Today I’m extremely excited to tell you about a new book that’s out … and share an exclusive guest post written by the author herself. This is an interesting topic and I hope you enjoy reading her post as much as I did.
Young People, Disability and Ageism
Guest Post by author Angelina Kerner
No matter where we go, we’re being judged. Whether it’s something we’re aware of or not, we’re being judged. Sometimes, it’s unintentional. Sometimes, it’s with malice. Sometimes, it’s from being ignorant. And, sometimes, we’re the judges.
First of all – what is ageism?
“Prejudice or discrimination against a particular age-group and especially the elderly.” – www.merriam-webster.com
Problem with the definition stands out right off the bat because there’s even discrimination in the wording – against young people. That’s of course, mainly due to the fact that the most popular cases of ageism happens against the elderly.
You can read articles that touch base on ageism cases here –
It’s easy to fall into the trap that discrimination doesn’t exist against young people until it affects the people directly. In another way to say it is that many people think that young people over-exaggerate about their illnesses. When, I came to the United States, at young age of 9, and learned the language when I was 10, I noticed that kids my age often spoke of ‘being depressed.’
They would say – I’m so depressed, I lost my toy. I’m so depressed, I miss my friend. Or, just – I’m depressed.
Kids learn from their parents and so they learned that if they’re parents are feeling depressed over losing or missing things that they are depressed. There’s a difference between being sad and being depressed.
Now, it’s important for you to understand that I’m not saying that a kid can’t actually be depressed, but more likely, the kid just wants attention and finds the word depression better than sad. Back, in my home country, kids didn’t know the meaning of being depressed. They would cry and tell someone what bothers them, but they would never say it. It wasn’t in their vocabulary, now I believe it is with the new generations and influences from television shows and movies.
In conclusion, because the word depressed has long meaning for a lot of older people, they started thinking that young people over-exaggerate in other cases of health.
Over-exaggeration played a big role for older people in their prejudices against the young ones. Adults started using phrases such as –
“How can you be depressed? You haven’t been married or seen a war. You haven’t known real loss.”
“Anxiety doesn’t exist. You’re just pretending to gain attention.”
“Why are you walking so slow? You’re young.”
“Carpal tunnel? Really? Now, I have hand problems. I did a lot of manual labor when I was younger. You’re at a computer all day.”
“Why are you sitting there? You see that disabled/pregnant sign. You’re not either so move along.”
Now, onto the topic of disability. It’s an ugly topic and people try to avoid it.
If they see disabled people, they divert their eyes. In other cases, they try to help out and in other cases they think that they know how to talk to the disabled and actually don’t. In worst case scenarios, people hide their disabled members.
I heard from a couple of people that many people would hide their disabled family members from view because they are embarrassed that they have a sick person in the house. Of course, those people talked about instances that happened in other countries. Here, in the U.S., people don’t hide their disabled and try their best to accommodate their needs.
There are also two types of disabilities- ones that are obvious and ones that aren’t at a first glance. The example of “Why are you sitting there?” is for the disabled that have hidden disabilities. That example is a situation that can happen on a bus. In those cases, the person didn’t move upon seeing another disabled person enter the premises and stayed in their seat. That phrase would be used by an older person also sitting in the disabled section. So the person tries to move the young one out of the way and not move him/herself to make room for the new arrival. That situation puts the disabled young person in a predicament. Everyone on the bus are looking to see ‘what happens next.’ There’s a choice for that person – to say that they are disabled or move.
I don’t have any disabilities at the moment, but when that situation happened to me, I had one. I returned back to work and university after major surgery and I was taking the bus. It wasn’t obvious that I was weak and couldn’t walk fast or that I needed help to get up because of the pain left over. A man told me to move and I didn’t- because I was weak and tired and just wanted my day to end. I noticed the judged looks and I felt terrible. I was only disabled for a limited amount of time but there are people who are disabled for life. And they go through that on multiple occasions- not just the old but also the young people. I gulped and said, “Sorry, I just had major surgery two weeks ago and I’m not moving. How about you move?” The man looked embarrassed and actually ended up leaving the bus. Situations happen and they suck for both parties.
In my novella, Seven Hours: Challenge Accepted, I have a scene where the main character went to a nail salon. There are two women there. One thinks that she knows how to talk with disabled and the other is scared because she doesn’t know how. And, both don’t think up the idea of how the disabled girl just wants to be treated like everyone else. The novella was hard to write because I had to keep my ideas about the blindness in check. What I could write and what I couldn’t write but I also had to show a scene or two on how people can act around blind people.
Thank you for your time and having me on your blog today. I would be happy to answer any questions about anything really.
About the Book
Author: Angelina Kerner
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Release Date: July 31st, 2017
Tour Dates: July 31st – August 6th, 2017
Chanel is an independent 19-year-old, despite what her overprotective mother and senator father may think. Being the daughter of a Senator comes with its own problems, one simple afternoon out with friends becomes overwhelming when they’re swarmed by reporters.
Keeping the secret of the experimental treatment close to her chest, she is able to fool everyone but her hawkeyed bodyguard, Leon, that has now been assigned to protect her.
About the Author – Angelina Kerner
Say Hello to author Angelina Kerner!
Angelina Kerner, a Pisces, was born during the Chinese astrological year of the Snake, which she absolutely adores. Angelina loves snakes and was once allowed to feed one a rat. That was an experience of a lifetime.
She moved around during her young years from Novosibirsk to Kaluga in Russia. Finally settling in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, her teenage years were spent dancing in troupes and performing on stage. The dances ranged from waltz to tango, from Jewish to Russian, and finally belly dance. She was accepted into six out of seven universities and decided to stay close to her family. Angelina pursued a psychology degree until she saw graduates working for Starbucks and then decided to pursue another career path in the Department of Social Sciences. The difficult coursework, her job, and finding her life partner inspired her to turn to writing which, at the time, wasn’t so much a hobby as a way to escape daily routine.
She worked on countless stories, never really finishing them, but came to understand that flash fiction wasn’t for her. After finding an online community where she met her best friend, her writing flourished, making publication a possible next step. She is now the author of Deity’s Soulmate, a fantasy novel for 18 and over, and of Seven Hours: Challenge Accepted, a chick-lit novella where the main character is disabled. She aspires to publish her other fantasy and crime fiction works soon. Her next project involves a competition for a beautiful Phoenix. That novel will, hopefully, make its debut in 2018. Angelina currently divides her time between her family, work, writing, and a lot of cats. She is super excited because her son was born in February 2017.
Check out the other posts on the blog tour:
Book Lover in Florida – Book Excerpt 3
Novelgossip – Book Excerpt 2
Judging More than Just the Cover – Author Q&A