There was a bit of a row last week about oranges. There was a Tweet. Then the World imploded. I picked up this response this morning, and of everything I’ve seen it provides the most intelligent of responses I’ve read. For me, however, nobody in this argument appears to have grasped the larger point. Ironically, the woman who started this is as perplexed as I am.
I see a tweet about oranges. You see a tweet about age, race, colour, disability, sex and political standing. Stop making this stuff up.
— Nathalie Gordon (@awlilnatty) 7 March 2016
If you’re going to assume there’s an agenda to someone’s actions, that is undoubtedly going to be influenced by what you are. The people on my Twitter feed for instance with disabilities or who knew someone who did were all over crippledscholar’s point of view with good reason, because there is both empathy and association with the stance. However, if Ms Gordon’s actual reason for Tweeting was to highlight the stupidity of Whole Foods’ action? Well, she did the job there, quite apart from any other point that needed to be made. I’ll admit my first thought when I saw this was environmental. Now, in the game of Worldwide Consequence Top Trumps, environmental disaster won’t immediately beat disability issues, and it shouldn’t even be a contest. However, if we played this game for other things, I can guarantee that we’d increase the chances of that being the case a great deal faster than would transpire if the oranges kept their skins on. Perception is a bitch, after all, and she’ll let anyone sell their angle as long as the Earth still exists and has people living on it to listen. Minorities aside, all this convenience still depends on maintaining a planet capable of producing the food to skin to begin with.
What bothered me most with all of this was when I suggested that people could peel oranges easier with a knife. Yup, using a scary sharp object to do stuff was met with an incredible amount of negative reaction. I will happily admit that this is not practical for certain people, but I’ll also argue quite passionately that trying is better than simply dismissing an idea completely out of turn. I think that’s what irked me the most about a lot of the casual reaction this thing has garnered: if someone needs help to peel an orange, you offer it. You don’t make a big deal, you simply help. If they’re capable of helping themselves, shouldn’t that always be the default state to begin with? Yes, I understand that this isn’t possible/practical for some, but if you can? I’m not suggesting this is the only answer, and I’m certainly not advocating it’s the right one. However, if I as a human being have the ability to do something, surely I should at least attempt it?
My hands are covered with scars from knives over the years, and scalpels too when I used to use them for practical work. I’ve been hospitalised for my clumsiness. However, the damage teaches me to be better. Somewhere between my youth and now that ability to make mistakes and learn from them appears to have vanished from certain people’s mindsets, and it bothers me greatly. I’m not sure if this is fixable, or whether I should be as concerned about it as I am. I utterly grasp the frustrations of those who feel that minorities aren’t served by the modern world, but there are points of intersection and overlap that many people just don’t grasp. If it were as simple as opening the world to everyone, I’m pretty sure humanity would be all over this by now, or at least the version I ascribe to. However, that involves everybody pulling together, and doing the most they possibly can to ensure the entire planet’s moving in the same direction.
Looking at this argument, that’s sure as hell not happening right now.