists, the rest of the world will make a moue of distaste – ah, that really should not happen, should it? – and will carry on, business as usual.

The reactions are appalling. Only yesterday, the news headlines told us that a wooden box ha…