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I sometimes read forums for disabled people (ones that are open for anyone to read). One complaint I’ve seen fairly often, which surprised me at first, is that many able-bodied people feel way too free to touch the bodies of disabled people – even disabled people they don’t know. (Not unlike how some white people will touch Black people’s hair).
One specific subgenre of this is sighted people who think that Blind people want to touch our faces – or will even try to force the issue. As one person wrote on Reddit:
I’ve done it only once and I felt awkward during the entire ordeal, mainly because the person just grabbed my hand and was like, here is my forehead, here are my cheeks. Feel them good. Pure cringe.
Another person wrote:
I don’t know where people got this idea that we want to touch their faces or that we even care what they look like, but I’ve always found it really embarrassing. Especially after a stranger grabbed my hand and plopped it right on her face in public. It was extremely gross and weird for me.
Many Blind folks have written that it’s cringy even to be asked. So if this cartoon serves no other purpose, maybe it’ll let sighted people like me that no, Blind people don’t want to feel our faces.
There was nothing especially challenging about drawing this strip, but it was fun. Panel 3 was probably the most fun, because I rarely get the chance to draw two characters actually being physical with each other.
TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON
This cartoon has four panels.
Two women are on a sidewalk. One – let’s call her “Collar” – has straight shoulder-length hair and is wearing a button shirt with a collar, partly unbuttoned over a long-sleeved tee shirt with red stripes. The other woman – let’s call her “Jeans” – has a long white cane (with a rad portion near the bottom and a black portion near the top) which she’s sweeping over the ground in front of her, has curly hair, and is wearing a hoodie and fashionably torn jeans. Collar has an expression of delight and is looking down towards Jeans’ cane. Jeans looks a little taken aback.
COLLAR: Oh, you’re blind! Would you like to touch my face?
JEANS: Er… no. No thank you.
A closer shot of the two women. Collar, still smiling, is leaning forward, shoving her face close to Jeans. Jeans is holding up a hand protectively and leaning back.
COLLAR: No, really, touch my face. It’s okay.
JEANS: That’s a myth. Blind people don’t go around touching stranger’s faces.
Collar has grabbed Jeans’ wrist and is attempting to pull Jeans’ hand to her face (Jeans is still holding her cane in her other hand); Jeans is pulling away, looking angry. Both are speaking loudly.
COLLAR: TOUCH MY FACE!
JEANS: NO! LET GO!
A change of scene – a comfortable looking apartment. In the background, a short-haired woman is seated on a small sofa, looking up from the book she was reading. There’s a coffee table in front of her. In the foreground, Jeans is stomping in, looking angry and holding her hands away from her body.
SHORT-HAIRED WOMAN: Hi, Honey! How was your–
JEANS (angrily): I NEED TO WASH MY HANDS!