Patronization: A Plea for Help

Friday, April 23, 2010

Reading-- Fablehaven: Keys to the Demon Prison by Brandon Mull
I'm listening to-- nothing

Wow... May 1st is almost here again, which means it's almost time for Blogging Against Disablism Day (B.A.D.D.). I have to admit, it snuck up on me this year; I would've forgotten if I hadn't read a friend's blog this week, and seen that she's added the forum's banner/tag? to her site. So, I thank her for that.

So now that I remember it's coming up next week, I had the brief dilemma of what to write about. In previous years I had ideas sometimes months in advance, but this year, I had nada until I talked with another friend of mine. She brought to my attention an observation I've made several times in the past, but never really voiced my thoughts on, because I wasn't ever sure what to say. To be honest, I'm still not sure. But I have a bit of an idea.

I'll voice it as a question.

I've noticed when eating out with my family, and even more recently since being elected the State Treasurer for Idaho's Self-Advocate Leadership Network (SALN) and working with bankers across the state, that some of our wait staff and the bankers I've talked to in the past year have called me "hon," "sweetie" or "dear." I've also noticed they don't call my younger sisters, or sisters-in-law, by any of those endearments. I've recently come to realize this is a form of patronization, though they (the wait staff and the bankers) probably don't see it as such or realize that is what they've been doing. When I discovered their misguided kindness was actually patronization and was the subject of it again, I held my tongue. In fact, I've held my tongue every single time some stranger has called me "hon," "sweetie" or "dear," simply because I don't know how to respond politely or tactfully in bringing it to their attention and requesting they not patronize me. I'm disabled, yes, and use a wheelchair, but that does not mean I deserve special treatment or should be treated with more familiarity than those with me who're able-bodied!

I'm asking those who read this post: How do I tactfully, and politely, get "helpful professionals" to stop patronizing me? What's worked for you when you've been in this situation? What hasn't worked for you? I would greatly appreciate any advice any of you have to give me!

The Written Past
11-30-2015 November's Gratitude List
12-15-2015 Other Side Ponderings
12-31-2015 December's Gratitude List
01-31-2016 January's Gratitude List