Log In Sign Up

Do you think it's rude...


Forum: Heated Debates

Notices

Welcome to the JustMommies Message Boards.

We pride ourselves on having the friendliest and most welcoming forums for moms and moms to be! Please take a moment and register for free so you can be a part of our growing community of mothers. If you have any problems registering please drop an email to [email protected].

Our community is moderated by our moderation team so you won't see spam or offensive messages posted on our forums. Each of our message boards is hosted by JustMommies hosts, whose names are listed at the top each board. We hope you find our message boards friendly, helpful, and fun to be on!

Reply Post New Topic
  Subscribe To Heated Debates LinkBack Topic Tools Search this Topic Display Modes
  #1  
November 30th, 2009, 06:29 PM
glasscandie's Avatar What I make is what I am
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Washington, DC
Posts: 15,982
to ask another person about his or her disability or obvious difference?

I'm just curious - my guess is 90% of people don't think it's rude or low-class (as I do - or maybe people won't admit to doing it after this rant of mine lol) b/c we get asked about my daughter's skin every time we're out in public (she has a skin disorder called Netherton Syndrome - basically some areas of her skin are red, but she doesn't have the typical appearance of the disorder if you google it). For instance, today we took our puppy to the vet. There were 3 other people (adults) there, and as I was signing my dog in one of the men (age 50ish) said rather loudly to my daughter, "What's wrong with your face? Did you get burned?" My response was to ask him, "Don't you think that's rude, asking her what's wrong with her face?" He said no, and I said, "Well, it is." Because it is. I didn't ask him why he was so fat, but I suppose in his opinion that wouldn't have been rude?

That's not necessarily a typical response of mine, usually I just say "She was born like that" or "She has a skin disorder" and have recently been practicing with my daughter for these situations, and am teaching her to say "That's just how I am" or practicing giving a card with information on her disorder to the people who ask. And sometimes we just ignore them. But today's incident was really un-ignorable b/c of the loud manner in which he said it. I truly believe my daughter has a right to be out in public without complete strangers asking about her personal medical issues. I put it on the same level with seeing someone with only one arm - I would never ask that person how he lost it, that's just not proper etiquette.

That's not saying you ignore differences - clearly everyone has differences. But I think there's a time and place to ask about them, and it's certainly not straight to the person's face.
__________________
I predict a riot.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
November 30th, 2009, 06:37 PM
SweetSimpleThings's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: B.C., Canada
Posts: 7,832
Yes, it's VERY rude.

It's one thing if it's a little kid who speaks before thinking, but an adult should know better. And it's the way it's done ... being loud and using words like "what's WRONG" is just out of line.

Unfortunately, I think there will always be people like this, so the best thing to do is teach your daughter as you already are - how to handle those situations, etc. and to be the bigger person in those situations by simply choosing to ignore the worst idiots.
__________________

Reply With Quote
  #3  
November 30th, 2009, 06:43 PM
**Badfish**'s Avatar Worth Saving
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Colorado
Posts: 7,141
Absolutely it's rude. Incredibly rude. That made me angry for both of you.
__________________





Reply With Quote
  #4  
November 30th, 2009, 06:48 PM
*Jillian*'s Avatar Baby #3 on the way
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Alabama
Posts: 11,299
Yes, very rude.

My husband has psoriasis and had it really bad as a child. The things people said to him when he was little still hurts him to this day. He won't talk about it much.

Plus, I don't think you should point out physcial differences to a child. They are so young and unaware that the world is so judgmental. An adult should use their common sense and not be so freakin obnoxious.
__________________

















Reply With Quote
  #5  
November 30th, 2009, 06:50 PM
frgsonmysox's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Offutt AFB, NE
Posts: 19,799
I don't think it's rude to be curious, but it needs to be done tactfully. I get asked why I wear braces on my hands or why I'm limping quite a bit. I just use it as a time to explain to people what EDS is because most people have never heard of it.
__________________
~Beth~ Wife to my Airman Chris, and mommy to: Anthony Nathaniel (8/31/04), Anastasia Fae (8/01/06), Baby C (lost on 10/12/07), David Cillian (7/31/08), Charles George (4/29/10), and Alan Christopher (2/22/12)





My BLOG - A Day In The Life of a Freg (it's a little bit of everything!)
Reply With Quote
  #6  
November 30th, 2009, 06:59 PM
glasscandie's Avatar What I make is what I am
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Washington, DC
Posts: 15,982
I don't think it's rude to be curious either, it's human nature. I think it's rude and low-class to ask another person why they look different. There's a time and place, IMO, and it's not to the person who looks different, especially in front of other people, especially if it's a child, and especially if you're an adult who might have an inkling that it's uncomfortable for the person with the disability to have it pointed out all. the. time. 99% of the people who ask "what's wrong with her" are adults, the remaining 1% are children and that's excusable. But even that - if my kid asked about another kid so obviously, I would make it a point to have my DD talk to the other kid if the other kid seemed OK with it, and discuss the differences they both had. Asking about a disability to me seems to make the person with the disability less human somehow - like they don't have a right to their own privacy and personal boundaries.
__________________
I predict a riot.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
November 30th, 2009, 07:05 PM
SweetSimpleThings's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: B.C., Canada
Posts: 7,832
Quote:
Originally Posted by frgsonmysox View Post
I don't think it's rude to be curious, but it needs to be done tactfully. I get asked why I wear braces on my hands or why I'm limping quite a bit. I just use it as a time to explain to people what EDS is because most people have never heard of it.
But you're an adult and therefore better equipped emotionally and cognitively to handle questions and queries, whether tactful or not. Children are still learning their place in the world, and what other people consider "normal" and "weird" and those things can stick and hurt a lot more than they do to an adult.
__________________

Reply With Quote
  #8  
November 30th, 2009, 07:16 PM
KimberlyD0
Guest
Posts: n/a
My DD also has a visible defect and we do get asked about it. I find it depends on how its asked. I've had some who are very polite (Would you mind me asking, may I ask.. ) and those who are rude (what the heck happend to her leg??)

I've also had CAS called 6 times about her leg. So often that they have a flag on our file (which is actually closed) so that when a call comes in they know thats what its for.

So I suppose my answer is depends on how its asked, and who does the asking.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
November 30th, 2009, 07:19 PM
glasscandie's Avatar What I make is what I am
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Washington, DC
Posts: 15,982
We had an ambulance called on us when we went food shopping one day, true story. A little old lady was obviously following us around the grocery store and staring at DD, and when we walked out to the car with our groceries, an ambulance was pulling up and the paramedic was walking over to us asking about her face.

I agree that it is all about the manner in which it's asked (and also slightly depends on my demeanor that day lol Today I was feeling cranky, and the guy was just plain rude). I generally don't mind spreading awareness about her disorder, but there's a fine line between awareness, satisfying other people's curiosity, and having my DD have her own privacy and boundaries when we're in public. We don't have to tell people what's going on with her skin, in actuality it's really none of their business. So if we do, consider yourself lucky. ::shrug::
__________________
I predict a riot.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
November 30th, 2009, 07:28 PM
IAmMomMomIAm
Guest
Posts: n/a
The only time I would ask something about an obvious "difference" is if I was trying to get useful information. For instance, I might walk up to you, embarrassed, blushing and say "excuse me, I don't mean to be rude, but my niece has a rash like that on her face, and her doctor's don't what it is. Has your daughter been diagnosed with something that has a name?" (I don't have a niece, it's just an example of a "need to know" situation). To satisfy my own curiosity? Absolutely not.

Being curious isn't rude. Asking a little girl what's wrong with her face is beyond rude. I admit I would probably be curious if I saw you guys at the vet, but I wouldn't dare ask.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
November 30th, 2009, 07:38 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 2,090
OMG... people think that's okay to ask? SERIOUSLY?!?!?!?! OMG! That is HORRIBLE!

I have bells palsy and some days my face droops really bad. Like today, I was overtired and having issues talking in class. If a kid asked me "whats wrong" I'd explain it... kids are innocent and I'd never be upset over a kids curiosity.

But an adult asking me that, or something directed towards my child with a "problem" you could see... oh all hell would break loose. Adults know better. It's okay to be curious but to ask "whats wrong with your face" implies disabilities or defects or differences are somehow wrong.

I remember the first time I worked in my special ed school, all the kids there have severe disabilities. A lot of the students in my class had a hard time wondering how to ask (away from the kids of course!) what was "wrong" with the kiddos in each class. I said it felt wrong to ask that, because nothing is wrong with them, they are just different. Our teacher said that is a common occurrence with first time SPED teachers. If we don't ask that around the kids they said no one will usually get upset. If we wanted to be more tactful, we might say "I saw Joey has a cochlear implant. Could you tell me more about his hearing loss?" or "I have never seen a kiddo like Izzy wear braces like that. Could you tell me what they are for?" It's not asking "what is wrong" it's showing tact when being curious, but as said before, never ask around the kiddos.

There was one kiddo in particular who was SUCH a sweetheart... he had a trach tube, he had a cochlear implant, but was very very intelligent, much higher than the rest of his class. I was thinking one day why he was in such a setting if he is so high functioning, because the school as I said, is a very severe needs school. I had to ask "Why isn't he in a regular school" because it was just so odd to me. I was able to sit in and watch how his cochlear implant worked and they explained he cant be in a regular school because of his trach tube, which is sad. Asking for purposes like that I think is okay, because I really wanted to know why he was in such a setting. It was for educating myself.

But when you ask to just be rude... you need to just shut your mouth.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
November 30th, 2009, 08:33 PM
Eowyn's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 1,400
I know a couple people with skin conditions that get them these sort of rude comments. One poor woman was yelled at for taking her "chickenpox" ill boy out in public!! Its incredibly rude to comment on any sort of difference like that when its obvious they are with a parent or guardian and being taken care of and its not your place to have to know everything about them! for goodness sake! I cant believe people couldnt just take a moment to use some common sense!!
Reply With Quote
  #13  
November 30th, 2009, 10:04 PM
Lash's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: North Texas
Posts: 17,716
Is it rude to ask back "when did you develop such a rampant case of stupidity"?
__________________
"I will make it through this because it is for her and for her, I will do anything. I am not brave, I am not strong, I am just Rhiannon’s mom". Our TTC/Adoption/Pregnancy Blog: Jump Over The Rainbow

Reply With Quote
  #14  
November 30th, 2009, 10:49 PM
SweetSimpleThings's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: B.C., Canada
Posts: 7,832
__________________

Reply With Quote
  #15  
December 1st, 2009, 04:55 AM
LorieB's Avatar Super Mommy
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 699
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lash View Post
Is it rude to ask back "when did you develop such a rampant case of stupidity"?
Love it.

I cannot believe the audacity of some people. If you NEED to know that badly why someone is different than you, at least have the respect to ask nicely, quietly and politely... especially a child. Putting "wrong" in your question implies a negativity and adults should know better.
__________________





Reply With Quote
  #16  
December 1st, 2009, 06:00 AM
lilflower
Guest
Posts: n/a
I find it very rude to ask a child something like that.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
December 1st, 2009, 08:27 AM
fluffycheeks's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 3,207
Ooooh, reading this seriously made my blood boil. I would have seriously wanted to punch him, even if I wasn't her mom and just a bystander. You should have said something about his weight, since obviously nothing is off limits for him, but I can be rude like that. When my DD was a baby, she was VERY chubby and one day, when she was about 1 1/2 a woman in an elevator turned to me and said "Is the doctor concerned about her weight?" And I looked back at her and said "No, he says she's a healthy baby, is your doctor concerned about yours?" (And yes, this woman was heavy.) She used some choice words and huffed off the elevator. I guess it was perfectly fine for her to ask rudely about a fat baby, but I was out of line to ask about her being so fat as an adult?

I could understand a child asking Julia a question like that, but it still breaks my heart, but there is NO excuse for an adult acting like that, especially using words like "what's wrong with her face!" That is horrible! Unless it is a friend or acquaintance, I don't ask about disabilities at all because it really doesn't affect my life at all to know how that stranger in a wheelchair lost use of his legs. It does nothing but satisfy my curiosity, and it's really not my business. However, if it is someone I know, I may ask, but I am careful to do it in a way that is not offensive, at least I hope it's not offensive.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
December 1st, 2009, 02:28 PM
(.Y.)mom2dd(.Y.)
Guest
Posts: n/a


Courtney, I'm so sorry that happened to you!
Reply With Quote
  #19  
December 1st, 2009, 03:31 PM
plan4fate's Avatar I may bend, but not break
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 27,101
I don't think I'd have the guts to ever ask! lol. But I'm an over curious person, with a LOVE of medicine, it would eat at me.

I saw a little girl the other day when I had my aunt's little one out at the park. I don't know what condition she had, she wasn't old enough to explain it and her mom was nursing and I didn't want to go bug her. She tumbled off the monkey bars and I snagged her before she hit the ground, I noticed she red blotches all over her face and neck. So, me being me said "Oh no, what happened there? Does that hurt?" She shook her head, said she'd always had them, then went back playing. I'd have loved to go talk to her mother, but it wouldn't have been tactful.

I can't believe someone would say that to your child! I mean, seriously? It would be one thing for someone to say "Oh dear, that looks like it hurts! Did she get burned?" but to say "what's wrong with her face?" I'd have decked them!
__________________
1798 Days to Conceive our Miracle!
Baby Girl Due August 7th 2017!!


Reply With Quote
  #20  
December 1st, 2009, 03:41 PM
glasscandie's Avatar What I make is what I am
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Washington, DC
Posts: 15,982
Thanks for all the sympathies. Unfortunately things like that are a frequent occurrence, at least a few times a month we get really rude people like that. We do get questions on most days we go out, but generally they're tactful and mostly just curious, which I get. While I would not personally go and ask someone what their disability was - in a tactful way or otherwise, especially now being at the receiving end of it - most of the friendly questions don't bother me and I take it as an opportunity to spread some information about her disorder and other disorders like hers (there are 30ish genetic skin disorders, hers is one of them, they're grouped together in a category called ichthyosis).

I think what a lot of people who have no qualms about asking people about their disorders don't understand is, there are lots of people who have no qualms. So while they may think their one question is just innocent, likely it wasn't just one question for the person with the disability or difference, it was probably more like twenty. Sometimes I do wish people would just whisper amongst themselves, just so we could go to the store like a normal family.

Though, her skin has gotten better, on most days it just looks like eczema or something, and on her good days you wouldn't know she had a disorder in the first place. She's had a persistent skin infection since July, so her face is off-and-on fire engine red while the antibiotics try to do their thing. Today was a good skin day, yesterday was a bad skin day. Luckily DD seems completely oblivious at this point, I later asked her how she felt when the man asked about her face, and she said she hadn't even heard him (she was busy taking off her raincoat lol). I'm trying to increase her awareness slowly, so she's not completely blindsided one day.

I'm also glad to hear that other people think it's rude. The guy said "no" when I asked him didn't he think it was, so :shrug
__________________
I predict a riot.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Topic Tools Search this Topic
Search this Topic:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:17 PM.