The playing field has begun to level

April 11, 2006 at 6:46 PM (Assumptions, Attitude Adjustment, disabled men, disabled women) ()

This is merely anecdotal evidence but among my friends who still date and pursue romance, I’m noticing a gradual positive trend, particularly in the last decade.

Prior to the 1990’s in my experience:

Able men dated disabled women rarely, if at all. I’m not talking about my experiences per se, but those of other disabled persons I met or knew of.

Able women dated disabled men more often, but it was still fairly rare.

The disabled men I knew had a covert or overt mission to date able women, and were quite frank about it, and saw themselves lessened in some way if they dated a disabled woman.

Disabled women? Dated able men more often than not, but also dated disabled men…and their choices were about the inner person. If they were good looking but mean, even the chicks in the chairs didn’t bother with them.

Post 1990 (and not coincidentally the passage of the ADA) I’ve known more and more pairings where one or more was disabled and the disability of one or both parties was given less and less importance.

The reason?

I think that gradually, the able are getting more and more accustomed to seeing people with disabilities out and about (oh, yes there are still the individuals who actually show *physical aversion* when a disabled person arrives in a room, or we get ignored outright etc, etc), but there is the beginning of improvement there.

I know everyone’s got individual horror stories…but, here’s hoping for more connection and more and more people connecting for reasons that have nothing to do with impairment.

Permalink 2 Comments