Hey folks. Welcome back to That Blog, proudly hosted by That Website, which is in turn hosted by the wonderful folks at
Glad to see you back here. Anyway, Let's get started.
Blindness, as the title says, is my main topic today. As a blind person myself, you know, I got a little curiose. I thought to myself: You know, the sighted folks out there, what do they think about blind people? I mean, yeah, I've been around the block enough times to know that there are some stereotypes going around. In many cases, people have viewed me by those stereotypes. But what do the sighted people really think? If there was to be a fiction book written on blindness, what would it say? So I went over to the internet and searched up some books about exactly this topic. After much consideration, I chose Blind by Rachael DeWoskin
As I read through "Blind," I looked for ways I could relate it to my own life, and I watched out for how well the author did with portraying a blind character. As it turns out, she did rather well, and I felt confident that any sighted person who would have read it would have to reevaluate their views on blindness. "Blind," is a fiction novel in which the main character, Emma, loses her sight due to a misfired pyrotechnic on the 4th of July. Instead of going up and out, and bursting over the crowd with beautiful colors, it rockets back into the face of Emma, and blows up there, taking her eyesight with it. As Emma struggles to overcome blindness and live her life through the sympathetic glances and all the odd gestures of assistance, the author challenges the main stereotypes of blindness by first showing us how Emma herself believed them, then showing us how she overcame them through an addaptive lifestyle. It's a great book, and before you go on, you can check it out Here
Before I tell you about how "Blind," challenged the stereotypes of blindness, let me first describe some of them. Firstly, and probably most generally applied to people who are not "_normal," is the stereotype that as soon as you lose sight, your brainpower, and the ability to make any sort of connected thought process disappears along with it. I, for one, hate this way of thinking. It's a stupid generalization created by a bunch of people who have all five senses, a sound brain, and no disfigurements. That just because we appear different to them, they are somehow superior in knowledge, even though they may be stupid themselves. Because the idea that a blind person could ever be as intelligent than them is idiotic. Well, I could go on all day, but I'm not here to talk about me. I'm here to discuss how "Blind" challenges that stereotype.
If you chose to click the link above, maybe you indeed did check out the book. Maybe you reae a few summaries, maybe a couple of reviews. You might even have googled up a pdf version, and started reading it yourself. Or better yet, you even purchased it for 15 dollars! Either way, the book, as well as disputing your views of a blind person, also is quite an interesting read for the fact that a girl named Clair committed suicide, and as adults go, the kind portrayed in this book were the kind who wanted to hush it all up and not talk about it any more than was necessary. Emma, however, wants to know more. As it turns out, so do a lot of her classmates. She organizes an entire meeting, sets up a location, and they all gather to talk about why Clair killed herself, and what could have possiblely happened in her life for her to want to do such a thing. And I tell you, Emma did it all while being blind! Now, if you haven't read the book, and haven't taken anything about stereotypes I've said in this blog post to heart, then that right there might sound just amazing to you. And that's who the author of this book was writing to, challenging that dominant narative. And if you're thinking to yourself: "Aw, this guy don't know what he's sayin. There's no way a blind person could ever do that. And plus, this is a fiction story. It ain't real!" Let me assure you: it is quite real. The author of this book was pretty qualifyed to write about blind people, because she did over a year of research. Here. I'll show you. This quote was taken directly from the back of the book. It reads: "I spent a year studying Braille, going to "beep ball" games and eating ice cream with blind teenagers, trying on glasses, tripping over white canes, and learning basic geometry with a teacher who taught me to feel shapes on a magnetic board. I felt clothing labels Brailled onto little squares cut from milk jugs, learned to tell a blue eye-liner (one rainbow loom band around the top) from a red lip-liner (two bands). I spent hours upon hours learning and typing braille on an old perkins brailler." So there you go. A smart blind person.
Although most general ideas about the blind fall under the previously discussed image, there are still a few that do not. One such generalization is that even if a blind person were smart, how would they do anything? They're blind, for goodness sake. How is a blind person supposed to pick out clothes, or cook, or go shopping, or any number of other things you have to do to survive? Again, I hate this stereotype. Just because I happen to be blind doesn't make my life impossible to live. Picking out clothes is easy; you can label them either with braille or sort them by texture, or you could be like me. I wear jeans and whatever shirt I want. Jeans match everything, so I don't have to worry about that. Cooking is easy as well. You combine ingredients into a bowl and shove it in the oven. What's so hard about that? Oh, do excuse me! Once again, I have strayed off the topic of the book I was supposed to be discussing. Anyway, there are lots of examples in "Blind" where Emma adapts to a sighted lifestyle. After she is struck blind by the faulty firework, she has some of the same stereotypes of blindness discussed here, because, as she offfen reiterates: "You don't think much about blindness until you are it." But gradually, after secluding herself for three months, Emma finally decides to learn how to be a blind person in a sighted world. Her parents pay a teacher to be at their house each day, teaching Emma how to live again; from simple things, from keeping her finger in a cup she is filling so she'll know when it's full, to cutting up meat. And then there are harder things to learn, such as using a cane to travel around the neighborhood, to cross streets, and to find her way through places where she knows nothing about. It is a fact that the human brain is a very adaptable tool which can change according to any situation. And believe it or not, the same can be said for a blind person's brain.
Well, folks, that's about all for today. Thanks for joining me on That Blog. I hope you learned not to look at a person only from what you've read about, or seen in some kind of movie or something. I hope you learned to get to know a group of people before you just start treating them like you know what you're doing. Because most times, you don't. Most of all, I hope you have learned that blind people are living, breatheing humans that are capable of just as many things as you are. Oh, and just something to keep in mind. The next time you encounter a blind person, don't appolagize for no reason whatsoever. For the life of me, I just can't figure out why people think it is necessary to say sorry when I walk past them. It's been happening for the majority of my life, and I don't get it!!!!!!!!! Well anyway, thanks again for joining me on That Blog. This is That Guy, Signing off!