Tuesday, April 5

Not only is she a pageant winner, she's a miiiiracle!

"Insult to injury" department:

MILWAUKEE - A new Ms. Wheelchair Wisconsin has been crowned after pageant leaders stripped the original winner of the title when she appeared in a newspaper photograph standing up.

Standing up?!?! Kill her! Kill the witch! But then I read the next part:

The announcement of the new winner Tuesday came amid a storm of protest over pageant officials? decision last week to take the crown away from Janeal Lee, a high school teacher and muscular dystrophy sufferer who uses a scooter as her main way to get around but says she can walk up to 50 feet on a good day and stand while teaching.

Wait, she can walk up to 50 feet? And she rides a scooter? A frickin' Rascal scooter like the one George Costanza got in that "Seinfeld" episode where everybody thought he was handicapped? OK, I'm sorry, but if you can walk, you don't get to be Ms. Wheelchair Wisconsin. And a frickin' scooter doesn't count. That's like a woman who lives in New York City wanting to compete in the Miss New Jersey pageant. Or something. Look, I'd like to have a better metaphor for you there, but it's been a long day.

Anyway, I invite you readers to weigh in on this pressing ethical issue, in the hopes that we can get a controversy started that's just as overblown and divisive as the Terri Schiavo thing. If just one person gets arrested trying to bring a wheelchair to Janeal Lee, then this post will have been a success.


M said...

I don't get too concerned about ethical issues.


Anonymous said...

The publicity for the contest says "She has to be a US. Citizen, and uses a wheelchair or scooter for primary mobility, have a permanent disability and are residents" of the state in which they compete. The problem is they want the winner to be seen in public in their wheelchair or scooter, and since she was seen standing, strip her of her crown! Petty, I think, They want someone who can speak about diasbility issues, and if you walk a bit, you cannot address them?

Anonymous said...

This shows the power of photographs, and how misleading they can be. A woman is shown standing. Even if she collapsed immediately after the photo was taken, viewers would only think of her as a person with full ability to get around on her own. If that photo were shown next to her in a wheelchair or scooter, it might alter one's perception of her.

As far as the "controversy" of her being stripped of the title, the people protesting seem to be saying, "Sorry, you're not handicapped enough. Come back to us when you're being fed with a feeding tube."

Cassie Schoon said...

This one time I was at the Safeway with my dad and there were two Rascal scooters coming down the aisle at us like they were racing.

He later referred to it as "Rascar."

I laughed so hard I thought I was gonna pee.