Thursday, July 5, 2007

Some people should stay home

Here's an interesting story about a woman who says she is so sickened by perfume and other scents that she is fighting to have co-workers be forced to not wear perfume.

There's not a whole lot I can even say here that you hopefully haven't already thought.

This is like those kids with severe peanut allergies, whose moms want schools to ban peanut butter.

Nature is a funny one, isn't it? Natural selection and all that.

If you, as a human, are so fragile that normal things can kill you, just stay home so the rest of us can lead normal lives, please.

Shouldn't fragile people should be the ones whose lives are different? Not everyone else's. This particular woman should be the one who has to modify her existence to work around her physical shortcomings.

Please, understand -- I feel bad for this woman, just like I sympathize with anyone who has any type of disability.

But, I don't have a disability -- yet -- so, why should a fully-abled person be restricted from anything? Because it's bad for someone else? That's silly. You wouldn't be allowed to do anything. No more milk or cheese in a cafeteria, no more fake butter in the movie theater? You don't ban a perfectly good medicine because half of the population is allergic to it, would you?

A few final thoughts:

  • I don't think every ailment is a disability, though. Some things are just the way they are, our personal crosses to bear, not the responsibility of society to accommodate for.
  • The idea of banning something -- any thing, any place -- should never be taken lightly.
  • Ultra-compassionate "rights activists" infringe on people's rights every day. Every change affects someone negatively.


Judy said...

I have a potentially life-threatening allergy to latex. I avoid a lot of public places where latex balloons are inflated and handed out. Yep. The allergy is that bad. I don't have to stay home and I don't ask (many) people to alter their behavior so I can come around.

The one place I've fought for removal of latex balloons is the hospital where I work. I figure if it's a problem for me, it's likely a problem for at least one patient. I can leave. They can't.

If I had a kid with severe food allergies, I'd homeschool them until they were old enough to know what to avoid. School isn't optional, though, and I do think schools have an obligation to make some accommodation for severely allergic kids. Prohibiting all nut products isn't reasonable, but there are less severe alternatives.

The woman with severe chemical sensitivities should have asked nicely, then gone to her supervisor for assistance. Something surely could have been worked out without a lawsuit. Or maybe she just needs a job she can do from home.

Anonymous said...

I think peanut allergies are just a myth. People only think they are allergic to them and act like they are going to die at the site of peanuts.

Latex on the other hand is only fatal if you were to put it over your head or something. Avoid tires, condoms and erasers or anything else made of rubber if you're allergic to latex.

I hate the smell of ciggerette smoke, so should I act like it's going to instantly kill me when I smell a bit of it?

ChupieandJ'smama said...

I have a child with several potential life threatening food allergies. He's 3 years old. I hope he doesn't have to deal with attitudes such as yours. I also hope that you never have a child with a disability, but if you do, I hope people treat your child better than you would treat mine.
I actually feel sorry for you that you feel this way. Natural selection? Clearly you are not a parent and don't the love for your child.
I am not for banning any foods from anywhere, but I can understand the fear that would cause someone to make such a demand.

Monica said...

I'm surprised at the blatant context dropping in some of these comments, and the original post.

For instance, not liking something (i.e. secondhand smoke) is far different than dying of anaphylactic shock from an allergy.

Food allergies are not a myth.

I agree with judy's arguments. The responsibility is on the allergic person to ... well... be responsible. That includes parents with an allergic child.

chupieandj'smama, you don't have to be childless to know that the argument from natural selection is disgusting. Like you, I hope your children never have to meet someone as indecent as anonymous. However, you have a lot of patience in being as polite as you were. Perhaps natural selection will take anonymous out by a disease that she doesn't deserve any more than atopic people do. Some type of cancer, maybe?

Al said...

I would have to argue that a food allergy is more along the lines of "natural selection" than cancer, because cancer, I think, is a reaction to something created by man at some point, whereas a food allergy is something in a person's biological makeup that makes them vulnerable to an organic substance.

In terms of a food allergy, the school or whatever should try and help out wherever it can, but it should stop short of banning anything, especially something that is such a widely-enjoyed and, for the vast majority, beneficial societal norm. Kids should eat peanut butter and drink milk; they should run around in gym class, fall down, and get up and run around some more.

To be as objective as possible ... I'm uncomfortable with attempting to deal with the abnormal by changing the definition of "normal" ...