There’s recently been some debate online regarding some oddly dressed boys who posed for pictures taken in front of IKEA Cheras. While we’re advocates of the idea that everyone is entitled to their own fashion, these boys have been treated unkindly because of their somewhat out of the ordinary sense of style. However, what these netizens don’t realise is that the words they are using to insult these boys is considered an insult to a whole community of people.
Sejak bila IKEA Cheras jadi pusat jagaan kanak kanak istimewa? pic.twitter.com/Y3PAzGRtRX
— Fak!t Media Network (@FakitMedia) September 26, 2019
What Fak!t Media Network failed to realise is that the disabled community in Malaysia, as well as their allies, don’t take it lightly that they had used a term that describes special needs people as not only as an insult but to justify the kids’ odd dressing.
I was about to sleep and i saw this. This is what i meant bila i cakap jangan guna terms related to OKU sesuka hati. As an OKU myself honestly penat dah baca benda2 macam ni. Be the person who are labelled as an OKU baru tahu macam mana kami rasa. https://t.co/STreQ6fwGN
— Nara Al-Shahab (@nara_shahab) September 26, 2019
Nara said, “I was about to sleep when I saw this. This is what I meant when I said don’t use terms related to disabled people as you please. As a disabled person myself, honestly I’m tired of reading things like this. Only when you are a person labelled as an OKU, will you know how we feel.”
Nara also pointed out that Fak!t Media Network used to term ‘special needs children’ to justify the boy’s dressing, as though people with disabilities can’t dress decently.
“Dressing indecently? Get labelled ‘handicapped’. Behave indecently? Get labelled ‘handicapped’, which honestly does not reflect handicapped people’s behaviour at all. So much odd and indecent behaviour out there and you want to associate that with people like us by using such terms? Wow, the audacity,” Nara added in her thread.
To paint a clearer picture, take Muhammad Helmi Firdaus (pictured above) for example. He is a special needs person, and yet he dresses himself decently and works hard to make a living for his family. Hence, wouldn’t it be insulting to him when able-bodied kids who choose to follow odd trends are labelled as ‘special needs’ alongside him?
Life is hard enough for people with disabilities as it is, they don’t need to be insulted on top of their disabilities.
They just want to live their lives and be part of the community, and that’s even harder to do if we keep associating bad behaviour by able-bodied people to the innocent special needs community.
So let’s make it a point to stop using special needs terms as insults because it’s not supposed to be an insult to be a special needs person.
Nara’s posting has since garnered over 3,500 retweets.
Also, why insult those kids when they’re not even hurting anyone?