I prefer her to be sighted, but that is between us


In a previous post, I shared some thoughts about the challenges that a blind woman sometimes encounters when it comes to love and marriage. I got a comment from a blind girl friend that had unsuccessful experience and liked to share her thoughts. I decided to let her do that through this post as blind women face double discrimination not only from sighted men, but from blind men as well. Let us see what she would like to say:

“If blind males are somewhat established and successful in life, they think that getting married to a blind woman is a downgrading for them. They want to look normal, act normal, viewed as normal. That is why some of them think that walking down a street with a blind wife would not embarrassing, asking for help down a street every now and then would not be normal. Some blind men want to maintain their manhood which may not be full except by marrying a sighted woman.

For only the sake of marrying a sighted woman, they sacrifice sometimes other qualities; no matter if she is not educated, it makes no difference that she’s from a different cultural and social background; it is not very important to have common things or understanding between them; the most important thing is to be sighted!

The problem gets worse when there is a love story between a blind man and a blind woman, when he leaves her to run after a sighted girl, as if all the feelings and love between them do not really count. Some of them would put the blame on their families, saying that they are the ones who do not accept for their blind son to marry a blind woman; I tell them where your role as a man is.

Aren’t you supposed to bear the responsibility of completing the path that you two started together? I tell them how come you are a man and you let someone else control your life? I tell them where is the love that you are speaking about, doesn’t love means commitment?”

My friend’s words end at this point. I can get the bitter feelings that you are experiencing, I can feel the pain you are suffering from dear, I wish if I can do anything to calm you down. I don’t have so much to add here but one of the ridiculous things when a family of a blind guy doesn’t accept a blind woman. It doesn’t make sense to me. It is even weirder to me when a family has a blind son and a blind daughter, and they may accept a blind man for their blind daughter but they don’t accept the opposite.

Yeah, I know that some blind men want their wives to be their servant, house keeper, driver, and their personal assistant. What a deal when you get all in one! You can’t get everything dear man, please set your priorities before making any decisions.

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Aren’t we eve’s daughters too?

I was asked this question by one of the most decent, sensitive, well-educated blind female friends I ever knew. She asked me this question wondering why it is so difficult issue for a blind girl to be loved or to get married. Why is she neglected by everybody whether sighted or even blind men? I don’t have a specific answer to you my dear although I can understand your point very well. Unfortunately this is the truth that blind women are less fortunate when it comes to love and marriage whether this partner is either sighted or even blind. I think blind guys also suffer from this problem, but the ratio is pretty low compared to the blind men and the sighted women. Sighted women are more willing to open towards blind men than sighted men towards blind women. Of course this doesn’t mean that blind women don’t have chances at all but it turned out to be challenging and it needs a lot of sacrifice from her side. It becomes more difficult when this woman is well-educated and beautiful, as if she wants to say, what do I lack so that I don’t have a good opportunity with an equivalent partner?

A blind woman has a choice to make either to stay as she is, or she has to do some kind of sacrifice. For example, she may accept somebody who is not educated, even if she is highly educated. If she has money, most probably she is responsible to pay for the expenses associated with establishing the new house. What a painful feeling when you have to choose to be either nobody, or to pay to be somebody.

For me, who cannot appreciate me as I am, he simply doesn’t deserve me. My dear blind female friend, with all dignity, raise your head to the sky, you have love, caring, understanding, and faithfulness for whoever can only appreciate them. Honestly speaking, the guy also has the right to be with you or with another sighted woman; you can’t force anybody to love you.

Do you know what really drives me crazy when it comes to discussing this issue with sighted people? It is the hypocrisy and lying that they try to use in order to get rid of the discussion as soon as they can. So you may hear something like you are really great, you are more beautiful than many sighted women, you deserve the best person in the world, If you ask them if this mean that they can accept marrying a blind woman or not, you hear things like hmmm, I don’t know, I am not sure, I don’t think this can suit me. This applies on blind men too. We sometimes try to appear more civilized and understanding as long as the issue is very far from our personal interest. I never forget the story of my blind friend when she used to have a sighted girl friend. They were very close, they were like sisters. One day, the sighted friend’s brother saw my blind friend. He liked her so much and decided to marry her. As long as he raised the issue to his family including his sighted sister, the whole family started to put their curse on the poor girl. The closest friend now has become the fiercest enemy. The girl had to deal with a flow of insults to the extent that one of her relatives picked the phone and said to them that their son is the one who was running after her and they should deal with him far from the poor girl. The guy insisted on his choice and got married to the girl. Believe me that until now and after more than 3 or 4 years, and even after being a successful mother for two kids, his family still wishes if she doesn’t exist on earth. What if you get married to a sighted woman only just for being sighted and you discover later that she is not suitable. What if you get married to a very good person and she lost her sight after marriage, will you leave her? I don’t have an answer for your question my dear friend, but I suppose that people should be measured based on their qualities, not based on something that they can’t choose or have control on.

I got a blind baby, what should I do?

As soon as any mother knows she is pregnant, she feels that she can’t wait to see her baby. She can’t wait for nine months more to hold him / her in her arms. After nine months, the baby is here, but it is strange, he / she can’t open his / her eyes for an unknown reason. It is true that it sometimes takes longer for some babies to open their eyes but if this persists for days, this means that parents should pay attention.

The first thing that parents, particularly mothers,  should do is to see the doctor to know if it is a temporary thing related to the birth operation or their baby may really have a visual problem. So what if the baby has a visual impairment? What does the term (visual Impairment) mean? Let us first differentiate between blindness, visual impairment, and low vision. Arditi, A., & Rosenthal define Visual impairment (or vision impairment) is vision loss (of a person) to such a degree as to qualify as an additional support need through a significant limitation of visual capability resulting from either disease, trauma, or congenital or degenerative conditions that cannot be corrected by conventional means, such as refractive correction, medication, or surgery.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO),” A person with low vision is one who has impairment of visual functioning even after treatment and/or standard refractive correction, and has a visual acuity of less than 6/18 to light perception, or a visual field of less than 10 degree from the point of fixation, but who uses, or is potentially able to use, vision for planning and/or execution of a task. “

Blindness is the condition of lacking visual perception due to physiological or neurological factors. Various scales have been developed to describe the extent of vision loss and define blindness. Total blindness is the complete lack of form and visual light perception and is clinically recorded as NLP, an abbreviation for “no light perception.”

Blindness is frequently used to describe severe visual impairment with residual vision. Those described as having only light perception have no more sight than the ability to tell light from dark and the general direction of a light source.

Upon all those definitions, we cannot actually put all children or people who have a visual disability in the same category. Therefore, it is important to know the level of severity of the visual impairment if it really exists. Earlier intervention is so critical and if it is done correctly and quickly, it saves the parents a lot of hassle and sometimes it even helps solving the problem completely.