Life through the eyes of a 30-something Panda Woman who happens to be Chronically Sick and Disabled.

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“The Undateables”

So I, as a person, am single and looking. I’ve had the normal trials and tribulations of dating all my non-disabled and disabled life, and yes there are more when you’re disabled, whatever your disability may be.

I am glad that television is incorporating disability more an more and in a way I am very glad that this program is out and getting people thinking. The Wright Stuff today pointed out that in a recent survey, 70% of people questioned would not have sex with a disabled person and I was actually shocked not only that it was so high but also that so many people were willing to admit it.

The program itself I found to be quite light-hearted and i’m not sure whether I would have preferred it if it was a BBC or ITV documentary instead. I am slightly biased in that I am friends with Max who was one of the dates, and I am angry with the girl Penny who was sent on a date with him for her attitude as frankly he is awesome. But that was irrelevant of their respective disabilities. I’m also slightly angry that it was only the extremes of disability that were represented. For instance Richard, the guy with Aspergers, was clearly very extreme. This is not a slur against him but his social awkwardness was a slightly “freakish” portrayal of this disorder for the uneducated. I went to Imperial College university where mental illness or autism spectrum were practically part of the entrance requirements and have a lot of friends with Aspergers. Yes they have difficulties with forming relationships and are socially awkward but they make an effort and are not always as extreme as this portrayal. I feel that using such an advanced case as an example may hinder the cause for those with milder Aspergers sufferers for instance.

I was also quite angry that with all but one of the couplings the dates were also disabled. Not because two disabled people should not date, but because it seems to suggest that the dating worlds of disabled and non-disabled should remain separate. This was not however the case with the gentleman with Tourette’s and his date, who really made me smile :)

I guess in a way there is never a _right_ way to approach creating a program on this subject as it will never please everyone. I would personally rather it was a case of disabled people being included in shows like Take Me Out as a matter of course instead.

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April 2012
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